2015 ORS 659A.006¹
Declaration of policy against unlawful discrimination
  • opportunity to obtain employment without unlawful discrimination recognized as a civil right
  • exception of religious group

(1) It is declared to be the public policy of Oregon that practices of unlawful discrimination against any of its inhabitants because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, age, disability or familial status are a matter of state concern and that this discrimination not only threatens the rights and privileges of its inhabitants but menaces the institutions and foundation of a free democratic state.

(2) The opportunity to obtain employment or housing or to use and enjoy places of public accommodation without unlawful discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, age or disability hereby is recognized as and declared to be a civil right.

(3) It is not an unlawful practice for a bona fide church or other religious institution to take any action with respect to housing or the use of facilities based on a bona fide religious belief about sexual orientation as long as the housing or the use of facilities is closely connected with or related to the primary purposes of the church or institution and is not connected with a commercial or business activity that has no necessary relationship to the church or institution.

(4) It is not an unlawful employment practice for a bona fide church or other religious institution, including but not limited to a school, hospital or church camp, to prefer an employee, or an applicant for employment, of one religious sect or persuasion over another if:

(a) The religious sect or persuasion to which the employee or applicant belongs is the same as that of the church or institution;

(b) In the opinion of the church or institution, the preference will best serve the purposes of the church or institution; and

(c) The employment involved is closely connected with or related to the primary purposes of the church or institution and is not connected with a commercial or business activity that has no necessary relationship to the church or institution.

(5) It is not an unlawful employment practice for a bona fide church or other religious institution to take any employment action based on a bona fide religious belief about sexual orientation:

(a) In employment positions directly related to the operation of a church or other place of worship, such as clergy, religious instructors and support staff;

(b) In employment positions in a nonprofit religious school, nonprofit religious camp, nonprofit religious day care center, nonprofit religious thrift store, nonprofit religious bookstore, nonprofit religious radio station or nonprofit religious shelter; or

(c) In other employment positions that involve religious activities, as long as the employment involved is closely connected with or related to the primary purposes of the church or institution and is not connected with a commercial or business activity that has no necessary relationship to the church or institution. [Formerly 659.020; 2007 c.100 §3; 2007 c.903 §2]


1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 659A—Unlawful Discrimination in Employment, Public Accommodations, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors659A.­html (2015) (last ac­cessed Jul. 16, 2016).
 
2 OregonLaws.org contains the con­tents of Volume 21 of the ORS, inserted along­side the per­tin­ent statutes. See the preface to the ORS An­no­ta­tions for more information.
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.