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COME TO SALEM FOR HISTORIC VOTE ON SB 1000!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005
We are on 24 hour alert for a historic vote for fairness and equality in Oregon. Senate Bill 1000, which is widely expected to pass, could go before floor of the Senate for full vote any day this week (or potentially even this weekend). Plan now to join us in Salem. You won't want to miss this historic moment! For more details on the floor vote, click here.

After passing the Senate, SB 1000 will then move to the Oregon House and be assigned to a House committee for review. This committee will determine whether the bill will come to an up or down vote on the House floor.

Don't believe those who say it is impossible to successfully move SB 1000 through the House.

While Senate Bill 1000 faces greater challenges in the Oregon House where leadership is closely aligned with anti-gay groups, it is possible to pass this bill if you continue to lobby your representatives to do the right thing and do it now.

One thing is clear: we will not succeed if we let up on the pressure now.

CA Supreme Court Upholds Domestic Partner Law

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Gays and lesbians won a major legal victory Wednesday when the California Supreme Court let stand a new law granting registered domestic partners many of the same rights and protections of heterosexual marriage.

Without comment, the unanimous justices upheld appellate and trial court rulings that the sweeping measure does not conflict with a voter-approved initiative defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

Justice Janice Rogers Brown, who leaves Thursday to join the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, did not vote.

The domestic partner law, which was signed in 2003 by former Gov. Gray Davis and took effect Jan. 1, represents the nation's most comprehensive recognition of gay and lesbian domestic rights after Vermont's recognition of civil unions. It grants registered couples virtually every spousal right available under state law except the ability to file joint income taxes.

The Campaign for California Families, along with the late Sen. Pete Knight, challenged the law, saying it undermines Proposition 22 - the 2000 initiative that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. Knight, a Republican from Palmdale who died after the suit was filed, was the author of that measure, which passed with 61 percent of the vote.

But Wednesday's ruling by California's justices, the final arbitrators of state law, upheld an April decision by the 3rd District Court of Appeal in Sacramento, which had ruled Proposition 22's language is clearly limited to "marriage."

By DAVID KRAVETS, AP Legal Affairs Writer

Civil unions create fairness for all Oregonians

Monday, June 27, 2005
Senate Bill 1000 deserves full support from all lawmakers

Legislators can accomplish something important this week when Senate Bill 1000 gets its second chance at life. The bill would create civil unions for gay and lesbian couples, and it would extend anti-discrimination laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Passing this bill is the right thing to do. Legislators from both parties should support it.

The bill was introduced months ago by Gov. Ted Kulongoski and several senators, only to be hacked apart in hopes that one half would survive. Now, just when bills are being held hostage or diluted beyond recognition, the old Senate Bill 1000 is back.

Pairing civil rights and civil unions may not be politically expedient. No matter how legislators vote, they will anger some constituents. Still, this bill deserves an up-or-down vote, not a quiet death in committee.

Last fall's campaign for Ballot Measure 36, which amended the Oregon Constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman, revived echoes of the state's anti-gay past. Backers of the amendment insisted they had nothing against gay and lesbian people or allowing them some legal protections through civil unions. It's time for them to deliver.

One interpretation of that lopsided vote is that Oregonians think that committed, faithful relationships are in society's best interest, especially when children are involved.

Thousands of gay and lesbian couples are in such relationships. Straight people do not need to approve of them or even feel comfortable about them, but they should be willing to grant their fellow Oregonians certain legal rights and protections in state law. Senate Bill 1000 would do this.

For legislators who would reject civil unions because they are "marriage under another name," consider: Would they or their family trade places?

Let some gay couple have "marriage," with all its automatic privileges and its cheerful associations, and start planning a civil-union ceremony for their straight son or daughter?

Chances are they would say no -- that civil unions, especially ones that have yet to be codified in Oregon law, are a distant second-best to marriage. But voters have reserved marriage for heterosexual couples. Give gay and lesbian couples something.

Some legislators don't see why gay and lesbian people need protection in housing, employment, public accommodation, education and public services -- the other half of Senate Bill 1000. They ought to spend a day with some of their gay and lesbian constituents. Learn their stories, and then judge how valuable those protections might be.

Last week, Nike, Oregon's only Fortune 500 company, came out strongly in favor of civil unions and civil-rights protections for gay and lesbian Oregonians. That's the kind of forward-thinking image that Oregon should convey.

