Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley was among
the community leaders participating in the first Summer of Love
The campaign is part of the effort to
repeal Oregon's 2004 voter-approved constitutional amendment which
limits marriage to heterosexual couples. Marriage equality advocates
hope to put the issue before voters in 2014.
Merkley was joined by several hundred
volunteers at the event held in the basement of Sunnyside Church in
Merkley told Oregon
Public Radio that the state's civil rights laws were lacking.
“But that framework is incomplete
until we allow the full rights of marriage for all our citizens,”
In addition to Merkley, Rev. Chuck
Currie, retired Lt. Col. Linda Campbell and Oregon United for
Marriage chief petitioner Jeana Frazzini spoke at the event.
Opponents said they are preparing to
defend the amendment.
“This isn't about restricting or
trying to keep other people out of it,” said Teresa Harke,
spokeswoman for Protect Marriage Oregon, which opposes marriage
equality. “It's about respecting what marriage is – a separate
union that deserves its own name.”