Marriage equality supporter: 'There's so much more work to do'
EUGENE, Ore. - Harriet Merrick has worked since the 1970s for marriage equality.
U.S. Supreme Court rulings Wednesday bring that work one step closer to fruition.
"It's just totally amazing," said Merrick with the American Civil Liberties Union. "It's like this is a really victorious wonderful accumulation of so much work."
The next step for activist: gather over 100,000 signatures to put a measure recognizing same-sex marriages in Oregon on the 2014 ballot.
"It makes it more noticeable that we need to do this because it shows that there's that unequal balance," said Kathy Formella with Basic Rights Oregon, "and so this is like more proof that we need to keep going forward and pushing forward because we have so much more work that we need to do."
A celebratory rally in the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza gave supporters of marriage equality an opportunity to gather in reaction to the Supreme Court rulings.
"Bravo, it's about time," said Hans D'Hollosy. "It's time to let people be who they are and what the heck, we're all the same, we're all people and why shouldn't people fall in love?"
But the fight's not over in Oregon for Merrick and others.
"It's limited," she said of Wednesday's rulings. "It is limited, and so you don't want to take away from the joy and the wonder that that is, but you also have to be realistic and realize there's so much more work to do."
So even as supporters gather signatures to legalize same-sex marriage here, the Oregon Family Council said it will continue to support keeping the legal definition of marriage to a one man and one woman.
"This sends the message that marriage is about the romantic interests of adults and not about children and not a child-centered institution which is what we believe marriage is and should be," said Teresa Harke with the council.