By Erin Rook, PQ Monthly
Oregon United for Marriage will launch a campaign on July 20 to gather the 116,284 signatures required to put the Freedom to Marry and Religious Protection Initiative in the November 2014 ballot. The marriage equality group first announced the launch at a rally to celebrate the U.S. Supreme Court rulings in two same-sex marriage cases on June 26.
“The Supreme Court decisions underscore the work that needs to be done here in Oregon,” chief petitioner Jeana Frazzini, president of Basic Rights Oregon, said in a release. “Oregon still tells same-sex couples it’s illegal to marry the person they love. Only when we win the freedom to marry in Oregon – through a vote of the people – will gay and lesbian couples have access to all the protections that marriage provides.”
The proposed ballot measure would remove from the Oregon’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage (created by the 2004 passage of Measure 36) and would insert the right of same-sex couples to marry. It would benefit not only gay and lesbian couples, but also heterosexual relationships in which one or both partners are trans.
The signature gathering will kick off at 10 a.m. in cities across the state, including in Portland, Beaverton, and Eugene. Marriage equality supporters will have an opportunity to sign the petition as well as learn about becoming a signature gatherer.
“We’re excited to begin the signature gathering process,” Frazzini said. “It’s a critical opportunity to have the kind of one-on-one, heart-to-heart conversations that we know are vital to growing support for the freedom to marry in Oregon.”
For more information, visit OregonUnitedforMarriage.org.