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A Place at the Table: Some interesting facts about
the Oregon LGBTQ movement’s history

By George T. Nicola
Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest (GLAPN)
Last updated 3/26/2015

(Click here to download a similar version of this article as a PDF document.)

 

By the LGBTQ movement, we mean the movement that advocates that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) persons be treated equally and with the same dignity as heterosexual and cisgender people. This includes non-discrimination and non-bias based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Oregon’s LGBTQ movement began with a few local politically oriented gay groups. The first was the Portland Gay Liberation Front (GLF) which was cofounded in early 1970 by a young gay man named John Wilkinson. John had moved here shortly after coming out in Seattle. He later moved back to Seattle, where he and his partner, former Portland GLF activist Dave Davenport, cofounded Washington State’s successful freedom to marry movement in their living room.  

(http://www.glapn.org/6130nicolagaymovement.html)

 

Holly Hart, a young lesbian who joined John Wilkinson in cofounding the Portland Gay Liberation Front in 1970, had already been a pioneer in the Oregon’s modern feminist movement. She later attended law school out of state, coming back to Oregon afterwards to provide legal support for Oregon LGBTQ equality. In 1977, Holly chaired Governor Robert Straub’s Task Force on Sexual Preference. It was the second such task force in the nation.

(http://www.glapn.org/6130nicolagaymovement.html)

 

By the time Portland’s gay movement was launched in 1970, both gay men and lesbians who could locate their bars felt comfortable once inside those walls. Several years earlier, the City of Portland had abandoned its intent of trying to close all the gay bars. Darcelle XV Showplace in downtown Northwest Portland was established as a gay tavern called Demas in 1967. It is Portland’s oldest gay bar and remains under the original ownership of Walter Cole, best known by his drag stage name Darcelle. In addition to being iconic, the club has raised large amounts of money for local LGBTQ causes. 

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darcelle_XV, http://www.ohs.org/research/quarterly/images/ohq1051boag.pdf)

Portland veteran lesbian activist and attorney Cindy Cumfer provided some of the earliest legal support for families headed by same-gender couples. She advised LGBTQ clients on numerous legal matters, including custody, visitation, domestic partnership agreements, donor insemination agreements, medical authorizations, and estate planning. Cindy won several lesbian custody cases. In 1985, she handled the first adoption by same-gender parents in the United States. That served as a prototype for adoptions around the U.S. that followed it.
Cindy wrote Living Our Lives, a do-it-yourself book for couples wanting domestic partner agreements, and The Legal Guide for Unmarried Couples in Oregon, which she explains “covered all aspects of gay family life.”

(http://glapn.org/6025CindyCumfer.html)

 

In 1971, Oregon became the third state to permanently abolish its law that essentially made all homosexual conduct illegal. 

The reform was part of a criminal code revision enacted in 1971, effective in 1972. It was signed into law by Governor Tom McCall. Under the new statute, generally no sexual conduct is illegal as long as it is noncommercial, private, and among consenting adults.

(http://glapn.org/6012MilestonesLGBTQLaw.html)   

 

Portland’s Metropolitan Community Church is one of Oregon’s oldest LGBTQ related organizations. It held its first worship service in 1971 and was formally founded in 1976. It purchased its current building the following year. 

(http://www.glapn.org/6022TimelineSince1970.html)

 

The Imperial Sovereign Courts are an appealing social outlet for those interested in various forms of costuming and who are willing to lend their enthusiasm to the courts culture of charitable fund-raising. There are three of these organizations in Oregon:

 

These groups raise large amounts of money for numerous charities, many of which primarily serve the LGBTQ community. 

(http://glapn.org/6030ImperialSovereignRoseCourt.html)

 

The 1973 decision Burton v. Cascade School District was a historic case won by Peggy Burton, who had been dismissed from her public school teaching position when the principal heard she was a lesbian. It was the first lawsuit filed by a teacher successfully claiming discrimination based on sexual orientation. It was also the first legal victory in Oregon regarding non-discrimination based on sexual orientation.

