OREGON LGBTQ TIMELINE STARTING IN 1970
By the Gay & Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest (GLAPN)
Primary contributors: Pat Young, Dave Kohl,
George Nicola, Robin Will.
Additional input from Susie Shepherd, Jerry Weller, Steve Fulmer, Cindy Cumfer, Katharine English, Kristan Aspen
Last updated: May 11, 2016
This article is a chronological listing of some but not all major events that have affected LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) Oregonians since 1970. This is not meant to be a comprehensive history, but a starting point from which more detailed research can be done. Suggested edits and questions may be sent to email@example.com.
When we refer to “the movement”, we are speaking of the movement which began in 1970 as the “gay movement”; was at one point called the “gay and lesbian movement”; now is sometimes called the “LGBT movement” for lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender; and is most recently being called the “LGBTQ movement” for the community as described in the previous paragraph.
When we speak of “gay civil rights”, we refer to laws that ban discrimination based on sexual orientation – whether a person is homosexual, bisexual, or heterosexual. When we use the term “LGBTQ civil rights”, we means laws that ban discrimination based on both sexual orientation and gender identity – whether someone is transgender or not transgender (cisgender). However, in some statutes, gender identity may be built into the definition of sexual orientation.
The following are keys for sources of information. All of these people have identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or queer.
- Young: GLAPN member and historian Pat Young who teaches an LGBTQ history Capstone class at Portland State University.
- Nicola: GLAPN historian George T. Nicola, movement activist starting in 1970.
- Weller: Jerry Weller, early movement activist with a number of groups.
- Shepherd: Susie Shepherd, early movement activist with a number of groups.
- Fulmer: Steve Fulmer, early movement activist with a number of groups.
- Cumfer: Cindy Cumfer, early movement activist and pioneering attorney.
- English: Katharine English, pioneer movement attorney.
- Aspen: Kristin Aspen, pioneer movement activist.
- Kohl: Dave Kohl, movement historian and author.
- Will: GLAPN secretary Robin Will who compiles much of our information.
- CPP: The book A Curious and Peculiar People (Spirit Press, 2005) written by GLAPN member Dave Kohl in 2007.
- When no source is stated, the information generally comes from Dave Kohl’s book A Curious and Peculiar People or from historian Pat Young.
If there is more than one key after an item, the last one is the person who added the item to this article, while the previous one or more indicate the source of the information.
The people mentioned positively in the Timeline have generally identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or queer unless otherwise specified. The other two groupings usually identify as either transgender people; or non-LGBTQ people, who are often referred to as straight allies or just allies. However, unless otherwise stated, politicians, public office holders, and PFLAG parents have usually identified as non-LGBTQ.
- John Wilkinson, a gay staff member of the Willamette Bridge newspaper, writes an article that leads him, his partner Dave Davenport, and lesbian staff member Holly Hart to start the Portland Gay Liberation Front. It is Oregon’s first politically oriented gay organization. (http://glapn.org/6130nicolagaymovement.html , Nicola)
- Portland State College Gay Men's Union begins meeting.
- David Larsen, Randy Shiltz, Terry Bean, and Larry Monocle hold the first meeting of the Eugene Gay People's Alliance.
- The Second Foundation of Oregon is organized in Portland by committee of Father Kiernan Healy, Neil Hutchins, and Dennis Kennedy. Early officers are George Oberg, Larry Beck, and Dave Fredrickson. It is both a social and political organization.
- The Imperial Sovereign Rose Court holds its first public elections to select an Empress instead of having judges select one during a Ball. Tracey St. James wins the election and becomes Empress XIV. In 1972, Darcelle becomes the 15th Empress.
- The first identified worship service of a Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), a gay welcoming and largely gay denomination, is held at Centenary-Wilbur Methodist Church. The attempt to establish a local congregation falters, but eventually a congregation is established in 1976 under guidance from Denis Moore, David Rushong, John Rushong, and Nita Gates.
- Several feminist lesbians form the Prescott House as a halfway house for women who are getting out of prison. Later it becomes the Bradley Angle House, a place to help female victims of domestic violence. The organization continues to be strong to the present.
- Oregon repeals the 1913 sodomy statute, effective January 1, 1972. The law and its court interpretations had criminalized most types of homosexual conduct. With the reform, all consensual adult private non-commercial sexual conduct is legal. Oregon is the fourth state in the union to repeal its sodomy statute. Despite the repeal, a catch-all solicitation law, "accosting for deviate purposes" is added to the code. (http://www.glapn.org/sodomylaws/sensibilities/oregon.htm, Nicola)
- The Second Foundation launches a newspaper called The Fountain. It is the first specifically gay periodical in Oregon. Neil Hutchins is the editor.
- Pioneer lesbian attorney Cindy Cumfer recalls the impact of what was referred to as the Portland “women’s community”, which was primarily lesbian and which started to congeal in about 1971. The community “organized around collective households, a radical feminist perspective, social events, athletic activities, and to some degree lesbian bars.” It “founded and was hugely involved in numerous nonprofit organizations.” Cindy notes, “It was an often intentional effort to support woman-identified woman energy, to consider and create women-centered non-oppressive values, to create communal spaces where women could interact, and to fight oppression. These women began creating some of the first lesbian families with children from heterosexual unions, donor insemination, or in later years formal adoption. It was definitely a genesis of the modern gay family/gay marriage movement.” (Cumfer, Nicola)
- Portland’s first gay community center is opened by Second Foundation above the Other Inn Tavern, 258 SW Alder Street.
- At its preprimary convention in Klamath Falls, the Democratic Party of Oregon adopts into its platform a gay civil right plank written by George T. Nicola, a gay activist working primarily through the Second Foundation. The plank calls for legislation that would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and marital status. At that time, non-discrimination based on gender identity is thought to be covered by existing statutes that banned discrimination based on sex (gender). (http://glapn.org/6110earlyattenpts.html ,Nicola)
- Before the May primary, George T. Nicola, working through the Second Foundation, creates a candidate survey. It is sent to Oregon state and Portland area local candidates, and asks their positions on legislation banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and marital status. Percentage ratings are assigned to candidates based on their responses. The rating results are distributed within the Portland gay community through flyers. They were probably also published in The Fountain newspaper. (http://glapn.org/6110earlyattenpts.html , Nicola)
- The Gay Women's Caucus and the Women’s Health Clinic are founded.