Legislators have a chance to make something of this mediocre session. They should stand up for fairness to all Oregonians by passing Senate Bill 1000.

Senate Rules Committee Sends SB 1000 To Senate Floor for Historic Vote!

Friday, June 24, 2005
The Oregon Legislature's Senate Rules Committee brought Oregon another step closer today, Thursday, June 23, toward civil unions for same-sex couples and a statewide anti-discrimination law prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. With a 3-2 vote along party lines, the committee voted to move Senate Bill 1000 to a full Senate vote, which is expected to take place some time next week.

"Basic Rights Oregon has always believed that Senate Bill 1000 is the legislature's best opportunity ensure fair treatment under the law for all Oregonians and their families," said Basic Rights Oregon Executive Director Roey Thorpe. "Today's vote affirms that lawmakers are taking seriously their moral obligation not only to condemn discrimination, but to make it illegal."

Approval in the Senate, however, is only one step in the legislative process needed to make SB 1000 the law in Oregon. Once approved by the Oregon Senate, the real battle for Senate Bill 1000 will take shape in the Oregon House and opponents of fairness for GLBT Oregonians are expected to launch an all out assault on SB 1000.

With less than 30 days left in the legislative session, Basic Rights Oregon is calling on House leadership to immediately give this critical issue a fair hearing in the Oregon House and bring the bill to an up or down vote on the House floor.

"Oregon lawmakers now have it within their power say that discrimination has no place in the Oregon we all live in and love," said Thorpe. "We are counting on them to do the right thing - and to do it before the session ends."

BREAKING: Senate Moves Forward on Senate Bill 1000

Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Senate Committed to Passing Anti-Discrimination Legislation AND Civil Unions This Session

Your lawmakers have heard you! The Oregon Senate announced today that it will very soon move Senate Bill 1000 to a full Senate vote.

SB 1000, which would create civil unions and prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity had been shelved earlier in the legislative session and lawmakers planned to pursue civil union and anti-discrimination legislation in separate bills.

After hearing from thousands of Oregonians, however, lawmakers could not ignore the overwhelming support from throughout the state of Oregon for Senate Bill 1000 as a unified bill.

But, with the clock ticking in the Oregon legislature, we can not let up the pressure on lawmakers to act immediately to make this bill the law.

You have already seen that your phone calls, emails and visits were powerful enough to influence the course of this fight in the Senate, but our real fight is about to begin in the House.

Victory is within arms reach. But you can bet that opponents of fairness for GLBT Oregonians will not go down with out a fight. We expect them to turn up the heat on legislators who could cast deciding votes. They will be loud and we must be louder. That means that voices for fairness must outweigh voices of prejudice every day until this fight is over. You can make that happen.

Call Your Lawmakers Now!
Even if you have called before, contact your legislator immediately! You can even leave a message after hours. Don't delay. Click here to take action!

Nike Announces Endorsement of Civil Unions & Anti-Discrimination Legislation

Tuesday, June 21, 2005
Today Nike Corporation demonstrated its commitment fairness for all Oregon citizens when it announced its endorsement of SB 1000 and SB 1073 in a statement sent to legislative leadership.

With its announcement Nike lends its powerful voice to a growing chorus of Oregon businesses calling on the state to pass civil union and antidiscrimination legislation this session. They know as we know that protection from discrimination and a growing economy are not mutually exclusive, but mutually beneficial.

Basic Rights Oregon applauds Nike for taking seriously its ethical responsibility not simply to promote Oregon business, but Oregon values of fairness, equality, dignity and respect.

NIKE'S STATEMENT TO THE LEGISLATURE
On behalf of Nike, Inc., I write in support of passage of Senate Bill 1000 and Senate Bill 1073.

SB 1000 will prohibit discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodation and services and education on the basis of sexual orientation. The bill will also create civil unions and extend a set of rights and responsibilities to same-sex permanent partners. Senate Bill 1073, another bill under consideration by the legislature, contains similar provisions relating to the creation of civil unions.

Nike has a record of leadership in support of diversity and non-discrimination, as recognized by the Human Rights Campaign. Nike is committed to diversity and inclusion and strives to treat our employees equally without regard to sexual orientation or marital status.