The U.S District Court ordered the school district to pay her $10,000, but refused to order reinstatement. Peggy went on to realign her career which she eventually carried to the Midwest.

(http://www.glapn.org/6316PeggyBurton.html,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffio4CY-R1M)

 

Charles “Charlie” Hinkle was the gay attorney in the landmark case Burton v. Cascade School District, which ruled that an Oregon public school teacher could not be fired for her lesbianism. Charlie went on to become one of our state’s great LGBTQ equality advocates, as well as a defender of all human rights. 

“There’s no practicing lawyer who has had a greater impact on civil liberties in this state over the past 40 years than Charlie,” said Oregon Supreme Court Justice [later Chief Justice] Thomas Balmer, “and no one who’s worked harder and thought more deeply about free speech and religious liberty.”

In 2011, the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon created the Charles F. Hinkle Award to honor his long commitment to civil liberties.

(http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2011/03/honoring_hinkle_and_oregonians.html,
http://www.stoel.com/showbio.aspx?Show=240)

 

In 1973, straight ally Gretchen Kafoury mentored gay activist George T. Nicola (the author of this presentation) on lobbying for House Bill 2930, Oregon’s first bill that would have banned sexual orientation discrimination. 

Gretchen was also a founding mother of the state’s modern feminist movement, cofounding both Oregon National Organization for Women (NOW) in 1970 and the Oregon Women’s Political Caucus in 1971. 

(http://www.glapn.org/6100kafoury.html)

 

HB 2930, Oregon’s first bill that would have banned discrimination based on sexual orientation, was sponsored by straight ally Representative Vera Katz, a Jewish woman who as a child had fled the Holocaust by walking over the Pyrenees. After leaving the Oregon House, Katz was elected Portland Mayor, where she mentored her gay chief of staff Sam Adams, who would later become Portland Mayor.

(http://www.glapn.org/6170verakatz.html)   

Vera Katz’s major cosponsor of HB 2930 was an Arab American, straight ally Representative Stephen Kafoury. 

(http://glapn.org/6008stevenkafoury.html)

 

Gladys and Bill McCoy were two of our earliest straight allies. In 1970, Gladys became the first African American to be elected to public office in Oregon. In 1972, her husband Bill became the first African American to be elected to the Oregon Legislature. The following year, Bill was a cosponsor of HB 2930, Oregon’s first sexual orientation non-discrimination bill. In 1996, the Oregon Legislature designated Gladys and Bill McCoy the “first African-American political family of Oregon.” The resolution called them “the modern-day pioneers who blazed the trail for members of the State’s African-American community” through their efforts in the struggle for equal protection and opportunity. 

(http://www.glapn.org/6090mccoy.html)

 

Gladys and Bill McCoy were two of our earliest straight allies. In 1970, Gladys became the first African American to be elected to public office in Oregon. In 1972, her husband Bill became the first African American to be elected to the Oregon Legislature. The following year, Bill was a cosponsor of HB 2930, Oregon’s first sexual orientation non-discrimination bill. In 1996, the Oregon Legislature designated Gladys and Bill McCoy the “first African-American political family of Oregon.” The resolution called them “the modern-day pioneers who blazed the trail for members of the State’s African-American community” through their efforts in the struggle for equal protection and opportunity. 

(http://www.glapn.org/6090mccoy.html)


In April of 1973, the Oregon District Branch of the American Psychiatric Association issued a statement saying that “there is no proper medical basis to accord homosexuals less than full and equal protection. No evidence exists that proves that homosexuals function less well in occupations than heterosexuals.” Thus, “A policy of judging job applicants on their individual merit would be most consistent with the furthering of each person’s mental health.” The statement concluded: “We therefore would support legislation that would ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in basic areas of human rights such as employment, housing, public accommodation, and education. Specifically, we endorse HB 2930 now pending before the Oregon Legislature.” This amazingly supportive statement was issued eight months before the national board of the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-1) in which it had designated homosexuality a "sociopathic personality disturbance." 