- A Woman’s Place Bookstore opens in Southeast Portland. It moves to several locations during its 17 year existence. The Women's Resource Fund and the Women's Liberation School are founded. These are not specifically lesbian, but they include many lesbians as well as straight women who are supportive.
- Pythian Building becomes home of "Six Under", a collection of gay offices, a second Gay Community Center, a version of MCC, and The Fountain. Financial woes eclipse success.
- A gay father in Oregon who has had sole custody of his two sons for 11 years is told by a court that he has to end his relationship with another man in order to keep custody of his sons.
- Under the leadership of the Second Foundation, groups from around Oregon meet for the first Oregon Gay Political Caucus. They include the Klamath Gay Union, Southern Oregon College Gay Students Union, Eugene Gay People’s Alliance, Salem Area Gay Activists, Portland Gay Women’s Liberation, Portland Gay Men’s Liberation, Portland Lesbian Mothers, and the Second Foundation of Oregon. They make plans for the first statewide Oregon gay civil rights bill which would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation throughout Oregon. (CPP)
- George T. Nicola, a gay activist representing the Oregon Gay Political Caucus and the Second Foundation, writes and lobbies for Oregon’s first gay civil rights bill in the Oregon Legislature. He is mentored by straight ally Gretchen Kafoury, a lobbyist for women’s issues. House Bill 2930 would have banned discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment and housing. The bill’s primary House cosponsors are Vera Katz and Stephen Kafoury. It gains 17 cosponsors, all of whom identify as straight. (http://www.glapn.org/6110earlyattenpts.html )
- The Oregon District Branch of the American Psychiatric Association issues a statement supporting HB 2930, stating that it is in the best interest of mental health. “No evidence exists that proves that homosexuals function less well in occupations than heterosexuals,” it reads. Thus, “A policy of judging job applicants on their individual merit would be most consistent with the furthering of each person’s mental health.” (http://glapn.org/6181PaulyAPA.html , Nicola)
- An Oregon House committee holds a hearing on HB 2930. Among those who testify are ally Rita Knapp, who would later be a cofounder of PFLAG Portland; Randy Shiltz, who went on to become a pioneering gay newspaper reporter and historian; gay activist Steve Fulmer who later becomes a founder of a number of Oregon LGBTQ related groups; ACLU attorney Charlie Hinkle; Peggy Burton, a schoolteacher who had been fired for being a lesbian; and lobbyist George T. Nicola. (http://glapn.org/6110earlyattenpts.html#Thebillhearing11, Nicola)
- HB 2930 misses Oregon House passage by two votes short of a majority. However, it creates a sense of purpose and identity instrumental in building today’s large statewide LGBTQ movement. A similar bill is introduced in every subsequent legislative session until it is finally passed in 2007. At some point in those 34 years, gender identity protection was added, and was included in the 2007 statute. (http://glapn.org/6110earlyattenpts.html#Finalvote14, Nicola)
- ● The U.S. District Court rules that the firing of Oregon public school teacher Peggy Burton based on her lesbianism was "wrongful". It awards her $10,000 in damages, plus a modest amount of attorney fees. However, the court refuses to reinstate her to her old position, on the grounds that reinstatement "would not work" in the small town where she had taught. (http://glapn.org/6007historyLGBTQQrights.html , http://www.leagle.com/decision/1973607353FSupp254_1571 , Nicola)
- The Fountain Northwest, a Portland gay newspaper, is started. (CPP, Nicola)
- David Van Wagner, an openly gay man and a counselor with the Oregon Employment Department, is appointed to the Metropolitan Human Relations Commission after extensive lobbying by gay activists. (Nicola)
- The Portland City Council adopts Resolution Number 31510 banning job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation for city employees. It is sponsored by city Commissioner Connie McCready. The vote was 3-2, with McCready, Commissioner Charles Jordan, and Mayor Neil Goldschmidt voting yes; Commissioners Mildred Schwab and Frank Ivancie voting no. At that time, all City Council members were straight identified. (http://glapn.org/6012MilestonesLGBTQQLaw.html, Nicola)
- A few lesbians buy land in Southern Oregon and start the collective, Womanshare. Women living in Wolf Creek and other communal land publish WomanSpirit.
- The Portland Association of Gay Equality wants Portland Mayor Neil Goldschmidt to issue a proclamation for Gay Pride Week, but the Mayor does not issue one.
- Kristan Aspen and Naomi Little Bear form the Ursa Minor Choir, a primarily lesbian music group.
- A Portland gay newspaper called Northwest Gay Review is launched by Lanny Swerdlow and Neil Hutchins. (CPP, Nicola)
- Larry Copeland takes Portland Town Council (PTC), which at that point was a relatively non-functioning gay bar coordinating organization, and evolves it into Portland’s major group promoting gay equality. Later that year, Susie Shepherd joins the PTC board. Jerry Weller moves to Portland shortly after that and joins the group. PTC raises money by various means, including through drag shows performed at some of Portland’s gay bars. It also maintains a mailing list and publishes a newsletter, Oregon Gay Rights Review, which is used to solicit operational funds.
(http://glapn.org/6326PortlandTownCouncil.html, Shepherd, Weller, Nicola)
- Portland gay activist Ken Allison is hired by PTC to lobby for a gay civil rights bill in the Oregon Legislature. It fails passage in the House by just one vote short of a majority. (http://glapn.org/6110earlyattenpts.html#SubsequentOregonstatewide18, Nicola)
- About 200 people attend Portland’s first outdoor, public gay pride celebration in the autumn, in the South Park Blocks near Portland State University. It is sponsored by Oregon Town Council. (Weller, Nicola)
- Several feminist lesbians form the Prescott House as a halfway house for women who were getting out of prison. Later it becomes the Bradley Angle House -- a place to help victim of domestic violence. It is named for Sharon Bradley and Pam Angle, who died from the violence of living on the streets in Portland, Oregon, Bradley Angle was the first domestic violence shelter on the West Coast. As of 2013, Bradley Angle provides a continuum of domestic violence and sexual assault support services for survivors and their children.
