Oregon supporters of gay marriage on Friday began a statewide
petition drive to put the issue before voters next year.
More than 1,000 volunteers will be manning booths in cities and
towns throughout Oregon this weekend. Organizers hope to collect the
first 10,000 valid signatures of the 116,284 needed to quality for
the 2014 ballot.
If successful, the referendum would reverse the state's 2004
voter-approved constitutional amendment limiting marriage to
heterosexual couples and Oregon would make history as the first to do
Oregon, which currently recognizes gay and lesbian couples with
domestic partnerships, is not the only state considering repeal.
Efforts are also underway in Michigan, Ohio, Arizona, Nevada and
Colorado. In all instances except Nevada, citizen initiatives are
being used to put the issue on the ballot.
Opponents have previously said that they will defend the
“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.”