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Oregon Republicans Call Speaker Minnis on the Carpet

Thursday, July 28, 2005
BRO's new full page ad that will run in Saturday's Gresham Outlook, whose circulation is mainly in Karen Minnis's District.

MORE LIES: From the "Defense of Marriage Coalition"

Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Opponents of civil unions and anti-discrimination will stop at nothing to block this legislation from becoming the law, even if it means more double talk and more lies.

Today the "Defense of Marriage Coalition" began running ads in newspapers statewide claiming that civil union and antidiscrimination legislation violates the separation of church and state and--again--threatening that schools will be compelled to teach on the subject of homosexuality.

The truth is that neither SB 1000 or HB 3508 contain any reference public education at the elementary and secondary level and the bill explicitly states that "advisory agencies and councils may not recommend programs of education of elementary or secondary students relating to sexual orientation."

Furthermore, both SB 1000 and HB 3508 actually strengthen the separation of church and state by allowing churches and religious institutions in Oregon with the maximum amount of flexibility to discriminate based on sexual orientation in areas including, but not limited to: the ability to discriminate related to the employment of any employee of the church, even if a person's job is not directly related to the mission of the church (such as a janitor), as well as settings such as religious camps, religious bookstores, religious thrift shops, religious day care centers, religious radio stations or religious shelters or any other religious activities other than commercial activities with no necessary relationship to a church or religious institution.

Let's make sure the public knows the truth. If you see these ads, send a letter to the editor of your local paper. To find your paper and send a letter, click here!

From the Speaker of the House
When it comes to public debate, Speaker Minnis is talking out of both sides of her mouth. Her own statements below made last year related to same-sex marriage in Multnomah County and in support of Measure 36 just don't square with her recent actions:

"Process subverted. They didn't hold any public hearings. They didn't give any advanced warning. Their actions were arrogant and wrong. The Multnomah County Commission purposefully subverted the public process."Speaker of the House Karen Minnis (Oregon Voter's Pamphlet, P 82)
"House Speaker Karen Minnis was the first state official to respond. She blasted the Multnomah County commission: ‘I think they circumvented due process. They made a decision and went forward with it without any public hearings, without any review by the state legislature who sets state policy and without consulting the citizens of Oregon.' Minnis said she expected the Oregon legislature to address the issue in its next session." OPB 3/3/04


Speaker Minnis can't have it both ways. Send a letter to the editor of your local paper calling the Speaker out for her doubletalk! Click here! to find your paper and send your letter.

WHAT'S NEXT?

First, we can't lose sight of how far we have come, despite our frustration and occasional disappointment with the challenges of creating deep and lasting social change.

The vote on SB 1000 in the Senate was historic. The outpouring of support from every corner of our state has been transformative. Never before have we rallied on the steps of the Capitol – not once, but twice in one session – with hundreds of Oregonians calling for equality and fairness.

Nearly every progressive group in this state has taken a beating this session and almost all of them gave up months ago, but we haven't given up. We have made the Speaker of the House fear our political power to such a degree that she resorted to political trickery to block a hearing and vote on SB 1000. And in these final days of the session, we continue to push the Speaker and our opposition to contend with our fight for fairness.

Deep social change takes time. We are not working for momentary victories, but lasting equality, which means that we have to keep fighting, keep building a movement, keep working together even when we are disappointed. We are only defeated when we give up.

BRO is fighting until the very end to pass nondiscrimination and civil unions legislation. What's next depends largely on the outcome of this fight, but we are evaluating a number of options and in just a few weeks will seek public input statewide about the direction we should take and feedback about how we'll get there together.

PRESSURE MOUNTS ON SPEAKER MINNIS

Tuesday, July 26, 2005
On Saturday, more than 20 BRO volunteers hit the pavement and knocked on doors in Speaker of the House Karen Minnis' district and found that even in her very neighborhood, a clear majority believe that civil unions and antidiscrimination deserve a public debate and vote.