- The PTC publishes an 80-page booklet titled A Legislative Guide to Gay Rights. PTC hopes the guide will educate legislatures about gay issues so that eventually a gay civil rights bill will pass. The primary author is Susie Shepherd.
- The Community Law Project begins. It includes a number of lesbian attorneys. According to former CLP lawyer Katharine English, “The CLP won the first contested lesbian custody case in Oregon. The firm represented gay men and lesbians in a variety of causes.” (English, Nicola)
- Portland Town Council has a candidate fundraiser for Oregon state Representatives Vera Katz and Stephen Kafoury. The cost per person is $5. According to Susie Shepherd, they “argued long and hard if that was too much to charge.” The spaghetti feed nets $230. PTC splits the money evenly between Vera and Stephen. (Shepherd, Nicola)
- At urging of PTC’s Larry Copeland, Governor Bob Straub creates the Task Force on Sexual Preference to study discrimination against gays. Gladys McCoy, a straight ally since 1972, facilitates the formation in her then current role as the Governor’s Ombudsman. The committee is chaired by Holly Hart, who had in 1970 been a cofounder of the Portland Gay Liberation Front. One of the committee’s members is straight ally Ann Shepherd, who would later cofound Parents of Gays (POG), later to become PFLAG Portland. Another member is straight ally psychologist Libby Anderson. The Task Force recommends that parents of gays organize a support group for their kids. This helps lead to the creation of PFLAG Portland.
- Straight allies Anne and Bill Shepherd, and Charles and Rita Knapp organize Parents of Gays (POG), later to become Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) Portland. They set up a table at the Gay Pride rally for people to sign up for their new group.
- Metropolitan Community Church is founded. Rev. Austin Amerine is the founding pastor. It is chartered the next year.
- In primary elections for the Oregon Legislature, several anti-gay incumbents lose to supporters of a gay civil rights bill even though the incumbents used their challengers’ support against them in the election.
- In the general election, Congressman Les AuCoin of Oregon, who co-sponsored the federal sexual orientation civil rights bill is targeted by opponent Phil Bladine for his sponsorship, but wins reelection handily.
- The Superintendent of the Oregon State Police states his opposition to having gay members.
- Larry Copeland and the Shepherds help launch the PTC Legal Resources Committee — the predecessor to OGALLA, the Oregon LGBT Bar Association -- which provides attorneys to promote the fair and just treatment of all people under the law regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity and furthers the professional development and advancement of LGBT lawyers, legal workers and law students. (http://pflagpdx.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/PFLAG-PDX-30th-Anniversary-History-3-portrait.pdf )
- Oregon enacts a domestic violence law which covers all cohabiters, regardless of gender.
- In spring 1977, POG [Parents of Gays, predecessor of PFLAG Portland] gets two huge breaks. The first is the live Sunday television show Town Hall in May, 1977 on the topic of homosexuality. Within hours, POG’s phone is ringing off the hook. The other is Jann Mitchell’s front-page interview for The Oregon Journal, published on June 25, 1977, Gay Pride Day.” (http://pflagpdx.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/PFLAG-PDX-30th-Anniversary-History-3-portrait.pdf ).
- After considerable lobbying by Jerry Weller, Portland Mayor Neil Goldschmidt issues a proclamation for Gay Pride Day. Negative phone calls pour into his office as opponents launch a short-lived effort to oust the Mayor.
- The Eugene City Council amends the city’s human rights ordinance to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment, housing, and public accommodations.
- Portland’s Metropolitan Community Church purchases Church of Good Tidings at NE 24th and Broadway for $87,000. MCC takes possession in January 1978 and it becomes a de facto gay community center and most visible location of the gay community.
- The Dyketones perform at a New Year’s Eve party. They dress in politically incorrect clothes and put lesbian-themed lyrics to songs – thus changing “My Girl” into “My Dyke”.
- The PTC hires gay activist Leo Gaul to lobby for a gay civil rights bill in the Oregon Legislature. He works out of the office of straight ally Representative Gretchen Kafoury who had just been elected to the House for the first time. (Gretchen Kafoury, Nicola)
- Eugene voters approve Measure 51, which repeals the 1977 city ordinance that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation. (http://glapn.org/6006ballotmeasures.html , Nicola)
- This year’s Oregon Women’s Conference has the greatest number and variety of lesbian workshops in conference history.
- A bisexual support group gets underway thanks to a notice in the Portland Town Council newsletter.
- Oregon gay activist Terry Bean works with groups in other parts of the U.S. to create the Gay Rights National Lobby. (Nicola)
- San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk is assassinated. The tragedy galvanizes gay communities nationwide. A memorial at MCC Portland features speakers Holly Hart and Jerry Weller.
- Jerry Weller gets the City Club to invite MCC founder Troy Perry to address the group. (Weller, Nicola)
- PTC forms Portland Town Council Foundation and gets non-profit tax exempt status from IRS. Previous to that, IRS refused all such applications from gay groups because they thought the non-profits were too political. (Weller, Nicola)
- Portland Community Bowling Association begins with 50 bowlers and ten teams. By 1985, the association grows to 285 bowlers on 50 teams in three leagues.
- A candlelight march at South Park Blocks coincides with National March in Washington DC, co-sponsored by PTC.
- The Oregon Court of Appeals overturns a visitation restriction on a lesbian mother, six years after a gay father was forced to end his relationship to keep his sons.