The non-discrimination provisions contained within SB 1000 are consistent with Nike's corporate policies and practices and our support of similar legislation at the federal and state level. We strongly support the non-discrimination provisions in SB 1000, as this legislation will extend a set of basic rights to many Oregonians.

Nike also supports the provisions in SB 1073 and SB 1000 creating civil unions and extending a set of rights and responsibilities to same-sex permanent partners, which are consistent with their financial and non-financial commitments. Supporting the creation of civil unions is a meaningful complement to the non-discrimination position Nike has taken previously. And, civil unions promote inclusion by providing all our employees the opportunity to enter into lasting permanent relationships without regard to sexual orientation. As a global company, we have employees in other countries who can opt to register civil unions or an equivalent status.

One of the Nike Maxims is to "Do the Right Thing," which asks our employees not to look for things that make us different, but to look for things that make us better. Many of our employees' lives will be better because of the passage of these bills.

Sincerely,
Wes Coleman
Nike, Vice President of Global Human Resources

_________________________________________

These Oregon Companies Also Support Fairness for All Oregonians
The following Oregon businesses have also made formal endorsements in support of SB 1000 and SB 1073*:

Norm Thompson
Powell's Books, Inc.
McDonald Jacobs, PC
Metropolitan Group LLC
Azumano Travel
eROI
Benjamin & Co.
Bridge City Family Medical Clinic
Construction Transformations Inc.
Diversitech
Newberg Mailroom
Dragonheart Family Healthcare
Eyes on Broadway
Froelick Gallery
Hara Shick Architecture
Harriman Creative Inc.
Cherchez La Femme Projects
Jupiter Hotel
Law Office of James D. McVittie P.C.
MBL Group LLC
Plazm Media
PonderFusion
Powell Phones
Rose City Mortgage Specialists
Second Story Bistro
Shalinar Mobile Home Park
Silver Plume Imports
Sustan
Tashman Johnson, LLC
The Grove Restaurant and Lounge
Tutch Consulting
Vocation Vacations
*Partial List*

Eat Eat Eat All Day!

Today is the day to eat out for every meal of the day. Get coffee - one two maybe three times! Today is the Basic Rights Oregon "Bites For Rights". Over 60 restaurants across the state are participating. See the list below!

Bites for Rights, the most popular BRO fundraiser EVER!

Tuesday, June 21st join thousands of Oregonians in turning your food habit into a political act by dining out. Participating restaurants will donate 15% of your bill to Basic Rights Oregon; what a great reason to not cook…ALL DAY! Make your breakfast, lunch, and dinner plans NOW…and don’t forget to order dessert!

These restaurants will be donating 15% of their proceeds to advance basic rights for all Oregonians:

820
Adobe Rose Café
Assaggio Trattoria & Enoteca
Aura
Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop on Hawthorne
Bernie's Southern Bistro
Besaw's Café: 20% all day!
Bread & Ink Café
Bridges Café & Catering
Burst's Candies, Corvallis
Cascade Baking Company, Salem
Chez Jose East
County Cork & Public House
Cricket Café
Darcelle XV
Divine Café
Esan Thai Cuisine
Escape from New York Pizza
Equinox Restaurant: dine on June 23rd instead!
Fife
Fish Grotto Seafood Restaurant
Fratelli
Grass Roots Books & Espresso, Corvallis: 20% all day!
Grolla Restaurant & Wine Bar
Haven
Higgins
Il Piatto
Interzone, Corvallis
Jam on Hawthorne
Ken's Place: dine on June 23rd instead!
Kornblatt's Deli
La Calaca Comelona
Le Bistro Montage
Let's Do Coffee & More, West Linn
Lucy's Table
Mama Mia Trattoria
Masu Sushi
Mint
Mother's Bistro & Bar
Muu Muu's
No Fish! Go Fish!
Off Center Cafe, Salem
Old Wive's Tales
PaRaDoX Palace Café
Paragon
Pastini: NE Broadway and SE Division restaurants
Pix Patisserie
Poppi's Anatolia, Eugene
Red Star Tavern & Roast House
Ring of Fire & The Lava Lounge, Eugene
Russell Street BBQ
Starky's
Sweet Life Patisserie, Eugene
T. Paul's Urban Cafe, Astoria
Thai Pepper Restaurant
The Grove, Bend
Three Friends Coffeehouse
Three Square Grill
Touchstone Coffee House
Vita Cafe
Wild Abandon & the Red Velvet Lounge
Wilf's Restaurant & Piano Bar
Zell's Café

Oregon Civil Unions: Full Senate Vote Any Day Now

Thursday, June 16, 2005
A full senate vote on Civil Unions (SB 1073) is expected any day and could come this week or early next week...

