Rep. Julie Parrish does something right.

Carla Axtman

I think it's important upfront to articulate my bias here: I have never liked Julie Parrish (R-West Linn). I've found her to be brazenly silly on a litany of issues. I've often felt that she's taken the intellectual low-road. In a time when women are really capable of making great strides in being real leaders, Parrish has, in my opinion, done a lot to undermine the ability for women who are mothers and wives to be effectively seen as top-shelf legislators in Oregon.

Until now.

Rep. Parrish is boldy supporting marriage equality for Oregon.

This isn't some easy, simple thing. Parrish is breaking with her party's recently established platform plank on marriage equality. I expect she'll receive some hefty blowback from the social conservatives in her party and in her district, too. For an elected representative who is holding a leadership position in the party caucus at the legislature, this sets an example for the rest.

Recognizing that the inertia around marriage equality has been moving away from the uber-social conservative stance for months at a breakneck pace, some might not consider this especially courageous. That's where they'd be wrong. It takes guts to stand up and speak out when you're in an elected position that depends on the support of a bunch of people that you could really be pissing off.

Well done, Julie. I hope this signals the beginning of you really shrugging off the fringes of your party and truly embracing the moderation that Oregonians like to see in Republicans.

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