By George T. Nicola, GLAPN
December 18, 2014 was the 40th anniversary of the first success Oregonians had in getting some sexual orientation non-discrimination government protection. The action was not an ordinance but a resolution passed by the Portland City Council. It banned discrimination based on sexual orientation in city employment.
The resolution was sponsored by City Commissioner Connie McCready. It passed by a vote of 3-2, with McCready, Commissioner Charles Jordan, and Mayor Neil Goldschmidt voting in favor. Jordan, who had been appointed to the City Council earlier in the year to fill a vacancy, was the first African American Council member.
Voting against the resolution were Commissioners Mildred Schwab and Frank Ivancie. Six years later, Portlanders elected Ivancie Mayor.
Details on the resolution can be found in the article “City bans homosexual bias from employment policy”, The Oregonian, 12-19-1974.
In 1991, Portland passed an ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual orientation or source of income in housing, employment, and public accommodations. Gender identity was added in 2000. A statewide law banning discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity was passed in 2007, effective the following year.