This week a petition signed by those constituents will be delivered to the Speaker's office along with more than 700 "While You Were Out Messages" collected at last week's rally on the capitol steps calling on her to honor democracy and bring these issues to a public debate and vote.

How will the speaker respond? We can't say for sure, but if she continues to resort to extreme measures to stifle public debate and consideration of these issues she will do so in willful defiance of members of the legislature, the Governor, a majority off Oregonians and her own constituents who are calling on her to do the right thing.

NEW CIVIL UNION/ANTI-DISCRIMINATION BILL INTRODUCED IN OREGON HOUSE

With a budget deal struck and a ticking clock on the Oregon legislative session, Speaker of the House Karen Minnis may have thought she saw the end of our efforts to pass civil unions and anti-discrimination legislation this session.

But, hope remains alive and we will not give up!

Today, less than one week after Speaker of the House Karen Minnis executed a "Mid-Day Massacre" of Senate Bill 1000, House Democrats introduced a new bill aimed at creating civil unions and prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, employment, public accommodations and public services.

Sponsored by State Representative Mary Nolan (D-Portland), House Bill 3508 was also drafted, similar to civil union legislation in Vermont, to broaden appeal by including "reciprocal benefits" for those individuals not eligible for a civil union or marriage.

"We're giving the Speaker of the House one more chance to do the right thing," said Represenative Nolan. "The matter of civil unions and nondiscrimination deserves a full and open debate on the floor of the House. It's not acceptable that one person, the Speaker of the House, should stand in the way and prevent the House from doing its duty. We're not asking for the Speaker's personal vote for civil unions. But we are demanding the opportunity for the whole House to debate on a matter that the Senate has already dealt with decisively."

Despite the budget agreement that signals the end of the session, Senate Majority Leader Kate Brown also agreed that the pressure to pass civil unions and anti-discrimination legislation remains. "We are still discussing those issues," Senator Brown told the Associated Press on Monday. "Until the end of the session, all those are in play."

WHAT ARE OUR CHANCES?
Last week's Mid-Day Massacre of Senate Bill 1000 left many who have advocated for the bill wondering what options remain for passing civil unions and antidiscrimination legislation this session. The Speaker's maneuvers have removed some of our legislative options, but not all of them.

Within minutes of the House's Mid-Day Massacre of Senate Bill 1000, House Democrats, the Governor's staff and other legislative allies met to strategize about how to move forward and bring civil unions and anti-discrimination legislation to a House vote this session.

Today's introduction of HB 3508 provides one more path for achieving this goal. But there is no doubt that, while anything is possible until the gavel falls, our options for passing this legislation diminish with each passing day. Still, we will not be deterred.

TELL YOUR LAWMAKER TO BRING HB 3508 TO A VOTE BEFORE THE SESSION ENDS!
Just days after House Speaker Karen Minnis' "Mid-Day Massacre" of Senate Bill 1000, a new bill has been introduced in the Oregon House that would create civil unions and prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

HB 3508 provides another opportunity for legislators in the House to take a stand against Speaker Minnis's extreme tactics to prevent a public debate and vote on civil unions and anti-discrimination. This bill provides another opportunity for lawmakers to honor the democratic process and do the right thing before the session ends.

Click here to call now!

All News Regarding SB1000 in the House

Monday, July 25, 2005
Coast residents join in Salem rally to support civil union bill

Speaker puts halt to civil unions bill
By David Steves, The Register-Guard

History knocks at Karen Minnis’ door
An idea whose time has come, civil unions bill deserves a hearing


Governor Says Civil Unions Not Dead
By Colin Fogarty, OPB News

RASPBERRIES to House Speaker Karen Minnis

Civil unions get shelved in uncivil House
By David Sarasohn

House leaders gut civil unions bill
By Brad Cain, The Associated Press

House puts limits on civil unions
By Don Jepsen for the Mail Tribune

Maneuver 'guts' civil unions bill
A House panel erases anti-bias and other provisions of SB1000 for language that allows limited benefits to gay, lesbian couples

By Michelle Cole

Civil unions bill gets rewrite
House GOP guts it, stuffs it with 'reciprocal beneficiary' version

Dana Haynes and Steve Law, Statesman Journal

Oregon House Speaker blocks civil unions vote
Eric Johnston, PlanetOut Network

Civil Unions Bill Won't Get House Vote
By Colin Fogarty

Maneuver kills civil unions bill
Bend Bulletin

Karen Minnis: A Flagrant Abuse of Power.