- PTC’s Jerry Weller relates the gay civil rights attempt in this legislative session. The Oregon House passes a bill to ban sexual orientation discrimination. Carried by Senator Ted Kulongoski, the Oregon Senate also passes it. However, the Senate President holds it back and so the bill dies without going to the governor. (Weller, Nicola)
- By this time, three gay related groups are under one roof: The original Portland Town Council (PTC) which lobbies for legislation; PTC PAC which raises money for candidates; and the Town Council Foundation, which is tax exempt and does education. The latter group eventually became Phoenix Rising, an LGBT counselling center. Dr. Jack Abele and partner Warren James donate $30,000 to the foundation annually for five years. (Weller, Nicola)
- Attorneys Janet A. Metcalf and Katharine English start a law firm called English and Metcalf. English explains that this is “the first openly gay law firm serving the GLBT community.” It also spurs an educational program for judges and lawyers, which leads to a dramatic increase in wins of custody and visitation for gay men and lesbians. (English, Nicola)
- Mark Richards, Mark Jones, and Gary Coleman form the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus. Its first concert is at Pride. Steve Fulmer is the music director from 1982 to 1983.
- Ten incidents of gay bashing in Laurelhurst Park in Portland are reported during July and August.
- The national gay lobby group the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) is founded. Two cofounders are Oregon gay activists Terry Bean and Jerry Weller. Initially, HRC is a wing of the Gay Rights National Lobby, and was established to raise money for candidates, something the National Gay Rights Lobby was not permitted to do. Jerry Weller is appointed to the HRC board and elected vice president. HRC’s first contribution goes to the reelection campaign of U.S. Representative Jim Weaver of Eugene. (Weller, Nicola)
- Portland Women’s Counseling Collective organizes a lesbian support/therapy group that meets on Thursday nights.
- Cascade Chapter Knights of Malta incorporated in Portland. In 1989, the chapter opens membership to women.
- The Oregon Court of Appeals strikes down the state’s law against “accosting for deviate purposes,” a catch-all solicitation law aimed at gay men.
- Terry Bean, Jerry Weller, John Baker, Keeston Lowery, and Dana Weinstein start a new political organization called Right to Privacy. Later it becomes Right to Pride, so it is sometimes referred to as Right to Privacy/Pride or RTP. Its purpose is to raise much needed money for candidates who support gay civil rights. The organization raises $17,000 during its first Lucille Hart fund-raising dinner. It soon becomes Oregon’s major organization advocating equality for gay men and lesbians.
- Portland Gay Pride changes its name to Portland Lesbian and Gay Pride.
- The first AIDs-related death in Portland occurs.
- Neil Hutchins founds the periodical Cascade Voice. Staffer "Raunchy" Robert Paul Dunn starts The Eagle Newsmagazine three years later.
- Windfire rap group for GLBT teens starts at Holly Hart's Old Wives Tales, facilitated by Frank Jenkins.
- Town Council Foundation and Legacy Health system co-sponsor the first public forum on AIDS in Oregon for both health professionals and the gay male community. (Weller, Nicola)
- Reese House, Brown MacDonald, and others form Cascade AIDS Project (CAP). In 1985, Steve Fulmer works with PGMC and others to organize PALS (Personal Active Listeners) to support dying men. Both organizations merge with Brinker Trust in 1986 to form the current Cascade AIDS Project, (Fulmer, Nicola)
- In October, Just Out publishes its first edition with The Dyketones on the cover.
- Black Lesbians and Gays United forms in Portland.
- The "Dirty Triangle" disappears on SW Alder Street when the Grand Oasis, the Other Inn, and Dahl & Penne's close, for unrelated reasons.
- In a case brought by a gay teacher, the Oregon Court of Appeals rules that teachers cannot be dismissed for conduct unrelated to their teaching.
- Katharine English, a lawyer and strong supporter of gay civil rights, becomes a Juvenile Court referee. While she was in private practice, she had worked behind the scenes to educate judges about issues affecting gay men and lesbians.
- Multnomah County Board of Commissioners approves an ordinance prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation for county employees. Opponents threaten to force a public vote. To avoid an election, the commission repeals the ordinance in March of 1985 and replaces it with a resolution affirming the same concept.
- Bud Clark, a strong straight ally of gay equality, is elected mayor. He campaigns and celebrates at The Dirty Duck, a gay bar.
- Rose Court former empress XXIV Esther Hoffman dies of AIDS. His estate helps start CHESS (Community Health and Essential Support Services) including Esther's Pantry and Todd's Closet in 1985.
- Northwest Gender Alliance reaches out for new members with an ad in Just Out.
- Portland Mayor Bud Clark proclaims June 28th as Portland Gay Men’s Chorus day.
- Portland Police Chief Penny Harrington appoints Deputy Chief Tom Potter as the Portland Police Bureau’s liaison between the police and the gay community. While there have been other liaison between the groups, Potter is the first to be officially appointed.
- Newly elected Oregon Secretary of State Barbara Roberts requests the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus to sing at her inauguration, definitely elevating public awareness of Oregon's gay community.
- Lesbian Community Project (LCP) starts after a conference is held at Portland State University where women discussed their needs. LCP offers a place for lesbians to meet. It also offers a variety of services including seminars on homophobia and self-defense, sign language classes, Spanish classes, New Year’s Eve dances, and softball tournaments. Later, it becomes involved in fighting ant-gay ballot measures. The organization closes in 2008, but the softball tournaments continue.
- The Portland Lesbian Choir begins. It is the first music group with “lesbian” in its title.
- Portland’s first AIDS vigil is sponsored by MCC. It is led by Amanai Jabari, Wendell Glean, and Larry Foltz.
- PFLAG Portland proudly hosts the PFLAG National Conference in 1986 under the leadership of Chairperson Thelma McDonald. Mayor Bud Clark opens the conference and Secretary of State (later Governor) Barbara Roberts is a plenary speaker.
