On October 25, Gov. Kate Brown signed Executive Order 19-08, which reinforces protections for Oregon’s LGBTQ+ citizens. It refines and expands protections regarding sexual orientation, as well as extending state protections to include gender identity.
The order builds upon a 1987 executive order, which prevented discrimination by state agencies and employees on the grounds of sexual orientation.
“Progress matters, and recognition matters. The long-standing executive order needed to be updated to reflect current law and understandings about sexual orientation and gender identity,” says Gov. Brown. “There are more sexual orientations than just gay and lesbian. And there are more than two gender identities. Recognizing everyone is one step closer to a more inclusive and welcoming Oregon.”
EO 19-08 extends non-discrimination policies to include public services and grant awards. Furthermore, it requires all state agencies to designate existing single stall restrooms as “all user,” and provide signage with directions to them as multiple stall restrooms.
New state buildings will be required to include at least one all user restroom in their construction. Demographics forms must now include a “Nonbinary/Other” option, as well as the gender marker “X,” as an alternative to “M” and “F.”
According to Gov. Brown, an LGBTQ+ person herself, “These recognitions matter. Because everyday patterns scale up to everyday behaviors.”
Nancy Haque, the Executive Director of Basic Rights Oregon, says that “With this Executive Order, we’re affirming that when you enter the rotunda of the State Capitol—or any state building—the message is clear: you are welcome here.”
By Brandon Urey