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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Oregon FTM doctor's 1925 marriage and Baker case recalled by Portland gay newspaper

Alan L. Hart, shown in 1943, grew up in Albany, Oregon as Alberta Lucille Hart PHOTO: Alan L. Hart, shown in 1943, grew up in Albany, Oregon (across the river from Corvallis, Oregon State University) as Alberta Lucille Hart and is considered to be an early example of an FTM or female-to-male. Early gay historians controversially categorized Hart as a lesbian. (See previous posts Albany, Oregon FTM Alan Hart 1890-1962 (9/3/11), Jonathan Ned Katz gay history pioneer (3/6/10) and Alan L. Hart (Wikipedia))

The female-to-male or FTM Dr. Alan Hart's 1925 marriage to a woman would have likely been considered illegal under prior Oregon laws that defined marriage between one man and one woman, with gender defined by their biological sex assigned at birth. However, today Hart's marriage is clearly legal given changes in Oregon laws and the recent decision in favor of gay marriage by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Interestingly, Dr. Alan Hart's 1925 marriage and the Supreme Court's 1972 "Baker v. Nelson" decision were mentioned in the Portland, Oregon LGBT newspaper: "PQ Monthly July/August 2015 Edition" PQ pqmonthly.com posted July 15, 2015 (Download PDF of PQ July/August 2015 edition). See quotes and page references below:

June 26, 2015. Do you remember where you were when the Supreme Court ruled -- 5-4 -- that states cannot keep same-sex couples from marrying, and all states must recognize same-sex unions? June 26, the day the 103-page Obergefell v. Hodges was handed down, is a new Stonewall of sorts -- a spectacular day for LGBTQ people -- and, in fact, all Americans. Despite pockets of resistance, gay marriage is now simply marriage -- and it's the law of the land. PQ has been collecting responses from local LGBTQ leaders, folks who've dedicated their lives to the movement.

Mark Johnson Roberts is a family law attorney for Gevurtz Menashe and has been a legal advocate for Oregon's gay and lesbian citizens since 1991; he is former president of the Oregon State Bar as well as the Oregon Gay and Lesbian Law Association. Roberts writes: . . .

"Some will complain that the Court's decision has foreclosed further debate on this issue, but truthfully, there is no further debate to be had. The national conversation about same-sex marriage, which began as long ago as the Court's contrary 1972 decision in Baker v. Nelson, has ended as it must always have ended, . . ."

(Quoted from Daniel Bergen, "#LOVEWON; Marriage is ours," PQ (Portland, Oregon) Jul.-Aug. 2015, p. 12)

In the same issue of PQ, Robin Will, President, GLAPN, recalled Dr. Alan Hart's 1925 marriage:

Hart graduated from University of Oregon Medical School in 1917, underwent a hysterectomy, and lived as Dr. Alan L. Hart until his death in 1962, writing novels, building a career in radiology and public health, and marrying twice along the way.

His is the first documented transgender male transition in the United States.

It is clear that Alan Hart intended to be remembered as a man. On his instruction, his personal letters and photos in a safe deposit box were destroyed after his death. His widow, Edna Ruddick Hart, whom he married in 1925, was likewise reticent, refusing interviews until her own death in 1982. On the record, the Harts were a prosperous, childless couple: a successful doctor/researcher and his wife, enjoying Edna's extended family, joining the ACLU, and serving in their Unitarian Church. . .

Hart almost got away with it. Connecticut was a long ways from Oregon, and at the time of Hart's death in 1962, the time was not yet ripe for histories celebrating sexual minorities. However, apparently there were some loose ends somewhere, and Alan (formerly Lucille) Hart showed up on the gaydar of a New York-based historian, Jonathan Katz. Hart was outed -- as a lesbian! -- in Katz' Gay American History: Lesbians and Gay Men in the U.S.A., published in 1976. . . .

