Image provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR
About Just out. (Portland, OR) 1983-2013 | View Entire Issue (Aug. 1, 1988)
" We outspent the opposition [in 1978] but we
weren’t able to change people’s minds quickly
enough,” she said. When the conservatives’
effort succeeded, McClain said, “ I was blown
away because I felt completely emotionally
drained. 1 felt tremendous disappointment. I
had thought we would win . . . 1 was unable to
work on legislative campaigns for years.”
In the decade since then, McClain said, she
and others have gained perspective as well as
the skills of organizing, fund-raising and plan
ning that will make this campaign look and
“ I think there are lots of feelings of: we can
really learn from the lessons of the past; here’s a
chance to do it again. We’re ten years older, ten
years more mature. There are a lot of lesbians
and gays in this state who know how to run a
real professional campaign,” she said.
Some signs of change are already visible. Ten
years ago, McClain said, organizers were
almost obsessed with creating a democratic
campaign structure — so obsessed that the
process sometimes became more important and
more draining than the goal.
Today, while campaign organizers around
the state are trying to involve their communities
and seek ideas from others, they also stress the
need for strong leadership, a unified message
and a sophisticated media effort to rival the
OCA’s organizing. The Bijou gathering was a
clear example of this shift in style. Siemens led
a crisp, informative meeting and, while she
invited ideas from participants, she guided the
discussion away from tangential matters and
focused on the goal: “ The job of OFF is to win
this in November.”
To do that, organizers are trying to learn as
much from history as they can — what went
wrong in the Eugene campaign in May 1978, as
well as what went right six months later in
Seattle, when voters said no to an attempted
repeal of city ordinances banning discrimina
tion in housing or employment on the basis of
sexual orientation. In that campaign, a coalition
of gay groups raised more than $100,000,
registered 5,200 new voters and stressed the
issue of privacy in their literature and advertise
ments. In November 1978, 62.9 percent of
Seattle voters rejected Initiative 13 and
preserved the city’s gay-rights ordinances.
the Cascade AIDS Project. “ People who
expressedrevulsion at the ad were revulsed by
the picture of two men who were obviously
g ay "
Jost and Koberstein plan to meet in Portland
to try to resolve the issue. “ I’m willing to com
promise,” said Koberstein, “ but that does not
include watering down an ad so it does not
target the audience of gay men.”
Since Reinhard’s column appeared July 3,
The Oregonian has published at least a dozen
letters about it, the majority of them disagreeing
with Reinhard’s stance. That’s just one way the
community has responded. In another demon
stration of anger, about 150 persons protested
outside The Oregonian building on July 14,
shouting, “ We can live. Together,” and “ Out
and outraged.’ ’ One by one, protesters lay down
on white butcher paper while someone else
traced their silhouettes in colored markers, then
wrote inside each one the name of an Oregonian
who had died of AIDS.
Terri Salvino, holding a multi-colored flag
out toward passing traffic on Broadway, said
Reinhard’s editorial made her feel “ angry and
hurt — and scared. This is being read by the
whole state, and it has an impact. It really
Across the street, a counterprotest of half a
dozen persons sported a banner reading ‘ ‘Thank
you Mr. Reinhard.” Priscilla Martin, longtime
anti-abortion picketer and nemesis of the gay
community, carried a bright orange sign that
said, “ You don’t have to be gay.”
The counterprotest may have been tiny, but it
was a continuing, sobering reminder of con
servatives’ presence on an issue that will surely
outlast the November election. For now. The
Oregonian articles and the poster controversy
have brought passion and immediacy to a
campaign that might otherwise have seemed
remote to some gay men and lesbians.
“ All of those happenings have really
contributed to an atmosphere of frustration and
anger for a number of people in Portland,” said
Siemens. “ I hope OFF will be able to harness
some of that energy toward a successful
campaign that will win in November.”
Campaigning presents unique, emotional
challenges to gay men and lesbians, who may
face the decision of coming out to family,
neighbors and co-workers if they work openly
to fight the ballot measure. Many of the demon
From anger to action
strators at The Oregonian and participants at the
n Portland, a chain of recent events that
Bijou meeting are already “ out" in the com
seemed like repeated slaps to the gay
munity. But a winning campaign will demand
community may be spurring enthusiasm for the the effort of many more people, some of whom
OFF campaign. First, The Oregonian failed to
have been closeted until now.
publish even one line about June’s Gay and
“ A lot of us may be called upon to reach
Lesbian Pride march, which drew 4,100
within ourselves during the next three months,’ ’
participants. Then, five days before OCA filed
Siemens said at the community meeting. “ It
its petitions in Salem, Oregonian Associate
may mean talking in your workplace, to your
Editor David Reinhard wrote a column
neighbors, to your family. It may take more and
criticizing Cascade AIDS Project posters aimed
more of us standing up and saying who we are.’ ’
at educating gay men. The posters, showing
And the fight will take perspective — the
two smiling men with their arms on each others'
awareness that, win or lose, it will not be the
shoulders and the slogan, “ We can live.
gay community’s last legislative battle.
