SEASIDE, Ore. – Oregon’s constitutional ban on gay marriage suffered a massive blow Saturday when many top Oregon Republicans voted overwhelmingly to endorse same-sex marriage at the Dorchester Conference, an annual Republican-dominated retreat in Seaside.
The conference celebrated 50 years this weekend and resulted in the first-ever endorsement of marriage equality after a 233 to 162 vote in favor of opposing Oregon's ban.
“The freedom to marry is consistent with the Republican values of freedom, commitment and personal responsibility,” said Dan Occhipinti, a Portland attorney and Freedom Oregon leader. “If you can pay taxes and fight for your country, you should be able to marry the person you love.”
Freedom Oregon is a coalition of Republican leaders that formed this year to rally support for a ballot initiative that would overturn Oregon’s Constitutional ban on same-sex marriage passed in 2004 that amended Oregon’s Constitution to define marriage as a union of one man and one woman
In February, Oregon’s Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said she would not defend the state’s ban on gay marriage.
On Tuesday, Multnomah County interim Chair Marissa Madrigal said that the county supports same-sex marriage even though it has been charged with enforcing a state ban put in place in 2004