We won't know very far in advance what time or day the vote will take place, but we DO KNOW that you won't want to miss this historic moment!

With so much happening in the next couple of weeks, we will do everything we can to give you up-to-the-minute news on the events in the Capitol.

Watch your email closely (If you are not subscribed to our email alerts, please click here) and be ready to take action!

Our Moment to Make Oregon Fair

A letter from Roey Thorpe, Executive Director of Basic Rights Oregon.

Dear Friends,

Six months ago, when this legislative session began, we set out to do the unprecedented: pass civil unions AND a statewide nondiscrimination law this legislative session.

For a state that has not seen a GLBT civil rights bill even move out of committee in decades, these goals were high and even I feared they might be unreachable.

Now, as the end of session looms and we are feverishly working to pass our bills, everything is on the line.

At this critical moment, I thought I'd just take a quick moment to assess where we've been, where we're at and share what the next few weeks will likely bring.

First, you should know that thanks to all of you and your courageous, passionate activism, this session has already made history.

Never before have our elected representatives heard from so many of us, in so many ways and over such a long time, about our lives and the issues we are asking them to address. Never before.

We started with a Day of Action that had previously brought 80 people to Salem and this year brought over 800.

Every time we send an email alert, hundreds of you call and email your representatives. And that's not counting the letters to the editor, the town halls you've attended, and the rallies and vigils and every other thing you've done to make a difference. So far, more than 18,000 personal contacts have been made directly with our representatives, through phone calls, letters, emails, faxes, and personal visits!

Even our opponents said that we "turn out in droves" at the hearings, and it's true: hundreds of people from every corner of this state have driven for hours to stand up and be counted, and it has mattered.

The numbers themselves are astounding.

But we're about quality as well as quantity, and those of you who have attended the hearings or just listened to them online know that the difference between what we say and our opponents say is more than just the difference between "vote yes" and "vote no."

The more the other side speaks, the more they reveal a world view that is as anti-woman as it is anti-gay, that worships an angry punishing God, that fears so much and seeks to understand so little.

And the more we speak, the more people know about our love of each other and our love for our families and communities, and the more they know how fundamentally wrong it its that tragedies have occurred in the lives of our neighbors and friends because of discrimination and lack of legal recognition. Truly, this is changing minds and hearts, and causing our legislators to look at these issues with new eyes.

Even those who have made the bold committment to sponsor our legislation this session have been profoundly changed by the experience.

Now, as we enter the last few weeks of this legislative campaign, the stakes are high and we can't let up.

There will be plenty of people who will say that this can't be done, that the House will never pass our bills, that we should just give up. Don't believe them.

Keep in mind that no civil rights movement has ever been met with encouragement, or seen as timely, or told that their goals were achievable. It is only after the fact that our vision is viewed as reasonable and people claim to have supported us all along!

We have to keep going, harder than ever, because this is our moment. We owe it to ourselves.

When I look at how far we've come, I'm so proud of all of us and I also have a deep sense of wonder. Many people would have lost the campaign last November and given up, or regretted ever trying. But our community didn't do that. We just kept going, and held our heads even higher. Our opponents weren't counting on that!

In the next week, the civil unions bill will pass the full Senate and move to the House for a vote. We are also optimistic that a nondiscrimination bill will soon pass the Senate as well.

These weeks will be like the rest of the session: there will be moments when everything is going as we imagined -- and times when will wish events were moving more quickly or in a different direction.

We'll stay flexible and ready to change course quickly when needed. We'll keep using a multi-pronged strategy to employ every possible means to secure support for our bills and to keep you informed and in touch with your legislators.

So hold on tight for the proverbial bumpy ride! I hope you'll continue to contact us with your questions, great ideas, and feedback.

Our fantastic statewide team will be holding phone banks in 4 locations around the state, and all you have to do is give them a call to get involved.

These remaining weeks of the session will be a challenge. But, together we are up for it.

