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Oyler awarded for encouraging gay members to openly discuss their experiences

The Beaverton’s Human Rights Advisory Commission named Allen Oyler the recipient of its 2013 Human Rights Award, an annual honor rewarding an outstanding contribution to human rights in the Beaverton community.

Oyler, president of the Beaverton Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or LDS, was selected based on his coordination of a church-sponsored event inviting gay church members to openly discuss their experiences as members of the church. The topic, seldom addressed in LDS gatherings, noted Rob Solomon, the advisory commission’s outgoing chairman, was discussed in a well-attended meeting with the goal of fostering greater understanding and acceptance.

“People and organizations tend to be resistant to change. Standing up and standing out by bringing a suppressed issue out of the closet requires tremendous courage,” Solomon said. “When we received this nomination, our commission was impressed, and we are most pleased to honor Mr. Oyler this year.”

Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle will present the award to Oyler at the City Council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 14, at 6:30 p.m. in Beaverton City Hall, 4755 S.W. Griffith Drive. A reception in the main conference room will begin at 6 p.m. before the council meeting. The event is open to the public.

The advisory commission’s mission is to safeguard the rights of all citizens and promote mutual understanding through programs promoting basic human rights in the community, Solomon said.

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