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BRO and HRC: Vote To Reelect Ted Kulongoski for Oregon Governor

A Message from Basic Rights Oregon & the Human Rights Campaign: Reelect Governor Ted Kulongoski

Basic Rights Oregon and the Human Rights Campaign wholeheartedly support and urge you to reelect Ted Kulongoski for Oregon Governor in the upcoming November election.

As GLBT Oregonians, we have been fortunate to live in a state where our Governor has continuously supported our community. Governor Kulongoski has done more to stake out a public position in favor of GLBT equality than any other Governor in the country and he has ensured that we have a voice at the table.

From the beginning of his career and every step along the way, Governor Kulongoski never forgot about the GLBT community and worked to represent all constituents in the state. He has advocated for equality and stood toe-to-toe against those who attacked us.

Here are just a few examples:

  • As a first-term legislator in the 1970s, Governor Kulongoski introduced one of Oregon's first anti-discrimination bills.

  • He has consistently and publicly opposed and campaigned against anti-GLBT ballot measures, including 2004's Measure 36.

  • As Attorney General, he directed his staff to draft an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court on Oregon's behalf, arguing that Colorado's anti-GLBT Amendment 2 was unconstitutional -- a brief that was widely considered to have a significant impact in getting the measure thrown out.

  • In his first term as Governor, he introduced anti-discrimination legislation, and requested the landmark Senate Bill 1000, which passed the Senate in 2005 and would have created civil unions for same-sex couples and banned discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

  • Following the 2005 session the Governor formed the Governor's Task Force on Equality to continue to move the issue of relationship rights and anti-discrimination forward between legislative sessions.

  • And, most recently, the Governor has appointed a senior staff-member as an official liaison to the GLBT community - and for that reason alone, he has earned our vote.

    Those are just a few examples of the work that Governor Kulongoski has conducted in support of our community. He is the ONLY candidate in this year's race for Governor with a more than 30-year pro-equality record.

    But there is another clear reason to reelect Governor Kulongoski. The stakes in this election could not be higher for the future of equality in Oregon. During the last legislative session, Oregon made history by passing a historic civil unions and anti-discrimination bill in the Oregon Senate, only to see it die in the Oregon House.

    In 2007, we WILL pass the bill in both the House and the Senate, but without a pro-equality Governor in office to sign the legislation, the discrimination against us will continue to stand.

    Governor Kulongoski's Republican opponent, Ron Saxton, has vowed to veto any pro-equality legislation, including a civil union or antidiscrimination bill.

    It is clear that a vote for any candidate other than Ted Kulongoski would ensure a Saxton victory which would be a tragic setback for our community and we cannot allow that to happen.

    That's why we are urging you to not only to cast your vote for Ted Kulongoski in November, but to get involved as well. Your support for pro-equality candidates will ensure that we elect legislators that will represent all residents in Oregon fairly and equally.

    Remember that it is up to all of us to stop the extremist who continue to attack our community. We need to come together this election season to defeat the politics of hate and send a clear message to future candidates that GLBT Americans will not be used as punching bags for their political gain.

    Thank you for your continued support.

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  • By Anonymous Mike T., at July 20, 2006 2:35 PM

    I've heard a couple of people talk about wanting to vote for Ben Westlund becuase of his support of GLBT issues. While he did sponsor SB1000, he also doesn't have a good history. This is from the 2004 Voters Pamphlet written by Ben Westlund, urging support of Measure 36...
    An Open Letter from Senator Ben Westlund

    I have worked hard in my career to open and balanced as I have deliberated on important public policy issues. At times, I have been at odds with my own party about various issues ranging from tax policy to healthcare reform. I am proud of my independence.

    Recently, I have had long meaningful discussions about Measure 36, the constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between one man and one woman. While many people might expect me to break once again from my party and oppose Measure 36, they will be interested to know that I am a strong supporter of Marriage being defined as being between one man and one woman.

    First of all, most of us believe that the Constitution intended for marriage to be defined as being between one man and one woman. In fact, an early Oregon statute dating to 1862 reinforces this fact. Most people, if they were being honest with themselves would agree that the culture of 1859 and the legislature of 1862 had no other intention.

    More importantly however is my own strong personal beliefs about how important it is to our culture and society that we hold on and reinforce this very important institution we know as marriage. Study after study and psychiatrist and psychologist alike point to the value and the importance of children having both a mother and a father as role models.

    Measure 36 is simple. If it passes, and I hope that it does, it will simply confirm what most of us thought already to be true—Marriage in Oregon is legally defined as being between one man and one woman. Of all our cultural institutions, few are more important and more worth protecting than marriage.

    Please, Vote Yes on 36.

    Senator Ben Westlund

    (This information furnished by Senator Ben Westlund.)    

    By Blogger Jenni Simonis, at July 21, 2006 8:20 AM

    If you want to get involved in helping Kulongoski win, please head out to our Democratic Reunion events on Saturday, July 29th.

    The Kulongoski Campaign, DPO, and Multnomah County Democrats will be working together on a literature drop-- no talking to voters, just leaving literature on Kulongoski on their doors.

    Please come out and help-- it's going to take every one of us to ensure a victory for Ted this November.

    More details at http://www.multdems.org/reunion


    By Anonymous Andy Corkum, at July 23, 2006 12:21 PM

    Sleepy Ted, I guess for some it will be OK if nothing gets done for ANOTHER 4 years. The cheap shot at Westlund is politics as usual, the BRO folks know the real story.    

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 27, 2006 10:00 PM

    you guys made the right decision. i think it is unbelievable that westlund would say the various things he has said regarding measure 36...i was on drugs, framers of the consitution mean one man/one woman. why doesn't he just out and out say that he has had a change of heart..have the courage to just say that. i think he had his plans to run for governor well laid at the point in which he supported sb 1000. it's not that i don't appreicate it but it seems a bit contrived in hindsight.

    it's not taking cheap shots, it's about going with the candidate who has been with us all along and who has worked through his whole career supporting our community, not looking to us at the last minute for support in HIS agenda.

    between his support of m36 and his anti-choice stance, no way.    

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at July 29, 2006 4:48 PM

    Actually, Ben Westlund has always been pro-choice. Also you can read the speech he gave on SB 1000 here...
    I don't think anyone would give a speech like that if they didn't truly believe that gays and lesbians should be entitled to the same rights as everyone else.    

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