- An organization is formed under the auspices of CHESS, called CAN (Cascade AIDS Network) which is a joint fund raising activity for CAP, CHESS and the Brinker Trust. CAN sponsors “Performing Artists for Life” a charity concert held on February 28, 1986 in the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall featuring virtually all of Portland’s community choirs and a majority of players from the Oregon Symphony. That event is co-chaired by Gwyneth Gamble Booth and James DePriest. (Fulmer, Nicola)
- The Portland City Council approves an ordinance stating that city employees cannot be fired solely because their sexual orientation. The ordinance pulls together all the existing city personnel policies including the resolution adopted in 1974.
- In Bend, Oregon the Other Side forms to help people with AIDS. Soon it grows into an organization that serves as a political and non-political base for lesbians and gay men in that area.
- CAP (Cascade AIDS Project) organizes 'From all Walks of Life" walk-a-thon.
- Lady Elaine Peacock hosts the first of many "Peacock in the Park" celebrations in Washington Park Rose Garden. The event raises funds for Audria Edwards Youth Scholarship fund. Scholarships are awarded to gay men or lesbians, or to their children.
- The attempt to pass a statewide gay civil rights bill is turned over to the ACLU of Oregon. (Weller, Nicola)
- National AIDS quilt is displayed at University of Portland, and later at Memorial Coliseum, Juniper House, and Assisi House pioneer residential health care.
- Governor Neil Goldschmidt issues an executive order banning discrimination based on sexual orientation in the executive department of state employment. A group called the Oregon Citizens Alliance (OCA) sponsors the Oregon Ballot Measure 8, which would repeal Governor Goldschmidt’s executive order. The Measure passes. (http://glapn.org/6006ballotmeasures.html , Nicola)
- After being rejected two years in a row, Phoenix Rising Oregon group serving gay men and lesbians to join United Way. United Way allocates $16,000 to Phoenix Rising (mainly a counseling service) for the following year.
- Tri-Met pulls the Cascade AIDS Project ad “We can live together” from buses after receiving complaints that the ad promotes homosexuality.
- Juniper House opens in Portland as the first version of Our House. It is founded by a group of concerned Portlanders to provide housing and care needs of people with AIDS. (http://www.ourhouseofportland.org/about/history/ )
- Equity Foundation is founded by Jim Vegher, John Grigsby, Karen Keeney, Terry Bean and others from Right to Privacy PAC (RTP), with which it had a very close association as long as RTP existed. Steve Fulmer is the first secretary. Equity Foundation offers grants to organizations that respect diversity.
- For the first time, there is a gay and lesbian sponsored float in Portland’s Rose Festival Starlight Parade.
- As a result of lobbying on the part of RTP, Oregon enacts a hate crimes law that includes sexual orientation. This was the first statewide victory for any type of LGBTQ legal rights.
- The Children’s Services Division – knowing that Tracy Henson and Dee Ferguson are lesbians --- certifies them as foster parents.
- Portland lesbian Gail Shibley becomes the first openly LGBTQ person to join the Oregon Legislature when she is appointed to fill a vacant House seat. (http://glapn.org/6014OregonLGBTQElected.html, Nicola)
- Several employees at Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) sign up their partners for health insurance by scratching out the word “spouse” and replacing it with “domestic partner” on the insurance forms. The act leads to the Tanner v. OHSU lawsuit.
- The Portland City Council passes a civil rights ordinance that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation in housing, employment, and public accommodations. It is the first gay civil rights law in Oregon that is not overturned by a ballot measure. (http://glapn.org/6012MilestonesLGBTQQLaw.html, Nicola)
- Five lesbian couples file for marriage licenses at the Multnomah County Marriage License office. Their requests are denied. The Lesbian Community Project organized the event as part of National Coming Out Day.
- Veteran straight ally Barbara Roberts becomes Oregon Governor.
- In May, voters in Springfield pass an OCA-sponsored ballot measure that prohibits the city from banning discrimination based on sexual orientation. Voters in Corvallis reject a similar measure. (http://glapn.org/6006ballotmeasures.html, Nicola)
- The OCA sponsors Ballot Measure 9, which would have amended the Oregon constitution to ban civil rights protection based on sexual orientation. It mandated that schools “shall assist in setting a standard for Oregon's youth that recognizes homosexuality, pedophilia, sadism and masochism as abnormal, wrong, unnatural, and perverse and that these behaviors are to be discouraged and avoided.” A section of the measure stating the government could not “promote, encourage, or facilitate homosexuality” could have had many negative results, such as banning gay positive books from public libraries. The measure does not pass. (http://www.glapn.org/6013OregonAntiGayMeasures.html )
- First Congregational United Church of Christ becomes the first mainstream congregation to be “Open and Affirming” to gay men, lesbians and bisexuals and hires openly gay pastor Rev. Paul Davis.
- Human Dignity Coalition is “founded in 1992 as part of a statewide movement to oppose a virulent anti-gay constitutional amendment, Measure 9.” It has continues to this day working “to advance human rights, human dignity and equality for LGBTQ people ever since.” (http://www.humandignitycoalition.org/aboutus.html)
- Multnomah County becomes the first public employer in Oregon to extend health benefits to domestic partners of county employees. The benefits become effective on July 1, 1993. (http://glapn.org/6012MilestonesLGBTQLaw.html , Nicola)
- The Oregon Court of Appeals strikes down 1988’s Ballot Measure 8 as being unconstitutional. (http://glapn.org/6012MilestonesLGBTQLaw.html, Nicola )
- Bonnie Tinker forms Love Makes a Family. The organization incorporates in 1993. It offers support to gay and lesbian parents. Love Makes a Family has a long life, but in the summer of 2009, Bonnie Tinker dies in a bike accident while attending a conference on the East Coast. With Bonnie gone, the future of the organization is uncertain.
- The OCA sponsors anti-gay ballot measures in cities and counties throughout the state. By March of 1994, the OCA has 20 wins despite a state law that bars cities and counties from enforcing these “son-of-9” ballot measures. (http://www.glapn.org/6013OregonAntiGayMeasures.html )
- In June, The City of Portland extends health benefits to domestic partners of city employees.
