ASHLAND, Ore. — More than one hundred thousand signatures are needed before the legalization of same sex marriage can be put on the November 2014 ballot. On Friday, the collection of signatures began.
One month ago, the United States Supreme Court made their ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act which sent supporters of same sex marriage out to the Ashland Plaza to celebrate. Now, those same supporters are back at the plaza, and across Southern Oregon, hitting the pavement to collect signatures.
Friday was the first day the signatures were taken with pen and paper and before volunteers headed out the door, they were briefed on the proper way to collect a valid signature. Being a registered Oregon voter and having a volunteer witness each signature is a requirement in order for the petitions to be verified.
Organizers say anyone can volunteer and encourage people to spread the word on their movement. Both homosexual and heterosexual volunteers were on hand both hand a similar message: they want equality.
“When I think about marrying people in my congregation who have been together for almost forty years, and I think about doing their wedding, it’s just beautiful,” Petition Volunteer Rev. Leslie Becknell-Marx
Each volunteer had a different strategy or personal goal for their collection of signatures, but all agree that everyone is valuable. These training session will take place throughout the weekend at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. at night at the Unitarian Church in Ashland.
A website called Oregon United for Marriage is now active.