Tomorrow, we are celebrating our second anniversary as a legally married couple, along with hundreds of other loving and committed couples who married on the first day our relationships were officially recognized in Oregon.
Our marriage was a public symbol of our love. At the time, we had been together for 28 years.
We were filled with relief when Oregon’s 2004 state constitutional amendment banning such marriages was nullified.
Finally, we would be treated like any other married couple in Oregon!
Historically, our Native American culture did not discriminate against gays and lesbians. We were allowed to marry and were accepted in the tribal village as important and welcomed, including transgender tribal members. There was no shame in being LGBTQ. We were not just “tolerated,” we were welcomed.
And we felt a similar sense of welcome when our marriage and all others were recognized by Oregon.
But while marriage equality was a very important first step, there is still much work to be done to achieve equality throughout the LGBTQ community.
The extreme abuse of our transgender friends and loved ones shows that our opposition is not giving up.
Neither are we.
Today, as we mark our landmark victory in Oregon, we have a chance to advocate for transgender Oregonians through Give Out Day, a national day when people across the country contribute to LGBTQ rights and advocacy.
Please help us continue the important fight for equality for transgender people, LGBTQ people of color, those living in small towns and rural areas, and LGBTQ youth in our state.
We’re about a quarter of the way to the match goal of $20,000 by May 20th, so don’t delay a gift to improve Oregon for all LGBTQ people!
Phillip Hillaire and Paul Lumley