Homophobia In Portland!!

On December 3 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 his miranda rights and told to sit while they went to talk to "a witness" to see what the charges were.
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.  When I asked him to stop doing that as it was demeaning and disrespect ful Mike Sotto replied "Sorry I didn't know how you'd perceive your relationship with this man"

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.

Andrew Klaus


Anonymous said...


I am sorry to hear about this incident. I do, however, have some questions about it.

Where exactly are the campus officers claiming that Taylor was part-taking in sex? I know that people having sex in PSU bathrooms is a common occurrence. Take a look for "PSU" on "Casual Encounters" on Craig's List. There are always posts on there.

Secondly, was Taylor ever in the area that he is being accused of committing the crimes? Given that he received a trespass charge, the campus officers must be accusing him of being in an area of campus that is restricted use. I believe the Peter Stott Center falls under that.

The way your story reads is that Taylor was walking in the park blocks and was just randomly accused of committing sex crimes. That is a very serious accusation to make, so it would be helpful to understand where exactly the sex crimes supposedly took place and if Taylor was ever there.

You also mention that there is a witness to the so-called sex acts. This is critical to the incident. Do you know if campus officers were called in by this witness or were officers just in the area and found some person to substantiate their story?

My point about the witness is that if the witness called the police to the scene saying that they saw sex act occurring in public and the witness' story checks out as far as the officers can tell, I don't see how they are at fault. If they were able to establish probable cause based on the witness that crimes were committed, they were just doing their job to make arrests based on that information.

Even if my supposed situation regarding the witness were to be true, that doesn't mean that the witness wasn't discriminating. Maybe the witness made it all up. Then the question becomes what backed it up. Maybe the witness was the "witch hunter" and the campus officers just went along with it because of some prejudice.

You note that a student involved was release. Was he cited, as well. Very suspicious if he wasn't. Your narrative makes it sound like the student wasn't charged and that officers targeted Taylor differently. That would be very questionable behavior by police.

Moving on, why do you think PSU isn't talking publicly about this? I have heard about a KATU story, but I haven't seen it and can't find it. Shouldn't the media be making this a bigger deal? Based on your story, this looks like egregious misconduct by PSU, but it's hard to draw such a conclusion without more information and PSU's side.

Andrew klaus-Vineyard said...

Dear Anonymous

Due to the fact this is a criminal case I can not release all the details I'd like just yet. I will say the event was supposed to have taken place in the Peter Stott Center, however like my story states, Taylor was arrested on the sidewalk, in the Park Blocks. I will be posting the KATU story soon on my blog. Due to the sensitive nature of a criminal investigation however that is all I am at liberty to discuss at this time, but rest assured the complete and detailed account of the events will be made very public very soon. Thank you for your concern