State-Wide Marriage Equality Campaign Kicks Off Friday

, Written by Roma Villavicencio, Posted: Wed, July 24 2013 at 10:21 PM, Updated: Wed, July 24 2013 at 11:19 PM

Kathy Bates and Kay Hagen have been together for over 20 years and  have been married since 2008 when they had a beach wedding in Laguna Beach, California.          

"It was just very touching and that's why i felt so emotional about it," says Bates.

But when they moved to Oregon two years ago, those emotions turned from touching to frustrating.

"Now because we crossed  some physical line in our country...still in our country that we are not married anymore that we are some how illegitimate that our love of 25 years no longer counts."    

Oregon is one of 36 states that does not recognize gay marriage.     Kathy and Kay lose benefits they were entitled to in California.

"One of us had a medical condition and i tried to call in and get information for on her behalf and i was told I couldn't do that."    

But now a push for change in Oregon...starting friday the couple and 1,100 others will hit the streets trying to get 25 signatures each. 

This,  just the start of a petition drive - Oregon United For Marriage wants to get gay marriage on the ballot in November 2014.

"We're going to continue the march towards this because there's going to be some point in time in which the critical mass will be reached in this society that will be the tipping point."

A day Kathy and Kay say they'll the believe will come and will change everything.

"I would feel legitimate and validated you know in terms of being recognized as a married couple,  its like we can walk down the street holding our head high and feeling like we belong  in the community."
And if they do get the 10,000 signatures needed, the next step is getting a hundred thousand more for the initiative to make the November twenty- fourteen ballot.

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About the Author

Roma Villavicencio

NBC5 News reporter Roma Villavicencio comes from Southern California where she reported for Garden Grove TV Channel 3.

She is a graduate of the journalism/communications program at Cal State Fullerton.

Roma is very proud of her Mexican heritage. She is bi-lingual and looks forward to serving our Hispanic community.

She loves food, music and the San Francisco Giants. She lives by the slogan “viva la vida!”

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