Friday, July 22, 2005
OREGON HOUSE GUTS SB 1000.
House Leadership feels public pressure on SB 1000 and resorts to extreme measures in an effort to prevent it from passing

Just one day after more than 800 Oregonians stood on the steps of the State Capitol and two weeks of thousands and thousands of phone calls to Speaker of the House Karen Minnis demanding a vote on Senate Bill 1000, the Speaker Minnis saw the writing on the wall: If SB 1000 came to a vote in the House, it would pass.

Yesterday, in a cynical effort to prevent fair-minded legislators in the House from even having the chance to debate the bill or vote, Speaker Minnis resorted to a series of extreme political ploys designed to deny same-sex couples and their families security and certainty under the law and to ensure that discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity remains legal in the state of Oregon.

In politics, its called the "Gut and Stuff." Here's what happened: House Speaker Karen Minnis referred SB 1000 to the House Committee on State and Federal Affairs on Thursday. Committee Chair Wayne Krieger then, with less than an hour's public notice, convened an immediate work session on the SB 1000 and banned the public, advocates, and legislators from testifying on the bill.

Over Democrats' objections, Republican members of the committee gutted the bill -- deleting every single word of Senate Bill 1000 and putting in its place "reciprocal benefits."

Then, in a move that indicated the Speaker's true motivations, the bill was referred to the House Budget Committee without discussion or debate. "Policy" bills like SB 1000 don't belong in a budget committee, but the bill was placed there in order to prevent a majority of legislators in the House from using procedural methods to go around the Speaker and bring the bill to a vote. Such procedural options are prohibited for bills in the Budget Committee.

While it was always clear that the Speaker would work hard to defeat Senate Bill 1000, her actions today are an outrageous and egregious abuse of power.

Lawmakers decried the Speaker's maneuvers, "It thwarts the process of representative democracy to try to deny all 90 legislators the ability to consider the most significant civil rights legislation that has come to this building in 20 years," said Sen. Ben Westlund, R-Bend, sponsor of Senate Bill 1000.

House Democratic Caucus Leader Jeff Merkley had similar criticisms, "The Speaker's maneuvers are fundamentally undemocratic," charged Merkley. "Major civil rights legislation should rise above partisan politics. The Speaker should not sweep this matter under a rug. Every House member should study the issue, search his or her heart, and consult with constituents. Every House member should be willing to debate and vote on this issue on the floor of the House. All Oregonians deserve to know where their Representatives stand on this important issue."

Once again, the Speaker of the House wants us to believe that she--and she alone--will have the final word on civil unions and non-discrimination this session. She wants us to believe that this fight is over, but we won't give up.

Already this afternoon, allies in the legislature restated their commitment to bringing these issues to a vote in the Oregon House. We always knew that we would face challenges in the House, but just like those who want block SB 1000, we are also prepared to pull out all the stops to pass civil unions and anti-discrimination legislation now! We still have the will and we believe there is still a way!

Call Speaker Minnis!
503-986-1200
Tell her she should be ashamed of her flagrant disregard for fair democracy!

Call your Representative!
Urge your lawmaker to take a stand against Speaker Minnis' abuse of power and bring nondiscrimination and civil unions to a floor vote in the House.
Click here to call now!

House Speaker Minnis in civil unions spotlight

Thursday, July 21, 2005
Despite growing pressure from Democrats and gay rights activists, Karen Minnis, a Republican and speaker of the Oregon House, said Wednesday she has no intention of allowing a House vote on a bill allowing civil unions for same-sex couples.

In an interview, Minnis said Oregonians decided the issue last fall when they joined with voters in 10 other states in passing gay marriage bans.

