Over the last 24 hours, the United States Supreme Court has decided some incredibly important civil and human rights cases.  These decisions touch the very lives of our families, friends and shape the communities we live in.

When we first opened our office, one of our staff found an old picture of our APANO Board members in the Oregonian holding a press conference opposing Measure 13, one of the damaging anti-gay statewide ballot measures in the early 1990s.  It really touched my heart to see this visibile support from now elders who are still active today in our justice work.  APANO members have worked in coalition in support of LGBTQ Justice for a generation.  Since the founding of APANO, we have been outspoken leaders recognizing how our freedom and dignity are inherently linked – LGBTQ Justice is Racial Justice.  We have organized across the state of Oregon, educating and building power together to win through direct action, policy advocacy and electoral work.

For those in the Metro Portland region, I hope you will join me in body or in spirit at the Rally for LGBTQ Equality.  We’ll be at Terry Shrunk Plaza across from Portland City Hall.  Also tonight at 7:30pm is Rice Beans & Collard Greens, an all-ages dance party for Queer and Trans People of Color, friends and family at Holocene.

The Supreme Court also decided these important cases:

  • Rejected an attack on the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) which has expanded access to health care for thousands of Oregonians and over 8 million across the United States.
  • Protected our communities against housing discrimination, by refusing to weaken the ability for our families to file claims under the Fair Housing Act

APANO will build on this progress to ensure all our families and communities have the rights, resources and recognition.  Despite these wins, many people still face barriers to justice.  We need to stop the deportation of LGBTQ immigrants, ensure all Oregonians regardless of citizenship have access to healthcare, and eliminate barriers for COFA Pacific Islanders to public services.

We recognize this takes not only the investment of time and treasure, it also takes courage.  Through APANO and with our growing network of statewide partners, we can and will continue to make a difference.


Joseph Santos-Lyons
Executive Director

ps – Want to get more involved?  Consider joinng the Strong Families organizing program focused on queer justice, gender justice and reproductive justice.  Contact Kara Carmosino kara@apano.org 971-340-4861for more information.

Metro Portland Rally from Noon1pm today at Terry Shrunk Plaza (SW Madison between 3rd & 4th, Portland)  RSVP –>