It’s hard to believe that this coming week marks the ten year anniversary of same-sex marriages in Multnomah County. None of us who joyfully huddled together in the rain that cold March morning in 2004 could have predicted the sea change we’ve seen as our state and the country has come to embrace the freedom to marry.
It hasn’t always looked as good as things look right now. There have been countless ups, downs and quite a few detours, but we now find ourselves on the precipice of winning the freedom to marry this year. Whether at the ballot or in the courts, we are more confident than ever that 2014 is the year. Click here for a look back.
And the truth is that everything we have accomplished over the past ten years and everything we will accomplish in the next ten years is because of your hard work.
When speaking about the path to victory, Evan Wolfson, the founder of Freedom to Marry, has said “People used to say it’s impossible. Now they say it’s inevitable. And the truth is it’s never been either. It is the part in the middle where you have to do the work.”
We are not over the finish line yet, there is still much work to do in the months to come. But I want to thank you for standing with us and doing the hard work to get us this far. People will try to tell you that it didn’t matter, that this would have happened without you. Don’t listen.
Every single hour that has been volunteered, every dollar donated, every conversation had, every email sent to friends and family has played a role in the changing landscape over the past ten years.
We are all Basic Rights Oregon. Every one of you who has done the hard work of building equality in our state. Together, we have been leading the effort to secure the freedom to marry (for well over a decade) as part of our broader effort to ensure that all lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Oregonians experience equality.
Over these past ten years we have secured domestic partnerships, passed anti-bullying legislation, expanded access to health care for transgender Oregonians, engaged the leadership of LGBT and allied people of color, built a broader and stronger coalition and launched the marriage ballot measure campaign. Click here for a timeline of our work in these areas.
None of this could have happened without you. You are Basic Rights Oregon, and you have much to be proud of.
With deep appreciation,
Basic Rights Oregon