"This issue has been greatly discussed; it's been voted on," said Minnis, who over the years has gained a reputation as a social issues conservative.

But Minnis and other Oregon Republicans are coming under fire from gay rights advocates who point to a recent public opinion poll showing support for the idea of civil unions.

"She doesn't have to vote for a civil unions bill; she only has to allow it to be decided by the people's representatives in the House," said Rebekah Kassell of Basic Rights Oregon, the state's leading gay rights organization.

The group organized a rally on the front steps of the Capitol that drew around 800 gays and lesbians from around the state Wednesday evening to demand a House vote on a civil unions bill. Currently, Vermont and Connecticut are the only states that allow civil unions.

Minnis is also under intense pressure from Senate Democrats and Gov. Ted Kulongoski, who say the House leader needs to stop standing in the way of a vote on a Senate-passed bill opening up to same-sex couples hundreds of benefits only available to married couples.

Senate Majority Leader Kate Brown said Wednesday that Minnis is off base when she said the issue was already decided when voters last November approved Measure 36, a state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

"Nothing in the measure prohibits civil unions or any kind of legal recognition of domestic partnerships between same-sex couples," the Portland Democrat said.

Brown and others point to a recent statewide poll that indicated there is more support than opposition among Oregon voters for civil unions.

The survey, conducted by Portland pollster Mike Riley, found that 49 percent of voters support civil unions compared with 30 percent opposed and 21 percent undecided. The poll's margin of error was 4.5 percent.

"Clearly, the voters make a distinction" between granting full marriage rights to same-sex couples and allowing them to enter into civil unions, Brown said.

The gay marriage debate intensified in Oregon in early 2004, when Multnomah County began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Nearly 3,000 marriage licenses were issued to gay and lesbian couples before a judge ordered the county to stop. In April of this year, the Oregon Supreme Court threw out the Multnomah County marriage licenses, saying it was not within the county's rights to issue them.

For weeks, Minnis and other lawmakers have been greeted as they arrive each morning for work by a group of rights activists holding signs at the entrance to the state Capitol's parking garage.

Minnis said the protesters haven't been a problem.

"Actually, they are very friendly, and I've tried to be respectful back," she said.

However, Minnis said the Senate's civil unions bill is worded so broadly and amends so many existing statutes that the civil unions would be "marriage by another name."

"When you amend every marriage statute we have on the books, that is a clear violation" of the gay marriage ban adopted by voters last fall, she said.

Minnis also said the Senate has refused to take up some House-passed bills this year, including one to create a separate criminal charge for hurting or killing a fetus. Opponents of the bill have called it a step toward outlawing abortion by establishing a fetus as a person.

"There seems to be a double standard," Minnis said. "The Senate can take a House bill and kill it, and nobody bats an eye."

via AP


TONIGHT AT 6PM - RALLY AT THE CAPITOL

Wednesday, July 20, 2005
Remember! Tonight at 6pm Basic Rights Oregon is holding a huge rally for SB1000 on the steps of the Oregon State Capitol.

If you can attend - make sure you are there!

Speakers will include the Gov., SB1000 bill sponsors, PFLAG and MC will be Portland City Commissioner Sam Adams. Let's tell Speaker Minnis that we will not stand for her holding SB1000 - never to see the light of day.

Again - 6PM tonight. Steps of the Oregon State Capitol.

An Update on SB 1000

Tuesday, July 19, 2005
What You Can do to Make SB 1000 the Law:
Thanks to the many, many emails and phone calls you have made in the last two weeks, pressure is mounting for the Speaker of the House to bring SB 1000 to a vote on the House floor.

But we can't let up now. In fact, we must fight harder to end discrimination and make civil unions a reality.

There are three things you can do this week to help us reach the tipping point -- the point at which the House of Representatives realizes that they can not end this session without casting a vote on Senate Bill 1000.

1. Rally with BRO in Salem Wednesday!
Plan to join BRO and hundreds of Oregonians as we rally on the steps of the Oregon State Capitol Wednesday evening to demand a House vote on SB 1000!

