News (USA)

Ore. gay marriage backers readying petitions for 2014 ballot initiative

Ore. gay marriage backers readying petitions for 2014 ballot initiative

PORTLAND, Ore. — Organizers of the effort to legalize same-sex marriage in Oregon say they have a final ballot title and will start collecting signatures this month to put the measure on the November 2014 ballot.

The referendum would repeal the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

More than 116,000 valid signatures must be collected for the Freedom to Marry and Religious Protection Initiative to make the ballot.

Chief petitioner Jeana Frazzini says petitions will be ready at July 20 events in Portland, Eugene and other cities.

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.

Yet recent polling has shown a shift in Oregon on attitudes toward same-sex marriage since 2004.

Successful pushes for same-sex marriage in 13 states, including neighboring Washington state – where some Oregon couples have married – have emboldened the petitioners into action.

Associated Press contributed to this report.
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