I am not really sure what to say except that I am angry and disappointed that this could happen in my town. I think it is apparent that in spite of the values this city holds, people in positions of power still think they can target us based on our sexuality and get away with it. We deserve better. If you live here make sure your friends know that this is going on. Here is a statement from our good friend Taylor’s husband Andy (of Digging to China):
On 2008 Taylor Vineyard,a successful artist turned civil rights law student, my husband of 5 years accompanied me to Portland State University’s Smith Center while I rehearsed scenes with a classmate for a theatre class. At 5:08 he headed out for coffee and to smoke a cigarette, he would be missing for the next 7 hours to me. I thought the love of my life, my husband, my best friend, was dead.
At approximately 5:30 pm PSU security began a witchhunt arresting gay men and accusing them of being involved in various sex acts on campus. While they were in the process of arresting another student my husband happened to be walking by in the park blocks, returning from his coffee run. He was arrested. He was read hisand told to sit while they went to talk to “a witness” to see what the charges were.
He was accused of criminal trespassing and public indecency. He was mocked and laughed at by security as he pleaded his innocence. The Guards taunted their victims with promises of “If you tell us what we want to hear we’ll let you go home right now”
and “It’s up to me if you go to jail or not tonight so you should do what I say”
One student crumbled under the pressure and told the Campus security that he’d been masturbating- he was promptly released.
My Husband was then accused of the same , when he denied it the charged were escalated, culminating in the claim he was involved in a group orgy in a mens room in plain view of others students having group sex in front of the urinals . Since he was innocent of any of this ridiculous false charges he refused to change his story to fit their pink panic witchhunt so he spent the next 6 hours in Multnomah County Jail, where he was not allowed to call me.
In 5 years he has quite literally never been late. In fact he’s always early, so by 6:10 pm I was frantically calling friends knowing something was wrong. he’d left his backpack and a bag of Hanukkah gifts. I spent until midnight calling friends, the police, all area hospitals, and campus security themselves who blatantly lied about having any knowledge of his whereabouts.
After finding him in jail and getting him home safe I spoke to PSU representatives and Mike Sotto head of campus security who rudely “corrected” ” your friend,partner whatever” when I referred to Taylor as my husband when I discussed the matter with him.
This is Portland Oregon in 2008 and he was treated like bar raid in 1965. This is unacceptable.
If you’d like to discuss further details please let us know.
Taylor will be on the evening news tonight on KGW. He and Andy have also spoken to numerous other agencies and media outlets about this incident. Spread the word. Don’t let this happen in our town again, ever!
Update: Interview was on KATU last night at 6, should be on their website soon. Mayor-Elect Sam Adams has written a letter to PSU on Taylor’s behalf.