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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 14, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 37
Oregon Pride Foundation scholar fights for WA marriage equality
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Oregon Pride Foundation scholar fights for WA marriage equality

by James Whitely - SGN Staff Writer

Oregon State University undergrad Viktor Bogatko, who will be starting his senior year this fall, decided to come to Seattle for a short late-summer vacation. And while he's certainly had some time to unwind and have fun, Bogatko's vacation has also included lots of volunteer work - and he couldn't be happier.

'I wanted to give back,' Bogatko told SGN.

Bogatko is one of 94 students who were awarded a Pride Foundation scholarship earlier this year.

Marriage equality, Bogatko said, 'will come to Oregon. If it passes here [in Washington], it's way more likely to pass there. We're like sister states.'

Bogatko, who says he's closely following all the marriage battles nationwide, thinks Washington's Approve R-74 campaign has the best chance of success.

POSITIVE IMPACT
'Through scholarships to students, Pride Foundation provides the opportunity to positively impact our pursuit of LGBTQ equality. Viktor's involvement with Washington United for Marriage exemplifies this positive impact. Our scholars often distinguish themselves through their community leadership. Being engaged in critical issues is a natural extension of this leadership,' said Kris Hermanns, Pride Foundation's executive director.

Bogatko has postered and flyered hundreds of places on Capitol Hill and says that once school starts again, he wants to organize trips to Vancouver, Washington, about 100 miles north of his Corvallis campus, to do the same.

Following is Bogatko's biography from his Pride Foundation scholarship recognition:

'Viktor Bogatko is a Gay man born in the former U.S.S.R. and moved to Salem, Oregon, in 1990. Growing up in a conservative family prevented Viktor from being himself for most of his life. Last year, Viktor was inspired to come out after hearing about the many LGBTQ teen suicides. He will be attending Oregon State University next year, majoring in Geography with a focus on human rights, human health, and development, and minoring in Geographic Information System Science. Viktor received the Scott Rodriguez Leadership, Donald O. Coffman, Pride Foundation Community, and Pride Foundation Community Oregon scholarships.'

Congratulations, Viktor, and thank you for all your hard work to help Approve R-74!

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