June is Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, and wow, do Oregon’s supporters of justice and human dignity for ALL sure have a lot to be proud of!
ROP’s Top Three Reasons to be Proud
for Pride 2009:
#1. Unanimous Support for House Joint Memorial 22!
Earlier this month, the Oregon Senate joined the House in voting unanimously to support House Joint Memorial 22 – which condemns the March 21st hate crime targeting two gay men visiting Seaside, OR and urges Congress to pass federal hate crimes legislation. Now it’s off to the Governor’s desk for his signature! (Check out Basic Rights Oregon’s website for more information.)
#2. Pride Northwest’s Spirit of Pride Award goes to ROP board member and human dignity activist, Frank Roa!
Frank is the founder of an ROP member group, Umatilla Morrow Alternatives, which fights for the rights of all minority populations in Eastern Oregon. Watch The Real Oregon and read Frank’s bio to learn more about his story and work in rural Oregon. Congrats, Frank!
#3. Oregon Safe Schools Act signed into law!
A week ago today, Governor Kulongoski signed the Oregon Safe Schools Act with overwhelming support from the House and Senate. Here’s a report from ROP member, Bonnie Cameron, who represented ROP at the signing:
"Last Friday, ROP provided me with an exciting opportunity. My partner, Devon, and I were on hand to see Governor Kulongoski sign the Safe Schools Act into law, providing more safeguards for all students in our state. As an educator for youth with disabilities, I know that many of our students have struggled with harassment and bullying in our schools. In March of 2009, I was able to attend Basic Rights Oregon’s Day of Action in Salem where we listened to presentations about the new legislation, heard youth tell their stories about the difficulties they face in schools, attended workshops put on by different organizations, lobbied with local legislators and attended a rally in support of this legislation. I love that the legislation included all groups of marginalized or minority youth—LGBTQ youth, students of color and students with disabilities. It was so special to be able to be a part of this day, with an issue so close to my heart.
I’m also active in our local PFLAG group in Grants Pass. One of our chapter’s interests this year is to help a local high school start at Gay Straight Alliance. At the signing, I was able to connect with people from different parts of the state and get ideas about how to make this work for us. This was such a great celebration for all youth in our state. Thanks, ROP, for letting us be a part of it!"
Congratulations to all the rural Oregonians who have given so much of your time and energy to uphold the human dignity and rights of the queer community in Oregon. You’ve got a lot to be proud of.