Rally Program Featuring:
Governor Ted Kulongoski, Sponsors of Senate Bill 1000, Roey Thorpe, PFLAG and more.

Wear your Senate Bill 1000 shirt or light blue t-shirt, fill your vehicle with friends and family and be there at 6 PM!

For details, including parking, transportation and more, visit Basic Rights Oregon.

2. Call Speaker Minnis & Demand a Vote!
Speaker of the House Karen Minnis has the power to bring SB 1000 to a vote.

But she is behaving more like a monarch on a throne than a fair arbiter of democracy, pledging to lock SB 1000 in a legislative dungeon where it will never see the light of day.

Call Speaker Minnis now at 503-986-1200 and tell her:
- The people of Oregon ought to know where their representatives stand on SB 1000.
- Bring SB 1000 to an up or down vote on the House floor immediately.

3. Call Your Representative in Salem
(If you have before -- do it again!)
Don't be fooled: There IS support in the House for this bill. SB 1000 is supported by the Oregon Senate, the Governor and the majority of Oregonians.

Call your representative now and urge him or her to support SB 1000 and call on Speaker Minnis to bring it to an up or down vote on the House floor immediately.

Click here to get contact information for your representative and call now!

Join Us Tomorrow to Demand a Vote on SB 1000

Join us to demand a vote on SB 1000 in the Oregon House. This is a fight that together we CAN win!

The rally will begin Wednesday at 6 PM in Salem on the front steps of the Oregon State Capitol (900 Court Street NE in Salem).

Can you make it? Click here to sign up!

Become a car captain!
To pass SB 1000 in the Oregon House we need hundreds of Oregonians to converge on the Capitol. Will you commit to filling your car before you make the trip to Salem?

Wear light blue or your SB 1000 shirt if you have one to show solidarity.

Need a ride?
Contact your local field office for transportation and carpool information. http://www.basicrights.org/aboutbro/aboutindex.asp

For a map to the State Capitol, click here:

Driving directions to the Capitol:
From North I-5
Go South on I-5 to the #256 Exit (Market Street)
Go right on Market Street
Turn left on Summer Street
Turn left on Center Street
Right on Capitol Street
Turn right on Court Street.
Park in appropriate area for visitors.
From South I-5
Go North on I-5 to the #253 Exit (Mission Street/Hwy. 22)
Turn left on Mission Street/Hwy22.
Follow signs to State Offices & Willamette University.
Park in appropriate areas for visitors.
From East
Go West on Hwy 22 to Salem.
Follow signs to State Offices & Willamette University.
Turn left on Court Street.
Park in appropriate areas for visitors.
From West
Go East on Hwy 22 to Salem. This road becomes Center Street.
Stay on Center Street.
Turn right on Capitol.
Turn right on Court Street.

Street parking is available after 6 PM.

Uncovering the Lies of the Oregon Family Council

Thursday, July 14, 2005


TrackTheLies.com

Action Alert: Rally With BRO at The Capitol July 20th

Tuesday, July 12, 2005
The House fight for SB 1000 is taking shape and we have support for SB 1000 in the House!

Can ONE person really overrule the will of the Senate, the Governor, the House and the Majority of Oregonians?

Speaker of the House Karen Minnis thinks so. She’s acting more like a monarch on a throne than a fair arbiter of democracy, pledging to lock SB 1000 in a legislative dungeon where it will never see the light of day.

Speaker Minnis says SB 1000 will never come to a vote in “her” chamber. Her chamber? Apparently she has forgotten that she doesn’t own that seat—the people do!

Tell Speaker Minnis: She doesn't own the House of Representatives—the people do! And the people want an up or down vote on SB 1000 before this session ends!

Fill up your car: We need hundreds of Oregonians at the capitol. Commit to bringing yourself and a full car.

Join us at 6 PM on the front steps of the Oregon State Capitol.

Wear your Senate Bill 1000 t-shirt if you have one or don light blue clothing to show your support.

Street parking is free from 6 PM on.

