A year before Oregonians will decide whether same-sex couples have the freedom to marry, at least 3,000 marriage supporters are gathering this weekend at house parties across the state, including Astoria, Bend, Eugene, Grants Pass, La Grande, Portland and Salem.
The house parties will spark conversations about why marriage matters, and attendees will get an update on the campaign. So far, more than 104,908 signatures have been collected for the Freedom to Marry and Religious Protection Initiative.
“It’s going to take all of us to win the freedom to marry, and people across the state are excited to talk to their neighbors, friends and family about why marriage matters,” said Justin Palabate, Oregon United for Marriage house party coordinator.
To put the initiative on the November 2014 ballot, 116,284 valid signatures are due in July. The vast majority of the signatures have been gathered by volunteers. Signatures have been gathered in every county of the state, and each signature is an opportunity for Oregon voters to have a conversation about why marriage matters to all loving and committed couples, including same-sex couples.
Oregon United for Marriage just hired Mike Marshall as the campaign manager, bringing his years of leadership in statewide races — including pioneering work on the freedom to marry — to Oregon. And a growing list of faith, business, political, nonprofit and LGBT organizations have endorsed the campaign. To find out more about the campaign, including how to host a house party or endorse, go to www.OregonUnitedForMarriage.org.
The following parties will be open to the media, and people at these house parties will be available for interviews:
Astoria: Sunday, 3 to 7 p.m.
Host: Jack Osterberg & Bill Bender
1711 Grand Ave., Astoria , OR 97103
Bend: Saturday, 7 to 10 p.m.
Host: Abby Kellner-Rode
190 NW 17th St, Bend, OR 97701
Eugene: Saturday, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Host: Christine Damach
85551 Dilley Lane, Eugene, OR 97405
Grants Pass: Sunday, 1 to 3 p.m.
Host: Bonnie Cameron
Abundant Life Spiritual Center, 598 NE E St 97526
La Grande: Sunday, 2 p.m.
Host: Kathy Sewell
Shelter from the Storm, 1111 5th St., La Grande, OR 97850
Portland: Friday, 6:30 p.m.
Host: Steve Knox and Eric Warshaw
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org for details
Salem: Sunday, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Host: Casey Lucas
136 High St. SE, Salem, OR 97301