Media Room

Remarks As Prepared

Dr. Alan Bates’ Memorial
Sept. 20, 2016

Good afternoon.

It is a true honor to be with you this afternoon.

I had not planned on reading my remarks. But when I saw a few faces in this room, I realized this is going to be a struggle for me.

Dr. Alan Bates, Sen. Alan Bates he was a man of courage, character, compassion and commitment.

He left an indelible impression on this great state of Oregon. I shall always miss him. I know you will too.

On behalf of the State of Oregon we are holding the entire Bates family in our hearts.

Just want to share a couple stories from my experiences.We had been fighting for thirty years to pass legal equality for the LGBT community.

I approached Bates and two others legislators – both Republicans.One was Ben Westlund. His wife Libby is here.

Doc said he would take the challenge. Regardless of the risk. The three of them let this Democratic legislator from Portland call the shots.

We passed it off the Senate floor. First time ever in Oregon history.

Senator Bates’ leadership, his courage, his willingness to take a risk knowing it might cost him an election showed to me the depth of his character. And his commitment to civil justice for all Oregonians led the way for passage the next session.  

My next story is much more personal but it reveals his caring commitment and compassion.

My niece wanted to be a doctor.  

Dr. Bates offered her a job shadowing opportunity for the whole weekend. 

She took the challenge.

Despite being in the middle of session. Bates worked from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. providing his clients extraordinary care and giving my niece an incredible opportunity. 

In return, he wrote her a lovely reference letter. She is now a third--year student at College of Osteopathic Medicine here in the Pacific Northwest.

My family and I are very grateful.

My request – don’t put off that cup of coffee, walk, or glass of merlot with a friend. 

Oregon will never be the same.