(http://www.glapn.org/6181PaulyAPA.html,
http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2008/12/15/7128)

 

Oregon’s first Pride celebration was an indoor Portland event held in 1971. The first outdoor celebration was in 1975, the first march in 1977. Today, there are around six regional annual Pride events throughout the state. Portland’s is the most diverse and largest, with a parade crowd of about of 25,000 people. Other Oregon regional Prides include Eugene/Springfield; Capital (Salem); Oregon Coast (Lincoln City); Southern Oregon (Ashland); and Central Oregon (Bend). Saturday in the Park is the annual Pride celebration in Vancouver, Washington. 

The celebration was originally called Gay Pride. Today it is usually referred to only as Pride and is inclusive of the entire LGBTQ spectrum.

Events are also held by Portland Black Pride, Portland Latino Gay Pride, and Portland Asian Pacific Islander Pride.

(http://glapn.org/6022TimelineSince1970.html)

 

In 1975-1976, the gay civil rights group Portland Town Council (PTC) published a booklet called A Legislative Guide to Gay Rights. Its writing was spearheaded by Susie Shepherd, a pioneering gay woman PTC member. The booklet was aimed at educating policy makers on the gay issue. It was 76 pages and won rave reviews in the national gay press. It was sold in LGBTQ bookstores across the U.S. and from England to Australia. 

(http://www.glapn.org/6326PortlandTownCouncil.html)

 

In 1979, the gay civil rights group Portland Town Council (PTC) formed Town Council Foundation for which it received non-profit tax exempt status from IRS. It was one of eight gay non-profits that were given IRS tax free status the same day. Previous to that, IRS refused all such applications from gay groups because they thought the non-profits were too political. 

The foundation eventually became Phoenix Rising, a counselling center for gay men and lesbians. Most early gay social programs included a mental-health component, which is the only way we could be assured that we would be seeing gay-friendly counselors.

(From a private interview with PTC’s Jerry Weller)

 

Two of Oregon’s early gay activists, Terry Bean and Jerry Weller, were cofounders of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), today the country’s largest LGBTQ advocacy group. Terry Bean also cofounded the national Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, which seeks to help qualified LGBTQ candidates get elected to public office.

(http://glapn.org/6022TimelineSince1970.html)

 

Oregon’s PFLAGs (originally an acronym for Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) evolved from a group called POG (Parents of Gays). The founders were Charles and Rita Knapp, parents of lesbian activist Kristan Knapp; and Bill and Ann Shepherd, parents of gay activist Susie Shepherd. Today, PFLAG is fully supportive of the entire LGBTQ spectrum. 

There are currently about 13 PFLAG chapters in Oregon, many of them in small towns and rural areas. Often, they are the only advocates for LGBTQ equality in their areas.

About half of the participants are LGBTQ, while the other half are straight allies. 

(http://pflagpdx.org/wordpress/)

 

Audria Mae Edwards had six children, four of whom were LGBTQ: a gay son, a transgender daughter, a bisexual daughter, and a lesbian daughter. Audria was the second president of the PFLAG Portland, and the first African American in the country to head a PFLAG chapter. She was a second mother to numerous kids who were distanced from their families because they were LGBTQ. She was also a committed activist for LGBTQ equality. Audria’s legacy lives on through the work of the Audria M. Edwards Scholarship Fund and Peacock Productions, Inc. whose shows support it. The first scholarships were granted at the Peacock in the Park show in 1989. Since then, over $210,000 has been granted to LGBTQ students and the children of LGBTQ parents living in Oregon or Southwest Washington. The program is currently being administered by Peacock Productions, Inc. under the leadership of long-time LGBTQ community activists Maria Council and Kimberlee Van Patten. 