Hart had left a substantial paper trail in Oregon. He attended high school in Albany; he had attended Albany College (later Lewis & Clark) and, briefly, Stanford, leaving evidence in all three places; he had earned his M.D. under his own name at University of Oregon. Yearbooks and local newspapers had the stories. . .

In the meantime, somebody else was investigating Alan Hart, someone unconcerned with gender politics. Brian Booth, a Portland attorney who knew almost everyone in Oregon fiction, was trying to figure out how Dr. Alan Hart had published four well-reviewed novels set in the northwest without attracting any local notice or leaving a trace of his existence. He probably wouldn't have figured it out if he hadn't stumbled on the Lucille Hart controversy. Booth hired Thomas Lauderdale, fresh from Grant High School and on his way to Harvard, to start investigating Hart's background. They read the novels, collected the reviews, gathered yearbook photos and school literary magazines, and apparently interviewed people who had known Hart as a child. With the eventual help of GLAPN founder Tom Cook, a local trove of Hart data and memorabilia have accumulated-waiting for a historian to sort it out. . . .

Anybody with a Multnomah County library card can read The Oregonian's July 14, 1996 article online. There is an admirably thorough and recently-maintained Wikipedia entry on Alan Hart. GLAPN doesn't know who maintains it. If anyone has investigated Jonathan Katz' research by perusing his personal papers, archived in New York, results have not reached GLAPN yet. Thomas Lauderdale and Tom Cook are the two individuals in Oregon -- aside from the keeper of the Wikipedia article -- who know the most about Alan Hart. Lauderdale is busy playing music. Cook is enjoying his retirement, but GLAPN has all of his notes. It will be interesting to see what happens next. . . .

(Quoted from Robin Will, President, GLAPN, "DR. ALAN HART, UNWITTING QUEER PIONEER," PQ (Portland, Oregon) Jun.-Jul. 2015, p. 24)

(See Alan L. Hart (October 4, 1890 - July 1, 1962) wikipedia.org)

Monday, July 20, 2015

New gay bar mentioned on Eugene TV news station

The Gay Insider USA pages 546-547 listing gay bars, etc. in 1972 Eugene, Portland, and Salem, Oregon

PHOTO: (click photo to enlarge) Oregon State University, located in the small college town of Corvallis, Oregon has never been large enough to support a dedicated gay bar, but the slightly larger college town south of it, Eugene, Oregon, home of the University of Oregon, had a gay bar early as 1972 that was named the Riviera Room at 39 W. 10th, which was listed in a popular guide book by by John Francis Hunter, "The Gay Insider USA," Stonehill 1972, p. 546-547. (See previous post The Gay Insider USA 1972 (9/15/06))

I was surprised to hear the news of a new gay bar opening up in the college town of the University of Oregon in Eugene, which is about 40 miles south of Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon, because both towns have never proven big enough to support dedicated gay bars:

"EUGENE, Ore. -- A new business opening in Eugene this summer is already making a big impact on the community. Eugene's first gay bar to open in nine years held an event Saturday to benefit cancer research. The Hammered Lamb held a brew fest in downtown Eugene, not only to help them choose what drinks to offer in their new bar, but also to raise funds for the Relay for Life happening next weekend. Saturday's tasting event was held in the West Broadway Alley, which is right next to where the bar will open. The Hammered Lambs' owner, Colin Graham, says the brew fest was a crowd sourcing event to find what drinks future customers would like to be served at his bar." (Quoted from Amber Wilmarth, "New Eugene Business Raises Money for Relay for Life," kezi.com posted Jul. 18, 2015)

I noticed that this story was buried in the Saturday morning weekend news cycle, probably when the bosses were away who might object to such news being put on the air in a town that is famous for being super liberal and the alma mater of famous gay activists, such as Randy Shilts, but also the home of several anti-gay religious groups.

