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Oregon governors team up to advance gay-marriage initiative

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February 15, 2012

By Maresa Strano


SALEM, Oregon: Lack of confidence in the progressive climate prevented the activist group Basic Rights Oregon from mounting a initiative campaign to reverse the state's legal prohibition of same-sex marriage heading into the 2012 elections. But in the wake of Obama's expression of support for same-sex marriage and the success stories of similar initiatives in Maine, Washington, and Maryland last November, the Oregon group felt inspired to finally launch the campaign - on Valentine's Day no less, with current Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and predecessor Barbara Roberts present to lend their support for the cause and do ceremonial signings of sponsorship petitions the organization needs to advance the initiative.[1] Two days earlier, Basic Rights Oregon filed two separate initiatives with the Oregon Secretary of State which seek to overturn a state ban on gay marriage, approved 57-43 by voters in 2004. According to group spokeswoman Amy Ruiz, the two measures have only minor differences in wording and that the group will campaign for whichever one receives the favorable ballot title from the secretary of state.[2]

The two governors' sponsorship signatures already secured, Basic Rights Oregon needs to bring the figure up to 1,000. A further 116,284 signatures will then be required for November 2014 ballot qualification.[1]

The Oregon Family Council, a group which opposes same-sex marriage, has announced that it has plans to analyze the measure for possible openings for legal challenges.[2]

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