Oregon United for Marriage

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USA, Oregon: Update from Oregon United for Marriage

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Oregon Gay MarriageOur friend Peter Zuckerman, Press secretary for OUFM, sent over an update on the fight there:

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It’s an incredible time for the freedom to marry in Oregon. In the courts or at the ballot, we will win—and defend—marriage in 2014!

RECORD HIGH SUPPORT

Support for the freedom to marry in Oregon is at a record high of 55%, according to polling Oregon United for Marriage released on February 20. This is a huge shift over just the past four years– which mirrors what we’re seeing nationally. More and more people are coming to understand that no one should be denied the freedom to marry the person they love.

OUR JOB NOW: DEFENDING AGAINST DISCRIMINATION

Over the next four months, we have a new–and huge–job ahead of us: we need to educate Oregonians on an effort by our opponents at the Oregon Family Council to qualify a discrimination initiative, a measure that would allow businesses to deny commercial services to people because of who they are and who they love. Treating people differently based on who they are is discrimination.

At a moment when Oregonians should be celebrating the imminent end of discrimination against loving, committed couples, we’re gearing up to fight another effort to write discrimination back into our laws. This hurtful measure weakens our current anti-discrimination laws so that corporations and commercial businesses can discriminate against gay and lesbian couples by denying them services on their wedding day. Freedom means freedom for everyone, and it is wrong to treat people differently because of who they are and who they love.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE FREEDOM TO MARRY IN OREGON?

Since we launched the Oregon United for Marriage campaign, our goal has been clear: secure the freedom to marry in Oregon through the surest, quickest means possible.

The amazing movement Oregonians have built is continuing the work to win and defend marriage. Oregon United for Marriage is sorting and prepping the signatures, so they’re ready to turn in on a moment’s notice if we need to. And supporters will keep organizing and talking to friends and neighbors to make the case that Oregon is ready for marriage–and not interested in adding discrimination back into our laws.

FREEDOM TO MARRY STATEWIDE TOUR

We hope you can join Oregon United for Marriage at one of the stops on the
TBD locations will be announced soon. Watch http://events.oregonunitedformarriage.org for more details in the coming days.

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The oral arguments in the marriage equality lawsuit are in mid April, and there could be a ruling as soon as May (though it may take longer). OUFM has until 7/3 to turn in their signatures to put marriage equality on the November ballot.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Oregon.

USA, Oregon: Marriage Equality Group Has 120% of the Signatures Needed

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Oregon United for Marriage ButtonThe Oregon United for Marriage group has exceeded the number of signatures needed (if all are valid) to put marriage equality on the ballot there in November. From their press release:

During Valentine’s Day weekend, Oregon United for Marriage is kicking off a series of parties and events across the state to finish collecting the signatures needed to place the Freedom to Marry and Religious Protection initiative on the ballot.

“We have nearly 140,000 signatures in hand, and we know there are thousands more out there,” said campaign manager Mike Marshall. “Now is the time to get them in to Oregon United’s headquarters. And if you haven’t signed yet—and you want to put your name on this historic petition—you have just a few weeks to help us put this on the ballot.”

All signatures are due to the campaign on March 15. Most of the signatures have been collected by volunteers, and the campaign cannot start processing the signatures for turn in to the Oregon Secretary of State until they are all in hand. To qualify the marriage equality initiative for the November ballot, 116,284 valid signatures must be turned in the the Oregon Secretary of State by July 3.

Volunteers can drop off petition sheets at the campaign headquarters at 727 NE 24th Ave., Portland, 97232; at the Eugene office at 120 West Broadway, Eugene, 97401; or mail them to Oregon Says I Do, PO Box 14250, Portland, Ore. 97214. More information: www.OregonSaysIDo.org.

During this Oregon Unites for Love weekend, Oregon United for Marriage has planned two dance parties and more than 100 house parties across the state. The campaign will also have a kissing booth set up.

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They are also planning some upcoming events:

Portland

Pre-Valentine’s Day Dance Party: 9 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 13, Dig A Pony, 736 S.E. Grand Ave., Portland. IBQT will anchor the evening with a live performance. Music by IBQT, Holla ‘N Oates, Roy G Biv. Free. 21+. RSVP.

Valentine’s Day Kissing Booth: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Feb. 14, at all Salt & Straw Scoop Shops. While you’re there, enjoy a scoop from the new line of chocolate ice creams. A part of the proceeds will go to Oregon United for Marriage for the entire month. RSVP

Post Valentine’s Dance Party: 7 to 11 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 15, The Melody Ballroom, 615 S.E. Alder St., Portland. DJ Jimbo and XRAY.FM, featuring dance hits of the 70s and 80s. Silent auction. $45 general admission and $100 VIP tickets include beer, wine, cupcakes, truffles, cheese cake and other appetizers. RSVP.

House Party: The home of Jan Waitt, 4 to 6 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 16, 147 Manzanita St.

Silverton

House Party: The home of Stu Rasmussen, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 16, 313 N. James St., Silverton, 97381.

Corvallis

House Party: The home of Shelley Dubkin Lee, 4 to 6 p.m., Sunday Feb. 16, 1115 NW 30th, Corvallis, 97330.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Oregon.