- The Oregon Citizens Alliance sponsors Ballot Measure 13. Titled “Amends Constitution: Governments Cannot Approve, Create Classifications Based on, Homosexuality”, it would have amended the state constitution to prohibit governments from extending anti-discrimination protections to homosexuals. The measure fails to pass. (http://glapn.org/6013OregonAntiGayMeasures.html , Nicola)
- Thomas Lauderdale forms "Pink Martini" to help rally morale after Measure 9 divides voters.
- The Gay & Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest (GLAPN), the producer of this article, is founded. It seeks to preserve the LGBTQ history of the Pacific Northwest, especially Oregon. (http://glapn.org/1000about.html , Nicola)
- Even though it is illegal to discriminate against people who have AIDS, the Cascade AIDS Project still receives one or two phone calls a week from people who say they have been denied housing because of their HIV/AIDS status.
- The Lucille Hart dinner (named after pioneering female-to-male transsexual Lucille/Alan Hart, who transitioned in about 1918), begun as a fundraiser in 1982 by Terry Bean, John Baker, Keeston Lowery, and Dana Weinstein to benefit Right to Privacy/Right to Pride, has a name change. It is now known as the Right to Pride Dinner.
- Urban League and MCC work to form Brother-to-Brother, a support organization for gay and questioning African-American men.
- Phoenix Rising Foundation organizes SMYRC (Sexual Minority Youth Recreation Center)
- A Multnomah County judges rules in favor of Chris Tanner’s lawsuit against OHSU for domestic partner benefits. The ruling is appealed. (http://www.glapn.org/6012MilestonesLGBTQQLaw.html )
- Phoenix Rising receives a $9,000 grant to serve transsexual and transgender young people.
- Basic Rights Oregon (BRO) is incorporated after evolving from the organization that had been formed to oppose Measure 13. The Right to Pride PAC merges into it, so that BRO becomes the state’s major organization promoting LGBTQ equality.
• Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, led by Rodney Page, votes unanimously to invite MCC membership. This leads to Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches (UFMCC) denomination joining World Council of Churches
• The Oregon Court of Appeals overturns a fine for wearing a gay rights button in a polling place.
• In the Republican primary for U. S. Senate, anti-Gay leader Lon Mabon wins only 8% of the vote.
• The Oregonian newspaper editorializes against same-sex marriage.
- Eugene extends health benefits to city employee domestic partners.
- The First Annual Shepherd's Award Dinner is held to raise funds for the Bill and Ann Shepherd Legal Scholarship Fund of the Equity Foundation. It eventually is renamed "A Class Act".
- In Tanner v. OHSU, the Oregon Court of Appeals rules that all state and local governments must offer spousal benefits to same-sex domestic partners. The ruling also prohibits private employers from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation in hiring, firing, and pay. (http://www.glapn.org/6007historyLGBTQQrights.html )
- The Portland City Council passes a resolution that implements nondiscrimination protections on the basis of gender identity.
- Benton County becomes the first Oregon entity to pass an ordinance banning discrimination based on gender identity in the private sector. (http://glapn.org/6012MilestonesLGBTQQLaw.html, Nicola)
- Scott Meisner, Eugene’s first openly gay council member, becomes president of the city council. The unanimous vote by other council members places him second in command behind the mayor.
- Oregon voters defeat yet another anti-gay Ballot Measure 9. Its official description is “Prohibits Public School Instruction Encouraging, Promoting, Sanctioning Homosexual, Bisexual Behaviors”. It is the last anti-gay ballot measure sponsored by the Oregon Citizens Alliance. (http://glapn.org/6013OregonAntiGayMeasures.html, Nicola)
- The City of Portland passes an ordinance banning discrimination based on gender identity in employment, housing, and public accommodations. (http://www.glapn.org/6012MilestonesLGBTQQLaw.html , Nicola)
- The Confluence Willamette Valley LGBT Chorus begins. (http://www.confluencechorus.org/, Nicola)
- The Portland Mercury publishes an article headlined “Two-Spirits Rising “ and “Historically, Native American Tribes Thought Gays Were Great!” (http://www.portlandmercury.com/portland/two-spirits-rising/Content?oid=24792 , Nicola)
- The Oregonian announces it will publish same-sex commitment announcements.
- Governor John Kitzhaber issues an apology on behalf of the state for the many years it practiced eugenic sterilization. Numerous gay men and lesbians had been sterilized, along with others.
- The Medford Mail Tribune publishes an article about two older gay men concerned about how they will be cared for in old age. The issue is addressed in later years with a variety of services meant to deal with the issue.
- Rives Kistler is appointed to the Oregon Supreme Court, becoming the first openly gay Supreme Court Justice in the United States. (http://www.glapn.org/6014OregonLGBTQElected.html , Nicola )
- University of California Press publishes Same-Sex Affairs, Constructing and Controlling Homosexuality in the Pacific Northwest by historian and Professor Peter Boag. Same-Sex presents extensive research and analysis of male homosexuality in the Pacific Northwest during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Boag documents two distinct and sometimes overlapping male same-sex sexual subcultures in the region, one primarily urban and middle-class and the other rural, sometimes transient, working class. More information http://glapn.org/1010BoagSameSex.html
- Multnomah County grants 3,000 marriage licenses to same-sex couples. On March 3, 100 couples marry at Keller Auditorium, 16 at MCC. The issuances are eventually stopped by court order. (Nicola)
- In November, Oregonians vote in favor of Measure 36, a state constitutional amendment which bans same-sex marriage. The following year, in Li v. the State of Oregon, the Oregon Supreme Court rules that those marriages already performed are not valid. The couples get a refund for the $60 they spent on their marriage licenses. http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/docs/S51612.htm, Nicola)
- When Measure 36 is challenged through a law suit, Martinez v. Kulongoski, the measure is affirmed by the Oregon Court of Appeals. The decision is appealed to the Oregon Supreme Court, but the high court denies the petition to hear the case. (http://www.glapn.org/6013OregonAntiGayMeasures.html ), Nicola
- Openly gay Oregon Supreme Court Justice Rives Kistler wins his retention election over conservative opposition by a substantial margin. (http://www.glapn.org/6014OregonLGBTQElected.html , Nicola )
- Sam Adams is elected Commissioner, a member of the Portland City Council, by a citywide vote. He is the first openly LGBTQ person elected to a public office of the City of Portland. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Adams_(politician) Nicola)
- SB 1000, an anti-discrimination bill proposed by Governor Ted Kulongoski, is stymied by the House Speaker Karen Minnis, who refuses to bring the bill to the floor.
