A June 4 story at Willamette Week summarized the already serious problems pioneering longtime Oregon-based homosexual activist and ardent Barack Obama supporter Terry Bean was already facing before the Democratic Party "Kingmaker" was arrested Wednesday and "charged with two felony counts of having sex with a minor last year."
Even before his arrest, the accusations made by Bean's former homosexual lover were serious. Even now, the local press in Oregon seems reluctant to acknowledge the potential implications of Bean's arrest. The national press remains AWOL.
The opening sentence of Jeremy Scott's coverage at KXL 101 FM in Portland reads (bolds are mine throughout this post):
Terry Bean, a man who’s said to be a national power player in Democratic politics and a gay rights activist is behind bars for sex abuse along with his former lover.
"Said to be?" You cannot be serious, Jeremy.
Here is a YouTube "tribute" video identified as having been prepared by Bean's brother-in-law (you might as well keep it up, bro; I've saved it) containing 16 pictures of Bean with President Obama at what appear to be at least three separate events:
Other YouTube videos demonstrating Bean's prominence in homosexual activism are here, here, and here. The final linked video contains "Footage from the unveiling of the Queer Heroes exhibit, honoring 30 positive forces in Oregon's LGBT community."
Here is a rundown of Bean's career in homosexual activism, courtesy of a montage found at GoLocalPDX.com (some spelling errors corrected):
1978 — Bean lobbied for a gay rights ordinance in Eugene that would have prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation in housing, public accommodation and employment. The push for an ordinance provoked anti-gay rights backlash and ended in a signature drive that sent the measure to the ballot where it lost 2-1. Bean led the campaign to support the referendum.
1979 — Bean helped organize the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights. Thousands marched in support of gay rights, demanding a federal ban on discrimination. The march is largely credited for galvanizing and bringing gay rights activists across the nation to start fighting as one.
1980 — Bean helped start the Human Rights Campaign, the largest LGBT equal rights advocacy group and political lobbying organization in the United States. The advocacy groups works at equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. The group has about 1.5 million members and supporters nationwide, according to its website. Bean was also a board member and represented Portland.
1989 — Bean co-founded the Equity Foundation, a Portland-based philanthropic organization that gives grants to LGBT community groups. He is currently a member of the advisory board.
1991 — Bean helped found the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, a national political fundraising organization. The group works to get LGBT candidates elected to office by raising money and supporting candidates.
2002-2002 — Bean is instrumental in acquiring the headquarters building for the Human Rights Campaign in D.C. HRC officials credited Bean, who headed the fundraising campaign for the building, for getting it with his real estate experience.
2007 — Bean is recognized with an eight minute tribute video at the “Masquerade, Basic Rights Oregon 25th Annual Award Dinner” where former Vice President Al Gore made an appearance and called Bean his friend, according to the Willamette Week.
2008 — Former Governor Ted Kulongoski declares Aug. 23 Terry Bean Day, recognizing the activists for his civil rights work in the 1970s and beyond. Bean was also awarded the Legacy Award for lifetime achievement in human rights advocacy by the Human Rights Campaign that same year.
2008 — Bean's real estate company hits hard times.
2012 — Bean works as a fundraiser for the Obama campaign. He is invited on Air Force One and donates $500,000 to the campaign. He is even thanked by Obama in a speech during a fundraising event in Portland.
Nov. 19, 2014 — Bean is charged with two counts of sodomy and the sexual abuse of a juvenile male, according to the Portland Police Bureau. Bean’s attorney argues that Bean is innocent and that his arrest was part of an “extortion ring” orchestrated by his former lover Kiah Loy Lawson.
Lawson, 25, was arrested late Wednesday night after turning himself into police. Lawson was indicted by a Lane County grand jury on sex abuse charges and two counts of sodomy, according to police.
AboutTerryBean.com's home page also identifies Bean as a "Co-founder of the Gay Games" who "won two gold medals in golf in the first games held in San Francisco in 1982."
There's no doubt about Bean's prominence, which makes national journalists' failure to more widely report what was already known in Oregon in early June presumptively an exercise in protecting a movement they are known to heavily favor. What follows are key excerpts from the aforementioned 3,200-word Willamette Week story:
Terry Bean’s Problem
A prominent Portlander fights for his reputation after a love affair goes wrong.
Few people have worked harder for last month’s historic decision to allow same-sex couples to marry in Oregon than Portland real-estate developer Terry Bean.
Bean, 65, is one of the founders of the Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s leading gay-rights organization. He’s donated more than $1 million to the group and serves on its board. His name is prominently displayed on a glass wall at the organization’s Washington, D.C., headquarters.
His influence extends beyond gay rights. No Oregonian has raised more money for President Barack Obama. At a 2009 Human Rights Campaign dinner, Obama called Bean a “great friend and supporter.” The president in 2012 hosted Bean on Air Force One, and when Obama visits Oregon, Bean has had the honor of greeting him as the president gets off his plane.
But today, when he’d rather be celebrating the same-sex marriage victory, Bean is instead fighting to protect his reputation.
... Bean says that last year he fell in love with (24-year-old Kiah) Lawson. Bean paid him a $400-a-week allowance, put Lawson up in one of his homes and took him on international trips. Last fall, Bean brought Lawson to the White House and also introduced him to Obama.
... In January, Lawson says, he discovered that Bean had a hidden camera in the smoke detector above Bean’s bed in his West Hills home. Lawson used this information to seek money from Bean, alleging that the camera captured videos “of at least a half dozen individuals in a state of nudity engaged in intimate acts with you.” Lawson claims he is in more than one video.
Records reviewed by WW show Bean recently attempted to settle the matter for $40,000 in exchange for Lawson turning over the images and refraining from disclosing Bean’s “alleged illicit sexual activities.”
... WW first contacted Bean a month ago about this story, and he has repeatedly declined to comment. Bean’s attorney has also hired a former Multnomah County prosecutor to represent six young men who know Bean. And Bean has engaged a veteran Washington, D.C., communications specialist from a firm with ties to Obama to manage the story.
The Associated Press still has no national story on Bean's arrest.
It is inconceivable that the national press would have ignored a comparable story about a prominent conservative, Republican, or cleric. The fact that most of us are only now finding out about Terry Bean should be an embarrassment to the national press. Instead, I fear that their reaction behind closed doors is, "Oh well, we kept it away from the country as long as we could."
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.