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Current Legislation and Basic Rights Oregon's Plans for the future

On November 2nd, fairness and equality took a major hit in Oregon with the passage of Measure 36. But, the good news is that we are fighting back during the 2005 Legislative Session and working proactively to advance the basic rights of all LGBT Oregonians through the following legislative priorities:

The Oregon Basic Fairness Act (HB 2519)
Download PDF of The Oregon Basic Fairness Act (HB2519)

A statewide non-discrimination bill that would prohibit discrimination in housing, employment, public accommodation, public services and education on the basis of sexual orientation in Oregon. Sexual orientation is defined as: an individual’s actual or perceived heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality or gender identity, appearance, expression or behavior even if it differs from the individual’s sex at birth.

This bill, if passed, will amend Oregon’s hate crime laws to add the definition of sexual orientation listed above, which is inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Civil Unions for Same-Sex Couples

BRO plans to introduce a comprehensive relationship recognition bill that will extend to same-sex couples all of the benefits, protections and responsibilities typically afforded to opposite-sex couples through the status of marriage. Basic Rights Oregon, in a lawsuit filed against the state last year, has asked the Oregon Supreme Court to order the legislature to create a civil union status. We are currently waiting for a decision in that case. For that reason, this bill has not yet been introduced in the legislature (and therefore has no bill number). It will, however, be introduced following the court decision or at a time when it has been determined to be strategically appropriate.

We are proud of BRO's proactive work this year, but we also know that we remain under attack. First, it was our relationships. Now they are going after our families with a bill designed to limit adoption by gay and lesbian couples.

Introduced by State Representative John Lim, HB 2401 attacks adoption rights for same-sex couples by requiring the state to exercise a preference for heterosexual, married parents over unmarried same-sex or opposite-sex parents.

In order to fend off this attack and demand that our legislators do everything they can to advance equal rights, they must hear from us and they must hear from us now. These attacks will not stop until enough Oregonians say, "ENOUGH!"

We hope you’ll use this action center as a tool to keep up-to-date on the latest developments in the legislature, to educate yourself and your community about these issues and let your representatives in the legislature know that you are paying attention.

Never before has there been such an enormous opportunity to join with fair-minded Oregonians to have our voice heard by Oregon lawmakers. Through the unprecedented efforts of fair-minded Oregonians, we can beat back the attacks on our community and make REAL gains in the movement for equality.
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