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BRO STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO STAND-ALONE CIVIL UNION BILL

Today Oregon lawmakers announced plans to consider the introduction of a new bill aimed at enacting civil unions only—leaving aside the issue of protection for gays and lesbians from discrimination in housing, employment, public accommodations, education and public services for a separate discussion.

While Basic Rights Oregon is encouraged by the continued interest in addressing discrimination faced by Oregon same-sex couples and their families, we do not support a “piecemeal” approach to protecting Oregonians from all kinds of discrimination.

“No form of protection from discrimination is more important than another,” said Basic Rights Oregon Executive Director Roey Thorpe. “Oregon cannot choose to provide legal protection and recognition to same-sex couples and their families and at the same time ignore continuing legal discrimination that allows those same couples to be expelled from a restaurant or denied a home solely because of their sexual orientation.”

SB 1000, which was drafted at the request of Governor Ted Kulongoski on behalf of Basic Rights Oregon, would require only one vote in the House and Senate to create civil unions for same-sex couples and prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in public accommodations, housing, employment, public services and education in the State of Oregon.

“We will continue to urge legislators to follow the lead of Oregon’s Governor and support SB 1000 as the best way to address discrimination across the board,” said Thorpe. “Most Oregonians believe discrimination against gay and lesbian families and individuals is wrong. They want politicians to stop playing games with the lives of gay people, put an end to discrimination and move on with the other business of the state.”
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