I've never kept a good track of gay bars in Eugene, but I've posted on it before. See previous post Eugene, OR gets gay bar (9/12/09) that says, "a new gay bar will be opening soon in Eugene, the first since Neighbors closed in early 2006." A week later the Eugene newspaper said, "We wrote about rumors of a new GLBTQ bar in this column Sept. 17, and we've since heard from several readers that Club SNAFU might be closing. Owner Casey Mitchell tells us no date has been set for closing the gay-friendly nightclub, but the building it calls home at 55 W. Broadway is for sale."

Just when I think gay bars are dead, another one opens. Decades ago, gay liberationists dreamed of the day when a college student could attend a frat party and cruise other guys with nobody objecting to it or feel threatened by it. In fact, this kind of mixed sexual orientation social partying has become more common for today's college students, but most gay students still seek the safety of functions organized by LCBT college groups such as the OSU Pride Center. Perhaps this type of sexual orientation and gender identity segregation will always exist, especially today in the age of the internet and computer social networking, which makes it much easier for small segments of the population to meet each other.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Baker on gay marriage in 1972 vs. 2015 reaction to Supreme Court ruling

 Michael McConnell, 73, and Jack Baker, 73, at their home in Minneapolis, Minnesota on July 1, 2015

PHOTO: Gay marriage pioneers Michael McConnell, 73, and Jack Baker, 73, at their home in Minneapolis, Minnesota on July 1, 2015. (Courtesy Angela Jimenez)

Minnesota public radio interviewed gay marriage pioneers Jack Baker and Michael McConnell to get their reactions to the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage that they first brought to the Court in 1972. For both a text report and audio of their reactions, see the excellent piece by Tracy Mumford, "For Mpls. couple, gay marriage ruling is a victory 43 years in the making," mprnews.org Jul. 16, 2015, which also includes a link to the 1972 TV show that Jack and Mike appeared on to advocate for gay marriage. (See Sasha Aslanian, "Video: Gay rights pioneers Jack Baker and Michael McConnell predicted marriage victory in '70s," mprnews.org posted May 16, 2013)

VIDEO: Jack Baker and Michael McConnell appeared on a 1972 national TV show to talk about gay marriage. (Note: the video is undated, but it is from about 1972 because in the video Baker says they are both 30 years old (at about 4:20). Baker complained that many liberals ask him why gays can't settle for the same rights of marriage, without using the name marriage, which he rejects as being less than equal. Baker also describes his political strategy for "disrupting the system" to achieve justice (6:35), which was a popular rhetoric during the civil rights and gay liberation period of the 1970's (See Sasha Aslanian, "Video: Gay rights pioneers Jack Baker and Michael McConnell predicted marriage victory in '70s," mprnews.org posted May 16, 2013 (7:19) and Video share link http://bcove.me/firyiflu -- from WNEW, New York, courtesy Museum of Broadcast Services.)

An interview with the gay marriage pioneers Jack Baker and Michael McConnell was previously aired on my local public radio station Eugene, OR KLCC-FM (89.7) and Portland, OR KOPB-FM (91.5) Sat. Jun. 6, 2015, as part of a national public radio program "The Takeaway" with John Hockenberry, "The Weekender: Love, Marriage and The Law," WNYC public radio (19 minutes) thetakeaway.org posted June 6, 2015 and Produced by: Jay Cowit and Amber Hall. See previous post National Public Radio interviews gay marriage visionaries Jack Baker and Michael McConnell (6/10/15)

Their history is now stored at The Jean-Nickolaus Tretter Collection in Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Studies at the University of Minnesota and it will be documented in a soon to be published book by Michael McConnell with Jack Baker, As told to Gail Langer Karwoski, "The Wedding Heard 'Round the World, America's First Gay Marriage," University of Minnesota Press, Jan. 2016.

