I had the opportunity to interview Lake Perriguey for PQ Monthly this month. Lake is the lawyer who brought the original lawsuit that overturned Oregon’s ban on same sex-marriage. I was handed the interview days before Judge McShane’s decision came down and the interview actually took place a few days after. It was fresh when I went to meet him and I was nervous.
On the day of the decision I rented a car2go on my lunch to drive across the river for the PQ viewing part at Crush. I almost didn't go, but someone convinced me that it would be stupid to miss it and I realized that they were right. I pushed my way through the crowd till I could see the screen where the live feed was being played, it was just a bunch of people standing around an empty podium. I leaned over to say something to someone next to me and suddenly the room erupted into jubilant screaming, measure 36 was ruled unconstitutional, gay marriage was now legal in Oregon. People were laughing and crying and kissing and embracing each other; I wanted someone to hold my hand just then, but that thought got lost in the next seconds as the energy in the room swelled. This is important, I told myself, something important is happening and I need to pay attention. It’s not often that I’m watching something unfold live on television and it connects to me in such a visceral way. I crossed my arms and focused on the screen trying to take it all in. It was hard because it was so loud and I stopped being able to tell where I stopped and everyone else began. I didn't know if what I was feeling were my feelings anymore. I was feeling everything that the people in that room were feeling, everything the people on screen were feeling, everything everyone who was waiting for this decision was feeling. This is bigger than me, I thought, we're all having this moment together.
I remember walking out Crush and feeling like I had walked into a different city on a different planet.
I'm honored to have gotten the opportunity to share his story, which is part of a much longer story that's still unfolding.
So please take a moment to read the interview.