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A Message From BRO Executive Director Roey Thorpe

Dear Friends,

By now, many of you have heard the disappointing news that, today, an Marion County Circuit Court Judge upheld Measure 36.

Like all of you, we are deeply disappointed by this decision. We continue to believe that Measure 36 was too radical a change to the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the Oregon Constitution to simply be considered an amendment.

We believe that the Oregon Constitution guarantees basic civil rights to every Oregonian, and that the protections that families need and deserve ought to be granted regardless of whether a couple is gay or straight.

Measure 36 substantially revised the Oregon Constitution by requiring that the state deny gays and lesbians a fundamental right most Oregonians take for granted—the right to marry the person of their choice.

The Judge in this case concluded that his ability to find in our favor was constrained by Oregon Court of Appeals and Oregon Supreme Court precedent. While we respect his evaluation, we disagree with his conclusion. We look forward to a hearing before the Oregon Court of Appeals where we will have the opportunity to ask the court to take a different view.

Today's ruling is the first step in a long process. When we filed this lawsuit, we knew that no matter the outcome of today's ruling, the case would be appealed to a higher court. That is our plan now.

This case is, of course, about what we believe is the illegal passage of Measure 36. But amidst this legal wrangling, we will continue to remind Oregonians that it is about far more than that for same-sex couples and their families.

The truth is that every day that Measure 36 is in effect, real people -- real families -- suffer. Gay and lesbian people are not second class citizens and should not be treated as such, and their children deserve the full protections of having married parents.

And this case is important for every Oregonian, because civil rights ought not to be a matter of popularity or put up for a public vote. No minority group should live in fear that one day they might find their basic rights under attack by those who seek to deny them their full humanity and legal equality.

Basic Rights Oregon will continue to stand for full legal equality, and will not give up until we have achieved that goal, no matter how much work it takes.

--Roey Thorpe
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