- Q-Center, Portland's first LGBTQ community center the 1970s, opens through the efforts of then City Commissioner Sam Adams and Aaron Hall. In its own words, “Q Center’s mission is to increase the visibility of and foster connection within metropolitan Portland’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Questioning (LGBTQ) community.” (http://www.pdxqcenter.org/about/faq/, CPP)
- Openly lesbian Virginia Linder is elected Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court, a statewide office. (http://glapn.org/6014OregonLGBTQElected.html, Nicola)
- Spirit Press publishes A Curious and Peculiar People, A History of the Metropolitan Community Church in Portland, and the Sexual Minority Communities of Northwest Oregon by public historian and GLAPN member David Grant Kohl. Set out to be a history of Metropolitan Community Church, this account became a definitive history of the LGBT community in Portland. More information at http://glapn.org/1016CuriousPeculiarPeople.html Available at firstname.lastname@example.org
- The Oregon Legislature passes, and Democratic Governor Ted Kulongoski signs, two LGBTQ related statutes. The first law, the Oregon Equality Act, bans discrimination based on both sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, and public accommodations. The law becomes effective January 1, 2008. The second statute is the Oregon Family Fairness Act. This creates for same sex couples a domestic partner registration system that provides most but not all of the benefits and obligations of marriage. (http://glapn.org/6012MilestonesLGBTQQLaw.html, Nicola)
- Democrat Kate Brown, who openly identifies as bisexual, is elected Oregon Secretary of State, a statewide office. It is the second highest state position in Oregon public office. (http://lesbianlife.about.com/od/artistswriterset1/p/KateBrown.htm, Nicola)
- Sam Adams is elected mayor of Portland, making Portland the largest city up to that time to elect an openly gay mayor. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Adams_(politician)#cite_note-kgw-18, Nicola)
- Stu Rasmussen, who is transgender, is elected mayor of Silverton. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stu_Rasmussen, Nicola)
- PFLAG Portland Black Chapter is founded. (http://pflagpdx.org/wordpress/?page_id=429 , Nicola)
- CAP and Multnomah County health workers host a Portland stop of mobile Testing America 2010 tour in Pioneer Courthouse Square. The truck offers free HIV tests in attempt to raise awareness. (http://www.caparchives.org/timeline/, Nicola)
- PFLAG Portland is 100 marchers strong at the Portland Pride. About half of them are from the black community.
- PFLAG Portland celebrates its 30th anniversary. In commemoration, PFLAG dad Shaun Smith publishes a history of the organization: http://pflagpdx.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/PFLAG-PDX-30th-Anniversary-History-3-portrait.pdf . (Nicola)
- Latina lesbian activist Melanie Davis launches PQ Monthly, a new LGBTQ newspaper for Oregon and southwest Washington. (http://www.pqmonthly.com/about-us , Nicola)
- Oregon Representative Tina Kotek is chosen to be House Speaker, becoming the first openly lesbian leader of a state legislative chamber anywhere in the U.S., and the first openly LGBTQ person to head an Oregon legislative chamber. (http://www.oregonlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/12/tina_kotek_makes_national
- The State of Oregon announces it will prohibit health care providers from discriminating against a policy holder based on their actual or perceived gender identity and expression. (http://www.basicrights.org/resources/trans-justice-resources/frequently-asked-questions-on-the-clarification-of-oregons-non-discrimination-law-in-the-transaction-and-regulation-of-insurance/, Nicola)
- University of California Press publishes Re-Dressing American’s Frontier Past by Peter Boag as another volume that reveals and analyzes the previously hidden-from-history experience of individuals who lived outside the expected gender roles of their times. Boag delves specifically into the cross-dressing preferences of men and women in the Old West, and he examines how and why this history was kept from Americans. More info http://glapn.org/1010BoagRedressing.html
- Basic Rights Oregon (BRO), Oregon’s major group advocating LGBTQ equality, announces it will work toward a ballot measure that will legalize same-sex marriage in the state. A coalition creates Oregon United for Marriage to sponsor and promote the measure. The initiative is scheduled for the following year’s general election on November 4, 2014. (http://www.advocate.com/politics/marriage-equality/2013/02/14/oregon-launches-marriage-equality-ballot-initiative, Nicola)
- PFLAG Portland Black Chapter celebrates its fourth anniversary with a special event at Curious Comedy Theater. (http://pflagpdx.org/wordpress/?p=2114 , Nicola)
- Governor Kitzhaber has signs House Bill 2093, making Oregon just one of a handful of states to remove the onerous surgery requirement imposed on transgender Oregonians seeking an accurate birth certificate. (http://www.basicrights.org/uncategorized/victory-birth-certificates-for-transgender-oregonians/, Nicola)
- People from a broad coalition, including a large contingent of LGBTQ people and allies, march in Portland to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington. A rally that follows includes an eloquent speech by black gay activist Khalil Edwards. (http://www.basicrights.org/featured/hundreds-gather-Some special things about Oregon's LGBT movementfor-civil-rights-in-downtown-portland/, Nicola)
- The Multnomah County celebrates the October 11 National Coming at its Board of Commissioners meeting the day before. Numerous members of the LGBTQ community attend, and a number of them formally address the Board. The Board then issues a proclamation honoring National Coming Out Day and treats the guests to a reception.