Speakers to be announced.

Click here to sign up for the rally.

BELIEVE IT: SB 1000 CAN PASS THE HOUSE

A letter from Jeff Merkley, Oreogn House Democratic Minority Leader

Dear Basic Rights Oregon Supporter,

As this year's legislative session draws to a close I want to commend you on your tremendous efforts to press the legislature to pass civil union and anti-discrimination legislation. Never before has the Oregon legislature seen lobbying of this magnitude from all over the state on issues of fairness for GLBT Oregonians. As the House Democratic Caucus Leader, trust me when I say that it has not gone unnoticed.

You have succeeded in passing SB 1000 in the Oregon Senate. Now, we are hearing some people say that what you've set out to do can't be done -- that this legislation cannot pass the Oregon House of Representatives. Don't believe them. Let me be clear: no matter what you see in the press, no matter what rumors you hear from the capitol, please understand that this fight is not yet over.

You can expect Speaker Minnis to continue her efforts to block SB 1000. You can expect her and others to continue to say it will never get a hearing or a vote. But you can also expect the House Democrats to do everything we can do to bring these issues to a vote. We believe it is possible, but we can't do it without your help.

I have faith in the power of committed citizens to make a difference in this state. Your continued commitment to see this thing through to the end can decide whether we succeed now or must wait two more years for a more fair, more equal Oregon. You can count on me to do everything in my power to make it happen. I'm counting on you too. Together, we have a real opportunity to pass this historic legislation and to do it this session. No matter what keep the faith!

All my best,
Jeff Merkley
House Democratic Minority Leader

SB1000: News Coverage from Friday's Historical Senate Vote

Monday, July 11, 2005
News coverage from the Oregon Senate's historic vote on SB1000 (civil unions/anti-discrimination) This story, not surprisingly, made widespread national and international news.

Senate Bill 1000: A chance to cast a vote for acceptance

Civil unions bill passes Senate

A date with justice: The Oregon Senate makes a compelling case for civil unions for gays and lesbians -- and against bigotry

State Senate approves civil unions bill

Passage of Ore. civil unions bill ‘ensures fairness over prejudice’ Senate gives nod, measure may stall in conservative House

Civil Unions Bill Passes Oregon Senate
Mike Donahue, KOIN News 6

Oregon Senate Passes Civil Unions Bill
by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

Gay Unions: Oregon Senate Takes Historic Step Toward Equality

Senate passes bill allowing civil unions for same-sex couples

State Senate OKs civil unions; future is grim in House
Governor joins supporters to cheer historic legislation

Gay rights activists see hope in Oregon civil unions vote

Basin senator rejects civil union bill

Oregon Senate Passes Civil Union Bill

The will of the people is not always what's best

Take the Civil Union Poll

KGW is having a poll today to see what support is like for civil unions. Cast your vote now!

http://www.kgw.com/about/morningpoll.html

CELEBRATE WITH US TONIGHT @ MASU

Friday, July 08, 2005
Join us tonight in Portland for a no-host gathering to celebrate the Senate vote on SB 1000!

We'll gather at Masu 406 SW 13th Ave, Portland OR 97205 at 5 PM Friday, July 8th. That's tonight!

Masu has it all: delicious cocktails, amazing food (even non-sushi eaters say so). Children are allowed until 9pm and it's handicapped-accessible.

Masu is one block south of W. Burnside, nearest cross street is Stark. It's across from Ringler's and just above American Apparel. There is metered parking on the street, there is a pay lot right across the street from the restaurant entrance on SW 13th Ave., and there is a parking garage located kitty-corner across from the parking lot. The elevator is inside the lobby of the building, to the left of the stairs.

www.masusushi.com 503-221-MASU (6278)

SENATE PASSES SB 1000!!

Bill which would create civil unions and prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation now moves to Oregon House for approval.

The Oregon Senate cast a historic vote today when it approved by a 19-10 margin SB 1000, which would create civil unions for same-sex couples and prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in housing, employment, public accommodations and public services.

