Right now, a couple in Seattle can stand in front of family and friends, proclaim their love and get married. Perhaps the couple will take a ferry to Bainbridge Island, get on U.S. 101 and enjoy the awe-inspiring trip down the coast, ending with a honeymoon in San Diego. Or maybe, depending on the weather, they will take Interstate 5 north to honeymoon on Vancouver’s ski slopes.
Whether in Washington, British Columbia or California (depending on how the Supreme Court decides Hollingsworth v. Perry), it will not legally matter whether the couple are gay or straight. The Pacific coast, long held out to be the manifest destiny of the American experiment, will represent again the promising future of equality, liberty and opportunity.
It should trouble every Oregonian that during the trip along the coast, the only period when the law will differentiate between a straight couple and a gay couple will be while traveling from Astoria to Brookings. Though neither of this article’s authors, a Republican campaign worker and a Catholic Navy veteran, is the stereotypical face of the marriage equality campaign, something deeply troubles us. Very soon Oregon will likely become the lone outpost of intolerance in the land of manifest destiny, with the exception of the Coquille tribe in North Bend, which years ago adopted marriage equality.
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