Oregon Says, “I Do” !
By: Marleen Wallingford, Secretary
The Portland JACL has become a community partner with Basic Rights Oregon to gather signatures for a petition to get same-sex marriage on the ballot for the November 2014 election.
We believe that the freedom to choose your life partner is a choice that Oregonians should be able to make for ourselves. It wasn’t until 1951 that restrictions against inter-racial marriage were repealed in Oregon. Some of the concerns regarding mixed race marriage were that it be “unfair to resulting children.”
Prejudice against inter-racial marriage were reflected in the laws that were passed. Same-sex couples are battling the same fight. This is a civil rights issue. We believe that gay and lesbian couples should be able to marry if they want to make a commitment to each other. Marriage is a public promise of love and responsibility. State and federal marriage laws provide a safety net of legal and economic protections for married couples and their children –including the ability to visit your spouse in the hospital, transfer property, and being able to stay in the family home when your spouse has passed away. Attempts to create marriage-like relationship systems don’t provide the same security and protections.
At the largest Portland Nikkei community gathering, the annual Nikkei Community Picnic, we were able to gather approximately 100 signatures of support. Please sign the petition and get marriage equity on the ballot.