"Today's vote is a significant step toward ensuring that in Oregon the values of fairness and equality reign over prejudice and fear," said Basic Rights Oregon Executive Director Roey Thorpe. "In approving Senate Bill 1000 the Senate has sent a clear message that discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and their families is wrong and has no place in the State of Oregon."

Basic Rights Oregon applauds the commitment, courage and determination of Senator Kate Brown, Senator Ben Westlund, Senator Frank Morse and Senator Alan Bates who sponsored this legislation and, along with the support of average Oregonians from across the state, made this victory possible in the Senate today. Governor Ted Kulongoski must also be acknowledged for his distinguished leadership on theses issues and his pledge do everything possible to make SB 1000 the law.

Senate Bill 1000 now faces significant challenges in the republican-controlled House of Representatives where it must meet approval before reaching the Governor's desk. Nevertheless, Basic Rights Oregon believes that if brought to a vote on the House floor, the bill will pass.

"Senate Bill 1000 is not simply another piece of legislation, but a moral call that the Senate has answered and the House must rise to meet," said Thorpe. "We call on the Speaker of the House to put people above politics and immediately bring SB 1000 to an up or down vote on the House floor."

BE THERE TO FOR THE HISTORIC VOTE ON SB 1000

Thursday, July 07, 2005
You won't want to miss the historic moment when the Oregon Senate casts its vote on SB 1000.

Join us first thing in the morning for visibility outside the legislative parking garage where all legislators enter the capitol in the morning. As SB 1000 moves to the Oregon House, it is more important than ever for lawmakers to see that we are there and counting on them to pass this bill before session ends. We'll meet at 7:15 am on the South side of the Capitol building on State Street. Look for the blue SB 1000 t-shirts!

Those wanting to observe the floor vote should arrive at the Capitol Building at 900 Court St. NE in Salem by 9 am and ask for directions at the information kiosk to the 3rd Floor Senate Gallery. Floor session generally takes place between 9 am and 11am, so plan to be at the capitol until noon to witness the vote and celebrate afterward.

Be prepared to listen quietly and respectfully to both moving and difficult speeches by legislators on the floor of the Senate. Senate decorum is similar to that of a courtroom. Applause, cheering, signs, photography, video and audio recording are prohibited in the Senate chamber. SB 1000 tshirts ARE PERMITTED.

Seating is limited. Those arriving after the chamber seats have filled will be directed to overflow seating with a live television feed.

A celebratory reception in the Capitol will be held following floor proceedings.

QUESTIONS? CONTACT US!
In the Portland-Metro Area
Phone: (503) 222-6151
Email: info@basicrights.org

In Central Oregon
Phone: (541) 280-0738
Email: centraloregon@basicrights.org

In Southern Oregon
Phone: (541) 973-5883
Email: Email: southernoregon@basicrights.org

In the Mid-Willamette Valley
Phone: (503) 910-8474
Email: kristin@basicrights.org

SENATE VOTE ON SB 1000 SCHEDULED FOR 9AM FRIDAY

Senate Bill 1000 will be brought to a vote in the Oregon Senate Friday morning at 9 AM. That is the word from the Senate President's office yesterday after Oregonians from all over the
State of Oregon (some who drove for hours through the middle of the night to be there) converged on the State Capitol to tell Senate Leadership: No more excuses. No more delays. Bring Senate Bill 1000 to a vote immediately.


Our powerful presence at the Capitol yesterday did not go unnoticed. Clad in blue SB 1000 t-shirts, we crowded legislators' entrance to the capitol in the morning. We then marched to Senate offices and spent the morning meeting with staff from Senate President Peter Courtney's office and meeting in person with Senate Majority Leader Kate Brown and staff.

We delivered a petition signed by hundreds of Oregonians demanding an immediate vote and asked each office to make a commitment to bring Senate Bill 1000 to a vote on the Senate floor no later than the end of this week. Although they didn't make that pledge in our meetings, they did commit to making this vote their number one priority.