For more see previous posts:

Monday, July 13, 2015

Gay rights attorney ignores Supreme Court's 1972 gay marriage decision

Jan. 9, 1976 feature article by Anne Wood, 'Gay women: Coming out of the closet in Corvallis, 'Now I want to marry this woman,' on p. 7-8 of Corvallis Gazette-Times

PHOTO: Jan. 9, 1976 feature article by Anne Wood, "Gay women: Coming out of the closet in Corvallis, 'Now I want to marry this woman,'" on p. 7-8 of Corvallis Gazette-Times. One of the women profiled in the article came out in a letter to the editor of her student newspaper and she was active in early gay women's groups at Oregon State University. (See previous posts Gay 1976 newspaper controversy (5/3/06) and My opinion on upcoming gay marriage court decisions printed in local newspaper (1/28/15

The latest issue raised by people opposed to gay marriage is the agitprop that gay activists are celebrating their victory by vindictively trying to abridge the "religious liberty" of churches with demands they perform gay marriages and force their religiously devout members to bake wedding cakes against their will for gay couples.

I find it ironic that the religious bullies who voted to take away the right of gay marriage are now the same people who are claiming to be victims of religious discrimination. I learned as a child, if you get hit by a bully, and you dare to defend yourself by hitting your bully back, then the bully will go running to the teacher demanding that you, not them, be punished for it.

The professional anti-gay groups have recently invented the term "religious liberty" to describe what they claim to have lost as a result of the gay marriage decision. In my mind, the term "liberty" denotes something more than the "religious freedom" guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. I hope to expand on my thoughts about the reversal of roles between theocrats and gays in a future blog post.

A bigger misconception being repeating today is the idea that the democratic process was short-circuited by the Supreme Court -- virtually overnight according to some gay marriage opponents. Incredibly, even some attorneys who have fought for gay marriage rights also mistakenly say the process was shorter than it actually was. Below is a copy of a letter the editor I wrote that tries to correct one attorney's misconception and also I include a portion of a previous post on reactions to the decision. (See previous posts OSU students react to SCOTUS gay marriage decision and the invention of 'religious liberty' by opponents (7/2/15) and Gay marriage decision by SCOTUS resolves 1972 Baker v Nelson case (6/27/15))

One of these recent examples of an attorney claiming a shorter time period for gay marriage court decisions was printed in the professional newspaper (circulation approximately 10,000) serving my small college town -- the same newspaper that printed the story about a woman desiring to marry another women in 1976 (see photo above) -- by printing the syndicated column by Noah Feldman, Bloomberg View, "It's the end of two eras for the court," Gazette-Times, Jul. 2, 2015, p. A7 concerning the Supreme Court's gay marriage decision Obergefell et al. v. Hodges, Director, Ohio Department of Health, et al. October Term 2014, decided Jun. 26, 2015:

"The gay-marriage decision, Obergefell v. Hodges, marks the culmination of a 25-year period of gay-rights decisions that coincided with an era of gay-rights advocacy, starting with the 1969 riot at the Stonewall Inn in New York. . .

A look back at this era should start with the gay-rights cases, which will certainly enter the history books. One early sign of their importance can be seen in the half-dozen books about the litigation and the lawyers who pursued it that were published in the last year. Supreme Court cases can be fascinating, and books that go into detail about a case or a line of litigation are often worth reading. Anthony Lewis's "Gideon's Trumpet" gave birth to the genre -- it's one of the main reasons I became a constitutional lawyer. But it's highly unusual for so many books to come out in such a short time about the same line of cases. The reason is simply that when there's been a historical accomplishment, we want to read a first draft to understand how to allocate credit. (See Note 1) . . .

Note 1: For the record, although there's plenty of credit to go around, Evan Wolfson argued the first gay-marriage case in Hawaii in 1993. When I was a summer associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell in 1996, I was given the chance to do a small amount of pro bono work for Wolfson's organization -- and it was obvious that he was at the cutting edge of something that would be a long time coming."

