Image provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR
About Just out. (Portland, OR) 1983-2013 | View Entire Issue (May 1, 1986)
____________ i .
b y W.C. McRae
Multnomah County Commissioner
Gordon Shadburne is back in the news.
Shadburne, a "Christian” fundamentalist has
found himself at the center of controversy
since he mailed a letter (on county stationery
and at county cost) to his “Christian
brethren" labelling the Portland gay
community as the “stronghold of Satan.” La
ter, local newspapers revealed that not only
was Shadbume’s top aide Richard Levy gay,
but there were persistent rumors, including
allegations from Shadbume’s wife’s divorce
testimony, that Shadbume himself had had
Last month, apparently in response to
pressure from his constituency, Shadburne
fired Levy. Both Levy and Shadbume said it
was "mutually understood” that Levy was no
longer wanted in the office. Levy was given
five weeks of pay (not directly from County
funds — the County makes no provision for
severance pay, apparently Shadbume will
“find” the money).
Four days after Levy’s dismissal, Kay
Foetisch, another Shadbume assistant re
signed, citing, "significant policy differences”
with her employer. Foetisch, whom one co-
v worker describes as an “idealist Christian,”
apparently was disappointed at Shadbume’s
firing of Levy. In a prepared statement,
Foetisch claimed that “to continue with this
job would be dishonest because I do not
agree with policy decisions that have been
made. I do not impose my moral decisions
on others. Personal and professional issues
need to be separated.” She went on to cite as
an example Shadbume’s “stronghold of
However, a source in county government
who chose to remain anonymous reported
that the issues were slightly more complicated
than a simple “gay purge" in Shadbume’s
Just O u t’s source claimed that the timing
of Levy’s dismissal had more to do with
covert political activities in Shadburne’s of
fice than sudden pressure form the east
county commissioner’s constituency.
Specifically, it was alleged that Levy was
dismissed for fear of his “spying" on
Shadburne’s assistance to Mike Wiley in
Wiley’s attempt to unseat County Commis
sioner Gretchen Kafoury. Wiley, who
opposes Kafoury in the May 20 primary, was
characterized by our source as a “Shadbume
clone.” Wiley advocates cutting back on hu
man service programs and criticizes
Kafoury’s “pandering to special interest
groups,” such as gays and other minorities.
Wiley further clarified his anti-gay stance in a
letter to the April 23 Oregonian. He claims he
supports “legitimate minority" rights, though
he opposes granting minority rights to gays.
“It would undermine the effectiveness of laws
protecting the rights of legitimate minorities."
Kafoury has in the past been a staunch sup
porter of human services, gay and lesbian
rights, and minority interests.
Shadbume and his office, our source
claims, has become a clearing house for
Wiley’s campaign against Kafoury. (In the
past Shadbume’s campaign against Kafoury
has taken the form of attempting to gerry
mander away her district) Shadburne’s staff,
on county time, has provided secretarial
services to Wiley and has acted as a resource
for names and contacts. Levy, it is suspected,
was either unwilling to go along with the
Just O ut, M ay 1986
covert campaign against Kafoury, or was in
danger of “spying” on the activities. Coinci
dentally, Levy’s severance pay, paid at least
partially out of Shadbume’s own funds, is
offered contingently (Shadburne can cut it
off) through the date of the primary.
Placing Wiley on the County Commission
would give the Fundamentalist Right another
vote on the Commission, and would shore
up damage done to Shadburne and the
Right’s agenda by recent media publicity.
Shadbume’s term is up in 1988, and he is not
permitted, by law, to run again for the same
position. With Wiley on the Commission, the
Right, and Shadburne's present aide and
chief puppeteer Jim Sanders, will again cast
a dissenting vote on human service pro
grams and on minority rights.
Since coming to office 7 years ago,
Shadburne has gone through 17 aides, far
more than any other commissioner. How
ever, Levy may not be finished at the Court
house. It is alleged that Shadbume is
attempting to guarantee Levy a job as aide to
the soon-to-be-named commissioner who
will complete Earl Bluemnauer’s term.
a t U of O
by Jay Brow n
Leonard Graff, Legal Director of the Na
tional Gay Rights Advocates, will highlight
Pride Week activities at the University of Ore
gon with a keynote speech on the University
campus at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 5. Pride
Week at U of O will begin with a picnic in
Skinner’s Butte Park on Sunday, May 4 from
1 -6 p.m. Organizers of the Pride Week ac
tivities are The Gay and Lesbian Alliance at
the University of Oregon, Eugene.
Leonard Graff was recently in Washington
D.C. to hear oral arguments before the U.S.
Supreme Court in the case of H ardw ick us.
Bowers, which challenges the constitutional
ity of the Georgia sodomy law. Graff says he is
“predicting that we re going to win, because
of the facts of this case. Hardwick was
arrested in his bedroom.”
"The law supports us in our position,” Graff
says. “A favorable ruling will put a limitation
on the government’s right to invade our
Graff predicts that the Court will rule in
favor of Hardwick by a split of 6-3. Graff says
that O'Connor, Rehnquist and White will vote
for the State of Georgia. Graff says he be
lieves Chief Justice Warren Burger will vote
with the majority in overturning the Georgia
"The Chief Justice voting with the majority
gives him the power to designate who will
write the opinion,” Graff says. "Otherwise, the
senior justice voting with the majority is Bren
nan, and he would write a broader opinion.”
Graff has been active in the gay rights
movement since he was a student at Michi
gan State University. At MSU he was instru
mental in legal action which permitted the
celebration of Gay Pride Day on that campus.
Graff was also actively involved in lobbying
successfully for the passage of a gay rights
ordinance in East Lansing, Michigan, one of
the first in the nation.
After graduation from law school, Graff
practiced in New York and Washington D.C.,
where he devoted a substantial portion of his
time to gay rights litigation. He also was Ad
junct Professor of Law at Southeastern Uni
versity in Washington D.C.
Prior to his appointment as Legal Director
of NGRA Graff s most celebrated cases
included Gay Rights Coalition u. George
to w n University, which seeks to establish the
rights of gay student organizations on private
as well as public university campuses; and
Gay Activist Alliance v. Weishington D.C.
Transit Authority, which required the transit
authority to accept gay-related advertise
ments on their buses.
Pride Week activities continue through
Saturday, May 10, and include an appearance
by Pat Bond performing her one-woman
show Beloved Hick. The play is based on the
life of Lorena Hickok through her correspond
ence with Eleanor Roosevelt Bond will give
w e Fix All Brands
one performance only at 8 p.m. in the Forum
Room in the Erb Memorial Union.
For more information on Pride Week at the
University of Oregon, call G A L A at
6 8 6-3 360 in Eugene.
Making the Tough Decisions.
Re-elect STRACHAN to City Council
Paid lor by Friands ol Margaret Strachan « P O Bo* 6991 • Portland. Oregon 97228