The campaign to legalize gay marriage
in Oregon made its public debut Tuesday with an online video
featuring a male gay couple and their son.
In the opening scenes of the 4-minute
video produced by Oregon United For Marriage, Paul Rummell and Ben
West sit side by side on a couch in their home.
Paul says he grew up in a “very
traditional Catholic family.”
“[A]nd not very hospitable toward
gays, for sure,” he says with a frown.
“I grew up in North Portland,” says
Ben. “And I grew up in a very evangelical conservative
The two men are the first public faces
in what is expected to become a long and expensive campaign to bring
marriage equality to Oregon next year.
On Valentine's Day, activists launched
a petition drive to put the issue on next year's ballot. If
successful, the 2014 referendum would reverse the state's 2004
voter-approved constitutional amendment limiting marriage to
Paul and Ben, who were united in a
ceremony officiated by former Portland Mayor Sam Adams, are also
raising a foster son.
“Marriage to be me is bedrock to
family and I want my family to be as stable as anybody else's
family,” Ben says. “And I want somebody to grow old with. And I
have the right to be loved and love also, just like anybody else.”
(The video is embedded on this page. Visit
our video library for more videos.)