Opponents of fairness for GLBT Oregonians will throw everything they have at us. But we will give as good as we get.

We can win this thing and pass our bills if we keep the pressure up, so let's keep our focus and really push for these next crucial weeks.

Again, thank you for fighting along side us through thick and thin. Together, I believe we can, and will, win.

In Solidarity,
Roey Thorpe

Making a place for gays and lesbians

Oregon legislators should approve anti-discrimination legislation as well as civil unions for gay couples

Some day we'll look back with a shudder at society's treatment of gays and lesbians. Although there's too little evidence now to say for certain what causes homosexuality, some day scientists surely will confirm what parents with gay sons and lesbian daughters already know:

Their children no more chose to be homosexual than other people's children choose to be heterosexual. At some point, often after years of struggle and denial, therapy, fervent prayers and desperate wishes to be otherwise, people realize they are who they are.

Last November, voters amended the Oregon Constitution to ban gays and lesbians from marrying as other couples do. One of the messages this vote sent to gays and lesbians was not subtle: You don't belong. You're not really part of us.

For political purposes, of course, maybe it's handy to have one group of people to demonize. In 2004, sadly, gays and lesbians became that convenient "them." And this year, some legislators are still exploiting that political divide. But the good news is that Gov. Ted Kulongoski and a bipartisan coalition of legislators are working to heal it.

Very soon, the Oregon Senate will vote on Senate Bill 1073, to create Vermont-style civil unions for gays and lesbians. If the Oregon Legislature approves this bill, and also outlaws discrimination against gays, it will be a proud moment for our state.

It will be a victory, not just for gays and lesbians, but for legislators themselves. If they pass this legislation, they will have accomplished something monumental. Most of all, the passage will be a victory for Oregonians who unequivocally cherish fair treatment of their neighbors, sons and daughters who are gay.

Some day we will understand more about the genesis of homosexuality, why some version of it shows up across so many cultures and even in different animal species. Some day we will know that being gay is not a "lifestyle choice" - as so many say who condemn gays, their voices dripping with contempt. We will understand that sexual orientation is something so deep that it cannot be wished, hoped, prayed, married or chosen away.

That's why it's just as wrong to discriminate against gays and lesbians as it is to discriminate against people of different colors or different faiths.

For now, we only glimpse this truth, but some day we will see it face to face.

If legislators approve this legislation, we'll be able to say that, way back in 2005, Oregonians had already figured out what fairness means. Our state already knew that gays and lesbians deserved to be treated equally, as full Oregonians and full human beings.

Not one of "them."

One of us.

OregonLive.com

FULL SENATE VOTE ON CIVIL UNIONS IMMINENT!

Tuesday, June 14, 2005
In just days, we expect that the Oregon Senate will take part in a historic vote on Civil Unions. We will get very little advance notice of the date or time of the vote, but watch your email closely (If you are not subscribed to our e-newsletter visit www.basicrights.org to sign-up)! You'll get breaking news as soon as we know when the vote will take place. Plan now to join us when it happens. You won't want to miss this historic moment.

But, remember, a vote in the Senate is just the first step. We still have to get civil unions (SB 1073) through the Oregon House. With less than 3 weeks left in the this legislative session, time is of the essence. Civil unions must become the law in the next few weeks before the legislature adjourns. Your action today can decide the outcome of this fight and make civil unions a reality in Oregon.

Even if you have called or written before, even if you believe that your legislators will already vote the right way, the stakes are too high to do anything but lobby as hard as we can!

Take Action Now!

Through our partners at Onward Oregon, you have already generated more than 700 emails to Oregon legislators. Now, in the final days of the legislative session we need to pull out all the stops. Can we make it 1000? Or more?

Take Action Now!

Basic Rights Oregon - Bites For Rites

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Event Date: Tuesday, 6/21/2005
Event Time: All Day
It’s back! Bites for Rights, the most popular BRO fundraiser EVER!

Tuesday, June 21st join thousands of Oregonians in turning your food habit into a political act by dining out. Participating restaurants will donate 15% of your bill to Basic Rights Oregon; what a great reason to not cook…ALL DAY! Mark your calendars and make your breakfast, lunch, and dinner plans NOW…and don’t forget to order dessert!

And keep checking out www.basicrights.org and our weekly e-update for a complete listing of participating restaurants.

