PORTLAND, Ore. — Marriage equality supporters said Monday they have collected the required signatures to put an initiative before voters in 2014 aimed at repealing the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
Oregon United for Marriage, a broad coalition working to legalize same-sex marriage in Oregon, said it has already collected more than 116,284 signatures, the minimum needed to put the Freedom to Marry and Religious Protection Initiative on the November ballot.
The campaign, which began collecting signatures just over four months ago, has until July 3, 2014 to turn in enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, giving Oregonians the chance to vote for the freedom to marry on November 4.
With 118,176 signatures already in hand, Oregon United for Marriage said volunteers in every county will continue to collect signatures to ensure the measure qualifies, and to give volunteers an opportunity to have conversations with voters about why marriage matters to same-sex couples.
“The momentum of our signatures gathering campaign is incredible,” said Ryan Brown, Oregon United for Marriage field director. “I’m so happy and proud of our dedicated volunteers in every corner of the state who have talk to tens of thousands of Oregon voters about why marriage matters.”
The proposed ballot measure, if approved by voters, would repeal the state’s current constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, and grant same-sex couples the right to marry in Oregon.
In 2004, voters by a margin of 57 percent to 43 percent voted to amend the Oregon constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
But recent polling has shown a shift in Oregon on attitudes toward same-sex marriage since 2004.
Since then, same-sex marriage has become legal in neighboring California and Washington. Organizers hope that’s a sign that Oregonians are ready to reverse the ban.
Last week, the Washington state Department of Health reported that it has issued 524 marriage licenses to same-sex couples from Oregon in the past year.