(Information provided via email from Kimberlee Van Patten)


Straight ally Barbara Roberts served as a board member of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBTQ equality organization, while she was Oregon governor. In fact, Barbara has been a stalwart ally since 1973.
(http://glapn.org/6160barbroberts.html)


Pioneering African American lesbian activist Kathleen D. Gunnell Saadat has long worked for the equality of women, people of color, and LGBTQ people. In the past few years, she has accumulated four lifetime achievement awards. The most recent was given to her by PFLAG Portland Black Chapter in early 2014. That award will subsequently be named for Kathleen. 

(http://www.pqmonthly.com/pflag-portland-black-chapter-holds-fifth-anniversary-celebration/19872

 

Founded in 1989, Equity Foundation is “Oregon’s only grant-making institution established to fund programs and projects that advance equality for those in the LGBTQ community.” One of the many programs Equity manages is the Pride of the Rose Scholarship which has granted over $435,000 since its inception. It is financed through fundraising done by a special scholarship leadership group, many of whom have also been involved in Portland’s Imperial Sovereign Rose Court.

Another Equity program, the Bill and Ann Shepherd Legal Scholarship Fund, named for the cofounders of PFLAG Portland, benefits third and fourth year law students interested in the field of LGBTQ civil rights.
Since its founding, the fund has granted more than $127,000. Shepherd Scholars have made impressive professional contributions to LGBTQ equality. Most of the scholarship’s money is now raised at an annual fundraiser, A Class Act, organized by Bill and Ann’s veteran gay activist daughter, Susie Shepherd.

Another Equity program, the Bill and Ann Shepherd Legal Scholarship Fund, named for the cofounders of PFLAG Portland, benefits third and fourth year law students interested in the field of LGBTQ civil rights.
Since its founding by Jeff Rose when he stepped down as Mr. Portland Leather, the fund has granted more than $127,000. Shepherd Scholars have made impressive professional contributions to LGBTQ equality. Most of the scholarship’s money is now raised at an annual fundraiser, A Class Act, organized by Bill and Ann’s veteran gay activist daughter, Susie Shepherd.

(http://www.equityfoundation.org/)    

Pride Foundation is a regional community foundation that inspires giving to expand opportunities and advance full equality for (LGBTQ) people across the Northwest.

(http://www.pridefoundation.org/)

 

Our state is blessed with many excellent choral groups that are LGBTQ identified. The members of these groups serve as ambassadors to the general community by creating works of art that can enrich the lives of every Oregonian.

Founded in 1986, the Portland Lesbian Choir was the first choral group in the nation to be exclusively lesbian identified in name.

The Portland Gay Men’s Chorus offers “performances that honor and uplift the gay community and affirm the worth of all people.”

The Soromundi Lesbian Choir of Eugene states “Our mission is to come together in song to celebrate ourselves and our community as a visible expression of lesbian pride.” It has recently surpassed 100 members!

Members of the Salem based Confluence Willamette Valley LGBT Chorus “sing music which celebrates and affirms the lives” of LGBT people. 
(http://glapn.org/6347Choral2013.html)   

The Portland GSA Youth Chorus is a “safe and welcoming place for all youth ages 13-22 to unite for the love of music. It is “open to all LGBTQ and straight allied youth in the area.” (https://www.facebook.com/PortlandGSAYouthChorus/info?tab=page_info)

 

Founded in early 2009, PFLAG Portland Black Chapter (PPBC) was the first PFLAG group in the nation to be created by and for the African American community. Participation is inclusive to all sexual orientations, races, and gender identities. PPBC’s work has contributed to equality for all LGBTQ people.

(http://glapn.org/6477A&KEdwards.html)


The AIDS crisis was devastating to gay and bisexual men in Oregon. It would have been much worse if it were not for the efforts of Cascade AIDS Project in the Portland metro and HIV Alliance to the south. By helping those already infected, while at the same time educating people to stop the spread of HIV, these two organizations have saved the lives of and made life better for countless Oregonians.   

