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BRO Applauds Recommendations of Governor's Task Force on Equality

Thursday, December 21, 2006
Basic Rights Oregon applauded the recommendations of the Governor's Task Force on Equality contained in a report made public by Governor Kulongoski today. The report summarizes the work of the Task Force this year and recommends two major changes to State policy: State law should prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity and should provide a framework for legal recognition of same-sex relationships.

"The work and recommendations of the Governor's Task Force on Equality are meaningful because they reflect a growing recognition of the problem of discrimination and a call for full equality from a broad spectrum of community leaders across the state," said Aisling Coghlan, Basic Rights Oregon Interim Executive Director. "This report reinforces what we already know is true: most Oregonians already believe that discrimination is wrong and ought to be reflected in the laws we live by."

In a statement released by the Governor's office, Governor Kulongoski said, "This is about basic questions of fairness and equity under the law," said the Governor. "We must continue to strive to make Oregon a state of economic and social opportunity for all of our citizens, regardless of race, gender, religion, age or sexual orientation."

"We commend the Governor for his continued leadership on issues of equality and thank the Task Force members for their service on this important and historic work," said Coghlan. "We look forward to working with lawmakers in the House and Senate and with the Governor's office to make the Task Force's recommendations a reality under the law."

To view the full task force report, click here

Weigh in now on 2007 Legislative Strategy and Priorities

Thursday, December 07, 2006
Following our community's historic victories in the 2006 Election Cycle, Basic Rights Oregon is now in the midst of strategizing, planning and prioritizing for our next fight in the Oregon Legislature in 2007 to push for pro-equality legislation.

Your thoughts and feedback are a critical part of that process.

Only 130 people have completed our survey so far. If you haven't given your thoughts and opinions on the next legislative session click here now to weigh in on our strategic decisions and community priorities for 2007 -- it only takes a few minutes to complete!

We must have a solid plan in advance, so don't delay in giving us your opinions. Know someone else who should weigh in? Use the send-to-a-friend feature at the bottom of this email to pass this survey along. Our movement is strengthened by our diversity of opinion. The more input we have, the better!

GLBT Activists Ready for 2007 Session at Statewide Summit

Last weekend more than 80 activists gathered at the University of Oregon for Basic Rights Oregon's 2nd Statewide Leadership Summit. Key activists from Western, Central, Southern and Coastal Oregon made the trek to Eugene. The day started off with an opening from Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy, followed by the Voices From the Field panel. This showcased the diversity and realm of work being done in several areas of the state with updates from BRAT leaders, coalition partners from the No on 43 campaign, and BRO Interim Executive Director Aisling Coghlan. Survey results from BRO's People of Color Working Group were presented to begin a dialogue and understanding of relationships between GLBTQ groups and communities of color. These issues are particularly pervasive for queer and trans people of color and reflects how the work of BRO fits in within a larger social justice framework.

In the first skills training session participants were involved in either a lobby simulation game or in strategizing movement building workshops. The second session offered several options to build techniques around lobbying, fundraising, growing activist groups and organizing on school campuses. Workshops were designed to further the skills of activists with varying degrees of experience and work towards winning pro-equality legislation in 2007. An informal Trans caucus met during lunch to discuss upcoming issues related to gender identity within the work of BRO and the legislative season.

Afternoon activities consisted of small and large groups for a variety of discussions. The first exercise was titled "DEAL or NO DEAL?" Participants where presented with several legislative scenarios and asked if BRO should except or deny certain compromises with the risk of losing legislation or a resulting fight at the ballot. Next was "Campaigning Our Values"- a similar ask to activists on when it may be appropriate to concede certain values in order to win legislation and move Oregon towards equality. This brought up dialogue from varying viewpoints and showcased the complexity of the work ahead.

Lastly, activists grouped by region and set out goals and work plans and left prepared and energized to begin a strong campaign to pass pro-equality legislation in the fast-approaching 2007 session!

Click here to check out photos of the summit!

Want to get involved where you live? Contact thomas@basicrights.org or call 503-222-6151