How Marian Fights for Equality Through Her Giving

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My passion for LGBTQ equality started half a lifetime ago in my hometown of Fort Collins, Colo. I was a high school sophomore in 1992 when the anti-LGBTQ Amendment 2 passed in the state.  Although I couldn’t yet vote, the ballot measure was a topic of daily conversation in the then-conservative community.

I clearly remember the day when student council members wore homemade “Yes on 2” t-shirts to school. As teachers laughingly dismissed the hate speech, one of my friends, Kelly, tearfully came out to me and said he was afraid for his own safety.

Four years later, Matthew Shepherd’s violent murder in nearby Laramie, Wyo., felt close to home. By thehammond-familyn, I was finishing college and starting a career in political communications. I volunteered for progressive causes and ultimately founded Portland-based Brink Communications, a marketing and PR firm focused on “communications for good.”

This year, my youngest daughter started kindergarten. I had an ‘a-ha’ moment about what it will take to make sure my girls grow up in a different world than the one I grew up in—and I made the decision to invest in Basic Rights Oregon.

Our family’s message to both daughters has always been that their dad and I are proud of them, that we want them to love who they love and be who they are. But on the first day of school in September, as I waved goodbye to kindergartener Nora and second grader Eliza, I realized I will no longer be the filter for everything they hear, learn and experience. And I realized that keeping them from the violence and hate that were so formative in my teenage years means I need to expand my work to a more global scale.

That’s why I support Basic Rights Oregon: I know that every dollar and every volunteer hour I give them is going directly towards creating the justice my daughters and their generation deserve.

2016-12-02T09:56:53+00:00November 30th, 2016|Featured, News|3 Comments


  1. Jeff Allen December 8, 2016 at 11:40 am - Reply

    AMEN. My best friend in high school was afraid to come out to me. Growing up in Kansas, in the 1970s and 80s, he was right to be afraid of the reaction he’d get – and to this day I feel the pain that he didn’t know if he could trust me. Nobody should have to live like that.

  2. Jonnie Lovinger December 8, 2016 at 1:42 pm - Reply

    I am all for fighting for “basic rights” , but I draw the line when my rights infringe on the rights of athers, this is Americae, if I go into a business that does not wish to serve me, that is their right , but they lose a potential long term customer, I take my business to someone who really wants it..that is called the free market, and that is America, .
    I am ashamed of the GLBT, they no longer care who gets hurt, just as long as the get1 what they wan..the movement is hurting people, and from where I am standing, that is wrong.

  3. Robert Zucchi December 8, 2016 at 5:20 pm - Reply

    The core precept of democracy is Fair Treatment. Socio-political and religious ostracism of gay people is not only deeply injurious and cruel to its victims, it betrays the misanthropy of its perpetrators. When I look at the world today, I see that societies that persecute gay people are most commonly anti-democratic and despotic in other areas of their national life. We in America, which purports to be the foremost exemplar of democracy, would do well not to emulate their venomous example.

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