Gay marriage supporters in Oregon focused on Nov. 2014 ballot - KPTV - FOX 12

Gay marriage supporters in Oregon focused on Nov. 2014 ballot

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Several hundred people gathered in Downtown Portland on Wednesday night to celebrate the U.S. Supreme Court's rulings that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act and allow same-sex marriage in California.

Organizers told FOX 12 they hoped the rally would also encourage same-sex marriage supporters to continue the fight in Oregon for marriage equality.

Supporters hope to qualify a measure for the November 2014 ballot. If passed, the measure would reverse a constitutional amendment passed by Oregon voters in 2004 that defined marriage as between one man and one woman.

The executive director of Basic Rights Oregon said that she is more hopeful than ever that Oregonians will legalize same sex marriage.

"What these decisions from the Supreme Court represent is the ongoing momentum," Jeana Frazzini said. "The change that is happening right here in our own state and across the country as folks come to understand... whether you're gay or straight, people seem to marry for similar reasons."

Local opponents of same-sex marriage said that they are disappointed by Wednesday's rulings.

"We think the decision they made sends the wrong message," said Teresa Harke, spokeswoman for Oregon Family Council. "It says that marriage is about adults. It's about romantic relationships. We believe marriage is an institution about children. It's an institution that's meant to bring mothers and fathers together to raise their children. And we think that's in the best interest of the child."

Several local leaders spoke during Wednesday night's rally, including former Oregon Governor Barbara Roberts and current Portland Mayor Charlie Hales.

Supporters of same-sex marriage plan to start their signature drive next month. More than 116,000 signatures are needed by next summer to qualify the measure for the November 2014 ballot, organizers said.

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