Oregon House moves to update LGBTQ language in statute

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon House of Representatives has moved to scrub language offensive to LGBTQ Oregonians in a bill that also specifies that sexual orientation is not a physical or mental impairment.

The bill passed the House in a 58-2 vote and goes to the Senate.

Rep. Rob Nosse, who is gay, said on the House floor that Oregon’s anti-LGBTQ laws date back to the 1850s when Oregon was a territory, and helped put some people into mental institutions and the state penitentiary. They were enforced until the 1970s but remnants of those sentiments remain, the Portland Democrat said.

The measure modernizes language referring to transgender people. It clarifies that sexual orientation isn’t considered a physical or mental impairment and that a person doesn’t have a disability solely due to sexual orientation.