News (USA)

Ore. gay marriage supporters to begin collecting petition signatures

Ore. gay marriage supporters to begin collecting petition signatures

PORTLAND, Ore. — Organizers of the effort to make same-sex marriage legal in Oregon say they will start collecting petition signatures Friday.

Volunteers in more than a dozen Oregon cities are expected to pick up petitions and ask registered voters for their signatures. It will take 116,000 valid signatures for the initiative to make the November 2014 ballot.

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

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.

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.

In February, Gov. John Kitzhaber and former Gov. Barbara Roberts attended a kick-off event for the campaign, and both signed the sponsorship petition for the effort.

Associated Press contributed to this report.
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