(Quoted from Noah Feldman, Bloomberg View, "It's the end of two eras for the court," Gazette-Times, Jul. 2, 2015, p. A7)

After reading the above opinion column, I first noticed that Noah Feldman ignored the "Baker v Nelson" gay marriage case by referring to 25 years (1990-2015) of cases before then abruptly adding the Stonewall comment. I agree with him that there have been many books published seeking credit for gay marriage, but it appears that Noah Feldman is unaware of the history that will be documented in a soon to be published book on gay marriage by Michael McConnell with Jack Baker, As told to Gail Langer Karwoski, "The Wedding Heard 'Round the World, America's First Gay Marriage," University of Minnesota Press, Jan. 2016.

Here is my letter to the editor in response to Noah Feldman, in which I try to counter the idea that the Supreme Court decision on gay rights happened too fast and short-circuited the democratic process:

Noah Feldman's opinion column, "It's the end of two eras for the court," (Gazette-Times, July 2) erroneously claimed, "The gay-marriage decision, 'Obergefell v. Hodges,' marks the culmination of a 25-year period of gay-rights decisions."

In fact it is over four decades, because the Supreme Court's June 26 decision, starting on page three, reconciles it with its 1972 decision, which left it up to state laws, by explicitly overturning "'Baker v. Nelson' 409 U. S. 810."

The source of Feldman's error can be surmised from his footnote, not printed in the G-T, where he takes credit for doing "a small amount of pro bono work" for a "gay-marriage case in Hawaii in 1993" led by attorney Evan Wolfson.

Anybody of average intelligence can easily read the Supreme Court's gay marriage decision at http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/14pdf/14-556_3204.pdf to download a 103-page copy, although fully understanding it requires some basic education in constitutional law.

It should be clear, even to the opponents of gay marriage, from reading the court's decision that the democratic process of letting voters decide on the constitutional rights of others was allowed to go on for decades longer with same-sex marriage rights than it was in other landmark cases decided by the court.

(Quoted from Thomas Kraemer, "Letter: Court waited long enough," Gazette-Times, Jul. 13, 2015, p. A7)

It appears the newspaper editor carefully chose to print, on the same day and page as the day my letter ran, a syndicated opinion column by Meghan Daum, LA Times, "I'm so over the rainbow on Facebook," Gazette-Times, Jul. 13, 3015, p. A7, in which she sarcastically says, ". . . within three days of the Supreme Court's ruling in favor of same-sex marriage, some 26 million people had shown their support by rainbowifying their pictures with Facebook's "celebrate pride" tool . . . I stand for gay rights, but I'm also standing for my right to avoid the group hug and flag waving. On my feed, it appeared that at least half of my friends had opted in . . . It was also kind of irritating. Though I too was thrilled at the ruling, all that Facebook rainbowification felt like blackmail . . . Some say the danger of symbolic, social-media-driven activism -- "slactivism," as it's often called -- is that it lets people off the hook from working toward real change . .. ."

I suspect this opinion piece was chosen by the editor because it probably reflects well the local newspaper readers' ambivalent and residual anger concerning a subject, gay marriage, which many do not have a strong opinion on either way and they are tired of hearing about it.

ONE Magazine Aug. 1953 'Homosexual marriage?' cover headline PHOTO: ONE Magazine was also ahead of the time in 1953 when it discussed the idea of "homosexual marriage" long before "gay marriage" or same-sex marriage become a cause of a few gay liberationists. (See James T. Sears, PhD, "1953: When ONE Magazine, Headlined 'Homosexual Marriage,'" GayToday.com posted Aug. 11, 2003 and my previous post Gay free speech victory 50th anniversary (1/18/08)) A former Oregon State University Professor W. Dorr Legg was an editor of this early journal advocating homosexual rights. See previous posts W. Dorr Legg OSU archives records 1935-1942 (7/31/10) and OSU Social Justice Walking Tour includes W. Dorr Legg story (6/8/14)

So far, before my letter ran, the several letters to the editor printed in my local newspaper have opposed the gay marriage decision. For example a letter by Jane Newton, "Letter: Justices must have integrity," Gazette-Times, posted Jul. 6. 2015 says, "In the same-sex "marriage" ruling, not only did John Roberts abandon this obligation, he flouted it by saying, 'This had nothing to do with the Constitution.'"