Gay Marriage Watch Interviews Oregon United for Marriage

Wednesday, July 31st, 2013

Oregon United for MarriageWe just got back from a visit to Portland, Oregon, one of our favorite cities to visit. With a warm, gay friendly atmosphere and a progressive bent to its politics that’s almost unmatched, it’s a great town to visit or to live in.

But Portland (and Oregon in general) lacks one thing for gay and lesbian couples – the right to marry.

All that’s about to change, though. We were lucky to be here when the new umbrella group Oregon United for Marriage kicked off its petition drive to put marriage equality on the ballot in November, 2014.

We were also fortunate to snag a lunch meeting with Peter Zuckerman, the Press Secretary for OUFM. We met Peter at Yumm, a healthy café serving wraps and lots of tofu.

Peter spent a good hour and a half with us talking marriage equality, Portland, and Oregon politics.

He said the state has a democratic legislature and Governor who is very supportive. The speaker of the house is a lesbian, and the Secretary of State is also a big supporter.

But the Democrat/Republican split here is fairly close… it’s a redder state than you might think. Portland and Eugene are the most progressive areas, balanced out by rural Portland (just like rural California and rural Washington state).

Marriage equality advocates could have asked the legislature to refer the freedom to marry directly to voters, but they found that the fastest and most certain path to victory was to do the hard work and engage the voters with a signature campaign. Oregon’s constitution currently discriminates against same-sex couples, making it illegal for them to marry. The ban was enacted nine years ago, just months after Multnomah County started issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.

This year, 116,284 valid signatures will be required to put the freedom to marry on the ballot. After that, Oregonians can vote to allow gay and lesbian couples to have the freedom to marry. A simple majority is needed to win.

Basic Rights oregon has been working for years to change hearts and minds on the issue, but with the legalization of marriage equality via the voters in Washington State and the overturning of Prop 8 in California, they felt it was time to take the next step.

The organization kicked off their petition drive on the Portland waterfront on Friday, July 26th, and by the weekend we were seeing blue-shirted volunteers around town collecting signatures.

Peter Zuckerman is the Press Secretary for the campaign, and is surprisingly modest, deferring to the “team of phenomenally talented people” around him when we ask him about his credentials. He has a long-term partner, and who knows, marriage could be in the cards one day. he’s also the author of a bestselling book, Buried in the Sky.

Like the rest of the team, he works about 80 hours a week on the campaign (to be young again!)

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He kindly agreed to answer some questions for us:

GMW: How did the petition drive launch go this last week?

PZ: The launch has been a huge success. In three days, we collected more than 10,000 signatures. That’s an average of one signature every 26 seconds. I’m thrilled to announce that now we’re doubling our goal. We aim to collect 20,000 signatures by next Sunday. Overall, we have a year to collect 116,284 signatures to put the freedom to marry on the ballot.

GMW: How are things going so far?

PZ: The enthusiasm has been phenomenal, and we have an amazing team of volunteers. The recent victories for the freedom to marry in Washington, Maine, Minnesota, Maryland, California and in several countries also add to our momentum. Oregon is now the only state on the west coast without marriage for same-sex couples. But these campaigns are tough. The effort to win the freedom to marry will be politically, financially and emotionally expensive. Our families will be put on the airwaves and attacked in political ads. It’s an extraordinary time, and for us to win, we need people to do extraordinary things. We hope that you will help.

GMW: Who is gathering the signatures? Any stories?

PZ: Volunteers are leading the effort to gather signatures, and they are doing an AMAZING job. Here are some stories:

* A husband and wife from Burns, Oregon in Harney County drove over two hours to pick up petitions from our Bend kick-off event. And they requested enough petition sheets to collect over 50 signatures from their rural town!

* In Ashland, 92-year-old Maryline White collected dozens of signatures from residents in her retirement community and at her church, and called to report how her fellow seniors “are just lining up” to sign.

* Yesterday in Portland, volunteers collecting signatures at the North Portland Sunday Parkways ran out of petition sheets–so another volunteer, Marc, hopped on a bike immediately to deliver fresh sheets!

GMW: What do you guys need most/what can folks do to help?

PZ: You can help by:

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Check out their website at:

http://www.oregonunitedformarriage.org

With folks like this working for them, we’re sure they’ll meet the challenge and bring marriage equality to Oregon in 2014.

Oregon, USA: First Marriage Equality Ad Released in State

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

you tube bigThe campaign to win marriage equality in Oregon was kicked off today when Organ United for Marriage released its first video. On Top Magazine reports:

In the opening scenes of the 4-minute video produced by Oregon United For Marriage, Paul Rummell and Ben West sit side by side on a couch in their home. Paul says he grew up in a “very traditional Catholic family.” “[A]nd not very hospitable toward gays, for sure,” he says with a frown. “I grew up in North Portland,” says Ben. “And I grew up in a very evangelical conservative fundamentalist home.”

Oregon United for Marriage is busily collecting signatures to put the issue before voters in November, 2014.

Find more articles and gay wedding resources in Oregon.