BRO selects new Executive Director

According to Willamette Week, Basic Rights Oregon finally has a new boss: Idaho native John Hummel.

WW quotes a press release:

Hummel helped organize Idaho's first gay pride and activist organization, Your Family, Friends & Neighbors (YFFN). YFFN produced Boise's first public pride celebration in 1990. Hummel served as president of YFFN and the Idaho AIDS Foundation, and was active as a cooperating attorney for the Idaho ACLU...John is currently the legal director of The Center's Legal Initiatives Project (CLIP). CLIP is the legal services outreach program of The Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual & Transgender Community Center of Colorado, Inc., based in Denver....John and his partner Ben Riggs will be moving to Oregon in May, and John will officially join the Basic Rights Oregon team on May 7th.

Welcome to Oregon, John. Discuss.

  • Anonymous (unverified)

    Guessing that this is a different John Hummel than Bend City Councilor and Salem lobbyist John Hummel.

  • (Show?)

    Will this signal a new direction for BRO to go on offense instead of playing defense and proactively PUSH for equality across the board, such as pushing for measures like amending the Oregon Constitution to state "Oregon shall not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation"...?

  • Joe12Pack (unverified)

    "The Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual & Transgender"...

    Is it just me or does the whole GLBT thing sound kinda silly? I mean, what group will be tacked on next? Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered- just waiting for the next bunch who feels disenfranchised over their sexual preference or personal behavior to be added to the acronym demanding their "rights".

    Look, what two consenting adults do is nobody's business but their own, I respect their rights and go out of my way to defend them (which doesn't exactly make me popular) to ignorant busy bodies. Where does it end, though? Must we enact legislation to create a new protected class based on sexual orientation? You start losing my support pretty quickly at that point, much like proposed hate crime legislation. If equality & freedom are the ultimate goals, you won't get there by trashing traditional institutions and trying to create a separate legal status for a small, specific group. No, all you'll do is harden the vast majority against you and cause more greedy lawyers to salivate. Don't give me the tired old bogus race or gender comparison either. Aint the same and we all know it.

    Chuck all the rotten fruit, eggs, slings & arrows you want my way, but you'll be attacking an ally. I voted no on Measure 36 and spout off far more than I probably should on this topic to hostile audiences.

  • (Show?)

    Discrimination is about more than just race or gender. It also includes other protected areas, such as religion, marital status, and income. And yes, it should include sexual orientation.

    Those of a different sexual orientation than heterosexual are indeed discriminated against. And they are a minority and deserve protection from discrimination.

    Adding "sexual orientation" to the discrimination statutes doesn't create a protected class for those who are GLBT. Sexual orientation includes EVERYONE. It would mean a straight person couldn't be discriminated against because they're straight. Or a straight person be discriminated against because they seem a bit too masculine or feminine and are perceived as gay. Or... the list goes on and on.

  • (Show?)
    Is it just me or does the whole GLBT thing sound kinda silly?

    It's just you.

    Must we enact legislation to create a new protected class based on sexual orientation?

    Everyone has a sexual orientation, so it protects heterosexuals as well. So what about gays not discriminating against you and you can't discriminate against gays bothers you so much?

    much like proposed hate crime legislation.

    So you think spray painting "kill the jews" and swastikas on a Jewish synagogue should carry the same criminal penalty as spray painting "Jack + Jill 4ever" on a water-tower?

    Do you understand that bias crimes carry a stronger sentence because the intended victim of the crime is an entire group of people, not just a single person?

  • Hans (unverified)

    Joe, respectfully, you still don't get it. Intimacy with guys isn't my "preference," it's my ORIENTATION.

  • Laura Calvo (unverified)

    Will this signal a new direction for BRO to go on offense instead of playing defense

    It's certainly clear from this post and all of the other posts concerning BRO, you're not a fan. So be it. Your opinion. I'll respect your opinion and your expressing it here repeatedly. I doubt anyone can sway you from your criticism.

    Obviously we're on the same team but have much different ways of contributing to our mutual success. While you criticize and have not explained what you have done to help elect 36 out 38 BRO endorsed candidates in the last election, make thousands upon thousands of calls, run phone banks 3 to 4 nights per week, build partnerships with other sucessful progressive organizations, canvassed thousands of doors accross the state, or done, let alone said anything positive that would suggest you do anything but complain, I am at a loss to have much sympathy for your point of view. Yes I am biased, because I have been doing all of the above with BRO, and the Dem's at the county, state and national level.

    I'm really hard pressed to think of any other Oregon progressive organization, dedicated to GLBT issues that has done more on the offensive in recent times than any other organization. HRC, the Task Force, Victory Fund all have stood in support and worked alongside BRO as partners. There are many other progressive organizations that support BRO and which BRO supports in return. All of them doing something positive and clearly not being defensive.

    As I've said before, yes there are things in the past where possibly a different strategy may have changed the outcome. That's true with the positive furtherance of any cause or campaign. When it happens you dust yourself off, stand up, and start marching again. Hopefully a little smarter and a little wiser. If an organization does not evolve it does not survive, it withers and goes away. Clearly that is not the case with BRO.

    I don't like the direction of the way this country is being run. I'm not always happy with the way Dem's do things. However, you and I difer greatly in our approach and views. Soley based on what you've said in the past, you are more likely to complain and do little if anything to engage yourself in the work of any organization, whereas I choose to fully engage myself in what I believe needs to be done instead of being percieved as one who is the incessant complainant.

    I sit and wonder if in fact BRO does change it's course to your way of thinking, what would you do then?

