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Oregon lawmakers, C.O. groups react to major court ruling


The U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling Friday that same-sex marriage is legal nationwide sparked applause from many of Oregon’s elected officials and gay rights groups, and a call for reconciliation and respect for differing views from a Central Oregon legislator.

Here’s a sampling of the statements released Friday:

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown:

” Today , love wins. The United States Supreme Court extended the right to marry nationwide, giving couples and families the freedoms and recognition they deserve.

“I am grateful to the many people, some of them Oregonians, who lent their voices to the fight for marriage equality. Let’s acknowledge the steps these courageous individuals took in the name of love.

“In the words of Supreme Court Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, ‘No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family,’he wrote. ‘In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.’

“While the Supreme Court has upheld the union of marriage, our work is not done. Let us remember that we still must strive to end discrimination and hate so that all people live with dignity. Love who you want to love. Marry who you want to marry. Be who you are, and celebrate.”

Sen. Ron Wyden:

“The Supreme Court’s decision is a wonderful leap forward along the arc toward justice Dr. King spoke of, in recognizing that all Americans should have the freedom to marry the person they love,” Wyden said.

“But the fight for equality does not end today. As lawmakers, we must now turn our attention to ensuring that LGBTQ Americans enjoy the dignity and equal treatment under the law the Court has proclaimed in every other aspect of their lives – employment, housing, health care and beyond. To that end, I will soon be introducing legislation to recognize and protect that dignity in our nation’s tax laws as one step further toward full equality for all Americans.”

Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore. (part of coalition):

“This decision is a historic moment for equality, fairness and freedom in America. We celebrate this landmark ruling as a tremendous milestone along the path to an America where everyone is truly equal under the law.And we note that it highlights unfinished work that still needs to be done to ensure that all employees are hired, fired or promoted based on their performance, not their sexual orientation or gender identity, and to make sure every American has a fair chance to earn a living and provide for their families, including gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people.

“In dozens of states, a couple can marry in the morning, announce their union in the afternoon, yet lose their jobs or be evicted from their apartment by the day’s end. Just as we needed Congress to pass legislation to fully realize the promise of previous Supreme Court decisions recognizing fundamental civil rights, Congress must act to fully realize the promise of today’s ruling by introducing and passing legislation to finally provide comprehensive federal non-discrimination protections to LGBT Americans.

“Discrimination has no place in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, credit, federal funding, or jury service, just as it has no place in marriage. We are committed to adding protections for LGBT Americans to federal anti-discrimination laws.”

The statement was signed by:

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)

Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI)

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)

Rep. John Lewis (D-GA)

Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ)

American Civil Liberties Union

Anti-Defamation League

Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC

Center for American Progress

Human Rights Campaign

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights



NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund

National Center for Transgender Equality

National Council of La Raza

National Partnership for Women and Families

National Women’s Law Center

Oregon Labor and Industries Commissioner Brad Avakian:

“What an extraordinary day – and beautiful, historic ruling. It’s a victory for freedom and an important moment for our country. All loving, committed same-sex couples will now enjoy ‘equal dignity in the eyes of the law’. Today represents a full expression of our country’s journey of understanding – one that’s based on the notion that same-sex couples deserve to share all the same triumphs and sorrow that marriage entails. This is a landmark victory that makes our society more open, just and free.”

Oregon House Republican Leader Mike McLane (R-Powell Butte):

“For those that believe marriage is a legal union between two people that is recognized and enforced by government, today ‘s Supreme Court ruling is a confirmation of last summer’s federal court ruling in the state of Oregon. For those that believe marriage is a religious covenant, the origin of which predates America, today ‘s Supreme Court ruling won’t change that. Our society must now embrace both views. My hope is that the process of reconciliation in America will continue as we move forward with respect for each other.”

Human Diginity Coalition President Megan Stackhouse:

“I am elated to hear the ruling today on marriage equality. The freedom to marry who you love is a civil rights issue and I am glad that the Supreme Court saw it as such as well. We have come a long way towards LGBTQ equality, and today I feel very proud of our country.”

PFLAG Central Oregon President Ron (Rondo) Boozell:

“WE WON. Marriage is a constitutional right. The freedom to marry is a basic right. The law of the land.

“Equal access and equal protection are basic human rights. Human dignity is a basic expectation.

“Today the definition of marriage changes. Today, those who have been made to fear, been made to be silent, been made to bleed, may for the first time in our Christian Nation’s history, partake and add the LGBTQ voices the definition of marriage, and to the definition of the new traditional marriage.

“To those that do not share in the joy widespread today. To those who have quoted scripture in order to protect your privilege. To those who have shamed those in your community. It’s over, but it’s also a beginning. An opportunity. To share in the joy of people who have now the choice to share in the fullness of the life you have chosen for yourself and your family. To see your neighbors, and your nation, become larger with happier and more prosperous people. To share in the joy of peace-loving people allowed to be who they are.

“The justices of the United States Supreme Court today affirmed that PFLAG’s values are America’s values. Love. Family. Marriage. We invite all to celebrate this win with us, which is a win for all of us.

“How often does love so clearly, and so grandly win for so many people in one moment. Today, PFLAG Central Oregon invites all to seize the opportunity. Seize the day. Hug someone. This is what winners do.”

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