(http://cascadeaids.org/,
http://www.hivalliance.org/)

 

Direct democracy instruments, including the initiative, referendum, and recall, were originally considered progressive and called “the Oregon System”. But they ended up being fearsome tools used against gay men and lesbians through anti-gay ballot measures and the recall of officials who opposed them.

Oregon Measure 9 in 1992 was described by civil rights attorney Charlie Hinkle as “the most vicious anti-gay and lesbian ballot measure that has ever existed in the United States.” It was only one of about 35 anti-gay ballot measures Oregonians have experienced, almost certainly more than in any other state in the nation. 

However, our resistance and our response to those challenges have strengthened our community and gained us countless straight allies. As of May 19, 2014, all Oregon anti-ballot measures that had passed were overridden or declared invalid by state law or court rulings. 

(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffio4CY-R1M,
http://www.glapn.org/6013OregonAntiGayMeasures.html)

 

The first Oregon LGBTQ newspaper, the Fountain, was founded in 1971. Since then, we have had many publications, but only for brief periods have we ever been without at least one.

After the Fountain, newspapers have included the Northwest Gay Review, the Oregon Gay Rights Report, the Northwest Fountain, Cascade Voice, Just Out, Lavender Network, and most recently PQ Monthly. In addition to its paper edition, PQ Monthly offers an online version, a regularly updated blog, and an informative Facebook page. 

Community electronic communications have included KBOO radio’s Out Loud program; the LGBTQ focused Wild Planet Radio; and Internet blogs such as Facebook group LGBTQ Portland.

(http://www.aboutfacemag.com/interviews/business/melanie-davis/)    


When he was elected Portland Mayor in 2008, Sam Adams became the first openly gay mayor of one of the country’s 30 largest cities.

(http://glapn.org/6014OregonLGBTElected.html)

 

Kate Brown, who identifies as bisexual, was elected Secretary of State in 2008, and reelected in 2012. In February 2015, John Kitzhaber resigned as Oregon Governor. In accordance with the state constitution, Kate became governor, the first instance in any state of someone becoming governor while openly LGBTQ. The other three openly LGBTQ statewide elected officials identify as gay or lesbian. They are Oregon Supreme Court Justices Rives Kistler and Virginia Linder; and Oregon Court of Appeals Judge Lynn Nakamoto.

(http://www.glapn.org/6014OregonLGBTElected.html,
http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2015/02/live_updates_kate_brown_become.html)


Oregon has had one or more openly gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people elected to public office; and one or more openly gay men, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people appointed to public office. 

(http://www.glapn.org/6014OregonLGBTElected.html,
http://www.glapn.org/6015OregonLGBTAppointed.html)

 

Oregon’s major immigrant rights group Causa states that “LGBT equality is a critical component to Causa’s organizational values of dignity and respect for all.” For three years through 2014, the group employed gay Argentine American Christian Baeff as LGBT Alliance Building Coordinator. 

(http://causaoregon.org/ourissues/lgbt-equality/)

 

Basic Rights Oregon (BRO) has been our state’s primary advocate organization for LGBTQ equality since 1996. In 2007, its efforts helped lead to the passage of the Oregon Equality Act to protect LGBTQ people from discrimination. BRO was also instrumental in getting passage of the Oregon Family Fairness Act which created one of the nation’s most comprehensive domestic partner systems.

Realizing that domestic partnerships are not equal to marriage, BRO launched a campaign to educate the public on the importance of the freedom to marry. This strategy has been adopted in other states, and was a foundation of election year 2012 victories for marriage equality. In 2014, Basic Rights Education Fund became a plaintiff in one of the two federal lawsuits seeking to overturn Oregon’s ban on same-gender marriage. On May 19, 2014, a federal judge ruled Oregon’s same-gender marriage ban unconstitutional. Weddings started the same day. 

