Oregon celebrated Valentine’s Day in a BIG way this year. Thousands of Oregonians gathered at events across the state to declare their love and to pledge their support to win the freedom to marry for committed same-sex couples. With the newly formed Oregon United for Marriage leading the charge, one thousand signatures were collected, which is the required number for an initial review by the Secretary of State. Pride Foundation is proud to be one of the many coalition partners to have been one of the first signers.
We witnessed the power of our LGBTQ and ally community this past November when a dedicated coalition of organizations, community leaders, faith leaders, and countless volunteers united to win the freedom to marry for committed same-sex couples in Washington State. This was a huge victory for Washingtonians and the larger movement for full equality, and the reality is that there is an opportunity to win the freedom to marry right here in the Beaver State!
Oregon is one of 29 states which legally define marriage as being between one man and one woman. In 2004, by a margin of 14 points, Oregonians voted to change the state’s constitution to define marriage in a manner that categorically excluded same-sex couples. Since then the state’s highly respected equality group, Basic Rights Oregon has worked diligently and strategically, across demographics, to figure out how to amend this injustice.
In an effort to better understand why people voted against equality, Basic Rights Oregon conducted valuable research to frame the conversation both locally and nationally. With our newly calibrated compass, Oregon United for Marriage is setting sail on a journey to right the wrong of Measure 36. This work would repeal the marriage ban and replace it with a constitutional provision that recognizes and protects the right of all Oregonians to marry, regardless of their gender. The initiative also protects the existing rights of religious institutions and clergy to refuse to perform any marriage.
These next 21 months are going to take all of us, working together, uniting around our shared values of equality and love. To start, you can click here to take action and join your fellow Oregonians in winning the freedom to marry.
For more information about Pride Foundation’s role in winning the freedom to marry please contact Jett Johnson, Regional Development Organizer in Oregon at Jett@pridefoundation.org