Basic Rights Oregon congratulates Washington State on victory
“We are nearing a tipping point in winning the freedom to marry”
This is an amazing day in history for the Pacific Northwest and the cause of equality. We send our congratulations the state of Washington: to the House and Senate members who cast their votes on behalf of the freedom to marry, to the Governor for her support and leadership, to the equality advocates who made this day possible, and most of all to the thousands of Washington families whose love and commitment will finally be recognized. Cheers.
This victory is not only important for the state Washington, it is important supporters of the freedom to marry in Oregon and across the country. With each state victory, we build a climate that empowers elected officials, judges and voters across this country to look into their hearts and decide to support the freedom for all caring and committed couples to marry.
That national momentum is essential, because it is not enough to win marriage in Washington – or even in Oregon. We must also overturn the Defense of Marriage Act at the national level. DOMA prevents same sex couples (even in states with marriage equality) from accessing any federal marriage rights. Winning at the federal level will not provide freedom to marry in Oregon until we change our state laws, and winning in Oregon will not provide Oregon couples with any federal recognition until DOMA is gone.
We must do both – Win in Oregon and overturn DOMA and we are making strides toward doing just that. Over the last three years, Basic Rights Oregon’s education campaign led to a double-digit increase in support for marriage equality in Oregon. Each day, more and more Oregonians are looking into their hearts and deciding that treating others as you wish to be treated includes extending marriage to all caring and committed couples. We heard overwhelmingly from our supporters this past fall that we should continue and deepen that education work to build a majority for marriage before heading to the ballot, as early as 2014.
Unlike Washington, the only way to win the freedom to marry in Oregon is through a vote of the people. Every state that has passed marriage equality, or is hoping to pass it this year, was able to go through their legislature or courts. Not Oregon. Because our constitution bans same sex marriage, the only way to pass the freedom to marry here is through a vote of the people.
That is why we are traveling to communities across Oregon in 2012. One person at a time, one conversation at a time, we are building a majority for marriage in Oregon.”
But we also need your help. We can’t wait until the next election. To help build a majority for marriage in Oregon, here are three things you can do today:
- Have conversations with the people in your life. Talking to people you know is the most effective way to build support for the freedom to marry.
- Help us build a political majority for marriage by registering yourself and your friends to vote and supporting pro-equality candidates. Send the message that pro-LGBT voters are here to stay in Oregon, and our numbers are only growing.
- Host an Equality House Party to build support for equality.
To get a breakdown of the key states in play right now, click here.
Category: News: Marriage Equality