Together,” hung behind the driver's seat on 15
McClain said she learned that lesson from the
Tri-Met buses. Reinhard labeled the poster “ a
defeat in Eugene, and she plans to remember it
valentine to homosexuality” and made his own
as she works on this campaign.
bias clear, stating that “ all sexual orientations
“ You really have to think like a revolution
are not equal.”
ary,” she said, “ and consider this a lifetime
On the first business day after the column
commitment. You really have to pace yourself
appeared, Tri-Met received about 20 complaints
for your whole life.’ ’
about the ad, and Transit Ads Inc. ordered the
posters removed. Ironically, the poster itself,
If you would like to help, here’s how:
which The Oregonian had refused to run as an
1. Crucial early money is needed now.
ad, made the front page of the Metro section
contributors are donating 3 percent of
along with an article about the posters' removal.
their gross income in one-time sums or pledges.
Jack Jost, president of Transit Ads Inc., a Los
2. Host a house party for your friends to
Angeles company that manages advertising on
them and encourage them to become
Tri-Met buses, said removing the ads was
“ strictly a business decision. . . . We did not
3. Sign up as a volunteer.
have a problem with [the ads) or we wouldn't
Facing the challenge not only to our civil
have accepted them in the first place.”
rights but to our dignity can make us stronger
Although no advertisers had threatened to
and more united than ever before. Working
cancel their contracts if the posters stayed up.
together, victory will be ours.
Jost was afraid new advertisers would decide to
For more information, contact Oregonians
open accounts elsewhere. “ Apparently there
tor Fairness. PO Box 2397, Portland, OR
was a flurry of complaints about it.” he said.
Those complaints were about homophobia,
— Cathy Siemens
not business, said Tom Koberstein. director of
Prohibition o f discrimination
on the basis of sexual
In the 200th year of our Constitution,
Americans are reminded once again that each
generation is obligated to preserve and extend
both the right to live our private lives as we see
fit, and the right to equal treatment under the
law. In America, to deny a person a job or
access to vital social services for reasons
unrelated to his or her abilities or needs is a
Oregon was settled by those who cherished
fairness and the opportunity to use their skills
and talents as they saw fit. Oregon law
embodies this belief in its use of objective
standards for the provision of services, and in its
declaration that personnel decisions be
made “ without regard to non-job related
factors.” ORS 240.306(1).
Today the State of Oregon affirms that this
simple justice extends to the private sexual
orientation of our citizens. The State of Oregon
will not discriminate on the basis of sexual
orientation in hiring and providing state service.
Just as the State advocates no religion over
another, this executive order does not advocate
or endorse any particular sexual orientation. It
does no more than recognize the right to privacy
of our citizens and the right to expect equal
treatment under law when private behavior
does not affect the public.
This executive order does provide limited
exceptions to the policy of non-discrimination,
where public necessity requires. Moreover, it
extends only to the provision of equal treatment
Jby state government, and imposes no require
ments on the private sector.
IT IS ORDERED AND DIRECTED:
1. No offiqer, employe or agency within the
executive branch of state government shall
discriminate on the basis of sexual
orientation in the recruitment, hiring,
classification, assignment, compensation,
premotion, discipline, or termination of any
2. No officer, employe or agency within the
executive branch of state government shall,
in carrying out the dut»e<of state govern
ment, discriminate against any person on the
basis of sexual orientation.
3. Nothing in this executive order shall require
or authorize any affirmative action or
preferential treatment of any person on the
basis of sexual orientation.
4. This executive order does not appYy:
a. To the legislative and judicial branches of
b. To state officers and employes under the
jurisdiction of an elected official
other than the Governor.
c. To the Oregon National Guard, to the
extent that the terms of this order would
conflict with federal statutes, regulations
or policies binding on the Guard.
d. To any actions by correctional institutions
prohibiting sexual contact by inmates, or
imposing discipline based on the viola
tion of sufch a prohibition, or assigning
inmates to single cells as necessary to
prevent sexuaTtonduct or while
evaluating the inmates' propensity to
engage in sexual contact.
5. All agency heads are directed to make their
personnel aware of the terms of this order,
and to take steps to ensure that it is carried
out. Each agency head shall report annually
to the Governor on the steps taken pursuant
to this paragraph.
6. For purposes of this executive order,
“ sexual orientation’’ means heterosexuality,
homosexuality, or bisexuality.
Done at Salem, Oregon, this 15th day of
Neil Goldschmidt, Governor
THE INITIATIVE —
Revokes ban on sexual
orientation discrimination in
state executive branch
Question: Shall voters revoke Governor’s
authority to ban discrimination, based on sexual
orientation, in state executive department
employment and services?
Explanation: Enacts new law. Revokes
Governor’s order which bans discrimination,
based on sexual orientation, both in executive
branch employment and in carrying out
executive branch duties within state
government. Measure provides that no state
official shall forbid taking personnel action
against a state employe because of the
employe’s sexual orientation. Measure permits
state officials to forbid taking personnel actions
against state employes based on nonjob related
factors. For the purposes of this measure, sex
ual orientation means heterosexuality, homo
sexuality, or bisexuality.
Relating to certain personnel actions.
Be It Enacted by the People o f the State of
SECTION J . Executive Order No.
EO-87-20 be, and hereby is, revoked.
SECTION 2. No state official shall forbid
the taking of any personnel action against any
state employe based on the sexual orientation of
SECTION 3. This measure shall not be
deemed to limit the authority of any state
official to forbid generally the taking of
personnel action against state employes based
on nonjob related factors.
SECTION 4. For purposes of this measure,
“ sexual orientation” means heterosexuality,
homosexuality or bisexuality.
SECTION 5. The various provisions of this
measure are severable; therefore, if any
provision of this measure be declared
unconstitutional by any court of competent
jurisdiction, the remaining provisions shall be
unaffected by such declaration.
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