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Gay marriage campaign will put Oregon on national stage

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The campaign to overturn Oregon's constitutional ban on gay marriage hits streets Friday, with organizers on a quest to gather more than 116,000 signatures by July 2014.

Opponents of gay marriage aren't sitting idly by.

A political action committee, Protect Marriage Oregon, is planning a campaign against the gay marriage push and is working with a national consulting group active in Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in California in 2008. Same-sex marriage is legal, or soon will be, in 13 states.

It will take a long time for the campaign to really heat up. Gay marriage supporters have until next July to round up the signatures they need to qualify their measure for the November 2014 ballot. Once they do, expect a lot of fireworks, said political consultant Len Bergstein.

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