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February 20, 2013

Game On In Oregon!

Posted in: marriage equality

The campaign for marriage equality is on in Oregon. From Oregon United for Marriage:

Today, February 19, faith leaders and Oregon United for Marriage Chief Petitioner Jeana Frazzini turned in 2,000 sponsorship signatures on the Freedom to Marry and Religious Protection Initiative—twice the number of signatures needed to move into the ballot title process.

Oregon United for Marriage collected the signatures in one week, one of the fastest turnaround times for a sponsorship petition. The signatures come from 29 counties across Oregon, counties representing over 97 percent of Oregon’s population. Leaders from across the state—including Governor John Kitzhaber and former Governor Barbara Roberts, plus state legislators, mayors, and city and county elected officials—signed the sponsorship petitions. Over 70 clergy and faith leaders from numerous denominations signed the sponsorship petition, representing Protestant, Episcopalian, Lutheran, Lutheran-Catholic, Methodist, Jewish, Quaker, and Buddhist faith traditions.

Once the Secretary of State Elections Division processes the signatures and ensures that the requirement for 1,000 valid signatures is met, the ballot title process begins. After a ballot title is approved, Oregon United for Marriage can get to work collecting the 116,284 valid signatures required to qualify for the November 2014 ballot. We’ll need your help; Sign up to volunteer or contribute today.

Most of us are adamant about not putting the rights of a minority up for a popular vote, but in Oregon there is no other option.

Oregon voters passed Measure 36 in 2004, amending the state constitution to exclude same-sex couples from civil marriage. Because the Oregon State Supreme Court chose not to hear a legal challenge to the measure, and because the Oregon legislature does not have the authority to amend the state constitution, the only option open to freedom to marry advocates is to ask Oregon voters to again amend the state constitution by ballot measure.

A recent poll of Oregon voters found that 54% think “same-sex marriage should be
allowed in Oregon”, while 40% opposed it and 5% were not sure.


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