Similarly, was a letter by Jonathan A. Hayes, "Letter: Supreme Court gets it wrong," Gazette-Times, posted Jul. 6. 2015 said, "Same-sex marriage: the court should have declined to hear the case on the grounds that it does not have jurisdiction."

See previous posts:

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Gay men often deny they have a gay voice due to gender stereotypes

VIDEO: A trailer for the documentary "Do I Sound Gay?" by Director: David Thorpe ifcfilms.com (2:23) (from www.ifcfilms.com/videos/do-i-sound-gay) -- covers a sensitive topic to some gay men whose voices sound stereotypically gay (e.g. more effeminate, swishy, etc.) possibly because they were bullied for it when they were young and later as adults they have often been assumed to be gay because of their voice and then discriminated against. (I first heard about this documentary on the radio show by Bob Mondello, "Be Your Own Self: The Lessons Of 'Do I Sound Gay??'" NPR listened to on PBS KOAC radio Corvallis, Oregon, Jul. 10, 2015 )

As a child over a half-century ago, the first gay male voice I heard was of the famous Truman Capote, who had a stereotypically effeminate and swishy fag voice. Gay liberationists of the 1960's tried to deny the possibility of this type of queen-y voice as correlated with being gay because they were trying to break down the stereotype that all gay men are effeminate and therefore powerless as girls, which in the days before women's liberation was a serious insult to a person's sense of manhood and masculinity.

To counter the gay male stereotypes of being effeminate with a swishy voice, a famous TV program, "All in the Family," cast a macho football player character to come out as being gay to the homophobic and bigoted star of the show, Archie Bunker, which of course comically rattled Archie's perception of gay men.

In my experience, there are roughly half of gay men who have a more effeminate gay voice and the other half have a more masculine voice that is not detectable by most people as being gay. I have always been amused by how many gay men with effeminate voices will almost always deny it in a very emotional and angry manner, which I guess is because they were bullied for it growing up and they have internalized society's homophobia and misogyny that casts women as being inferior.

Another related stereotype I've seen is the idea that gay men who are more effeminate are always going to be the bottoms in a relationship. For example, one gay cartoon character in the 1970's was named "Helium Heels" because he was so "light in the loafers" (i.e. effeminate and gay) that when he would meet a masculine top, Helium Heels would instantly be on his back with his heels up in the air ready for intercourse.

See some of the following related links:

Thursday, July 9, 2015

TV Guide features transgender TV shows

I am impressed that the print edition of a magazine with millions of circulation had a good article describing recent TV shows with transgender people and it mentioned two recent shows:

"The new E! reality series I Am Cait, which documents Jenner's new life, premieres July 26. TLC debuts I Am Jazz, about trans activist/YouTube star Jazz Jennings, 14, on July 15. Those shows join two current ABC Family series: The Fosters, which features a trans actor playing a trans character; and Becoming Us, a reality series about teenager Ben Lehwald, whose father is transitioning. The Bold and the Beautiful is also currently unfolding the sudsy romance between a trans woman and a heterosexual man." (Quoted from Gregory E. Miller and Damian Holbrook, "A Transformative Year: Inside the rise of transgender voices on television," TV Guide Jul. 13-26, 2015, p. 8-9 tvinsider.com posted Jul. 9, 2015)

(Also see another article by Matt Roush, "What's Worth Watching: Young and Transgender," tvinsider.com posted Jun. 30, 3015 featured the June 30 PBS Frontline, "Growing Up Trans.")

