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Groups begin same-sex marriage petition drive

Groups that want to make same-sex marriage legal in Oregon began collecting more than 110,000 signatures Friday morning on initiative petitions to put the issue to a vote in November 2014.

Volunteers with Oregon Says I Do and Oregon United for Marriage hit the Portland streets at about 6 a.m., gathering signatures in Tom McCall Waterfront Park. Later in the morning, the group began collecting petition signatures in Eugene, Bend and Ashland.

The groups need to gather 116,284 valid petition signatures by July 3 to put a measure on the November 2014 general election ballot to alter Oregon’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. The measure calls for the state constitution to “recognize the right of couples of the same gender to marry provided they meet statutory qualifications.”