A group of Catholics on Wednesday gathered outside St. Mary's Cathedral in Portland to speak out against a proposed ballot initiative similar to Arizona's recently vetoed SB1062.

Oregon Family Council, the Christian conservative group that spearheaded the 2004 campaign that led to passage of the state's constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual unions, is pursuing a referendum which would allow individuals and businesses to refuse participating in or supporting same-sex unions, including marriages, civil unions or domestic partnerships.

Members of Catholic Oregonians for Marriage Equality attended Ash Wednesday Mass at the cathedral adorned in violet, the liturgical color for the season of Lent, and marriage equality buttons.

“Poll after poll show Catholics support marriage equality even more than the general public does, and our faith calls on us to treat others as one would hope to be treated,” said the group's Jackie Yerby. “We love our church, and our faith tells us that nobody should be singled out for unfair treatment because of who they are, which is why we're particularly concerned about this discrimination measure. Freedom means freedom for everyone.”

According to The Los Angeles Times, Portland Archbishop Alexander K. Sample informed his staff last month that the Archdiocese of Portland and the Baker Diocese would join the coalition of groups working to derail a campaign to repeal the state's marriage ban.

“[I]t is my intention to commit the energies of the Church to help defeat this initiative and to uphold the uniqueness and sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman,” Sample wrote.

However, voters may not get a chance to decide the issue. After Oregon's attorney general announced last month that she would not defend the state's ban on same-sex marriage in court, Oregon United for Marriage suspended its campaign to put the issue on the November ballot.

(Related: Oregon gay marriage group suspends ballot campaign.)