Portland, April 17th, 2014. A record crowd of over 550 business and community leaders gathered at the Oregon Convention Center to stand against discrimination. Attendees at the Basic Right Oregon luncheon included Dan Yonker, Kimberlee Stafford, Basic Rights Oregon Board Chair Vanessa Usui. (photo credit, Byron Beck)
Organizers say it was an inspiring event as emcee, Jonathan Nicolas of Moda Health, guided the audience through a series of special guests who spoke eloquently about the work being done across our state to advance equality for LGBT Oregonians. The program culminated with a powerful show of support from the business community to stand together in opposition to the pending Arizona-like discrimination measure.
From Basic Right Oregon:
Since 1988, Oregonians have voted on five statewide and over 25 local anti-LGBT ballot measures. Basic Rights Oregon (BRO), a 501(c)(4) organization, was formed in 1996 to sustain and strengthen Oregon’s LGBT rights movement between and beyond measure campaigns. In 1999, the Basic Rights Education Fund (BREF), a 501(c)(3) organization, was formed to supplement the electoral and legislative work of Basic Rights Oregon through education and advocacy for LGBT Oregonians.
Since the last statewide ballot measure campaign in 2004, BRO/BREF started a new proactive chapter in Oregon’s movement for LGBT rights. In 2007, we passed two landmark laws to establish Domestic Partnerships and ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. These are two of the most substantial legislative victories the organization has won, yet the work of Basic Rights Oregon is far from over.
We know that our movement for equality is bigger than one vote, broader than one issue, and stronger than the fear and intolerance that we must overcome.