BRO also puts a strong emphasis on racial and transgender equality. 

http://glapn.org/6480BasicRightsOregon.html

 

As founder and Executive Director of TransActive Gender Center, Jenn Burleton leads a team that provides services focused on the needs of transgender and gender nonconforming children, youth, and their families. She is recognized nationally for the work that she and TransActive are doing.

(http://www.transactiveonline.org/index.php)

After his own gender transition, Reid Vanderburgh became a therapist to support the transitions of others in the LGBTQ community. He began his counseling practice in 2001, and retired from private practice in 2010 to focus on writing and teaching. In 2006, Reid published the first edition of his book, Transition and Beyond: Observations on Gender Identity.

(From an email Reid sent me)

 

Many Native American cultures revered their LGBTQ people, calling them “Two Spirits” because they embodied both masculine and feminine energies.

As a member of the Klamath Tribe, Amanda Wright is the founder of the Portland Two-Spirit Society (PTSS). She is among native leaders nationally who are reviving the Two Spirit tradition. Amanda says although it was scary at first, overall she has found acceptance and respect while working against homophobia in the Native community.

PTSS was formed in May 2012 as a social group for Two Spirits, but has since taken on a cultural and educational role. The group has joined forces with 2SY, the Two Spirit Youth group run by the Native American Rehabilitation Association, and is developing a youth curriculum and tool kit including coming out stories and cultural workshops.

(http://glapn.org/6350AmandaBringsPlentyWright2013.html)

 

When she was selected to become Oregon’s House Speaker for the 2013 legislative session, Representative Tina Kotek became the nation’s first openly lesbian leader of a state legislative chamber. She was selected to retain that position for the session that started two years later. 

(http://www.glapn.org/6014OregonLGBTElected.html)

 

In 1992, openly gay minister Cecil Prescod helped organize People of Faith Against Bigotry (PFAB), an interfaith organization that opposed anti-gay ballot measures. PFAB did some unique outreach including monthly gathering of opposing religious voices in 1993. The organization laid the foundation for subsequent LGBTQ related work in religious communities in Oregon.

Openly lesbian minister Tara Wilkins serves as Executive Director of Community of Welcoming Congregations (CWC). She has expanded the organization to be interfaith and inclusive of congregations throughout Oregon and southwest Washington.

Through her work with CWC and in the community Rev. Wilkins has tirelessly fought for LGBTQ rights on state, local and religious fronts. She has been instrumental in engaging communities across the theological spectrum on LGBTQ issues, working for inclusion and equality for LGBTQ people.

(http://glapn.org/6312clergy.html)

 

 In 2008, Kendall Clawson came to Oregon to serve as Portland’s Q Center Executive Director. She left that position in 2011 to become a member of Governor John Kitzhaber's Senior Staff. As Director of Executive Appointments, Kendall became responsible for working with the Governor to recruit and make appointments to 312 boards, commissions, task forces, and work groups.

In this position, Kendall worked to make boards, commissions, task forces, and work groups more representative of communities that that were underrepresented in the past -- namely women, people of color, and LGBTQ people. As an African American lesbian, Kendall applied her understanding of this need to the task of fulfilling it. When Kendall took the position, only 6% of the people in those appointments were people of color. Now, that percentage is 22%. During that time, the percentage of women in these positions rose from 17% to 48%. Numerous LGBTQ people have also been appointed, giving our community a voice it had not had in the past. On August 19, 2014, Governor Kitzhaber announced that he had promoted Kendall to his deputy chief of staff for community engagement.

 (http://www.pqmonthly.com/kendall-clawson-promoted-governor-kitzhabers-deputy-chief-staff/20823)

 

Openly gay University of Oregon law professor Dominick “Dom” Vetri began teaching an LGBTQ Legal Issues course at the Law School in 1981, at a time when only about a handful of law schools around the country were doing so. He also joined with a small group of law school teachers to persuade the American Association of Law Schools to permit a Gay and Lesbian Law Section of law teachers to be formed which would meet annually and discuss legal and policy issues. Several years later they were able to add sexual orientation to their non-discrimination policy for all law schools in the U.S.

