It’s rare to say that something is 32 years in the making, which is why we are excited and proud to stand with Governor Kate Brown to announce a new Executive Order, ensuring equal treatment under the law for Oregon’s LGBTQ community.

It was 32 years ago this month that Executive Order 87-20 was issued, the first time in Oregon history that state agencies were expressly prohibited from discriminating against someone because of their sexual orientation.

Ensuring lived and legal equality for all

As the 1987 Executive Order so clearly stated, “…Americans are reminded once again that each generation is obligated to preserve and extend both the right to live our private lives as we see fit, and the right to equal treatment under law.”

We are that generation and we are keenly aware of our obligation to preserve and extend lived and legal equality for all–not just on the basis of who someone loves, but how someone identifies as well.

“As the United States Supreme Court takes up three cases addressing LGBTQ employment discrimination that may turn back the clock on federal civil rights, we are responding with a resounding message: Hate and discrimination are never welcome in Oregon,” said Nancy Haque, Executive Director of Basic Rights Oregon.

 Instead, we choose to work towards love and equality for all and enshrine those values with the weight of Law.

Affirming and respecting everyone’s gender identity

It’s in this spirit of progress that today, this Executive Order will ensure state agencies prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. That everyone’s gender identity will be respected and affirmed— whether you’re a state employee, accessing public services, or receiving public grants.

“With this Executive Order, we’re affirming that when you enter the rotunda of the State Capitol—or any state building—the message is clear: you are welcome here,” said Nancy.

You can read the entire Executive Order here, but to summarize, this new Executive Order:

  • Prohibits discrimination against LGBTQ+ people by state agencies in performing all functions of government, including employment decisions.
  • Directs state agencies to treat all persons consistent with their gender identity. Directs state agencies to modify forms inquiring about gender to include, in addition to “Male” and “Female,” a third option designated as “Nonbinary/Other.”
  • Directs the Department of Administrative Services to adopt statewide policies to expand access to appropriate restrooms and to accommodate state employees and members of the public who are transgender, nonbinary, or gender non-conforming.