Gay marriage activists in Oregon said
Monday that they will return the issue to the ballot box in 2014, a
decade after voters approved the state's constitutional amendment
which limits marriage to heterosexual couples.
Saying the timing was not right,
activists decided to sit out 2012.
But Basic Rights Oregon Executive
Director Jeana Frazzini is optimistic about next year.
“I think people are really coming to
understand that marriage is unique and special and you don't want to
deny that to anybody else,” Frazzini told Oregon
Opponents said they have been preparing
for the news for months.
“We have to communicate with voters
why it is important to preserve marriage” as solely a heterosexual
union, said Teresa Harke, a spokeswoman for the Oregon Family
Oregon, one of 29 states with a gay
ban, is not the first to consider repeal. Efforts are also underway
in Michigan, Ohio and Colorado. However, Oregon, which currently
recognizes gay couples with domestic partnerships, appears to be the
strongest candidate to succeed.
Supporters need 116,284 signatures to
make the ballot. Frazzini said her group would begin gathering those
signatures on Valentine's Day.