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Basic Rights Oregon responds to today’s Prop. 8 decision

Following a decision from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that California’s Prop 8 is unconstitutional, Basic Rights Oregon Executive Director Jeana Frazzini released the following statement today:

“Today’s ruling is a victory for all loving and committed same-sex couples in California and across the nation,” “We applaud the 9th Circuit for standing on the right side of history. Today’s ruling, if upheld will restore the freedom to marry in California and add our nation’s largest state as another engine of progress for the country.”

“Here in Oregon this issue will be decided not in a courtroom by judges, but in the court of public opinion by the voters of our great state. The Court’s decision adds momentum to our effort to win the freedom to marry at the ballot box in Oregon.”

“With a majority of Americans supporting the freedom to marry nationwide, today’s ruling reflects the basic American value of the Golden Rule–to treat our neighbor as we wish to be treated.”

Background on the issue
The freedom to marry helps loving committed couples and their families and harms no one. Today’s decision provides security to those legally married couples and ensures access to the critical safety-net of protections marriage brings, as well as the dignity and respect it confers, for the many thousands of gay and lesbian couples who live in California and who wish to be married.

With more than 37 million residents in California, today’s ruling has national implications. Ending the denial of marriage to gay and lesbian couples in the Golden State would more than double the number of Americans living in a state with the freedom to marry, to almost a quarter of the U.S. population.

Following the historic win in New York, and potentially Washington State, the national momentum is undeniable and is essential, because it is not enough to win marriage in California- 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.

Unlike California, 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, and our courts have rejected challenges to the constitutional ban, the only remaining path is at the ballot.

Sasha Buchert
Communications Manager
Basic Rights Oregon
503-222-6151 x105
http://www.basicrights.org/

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