Queer Heroes NW 2020:
Connie McCready

Connie McCready was a political maverick. She served in the Oregon House in the 1967 and 1969 sessions. She staunchly supported the [women's] Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which was at odds with many of her fellow Republicans.

Connie McCreadyConnie was appointed to the Portland City Council to fill a vacancy in 1973. She won two elections to retain that seat. At the time, Oregon had no laws banning sexual orientation discrimination. Because the City of Portland had no civil rights ordinances, the recently politicized gay and lesbian community wanted the City Council to pass a resolution that banned sexual orientation discrimination in municipal employment. That would at least set a standard.

Mayor Neil Goldschmidt initially refused to support the sexual orientation nondiscrimination resolution. The resolution was very strongly opposed by Commissioners Frank Ivancie and Mildred Schwab.

After years of the city's inaction on the proposal, McCready decided to introduce the resolution herself. This was an incredibly courageous act in 1974, given the lack of support from her peers. Goldschmidt ended up voting for the measure, as did newly appointed Commissioner Charles Jordan. Schwab and Ivancie voted against it. This city resolution, approved by a 3-2 vote, was our first civil right protection passed by an Oregon legislative body.

When Goldschmidt left town to join the Clinton Administration in 1979, Connie was selected mayor by the City Council. She had to run in the 1980 election to retain that seat. During the campaign, she even visited a gay bar to meet our folks. However, Ivancie ran against her for that position and defeated her.

Connie never returned to public office after her that defeat. But her brave action gave us our first successful legislative type step on the long road to equality.


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