  • Laura Calvo (unverified)

    Don't give me the tired old bogus race or gender comparison either. Aint the same and we all know it.

    Certainly we can agree to disagree respectfully and air our diferences of opinion.

    I won't give you that comparison nor do I have any rotten fruit or rocks to throw at you.

    No it's not silly at all. In fact, by calling it silly and declaring your self an ally only points to the need that there is still work to be done in this country about stereotypes and how internal perceptions of others effect the total climate of our society.

    Fist of all, our laws, constitution, and form of government are living entities. When they were formed, I believe the wisdom of it was that it would endure and evolve as necessary by the will of the people. How many times has the bill of rights been amended? How many laws are enacted? By the way how many of those laws that are enacted only benefit small specific groups. What comes to mind is peanut farmers. I could go on, but clearly you get the drift.

    Nobody's trashing any thing by fully participating or execrcising our rights to advocate for ourselves in regards to our important, clearly not silly, issues.

    Creating special rights for a small group of people? Really? How can it be special rights when all we're asking for is the same exacts that others, our neighbors, freinds, and relatives have?

    I understand the concern of where will it all end. Which disenfranchised group is next? Maybe it will be the Ignorant,Misinformed,and Pendantic (IMP)Unfortunately I have no clear answer in my crystal ball. I personally think the train got off the track when we added all the protected classes to the laws in the first place. I believe it would have been better to amend our laws to say that discrimination based upon any persons intrinsic and immutable human traits would be illegal. Better yet, it would definitely be better if people would just accept their neighbor and live by the golden rule.

    Thanks for being an ally, standing up to the ignorant busy bodies and voting no on measure 36.

  • (Show?)

    Spare me your schtick Laura, I have worked far more hours, donated money and worked directly to elect candidates favorable to not just equal rights, but a host of other issues beyond just GLBT issues. So spare me your I have been there what have you done crap.

    Yes, I have criticisms about what BRO does and how BRO goes about things, and they are legitimate strategic criticisms. Pushing schtick about how much you worked vs. the people means absolutely jack-shit to me. I have phone-banked, I have donate,d I have put in literally thousands of hours in party organization (Democratic) and have volunteered and donated to BRO in the past.. DESPITE the glaringly stupid strategic tract BRO has taken.

    So kindly shove your "you sit and complain" accusations.

  • Joe12Pack (unverified)

    "It's just you."

    No, I don't think so. My dealings outside the progressive huddle tell me otherwise. Not everybody who opposes ideas such as gay marriage are ignorant, ill-informed rednecks. In my experience, there is a significant segment of folks who dislike the religious right and any attempt to impose their brand of morality upon everyone. At the same time, many might not appreciate an activist group attempting to shove an agenda down their throats. At least that's the perception. As I said before, what two consenting adults is none of my business. They have the same rights as me and I defend my own rights by defending them against oppression. However, you lose me with some of the proposed separate but equal gay rights legislation. It often seems you wish to impose your own morality on society much like "they" try to do.

    As I said before, I am not anti-gay, nor am I pro-gay. I voted no on 36 because I believe I saw it for what it was. An unnecessary addition to a state constitution that should be much smaller, yet broader in scope. I didn't like what I sensed as the driving force behind the measure, either. Whether I happen to agree with altering state marriage laws or not, it seemed like it was clearly driven by anti-gay sentiment and exclusionary people. Don't want to be on that bandwagon anymore than I want to force everyones children to listen to a specific state sanctioned version of sexual education in public classrooms.

    Tell me I don't get it all you want. Fact is, I have the capacity and willingness to understand the point of view of groups like Basic Rights Oregon, while also recognizing that I can't fully relate to the mindset of a homosexual or "differently gendered" individual being a white, protestant, heterosexual male [pause for boos & hisses]. Because I don't share your point of view does not make me a hater, bigot or a moron. It might simply mean that we disagree. The GLBT thing still sounds kinda silly. Extra mayo on mine, please. ;)

  • Rick T (unverified)

    Thanks for voting against Measure 36. You are a true ally.

    I am old enough to remember when red-headed kids in school were considered freaks. Freckles, transparent skin, and deep green eyes were a sign of.. Irishness?.. or.. something?.. strangeness. It was not a deep hatred, it was a feeling of freakishness. The change in public opinion about skin color as a really bad way to differentiate between people was really a good thing for red headed kids. Few people stood up for Red Rights, but it was implied that Black Rights would destroy a wall for a whole concept, and it did. We are all more relaxed now, and happier as a society for this change.

    In the same way, pushing the line of legal protection for gays is really a benefit for straight people's lives. There are so many personality traits (orientations?) which are supressed, ridiculed, ignored and "reshaped" , subtly, that gayness is only the tip of this iceberg. As freedom loving people, we need to see how personality and expression is more stable when developed from the individual point of view. This truth is somewhat terrifying, I understand.

    And this causes more cautious people to ask; what personality traits (orientations?) will you decide to protect next? Is Shyness protected? Is Bipolar Syndrome protected? To a cautious temperament, opening up a new category for legal protection offers up a yawning chasm of uncertainty.

    To this, allies of gay people can only say; trust the founding document. All people are created equal, endowed by their creator with certain inalienable RIGHTS (note not privileges) and AMONG these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    There are obvious limits to the definition of protected personality traits, but we have not reached those limits yet when great disparities in wealth and opportunity still exist. Straight people should recognize the freedom inherent in explicit protection of gay people as well as straight people. As long as there are 'dividers" the unfortunate necessity of "protection" will be necessary. In the future, we may be able to repeal all references to specific protections, because it will be obvious and unnecessary.

in the news 2007

connect with blueoregon