(http://www.pqmonthly.com/news-briefs-octobernovember-2013/17073 , Nicola)
- The Portland Thorns, Timbers, and Trail Blazers make history by becoming the first major pro sports teams ever to endorse a campaign for the freedom to marry. (http://www.pqmonthly.com/news-briefs-octobernovember-2013/17073 , Nicola)
- Ally PFLAG Portland Black Chapter cofounder Antoinette Edwards is given the Jeanette Rankin Award by the Social Justice Fund Northwest. (http://www.pqmonthly.com/news-briefs-octobernovember-2013/17073 , Nicola)
- Oregon passes a law allowing easier change of gender on birth certificates, removing the onerous surgery requirement imposed on transgender Oregonians seeking an accurate birth certificate. As a result, transgender Oregonians are now able to access a legal change of gender without costly, undesired, or unobtainable surgeries. (http://www.glapn.org/6012MilestonesLGBTQQLaw.html , Nicola)
- Oregon Health Plan announces it will cover the cost of pubertal suppression treatment for transgender adolescents and teens starting in 2014. Pubertal suppression greatly enhances the quality of life of transgender youth by giving them the option to develop physically in a way that more accurately represents their gender identity. (http://www.glapn.org/6012MilestonesLGBTQQLaw.html , Nicola)
- Late in the year, two lawsuits seeking to overturn Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage were filed in U.S. District Court in Eugene. Attorneys for the ACLU, which is involved in the second suit, plan to request to have the two cases consolidated so they can be heard jointly by the court. (http://www.basicrights.org/news/marriage-equality-news/statement-regarding-suit-filed-to-challenge-oregons-ban-on-marriage-for-same-sex-couples/ )
- George Painter self-publishes his long-awaited account of Portland’s same-sex scandal of more than 100 years ago. The Vice Clique: Portland’s Great Sex Scandal details the explosive reaction to the public’s learning about gay men having sex in the city. Painter traces their stories and discusses the politics and morality in Portland at the time. Available at Powell’s bookstore email@example.com or from any On Demand Books location http://ondemandbooks.com More information at http://glapn.org/1012ViceCliqueReview.html
- Attendees at the unofficially Republican Dorchester Conference endorse a proposed state constitutional amendment that would legalize same-gender marriage. (http://www.oregonlive.com/mapes/index.ssf/2014/03/republicans_at_
- Equity Foundation presents its Women Who Lead Awards. Pioneering African American activist Kathleen Saadat is given the Lifetime Achievement Award. The Leadership Awards are given to Basic Rights Oregon Executive Director Jeana Frazzini; and PQ Monthly and El Hispanic News publisher Melanie Davis. All three women identify as lesbians. (http://www.equityfoundation.org/announcing-2014-women-who-lead-award-recipients)
- At its fifth anniversary event, PFLAG Portland Black Chapter presents a lifetime achievement award to pioneering Portland African American lesbian activist Kathleen Saadat. It is her fourth lifetime achievement award to date. In the future, this award will be named for Kathleen. (http://www.pqmonthly.com/pflag-portland-black-chapter-holds-fifth-anniversary-celebration/19872
- Friends of Religious Freedom plans an Oregon voter initiative that will allow people outside of government to refuse to provide business services to same-gender weddings or their arrangements, or to functions marking same-gender civil unions or domestic partnerships. (http://www.oregonlive.com/mapes/index.ssf/2013/11/oregon_initiative_filed_
that_w.html) The attempt is eventually abandoned because the group does not like the ballot measure title they are required to use. (http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/02/us-usa-gaymarriage-oregon-idUSBREA1106Z20140202)
- U.S. District Court Judge Michael McShane, who is openly gay, issues his decision in consolidated cases Geiger v. Kitzhaber and Rummell v. Kitzhaber. He rules that Oregon’s ban on same-gender marriage is unconstitutional. Oregon same-gender marriages start the same day. (http://www.freedomtomarry.org/litigation/entry/litigation-in-oregon) A proposed initiative to legalize same-gender marriage in Oregon is dropped because it is now unnecessary. (http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/politics/2014/05/23/gay-marriage-campaign-winds/9499083/)
- GLAPN and Q Center sponsor their third annual Queer Heroes NW awards. A person or a group is selected for each day of June to honor their heroic contributions to the LGBTQ community of Oregon of Southwest Washington. (http://glapn.org/6450queerheroesmain2014.html)
- Rob Nosse, an openly gay man who has been a strong advocate for LGBGQ equality, is appointed to the Oregon House to fill a vacant seat. He also wins the Democratic nomination for that seat in the May primary, and he is very likely to win the November general election to retain that position. (http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2014/06/rob_nosse_
- Peacock in the Park returns after a 10 year hiatus. Its June show in Washington Park features music, drag entertainers, dancers and more. The popular event is sponsored by Peacock Productions/Audria M. Edwards Scholarship which raises scholarship money for LGBTQ students. (http://www.peacockinthepark.org/)
- Mother Warrior Press publishes Voices from the Rainbow by Traci Leigh Taylor, a collection of interviews with more than 50 friends and acquaintances of her gay son Daniel about their experiences coming out and being queer at the turn of the 21st century. More information at http://glapn.org/1019VoicesRainbow.html
- One Spirit Press publishes The Trans-Evangelist, The Life and Times of a Transgender Pentecostal Preacher by Sister Paula Nielsen. A candid coming-of-age memoir of an effeminate boy in Gresham, Oregon becoming possibly the only transgender Pentecostal evangelist in the United States. More information at http://glapn.org/1015SisterPaulaReview.html Purchase information at http://www.transevangelist.com/
Oregon State University Press publishes the first full biography of Dr. Marie Equi, the first publicly known lesbian in the Pacific Northwest. Written by historian and GLAPN member Michael Helquist, Marie Equi, Radical Politics and Outlaw Passions presents the fiercely independent advocate for economic and social justice who lived most of her adult life in Portland. The American Library Association named “Marie Equi” a 2016 Stonewall Honor Book for Non-fiction. More information: www.marieequi.com Available at bookstores and online.
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