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Gender Identity, Gender Expression & Trans rights in Oregon handbook released

Basic Rights Oregon just released a free handbook, Know Your Rights: Gender Identity, Gender Expression & Trans Oregonians’ Rights that can help gender non-conforming folks know what we are entitled to. Authored by Oregon attorneys, this guide provides in-depth information on laws and policies that deeply impact transgender Oregonians. Topics include identification, housing, family law, employment, health care and more.

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BRO launches survey to improve health care for trans Oregonians

Trans folks need healthcare too!
Trans folks need healthcare too!

Trans folks need healthcare too!

Basic Rights Oregon has launched a survey of trans, genderqueer and gender non-conforming Oregonians who have experienced health care discrimination.

According to BRO, “All too frequently, trans Oregonians are denied insurance coverage of health care solely because of their gender identity.  Working together, we can bring an end to discrimination and dramatically improve the experience of trans Oregonians accessing care. ”

More info and link to the survey under the cut.

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Updates to Oregon’s domestic partnerships

Today Basic Rights Oregon issued a press release on the updates made to our domestic partnership law passed in the Oregon House.

It creates a streamlined process for name changes, clears up confusion between the languages of domestic partnerships in Oregon and civil unions or marriages elsewhere and preserves a long-standing state practice related to taxation on employer-provided partner health care.

You can read BRO’s entire statement below:

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Oregon House passes anti-bullying bill by a wide margin

GBLTQ and genderqueer youth are some of the biggest targets for school age bullying so it is with great joy that Basic Rights Oregon reports that the Oregon House just passed HB2599, the Oregon Safe Schools Act, on a 50 to 9 vote.

Jeana Frazzini, Executive Director of Basic Rights Oregon says of the bill: “Bullying and harassment are far too common in Oregon schools. This proposal will help keep children safe.”

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Bites For Rights

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Bites for Rights

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Updated: Oregon Bills and my lax attitude

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Bites for rights

As if you needed and excuse to look outside your sad little kitchen for nosh, use tomorrow to dine for gay rights. A slew of Portland area restaurants will donate 15% of the day’s proceeds to Basic Rights Oregon. Now being gay doesn’t have to mean being hungry…
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Two pro-equality bills introduced in Legislature

Courtesy Basic Rights Oregon:

Today, the Oregon Legislature introduced two historic bills that would enact basic fairness for GLBT Oregonians and their families. The legislation is based on the recommendations of The Governor’s Task Force on Equality–a diverse committee of business, clergy and civil rights advocates from across Oregon. The Task Force invested seven months in assessing current Oregon law, analyzing applicable legal precedent, and listening to public testimony at open meetings across the state. Based on this process, the Task Force recommended that the legislature and Governor take action on both anti-discrimination and relationship recognition this session.

The first of these bills is HB 2007, titled "The Oregon Family Fairness Act"
. House Bill 2007 would create a new Oregon law to legally recognize the committed relationships of same-sex couples and their families. This legislation would confer on same-sex couples certain legal protections, rights and responsibilities similar to those generally afforded to opposite couples through marriage.

Upon introduction of HB 2007, our newly elected, fair-minded Speaker of the House, Jeff Merkley said, "The Oregon Equality Act and The Oregon Family Fairness Act are essential to ending discrimination against LGBT Oregonians. Both of these issues will be considered by the Oregon House this session and I will do everything I can to see that we pass these fundamental human rights."

The second is SB 2, titled "The Oregon Equality Act". Senate Bill 2 would amend Oregon’s existing non-discrimination laws to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in such situations as housing, employment and public accommodation.

"No Oregonian should suffer from discrimination and I am excited to work on this landmark legislation in the Senate. The time for this is long overdue," remarked Senate Majority Leader Kate Brown, who last session was a chief sponsor for Senate Bill 1000.
Basic Rights Oregon is thrilled to be able to give this legislation our full and unequivocal support. This is a very exciting day for our community and for our state, and we applaud Governor Kulongoski and the House and Senate leadership for recognizing the importance of extending basic fairness to all Oregonians.

So now what?
Now is the time to move into action. While we have a lot of support in Salem, those who oppose the Basic Fairness Package will be hard at work trying to stop this legislation from passing. We can take nothing for granted. It will take hard work by lawmakers and advocates alike to make this legislation a reality in Oregon… so your legislators need to hear from you!

Join Basic Rights Oregon and hundreds of pro-equality members of the community as we converge on the Capitol in Salem on March 7th. The day’s activities will include lobbying visits with our elected officials, and a rally on the steps of the Capitol.

Breaking news… We also just learned that Christine Chavez, granddaughter of Cesar Chavez, has eagerly agreed to be a keynote speaker at the rally! Christine is flying up from Los Angeles just to attend this event – you won’t want to miss it!

So sign up now for Lobby Day on March 7th. The more people we have on the steps of the capitol–the clearer the message that IT IS TIME for basic fairness. Remember, alone our voice may be heard, but together our voices will resonate.

Magnify your voice! Click here to register now for Lobby Day.

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Last day to register

Just a quick reminder that today is the last day to register to vote. You can download the form you need here. It will also tell you where to drop your form, which depends on which county you live in.

It’s an important race on several fronts. And though The Oregonian has endorsed Ron Saxton I don’t buy the argument that any change from the present leadership of Kulongoski is better than the status quo. You actually have to look at what politicians will actually do in office…Striking thought. Saxton won’t do anything for gay rights.

You can visit Basic Rights Oregon’s Vote Out project for their endorsements, and other information on candidates and measures that help and hurt LGBT people.

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