Later, Senators Avel Gordly and Ben Westlund acknowledged our presence before the Senate as we watched from the gallery, reminding Senators that we are watching and waiting for them to take a stand against discrimination.

By the time we returned to the Basic Rights Oregon office in Portland a few hours later, we received word from the Senate President's office that Senate Bill 1000 will be brought to a vote on Friday morning, July 8 at 9 AM.

Sign the "Accept No Excuses" Petition

Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Sign the "Accept No Excuses" Petition to Senate Leadership!

Sign our petition to tell Senate President Peter Courtney and Senate Majority Leader Kate Brown: No more excuses. No more delays. Pass SB 1000 Now!

Click here to add your name. It takes less than 1 minute.

SENATE LEADERSHIP BREAKS ITS PROMISE: This Week's SB 1000 Vote Delayed Again

Last week, Senate Leadership promised that after weeks of delays and procedural setbacks a vote on Senate Bill 1000 would take place tomorrow, Wednesday, July 6th. Today, they let us down, backing away from that promise and now offering only a vague committment to vote sometime this week.

With the legislative session rapidly coming to a close, Good intentions aren't good enough. SB 1000 this session can pass this session, but only if the Senate puts an end to its stalling and puts SB 1000 to a vote immediately.

You have made the case for this bill. We have the votes to make SB 1000 the law. "Reasonable" justifications for delay from Senate Leadership are now nothing more than unacceptable excuses for letting this bill, and equality for all Oregonians along with it, languish.

MONTHS have gone by without a full vote on the Senate floor, despite the most visible lobbying the legislature has ever seen on these issue, despite overwhelming support across the state and plenty of opportunity to pass this bill (not to mention many promises of an impending vote).

Until now we have believed, because we have been assured, that Senate Leadership was doing everything possible to shepherd SB 1000 through the legislative process and make it the law. Now, with only a few weeks to go in the legislative session, we have no vote and no new law, only a string of broken promises.

GLBT Oregonians and their families cannot afford to wait two more years for another legislature to consider this bill at another time.

Join BROTomorrow in Salem to Support SB1000

We still have the opportunity to pass SB 1000 this session, but only if the Senate puts and end to its stalling and puts SB 1000 to a vote immediately. We've been assured that the Senate will vote on SB 1000 Wednesday. Let's be there to hold the Senate to it's word.


Come to Salem Wednesday, July 6th!
We'll meet from 7:15 to 8:30 AM outside the Capitol parking garages to let legislators arriving to work know that we are counting on them.
From 8:30 AM to 9:00 AM, find us in the Capitol Rotunda.

Send a Message to the Senate:
No Excuses. No Delays. Vote on SB 1000 Now!

SB 1000: We Demand a Vote on Now! ACCEPT NO EXCUSES!

Saturday, July 02, 2005
ACCEPT NO EXCUSES:
We Demand a Vote on SB 1000 Now!


Together, we began this legislative session with a goal to put an end to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in Oregon and protect the relationships and families of same-sex couples equally under the law.

Since then, hundreds and hundreds of Oregonians have traveled from across Oregon to rally on the capitol steps and testify in support of SB 1000 during hearing after hearing.

Nearly 20,000 individual emails, letters, faxes and personal visits have been made by you to legislators from every district in the state.

Oregon newspaperslarge and smallhave commended the courage of lawmakers who began the legislative session as champions of SB 1000 and called on the legislature take seriously their moral responsibility to make the bill the law this session.

Despite the most visible lobbying the legislature has ever seen on these issue, despite overwhelming support across the state and plenty of opportunity to pass this bill (not to mention many promises of an impending vote), MONTHS have gone by without a full vote on the Senate floor and the legislative session is rapidly coming to a close.

We still have the opportunity to pass SB 1000 this session, but only if the Senate puts and end to its stalling and puts SB 1000 to a vote immediately. We've been assured that the Senate will vote on SB 1000 Wednesday. Let's be there to hold the Senate to it's word.


Come to Salem Wednesday, July 6th!
Send a Message to the Senate:
No Excuses. No Delays. Vote on SB 1000 Now!