Oregon Republican conference endorses marriage equalityOnline Only, Top Highlights, Around the Nation Monday, March 10th, 2014
SEASIDE, Ore. – The government can’t tell you who to love, and it shouldn’t tell you who to marry. That is the message Freedom Oregon leaders took to participants at the 50th Annual Dorchester Conference in Seaside last weekend. It resulted in the first-ever endorsement of marriage equality at a Republican-dominated gathering of Oregon political activists. The vote – 233 to 162 – sends an unmistakable message that marriage is not a partisan issue.
“The Freedom to marry is consistent with the Republican values of freedom, commitment, and personal responsibility,” said Dan Occhipinti, a Portland attorney and one of the leaders in Freedom Oregon. “If you can pay taxes and fight for your country, you should be able to marry the person you love.”
Freedom Oregon, a coalition of Republican leaders, formed earlier this year to rally Republican support for a proposed ballot initiative that would overturn Oregon’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.
“There are a large number of young Republicans who are finding their voice in the party,” said Alexis Wolf, another Republican active in Freedom Oregon. “We don’t believe the freedom to express love and commitment should be limited by government.”
A federal judge could rule Oregon’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional. That would negate the need for a ballot initiative and put Oregon on a strong path to affirming that all couples have the right to marry.
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