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Gay Marriage Backers Plan Oregon Vote in ’14 to Reverse Ban

by Jonathan J. Cooper
Tuesday Feb 12, 2013

Supporters of same-sex marriage said Monday they're aiming at a vote next year to reverse Oregon's ban on gay marriage, which was approved in 2004.

The state's leading gay-rights group, Basic Rights Oregon, said it has formed a campaign organization to get a constitutional amendment on the November 2014 ballot. The group will need to collect at least 116,000 valid signatures.

Voters in Oregon have become more inclined to support gay marriage since they approved the ban by a vote of nearly 57 percent to 43 percent, said Jeana Frazzini, Basic Rights Oregon's executive director. Approval of gay marriage in other states and vocal public support from President Barack Obama have helped shift momentum with supporters of same-sex unions, Frazzini said.

"We've seen the state and the country on a journey of understanding that loving and committed same sex couples want to marry, and they want to do so for reasons similar to any couple: for love and commitment and taking care of one another in good times and bad," Frazzini said.

Theresa Harke, a spokeswoman for the Oregon Family Council, said the group has been preparing to oppose such a measure and she said both sides would have a difficult fight.

Only one man and one woman can procreate, so that unique arrangement deserves a unique name, Harke said.

"Oftentimes we get away from what we're actually talking about, which is the definition of marriage, as opposed to how we feel about same-sex couples and the rights of same-sex couples," Harke said.

A 2007 Oregon law allows same-sex couples to register a domestic partnership that provides the same rights as marriage under state law. Last year, Oregon had 558 domestic partnerships through October, according to the Oregon Health Authority, which tracks vital statistics.

Basic Rights Oregon decided against seeking a same-sex marriage initiative in the 2012 election, saying at the time that it wasn't clear they could win.

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  • Bob K, 2013-02-12 15:02:32

    and make their TV ads feature heterosexuals who.have come around, cool. the ads were mostly how unfair Prop 8 was Prop 8 was to lesbians, allowing the other side to claim the gays wanted special rights

  • Bob K, 2013-02-12 17:24:35

    My comment got messed up via mobile --- It started with --"It has a chance if they do what Washington did....and make their TV ads feature heterosexuals who have come around, cool." then "Not what California did: the ads were mostly how unfair Prop 8 was Prop 8 was to lesbians, allowing the other side to claim the gays wanted special rights"

  • , 2013-02-13 08:01:10

    I am moving here soon and will do everything I can to help get rid of that stupid ban!

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