Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber has
endorsed an effort to legalize gay marriage in Oregon by signing on
to an initial petition calling for a 2014 referendum to reverse the
state's 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment limiting
marriage to heterosexual unions.
Oregon United for Marriage launched its
petition drive on Valentine's Day.
Kitzhaber and former Governor Barbara
Roberts, both Democrats, were among the first of 1,000 needed for an
initial sponsorship petition at an event in Portland. After that,
116,284 valid signatures will be needed to qualify for the ballot.
“As more and more people come to
understand that committed couples, whether they are gay or straight,
hope to marry for similar reasons, they're coming to realize that
this is much more than a political issue,” said Roberts in a
statement. “This is about love, commitment and family.”
The campaign's kickoff included events
in 14 cities throughout the state.
“We are inviting our partners and
supporters to take this next step with us: To sign the sponsorship
petition, and commit to uniting Oregon in support of the freedom to
marry for all Oregonians,” said Jeana Frazzini, executive director
of Basic Rights Oregon, a Oregon United for Marriage coalition
partner. (Video from the campaign's kickoff is embedded on this
our video library for more videos.)