These restaurants will be donating 15% of their proceeds to advance basic rights for all Oregonians:

820
Adobe Rose Café
Assaggio Trattoria & Enoteca
Aura
Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop on Hawthorne
Bernie's Southern Bistro: 10% of proceeds
Besaw's Café
Bread & Ink Café
Bridges Café & Catering
Burst's Candies, Corvallis
Cascade Baking Company, Salem
Chez Jose East
County Cork & Public House
Cricket Café
Darcelle XV
Divine Café
Esan Thai Cuisine
Escape from New York Pizza
Fife
Fish Grotto Seafood Restaurant
Fratelli
Grass Roots Books & Espresso, Corvallis
Grolla Restaurant & Wine Bar
Haven
Higgins
Il Piatto
Interzone, Corvallis
Jam on Hawthorne
Ken's Place: June 23rd instead!
Kornblatt's Deli
La Calaca Comelona
Le Bistro Montage: 20% of lunch proceeds
Let's Do Coffee & More, West Linn
Lucy's Table
Mama Mia Trattoria
Masu Sushi
Mint
Mother's Bistro & Bar
Muu Muu's
No Fish! Go Fish!
Off Center Cafe, Salem
Old Wive's Tales
PaRaDoX Palace Café
Paragon
Pastini: NE Broadway and SE Division restaurants
Pix Patisserie
Poppi's Anatolia, Eugene
Red Star Tavern & Roast House
Ring of Fire & The Lava Lounge, Eugene
Russell Street BBQ
Starky's
Sweet Life Patisserie, Eugene: 10% of proceeds
T. Paul's Urban Cafe, Astoria
Thai Pepper Restaurant
The Grove, Bend
Three Friends Coffeehouse
Three Square Grill
Touchstone Coffee House
Vita Cafe
Wild Abandon & the Red Velvet Lounge
Wilf's Restaurant & Piano Bar
Zell's Café

Yesterday's Civil Union Coverage

Wednesday, June 08, 2005
Historic civil-union vote set in Senate
Bill moves out of committee on party-line vote; backers face tough odds in House
STEVE LAW
Statesman Journal
June 8, 2005
Click Here

Civil unions bill heads to Senate
Several hurdles remain before Oregon offers rights to same-sex couples
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
MICHELLE COLE
Click Here

OPB News
Senate Committee Passes Civil Unions Bill
By Colin Fogarty
Click here

Ore. Senate panel passes bill to create civil unions
Tuesday, June 7, 2005
By NIKI SULLIVAN, Associated Press Writer
Click Here

Senate Rules Committee Says 'Yes' to Civil Unions

Tuesday, June 07, 2005
The Oregon Legislature's Senate Rules Committee took the first step today, Tuesday, June 7 toward ensuring fairness for all Oregon families, regardless of sexual orientation, by approving by a 3-2 vote Senate Bill 1073, which creates civil unions providing all of as the state protections and responsibilities of marriage to same-sex couples and their families.

"Never before has the Oregon Legislature acted to provide Oregon same-sex couples with the legal protections all families require every day and in times of crisis," said Basic Rights Oregon Executive Director Roey Thorpe. "Basic Rights Oregon applauds the courage of Senators who today ensured that fairness and decency won out over prejudice."

The Senate Rules Commitee vote, however, is just the first step in the legislative process needed to make SB 1073 the law in Oregon. The bill must now be approved by a floor vote in the before moving to the Oregon House. With less than 30 days left in the legislative session, Basic Rights Oregon is urging the Oregon Senate to act quickly and approve the bill.

"For Oregon same-sex couples, and we don't even know which ones will be hit hardest, each day that goes by without civil unions is a day that families are vulnerable to tragedy and two more years is too long to wait for another try in another legislative session," said Thorpe. "Oregon lawmakers now have it within their power to prevent these tragedies and we are counting on them to side with decency and fairness and pass SB 1073 immediately."

Oregon Legislature moving quickly to enact civil unions

Monday, June 06, 2005
Civil Union Hearing Tuesday!
The Oregon Legislature is moving quickly to enact civil unions. Just Friday we told you about the introduction of Senate Bill 1073, which would create civil unions providing the legal, state-provided protections and responsibilities of marriage to same-sex couples in Oregon.

