The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office proudly participated in this year’s Pride festival held in Tom McCall Waterfront Park.
“Everyone in our community deserves the right to feel welcomed and safe; to live and love without the fear of being targeted because they are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer,” said Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill. “The District Attorney’s Office stands in solidarity with members of our LGBTQIA community. We have a duty to make sure that if a crime is committed against a person because of who they are, or who they love, to prosecute that case to the fullest extent of the law.”
After hearing numerous questions during Pride 2018, the District Attorney’s Office created a brochure for 2019 that was handed out to hundreds of community members explaining bias crimes. The brochure also provided information on community-based and culturally specific organizations that can help LGBTQIA community members.
A copy of that brochure can be obtained by clicking here. Please note, the content is current as of June 13, 2019.
In between Pride 2018 and Pride 2019, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office continued our work of supporting members of our LGBTQIA community. We were an active participant of the Oregon Attorney General’s Hate Crimes Task Force and helped draft the language that was used in Senate Bill 577, the law that could strengthen the law in Oregon when it comes to a bias crime.
“A crime rooted in hate can have a devastating impact on a victim, that person’s family and our entire community,” said District Attorney Underhill.
The Pride festival is one of the largest donation-based Pride events on the west coast.
“Each year, tens of thousands of LGBTQ+ and allied people come together, to celebrate, be visible, and to demonstrate the strength of our community. More than 150 local, regional, and national organizations, agencies, and businesses fill Waterfront Park, while amazing LGBTQ+ talent provided amazing entertainment throughout the weekend,” the Pride Northwest organization states on its website.
This year’s Pride was especially important because it marked the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, which launched the start of the gay rights movement in America. In New York City in June 1969, members of the LGBTQIA community came together to protest exploitation and police harassment.
The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office recognizes that there can be a fear of reporting a potential bias crime to law enforcement for various reasons, and we want to help change that. We work closely with our law enforcement partners to identify potential bias crimes and if applicable, aggressively prosecutes those cases.
If you believe you are the victim of a bias crime, please contact law enforcement or our office at 503-988-3162 so we can listen and help.
In the event of an emergency, such as an in progress crime, call 9-1-1.
Contact: Brent Weisberg, Communications Director