VIDEO: TLC, "Meet Jazz Jennings | I Am Jazz," youtube.com posted Jun. 3, 2015 "Learn about transgender teen Jazz Jennings and her amazing supportive family. I Am Jazz premieres July 15 at 10/9c on TLC!" -- (See "Jazz Jennings" wikipedia.org "Jazz Jennings (born October 6, 2000) is an American teenage trans woman, YouTube celebrity.")

VIDEO: E! Entertainment, "Caitlyn Jenner's New Show "I Am Cait" Trailer | I am Cait | E!," youtube.com posted Jun 3, 2015 "Get an early look at Cait in her "new normal" in this peek at E!'s new docu-series, "I am Cait," premiering July, 26 on E!"

See previous posts:

Thursday, July 2, 2015

OSU President sends email on SCOTUS gay marriage decision

From the office of the President of Oregon State University Edward J. Ray

PHOTO: "From the office of the President of Oregon State University Edward J. Ray" letter head for an official email memo to the OSU community giving his reactions to the SCOTUS decision on gay marriage. (See previous post OSU students react to SCOTUS gay marriage decision and the invention of 'religious liberty' by opponents (7/2/15))

I have appreciated Oregon State University President Ed Ray's leadership on gay marriage equality, especially given the fact that he holds a politically appointed position that is accountable to both the legislature of the State of Oregon and also the Federal government as a land grant State University President. It was only a decade ago that Oregon Republicans, to help get President Bush reelected in 2004, put on the ballot a State Constitutional Amendment to ban gay marriage, and it passed by a majority of voters. Below is the text of the email sent to everyone at OSU from the OSU President that I received after the SCOTUS decision on gay marriage in Jun. 2015:

"Members of the Oregon State community,

Friday's ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the constitutional right to marriage by couples of the same sex is remarkable and historic. Although the decision is long overdue, it advances equity and inclusion in America and I overwhelmingly support the court's decision.

Members of the LGBT community and allies nationally, in Oregon, and those who work and attend school at Oregon State University have waited far too long for the legal right of every American to pursue happiness in marriage. It was just a year ago in May that Oregon became the 19th U.S. state to recognize same-sex marriages. When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 on Friday to make same-sex marriage a right nationwide, 36 states and the District of Columbia had already done so. All the while, in recent polling, a majority of Americans had already said they supported marriage equality as did nearly 80 percent of those ages 18-29.

Civil justice and fundamental equality are bedrock constitutional rights and they should not be decided by polls.

At Oregon State, we are fully committed to diversity and stand united for the dignity and inclusivity of all people. OSU's institutional values statement says that "Oregon State University is an authentic community, whose accomplishments and inclusive excellence, innovation and leadership promote a healthy planet, wellness and economic progress."

Yet, we recognize that such words accomplish very little without action demonstrating our personal commitment to each other.

President Obama had it right Friday when he praised the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court by saying: "Our nation was founded on the bedrock principle that we are all created equal. The project of each generation is to bridge the meaning of those founding words with the realities of changing times - a never-ending quest to ensure those words ring true for every single American."

At Oregon State, even as we celebrate Friday's decision, we must never forget that there are many communities for whom equality is elusive, and achieving justice for all will still be a process - or as President Obama called it "a project for each generation."

I expect that this process to ensure equality will engage each of us every day here at OSU. And moving forward, whether at Oregon State University, throughout Oregon or across this great nation, we all must re-commit to the foundational principle upon which this country was created that equality is an inarguable right for everyone that we must all support.

Edward J. Ray, President, 600 Kerr Administration Building, Corvallis, Oregon 97331-2128 (541-737-4133)"

(Quoted from email memo received from Edward J. Ray, President, Oregon State University that he sent to the OSU community after the SCOTUS gay marriage ruling Jun. 2015)

For people outside of academia, this memo may seem too "politically correct," but for its intended audience, at this time and place, it is perfect and reflects Ray's integrity, in addition to his political skills (and I do mean this as a compliment).