By JEANA FRAZZINI, Executive Director of Basic Rights Oregon
Valentine’s Day is a time to reveal what’s in our hearts, to express our love for family, friends and that special someone. What better time to speak up for the Freedom to Marry?
Here in Oregon, loving and committed gay and lesbian couples are excluded from marriage. That has real consequences for families who, like so many of us, weather the ups and downs of building a life together. These are families who share Oregon values, like the importance of caring and protecting those we love, helping out our neighbors, sticking it out when times get tough.
That’s what we do as Oregonians, and as families. And nothing says family like marriage.
That’s what Americans around the country will see today on a public education ad being broadcast nationwide on CNN as part of a national campaign launched by our partners at Freedom to Marry. The ad was developed here by Basic Rights Oregon and features the real stories of Oregon couples talking about love, commitment and marriage.
That’s also what Oregonians can see in “Cards From the Heart,” on display in partnership with the Q Center in Portland and at the Basic Rights Oregon office in Eugene. These stories from around Oregon – gay and straight folks, individuals and couples – show why marriage matters.
Now is the time to lend our voices to this important conversation. Oregonians believe in treating others as one would want to be treated. And more and more Oregonians believe that includes allowing committed gay and lesbian couples to join in civil marriage.
This Valentine’s Day, let’s honor the love we share with family and friends by speaking out for the freedom to marry. We are the most effective spokespersons to the people in our lives, and have all the information needed simply speaking from the heart. For inspiration, visit www.lovecommitmentmarriage.org
As Oregonians we can move forward together toward marriage equality. There have been efforts – including Oregon’s domestic partnership law – to provide same-sex couples the basic protections all other families rely on. Although these steps help, they fall short. In Oregon, as elsewhere, domestic partners have been kept from a dying partner’s bedside without the chance to say goodbye to the love of their life. That doesn’t happen to couples who are married.
Nothing is as clear and secure as marriage. Everyone knows what marriage means, and what it says about how much those in a marriage mean to each other.
When we marry, we publicly reveal what’s in our hearts and promise to love and care for one another through all life brings. We stand before friends and family as witnesses, asking them to hold us accountable to that lifelong, loving commitment. Won’t you join us in taking a public stand to support marriage for all loving and committed couples in Oregon?
Sign the pledge at www.lovecommitmentmarriage.org. and start the conversation today!
Love. Commitment. Marriage.
That’s at the heart of it all,
Basic Rights Oregon