Politics

Advocates' 'Summer Of Love' Begins

OPB | June 1, 2013 4:01 p.m. | Portland

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Regina Peratta (left) and Gina Diaz (right) have been married under Canadian law, but they are among the thousands of gay people seeking legal marriage in Oregon.

Regina Peratta (left) and Gina Diaz (right) have been married under Canadian law, but they are among the thousands of gay people seeking legal marriage in Oregon.

April Baer / Oregon Public Broadcasting

Gay marriage advocates have kicked off a campaign to convince Oregonians to support a ballot initiative in 2014.

Reverend Chuck Currie talked about the difficulty of watching fellow Oregonians' lives go on the ballot for a referendum when Measure 36 passed.

Reverend Chuck Currie talked about the difficulty of watching fellow Oregonians' lives go on the ballot for a referendum when Measure 36 passed.

April Baer / Oregon Public Broadcasting

“I’m tired of being on the defensive on this issue,” said Reverend Chuck Currie. He stood in the basement of Sunnyside Church and recalled his opposition to Measure 36 in 2004.  That year, voters amended Oregon’s Constitution, defining marriage as a heterosexual union. Now Currie and others are preparing for a  campaign to repeal it.  

Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley, who also supports allowing gay couples to marry, points to Oregon’s anti-discrimination laws and framework for domestic partnerships.

Senator Jeff Merkley called action on gay marriage "right, from any angle".

Senator Jeff Merkley called action on gay marriage "right, from any angle".

April Baer / Oregon Public Broadcasting



“But that framework is incomplete until we allow the full rights of marriage for all our citizens.”

Supporters and opponents are waiting for a judge to rule on ballot titles. Once that happens, the campaign will seek 161,000 signatures to get on the ballot.

Teresa Harke s a spokeswoman for Protect Marriage Oregon. Her group opposes such a measure.

Teresa Harke “This isn’t about restricting or trying o keep other people out of it. It’s about respecting what marriage is - a separate union that deserves its own name.”    

Harke says her group is also doing some preliminary organizing, but calls this an early stage in the campaign.

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