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THIS IS OUR OREGON TOO!

This is a must read. Once again, Roey Thorpe of BRO delivers a riveting speech about where we are now, where we have been, and where we are going in the Oregon civil rights movement of our time. Speech took place at the March 3rd Day of Action in Salem.

One year ago today, we stood in the rain and we believed. We believed in each other. We believed in our state and our country. We had hope and we were fueled by the promise of our dreams.

Here we are one year later. We have been up. We have been down. We have won and we’ve lost. People might think that we are defeated, but we are not! We have never given up! We will never give up! We are not going away!

We’re here. We deserve to be here. We’re here today to say this is our Oregon too. We are here for ourselves, for our children and our grandchildren because we dare to dream of a state where love trumps fear, where honesty never bows under the weight of secrets, where silence borne of shame has no place.

We dream of an Oregon—OUR Oregon—where people do not leave the places they grew up and the families they love because they are unable to live a lie. Our Oregon is an Oregon where young people never question whether life is worth living, where faith comforts but does not condemn, where the gifts that each of us has to offer can be used and appreciated, where difference is honored instead of reviled.

Prejudice has no place in this Oregon—in OUR Oregon. Bigotry and judgment are no where to be found. Families are not torn apart, employees feel fully confident in their value, people live in their neighborhoods and communities and are never afraid to leave their homes or be seen with the person they love.

In OUR Oregon, civil rights are for all of us and don’t depend on your zip code. In our Oregon, fairness and equality shine even when the sun does not.

We are here today. We are parents, neighbors, teachers, grandparents, clergy, students and taxpayers and we are voters. We are here to say that this is our Oregon too!

You know, the modern gift for a first anniversary is a clock and that is especially appropriate today because our time has come.

This is our moment in time and we are not going away. We have waited long enough for the simple equality and fairness that our state should offer every Oregonian and we ask every person in our state who shares our vision of fairness, of equality, of unity and above all our vision of love, to stand with us, demand that the Oregon Basic Fairness Act (pdf) be passed and that civil unions become the law—demand justice and equality for all!

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