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Hillsboro to Consider City-Wide Ban on Discrimination Against GLBT Citizens

The City of Hillsboro will hear testimony this evening on whether to enact a city-wide ban on discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Hillsboro activists affiliated with Basic Rights Oregon have been lobbying the city council and organizing local support for the law since January 2006.

Members of the Hillsboro Basic Rights Action Team -- a group of citizen activists affiliated with Basic Rights Oregon, as well as members of the Hillsboro business, faith and GLBT communities have worked very hard at getting this tonight's hearing.

We will update our blog and site if and when there is any important news from the hearing tonight.

Why is this important?
People all across Oregon continue to experience pervasive discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, employment, health care, education, and everyday life. Often those who experience discrimination are reluctant to come forward because without laws to protect or enforce their basic rights, they are vulnerable to retaliation, harassment and violence which can create emotional hardships and interfere with their ability to adequately provide for themselves and their families.

Right now Oregon's law books don't prohibit evicting a good tenant, denying a patron service at a restaurant or refusing to hire a qualified candidate just because of a person's real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. Although a handful of municipalities and counties in Oregon have already passes this type of legislation, citizens in most of the state remain vulnerable to this type of discrimination and efforts to pass a statewide anti-discrimination bill have thus far been blocked in the Oregon Legislature.

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