I attended the Basic Rights Oregon vigil at the Q Center tonight. It was packed! I don't know who was running the city or the state because I think every elected official and their grandma was there (I'm originally from Texas...I can say things like that). From Mayor Potter and Commissioner Adams to House Speaker Merkley, Majority Leader Peter Courtney, Representative Diane Rosenbaum and Senator Kate Brown, Representative Greg Macpherson, and Representative Tina Kotek. There were even a couple of Multnomah County Commissioners there, Jeff Cogan and I didn't catch the other one's name. My personal favorite, Governor Barbara Roberts was there, as well. As much as I already respect and admire her, it wasn't until I attended a BRO fundraiser a couple of months ago, that I learned how much of an advocate she is, and has been, for equality in Oregon. Listening to her speak is always a great experience for me.
There were a couple of things that struck me about the evening. First and foremost, although the gathering was not the joyous event we had been planning on, there was not even a hint of defeat in that room (or in the crowd outside that couldn't fit into the center). This is not a bunch of battle-weary, broken people. I might as well have been at a rally, there was so much energy and determination there.
The other thing that I noticed, and as evidenced by the number of officials there, is that there are just some plain pissed off people in this state right now. Not just at this assault on equality in Oregon, but at the continued insult of outside interests coming into Oregon and using us as their agenda targets. Oregonians are far beyond tired of people who don't live here (including the federal government) continuously coming in here and demanding that we, as Oregonians, should live our lives and run our state, as they see fit (not to mention simply using us as a means for making a profit). That particular anger and frustration was palpable to me.
BRO will be holding a rally on Wednesday,January 30, at the park near their office downtown (2nd and Madison) at, I believe 5:00 p.m. When you go to their site, double-check the time. As was pronounced by several tonight, there is no invisibility anymore.
And here is the rest of it.