February 3rd, 2014 | by NIGEL JAQUISS News | Posted In: Legislature, Politics

Republican Rep. Julie Parrish Endorses Same-Sex Marriage

Deputy House GOP leader breaks with party platform

lede_julieparrish_3909JULIE PARRISH - IMAGE: V. Kapoor

Add Rep. Julie Parrish (R-West Linn/Tualatin) to the growing list of Oregon Republicans who support the same sex-marriage measure aimed at the 2014 ballot.

Last week, WW reported that a group of bold-faced Republican names have formed a political action committee calls Freedom Oregon to support the measure. That group includes former U.S. Bob Packwood; former Oregon Attorney General Dave Frohnmayer; former Oregon Secretary of State Norma Paulus; and the biggest current contributor to Oregon GOP causes, Stimson Lumber CEO Andrew Miller.

Two of Parrish's colleagues, Reps. Vicki Berger (R-Salem) and Jim Thompson (R-Dallas) are part of Freedom Oregon.

Now Parrish, who as the Deputy House Republican Leader is the second-highest ranking member of her caucus, has also announced her support. 

Here's what Parrish posted on her Facebook page on Feb. 1 (emphasis added).

People have asked me my thoughts on the marriage equality ballot initiative that will be voted on this November, and whether I’m supporting it, and indeed, I am. I have to shake my head when I read posts that say if you’re a Republican who supports this measure you’re somehow rolling over on your Republican principles just to agree with Democrats and liberals. I can trace my Oregon Republican... roots back to the 1800's, as well as my family’s contributions and extensive service to the state as Republican business owners, farmers, soldiers, and legislators. My kids are the eighth generation to live in Oregon, and I’m teaching them the values I believe Oregon Republicans have held since the first time someone in my family was elected in Oregon in 1885. Freedom, equality, fairness, prosperity, opportunity, and self-determination. The initiative in 2014 touches on all those values. For my religiously conservative friends, enhancing the power of the US Constitution’s First Amendment freedom of religion by memorializing and protecting the rights of your church in our state constitution is a good thing. Under the proposed initiative, if your church chooses not to marry a gay couple, it doesn’t have to. If as Republicans we truly embrace the values of freedom, equality, and fairness, then I believe we must recognize that those rights should be applied equally to all. If we believe in limited government, then we should exercise restraint in picking and choosing what is limited. I appreciate that being an Oregon Republican means that we can proudly promote our personal, core values and if yours are different than mine, that’s ok. At the end of the day….we’re all Oregonians first and foremost.

That position puts Parrish at odds with the platform her party adopted last August. The platform states

"The Oregon Republican Party believes that the traditional family is ordained by God our Creator and is the foundation of our society. A traditional family is formed through the marriage of one man and one woman."
Parrish's announcement generated 70 comments on her Facebook page, many supportive but some critical.

Her response? "If the government is going to be in the business of charging to officiate over a couple that wants to be legally bound, then do it for everyone," she wrote on Feb. 2. "We live in a country where having our own beliefs is ok. I will not judge any of my friends for theirs."
 
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