Lesbian & Gay Rights Victories: Oregon; ACLU

An anti-gay ballot measure in Oregon failed by a narrow margin of 53-47. Ballot Measure 9, the so-called Student Protection Act, would have prevented Oregon public schools (including elementary schools, secondary schools, and community colleges) from “encouraging, promoting, or sanctioning homosexual/bisexual behaviors.” Schools who did not comply could have lost all or part of their state funding. Voters in the mostly urban Multnomah County, which includes Portland, voted almost 2-to-1 to reject the measure, while rural counties favored the anti-gay measure.

In related news, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) will progress with its case to protect the privacy rights of lesbians and gays. A Federal Appeals Court ruled earlier this week that Philadelphia police violated a gay teenager’s constitutional right to privacy when they threatened to reveal his sexual orientation to his family members. Police questioned 18-year-old Marcus Wayman when they found him in a parked car with a 17-year-old male and arrested them for under-age drinking. The police found condoms in the car and lectured the two teens about the Bible’s teachings on homosexuality, threatening to tell Wayman’s grandfather that he was gay. Shortly after being released from police custody, Wayman committed suicide. His mother sued the town and the police officers for violating her son’s right to privacy. The case will continue in further appeals.


Associated Press _ November 9, 2000 and ACLU Press Release _ November 7, 2000

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