We give the Portland Business Alliance a fair amount of guff—usually over homelessness and sidewalk issues. Ahem. But here's something we both agree on wholeheartedly: giving everyone in Oregon—no matter their sexual orientation—a chance to legally marry the person they love.
The PBA's board of directors voted this afternoon to endorse Basic Rights Oregon's push for a ballot measure next year that would undo the constitutional dirty work of 2004's Measure 36—which bans marriage equality in Oregon.
PBA members hold a lot of juice in Oregon politics—and presumably this means they'll give big and help the marriage rights campaign gather enough signatures to get the measure on the ballot, and then keep giving big to make sure, when it does qualify for the ballot, that it passes overwhelmingly.
Kudos, PBA. Kudos.
The Portland Business Alliance board of directors today announced its support for legalizing same-sex marriage in Oregon, and said it would support a business community-led effort on behalf of marriage equity.
The Alliance board voted to support amending the Oregon Constitution to end the current prohibition against same-sex marriage, while still clearly protecting the rights of religious institutions to choose whom they will or will not marry.
“The Alliance strives to make the region a great place to start and grow a business, as well as a place where employees can thrive in an inclusive environment. To accomplish that end, we need fair and equitable laws that treat all Oregonians equally,” said Gregg Kantor, chair of the Portland Business Alliance board of directors and CEO of NW Natural. “For these reasons, the Alliance will support a business community-led effort on behalf of marriage equity.”
The organization has a long history of supporting inclusion and equity. In 2007, the Alliance endorsed legislation legalizing civil unions and domestic partnerships for same-sex couples. And in the 1990s, the organization opposed measures that would have limited the rights of the state’s gay and lesbian residents.
Alliance board endorsements include a vote by the full board and two-thirds of the board members present must agree before an endorsement is made.