In 2008, the University of Oregon’s Public Interest Public Service (“PIPS”) Program presented him the first “Champion of the Public Interest Award.” Afterwards, the award became the “Dom Vetri Champion of the Public Interest Award”, presented each year to a recipient whose commitment to the public interest honors Dom’s legacy. In 2012, Dom received the University of Oregon’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Award for his civil rights work over the years.
    
(http://glapn.org/6028DomVetri.html)

 

Always advocating for her multi-racial, non-traditional family, Bonnie Tinker founded Love Makes a Family in 1992 as an offshoot of PFLAG Portland. Love Makes a Family is a non-profit supporting parents and children in LGBTQ families. Bonnie told her story through writing, speeches, workshops, and talk radio. She was active in the early 1990s, countering anti-gay ballot measures while welcoming interactions with the opposition. 
 
Bonnie and her partner Sara Graham raised four kids together, and were some of the earliest advocates of Oregon marriage equality. In 2004, they were wed during the brief window when Multnomah County was issuing licenses to same-gender couples. Five years later, Bonnie was killed when a large truck hit her bicycle while she was attending a conference on nonviolence. Her work lives on through the spirit of LGBTQ families she helped promote.

(http://glapn.org/6323BonnieTinker.html)

 

Geiger v. Kitzhaber and Rummell v. Kitzhaber were two consolidated federal lawsuits that overturned Oregon’s ban on same-gender marriage on May 19, 2014. They were the first two cases that were won in a U.S. District Court that were not appealed.

Geiger v. Kitzhaber plaintiff attorneys were openly gay Lake James Perriguey (a Shepherd Scholar) and openly lesbian Lea Ann Easton. The core plaintiff litigation team for Rummell v. Kitzhaber were openly gay Misha Isaak, openly lesbian Jennifer Middleton, and straight allies Kevin Diaz and Tom Johnson. The cases were heard by and decided by Judge Michael McShane, who is also openly gay. 

(From an email sent by Misha Isaak)


A huge advance for Portland’s LGBTQ community was the founding of Q Center in 2004. Located at 4115 N. Mississippi Avenue, Q Center “provides a safe space to support and celebrate LGBTQ diversity, visibility, and community building.” It also “builds public awareness and support, and celebrates LGBTQ diversity through art, culture, and collaborative community programming.”

(http://www.pdxqcenter.org/)

 

Many organizations have been founded to help Oregon LGBTQ youth.

Oregon Safe Schools and Communities Coalition (OSSCC) works to support community efforts to reduce youth suicide and other risk behaviors in the often hidden and historically underserved LGBTQ youth population. (http://www.oregonsafeschools.org/about/)   

The Sexual & Gender Minority Youth Resource Center (SMYRC) “has created safety and support for LGBTQQ youth in Oregon, through youth empowerment, community building, education and direct services.” It is currently under the direction of Q Center. (http://www.pdxqcenter.org/programs/youth-programs/smyrc/)  

Queer Intersections Portland advocates for, promotes the visibility of, and works “to build stronger communities for LGBTQ youth & young adults with intersecting marginalized identities.” (http://www.qiportland.org/)  


The Gay & Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest (GLAPN), the publisher of this presentation, can best be described as the LGBTQ history organization of Oregon. However, it has also documented some history of other parts of the Northwest. 

GLAPN is a community based group with no paid staff. It is also an affiliate of the Oregon Historical Society. Research by GLAPN has been recognized by the mainstream press and has been used extensively in Oregon LGBTQ equality efforts. 

To give feedback or to donate, please contact GLAPN at info@glapn.org.   

 


 

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