Now, the Senate Rules Committee announced today that it will hold a hearing tomorrow afternoon at 3PM, Tuesday, June 7th on this civil unions bill. The hearing, which will take place in Hearing Room B at the State Capitol in Salem, is open to the public and all are welcome to attend and observe the proceedings. Unlike other hearings, however, the time allotted for testimony is likely to be very limited.

Tell the Senate Rules Committee to Vote SB 1073 Out of Committee Now!
Whether you can make it to the hearing tommorrow or not, the Senate Rules Committee needs to hear from you today! This committee COULD vote on SB 1073 as early as TOMMORROW! The choice for legislators is between fairness for ALL Oregon families or discrimination against gay and lesbian Oregonians. Will voices of fair-minded Oregonians or this extremism influence the vote on civil unions? You decide.

Take Action Now!
Call the Senate Rules Committee Members now (if it is after hours you can leave a message on legislative voicemail) and tell them:

1.) Oregon same-sex couples and their families can't wait any longer to be protected under the law.
2.)Don't delay: Vote Senate Bill 1073 out of committee immediately!


Senator Kate Brown, Majority Leader and Committee Chair
503-986-1700
Senator Charlie Ringo
503-986-1717
Senator Jason Atkinson
503-986-1702
Senator Frank Shields
503-986-1724
Senator Ted Ferrioli, Minority Leader
503-986-1730

This committee COULD vote on SB 1073 as early as TOMMORROW! Make your call now!

Did you make the calls?
Send us an email and report how it went!

HELP BRO PHONE THE WAY TO VICTORY

Saturday, June 04, 2005
The clock is ticking on the Oregon legislature and that means our efforts in the next two weeks could determine the outcome of civil unions and nondiscrimination legislation. Big efforts could equal a big victory and WE NEED YOUR HELP!

First, take the action in this week's action alert.

Second, plan now, to spend at least one night next week with us as we phone supporters around the state. We'll be urging supporters to call lawmakers who are undecided or wavering. Key civil rights legislation on GLBT issues has been defeated this year in California and Washington by just one vote! We don't want that to happen here!

Sign up for your shift now! Phone Banks will happen in Bend, Medford, Salem and Portland Monday through Thursday from 6-9 PM.

Email the organizer in your area with your selected shift!

In Bend, centraloregon@basicrights.org
In Salem, kristin@basicrights.org
In Portland, thomas@basicrights.org
In Medford, southernoregon@basicrights.org

WHO WILL DECIDE THE FATE OF CIVIL UNIONS IN OREGON?

Friday, June 03, 2005
With only weeks left in this legislative session, anti-gay extremists are pulling out all the stops to block civil unions.

To stop them, the Senate has proposed and is poised to vote as early as next week on SB 1073, which would create civil unions for same-sex couples in Oregon!

Your action today could decide the outcome of this fight.

Right now, Oregon lawmakers are hearing from anti-gay opponents of SB 1073 the vilest in anti-gay rhetoric: "gay and lesbian people are depraved and sick," "gay and lesbian people are a threat to public health," "gay and lesbian people want to destroy the family." Will voices of fair-minded Oregonians or this extremism influence the vote on civil unions? You decide.

FROM SB 1000 TO SB 1073: CIVIL UNIONS & NONDISCRIMINATION MOVING AHEAD

Over the last several weeks, hundreds of Oregonians have turned out and spoken up over and over again, at hearings before the Senate AND House, to tell the stories of their lives, to talk about their families and to express support for civil unions and a ban on discrimination.

Thanks to your lobbying efforts on SB 1000, BOTH civil unions and a ban on discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity are moving forward in the Oregon legislature, but in separate bills. Civil unions will move first in the form of SB 1073. Anti-discrimination legislation will follow.

Never before has basic fairness for GLBT Oregonians gotten the attention of Oregon lawmakers like it has this session. Nevertheless, the need has never been greater to keep up the pressure on Oregon lawmakers to support both of our legislative goals.

Our opposition has pulled out all the stops. Now, in the next 30 days, it is time for us to do the same. No matter what the outcome when lawmakers pack up and go home, will you be able to say you did everything you could do to make civil unions and anti-discrimination laws a reality? If you haven't yet made that phone call or sent that letter to your legislator, do it now! If you have already called and already written, do it again. The time is short and the stakes are high.