Thank You Governor Brown

One of Kate Brown’s first acts as Governor was to sign the Youth Mental Health Protection Act, which bans licensed mental health providers from engaging in conversion therapy practices on LGBTQ youth in Oregon.

With this legislation, Oregon once again demonstrated its leadership on moving policy to protect LGBTQ communities—at the time only two other states had enacted similar bans.

Having Governor Brown sign this bill was particularly meaningful to Oregon’s LGBTQ community. Throughout her career, Kate Brown has taken courageous steps on behalf of the LGBTQ community when very few other elected officials would.

In 2016, Governor Brown took another bold step in establishing the first LGBTQ Veterans Advocate in the nation.  

She has a track record of bold leadership. In 2005, when only two states provided comprehensive protections for LGBTQ people, then Senator Brown tenaciously led the passage of a non-discrimination bill in the Oregon Senate. Despite having the votes to pass it in the Oregon House that year, Republican House Speaker Karen Minnis made certain the bill never came up for a vote. 

Basic Rights Oregon was part of a broad coalition that helped end Minnis’s political career when she ran for re-election. 

In 2007, Majority Leader Brown and the LGBTQ community were vindicated. Brown was instrumental in passing two pieces of landmark legislation:  the Oregon Equality Act (banning discrimination in housing and employment based on sexual orientation or gender identity) and the Oregon Family Fairness Act, which recognized domestic partnerships.

Nearly a decade later, the Oregon Equality Act remains a model for other states in providing comprehensive LGBTQ protections. The Act forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity or expression in employment, public accommodations, housing and financial transactions, jury service, state institutions, foster care and public school education. 

Currently, 32 states still do not provide this level of comprehensive protections.

November’s election provides another opportunity for Oregonians to demonstrate their trailblazing spirit. Kate Brown was elevated to the Governorship in February 2015 after Governor John Kitzhaber resigned. If she wins in November, she would be the first openly bisexual person elected Governor in the United States. 

Her courage and conviction deserves our deepest gratitude. Please join us in thanking Governor Brown by signing this online Thank You.