Same-sex marriage gaining support in Oregon

Same-sex marriage gaining support in Oregon

Credit: KGW Reporter Pat Dooris

Same-sex marriage gaining support in Oregon

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by KGW Reporter Pat Dooris

Bio | Email | Follow: @PatDoorisKGW

kgw.com

Posted on March 27, 2013 at 8:57 AM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 27 at 9:18 AM

PORTLAND -- In Oregon, the issue of gay marriage just gained a majority of popular opinion in the last 15 months. But it’s an issue that has been working its way to the top of the priority list for many years.

Near Portland State University it's easy to find supporters of same sex marriage, like 19-year-old Krys Devers.

“I'm for it because everybody should have an equal opportunity,” she said.

Many people feel marriage is a basic right open to all.

“I don’t think anybody has a right to say that because somebody has a certain sexual orientation they can’t marry, and have the rights of all citizens," said 20-year-old Sage Nelson.

But Oregon is a big state with mixed feelings on the topic.

Nine years ago, when Multnomah County began issuing same sex marriage licenses, the battle ended up in court. At the same time voters passed a state constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

In 2007 governor Ted Kulongoski signed a law giving broad domestic partnership rights to same sex couples. But not marriage.

Even now---with more than 50 percent of Oregonians supporting gay marriage---40 percent oppose it. But where are those people in the current debate? KGW contacted 10 groups or individuals who were against the issue in the past but could not convince one to go on camera this time.

Portland State Sociology professor Maura Kelly thinks she knows why, she’s seen it with some students.

“They know that they're in the minority and that it's a really unpopular opinion and they feel they'll be seen as bigoted if they make those statements in class," she said.

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