Oregon same-sex marriage advocates celebrate ballot measure milestone

Same-sex marriage advocates in Oregon reported Monday they had collected enough signatures to give voters a chance to legalize same-sex marriage in 2014.

If it makes the ballot, passage of the Oregon Freedom to Marry and Religions Protection Initiative  would mark a reversal.  Nearly a decade ago, 57 percent of Oregon residents voted to pass a 2004 ballot measure banning same-sex marriage.

If this new initiative makes the ballot and passes on November 4, Oregon would become the 17th state to legalize same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage is also legal in the District of Columbia.

According to Oregon United for Marriage, the minimum number of signature needed is 116,284. The group says it has collected at least 118,176 signatures.

The campaign will continue to collect signatures until the July 3 deadline. Oregon United for Marriage officials believe the collection process gives volunteers a “simple way to have conversations with their friends, family and neighbors about why marriage matters.”

Once the collection deadline has passed, the signatures must be counted and authenticated by the Oregon Secretary of State’s office before the initiative can officially be placed on the ballot.