Terry Bean

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Terry Bean
Terry Bean at a Human Rights Campaign event
Alma materUniversity of Oregon
Occupation(s)Bean Investment Real Estate, President and CEO

Terrence Patrick Bean is an American political fundraiser, a civil rights activist, and LGBT rights movement activist. He is known for co-founding several national LGBT rights organizations, including the Human Rights Campaign and the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund. As of 2012, he is the CEO and President of Bean Investment Real Estate and resides in Portland, Oregon. Since 2014, Bean had been the subject of sexual assault allegations; all charges were dismissed in January 2022.[1]

Early life

Terry Bean is a fifth-generation Oregonian and was born in Portland, Oregon.[2] He is the son of Ormond and Jean Bean.[3][4] He graduated from Lake Oswego High School,[5] after which he attended the University of Oregon on the Chick Evans Golf Scholarship[5] graduating with a bachelor's degree in political science.[4]

Bean first became active in politics during college as a member of the anti-Vietnam War movement.[5][6] In 1971, he began lobbying the Oregon State Legislature and the city council of Eugene, Oregon,[5] and helped work on a gay rights ordinance,[2][5] which passed in 1977. The ordinance produced an anti-gay backlash and was overturned by voters in a referendum on May 23, 1978. Bean was a leader in the campaign to defeat the referendum and coordinated efforts with Harvey Milk.[7][8] In 1979, Bean helped to organize the National March on Washington for Lesbian and Gay Rights.[6]

Human Rights Campaign

The late 1970s saw a rash of successful anti-gay ballot measures around the country. Realizing that their state-by-state efforts were failing, leaders of the LGBT rights movement decided to focus their efforts on the national level. This led to the founding by Bean and others of the Gay Rights National Lobby (GRNL) and the Human Rights Campaign Fund (HRCF), two groups which later merged to become the Human Rights Campaign (HRC).[3][5][6][9][10]

Bean was the primary fundraiser for GRNL,[8] when it was still a new organization, and created the "GRNL 48", a club of top donors who contributed $1,200 or more per year. In its early history, the group found it difficult to find politicians willing to accept campaign contributions from a gay PAC.[11] The GRNL 48 eventually became the HRC's Federal Club.[3][5]

Bean has been on the Human Rights Campaign's Board of Directors since 1980. He is also a member of its Foundation Board and its Public Policy Committee.[12] and takes part in deciding the organization's political endorsements.[10]

HRC headquarters building

In 2000, the HRC launched its Capitol Campaign to raise the funds to purchase a suitable headquarters in the nation's capital. Bean was a co-chair of this campaign. In 2002, the HRC acquired a medium-rise office building in Washington, DC, from B'nai B'rith International to use as its national headquarters. Joe Solmonese, the Executive Director of HRC, has said that Terry Bean was instrumental in acquiring the building.[6] Elizabeth Birch, the Executive Director of the organization during the time when the building was purchased, believes that Bean's background in real estate was crucial in the purchase. "All of us had very healthy skepticism. Generally, nonprofits do not buy buildings... But there was only one guy in the crowd who said, 'We have to do this. This is historic...' And it was the guy who knew most about Real Estate and that was Terry."[13]

Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund

In 1991, Terry Bean and Vic Basile, the first executive director of the Human Rights Campaign Fund, founded the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, a Political Action Committee (PAC) to raise money for gay and lesbian candidates.[5][6][14]

Other political and community involvement

In Oregon, Bean co-founded the Right to Privacy PAC with four others in the early 1980s. The Portland-based group was the first statewide gay rights PAC in Oregon.[5][6]

In 1989, Bean co-founded the Equity Foundation, a Portland-based philanthropic organization that gives grants to LGBT community groups and programs as well as academic scholarships.[6] He is currently a member of the board of advisors, along with Portland Mayor Sam Adams and former Oregon Governor Barbara Roberts.[2][4]

Ted Kulongoski, then governor of Oregon, declared August 23, 2008 to be "Terry Bean Equality Day" to recognize Bean's gay rights efforts.[15]

In 2018, Bean spearheaded a campaign to rename SW Stark, a prominent street in downtown Portland, Oregon, to SW Harvey Milk Street after LGBTQ activist Harvey Milk. On June 14, 2018, Portland City Council voted unanimously in support of the change.[16][17]


Terry Bean's political involvement is often behind the scenes as a fundraiser,[3][5] which has assisted in the initial success of several organizations, including the Gay Rights National Lobby and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.[18]

In 1992, Bean helped raise over $1,000,000 in the successful campaign to defeat the anti-gay Oregon Measure 9,[19] which would have amended the state constitution with a provision declaring homosexuality "abnormal, wrong, unnatural, and perverse".[20]

Role in the Democratic Party

Bean and former Governor Barbara Roberts at the 2014 Portland Pride Parade

Terry Bean has been a lifelong Democrat and has considerable influence in the party as a member of the Democratic National Committee[3] since at least 2009.[21] Among his contributions are his fundraising for Bill Clinton,[19] serving on the DNC's Convention Committee in 2000,[3] serving as a co-chair of Howard Dean's 2004 National Finance Committee,[6] and being the first LGBT member of Barack Obama's National Finance Committee.[22] He was the main fundraiser for Oregon Governor Barbara Roberts' 1990 campaign.[14]

In 2008, Bean launched the LGBT for Obama campaign website, which served as a fundraising tool and a means of outreach to the LGBT community.[22] In 2012, Bean raised more than $500,000 for Obama's re-election campaign, and visited the White House at least six times between 2012 and 2014.[21]

Friendship with Senator Gordon Smith

Former Oregon Senator Gordon H. Smith, a Republican, was elected in 1996 as a social conservative. After the election, Bean, who had campaigned against Smith, had a meeting with the new senator,[23] in which they reached an unexpected understanding. Smith, a conservative Mormon, was able to relate to Bean's experience as a member of a marginalized demographic because of his own experiences. Referring to his Mormon heritage, Smith said of Bean, "When you grow up as part of a group that has suffered discrimination, it is easier to listen with feeling to the stories of others, like Terry, who have felt the jackboot on the back of their neck. For me, empathy is a call to action."[9]

Smith cited his "unlikely and unexpected" friendship with Bean as a factor in his decision to break with his party and champion several LGBT causes, saying of Bean, "He really played a significant role in opening my heart and opening my mind to the perspective of a gay man in Oregon."[13]

Smith co-sponsored the Employment Non-discrimination Act (ENDA), the Ryan White Care Act, and teamed up with Senator Ted Kennedy to introduce a hate crimes protection bill. Smith regularly read incidents of anti-LGBT hate crimes into the congressional record to raise awareness of this issue.[9] In comments on the Senate floor to mark the successful passage of the Ryan White Care Act, Smith referred to Bean as "...a highly valued advisor on issues affecting the gay and lesbian community in Oregon".[24] Smith's support of LGBT rights won him the endorsement of the Human Rights Campaign for his 2002 re-election bid, although Bean did not personally endorse him.[9]

Sex abuse accusation

On November 19, 2014, Terry Bean was arrested on charges of sodomy and sex abuse in a case involving a 15-year-old boy, in what Bean's lawyer Kristen Winemiller characterized as an extortion attempt by an ex-lover.[25] Law enforcement sources said Bean was charged with "two counts of sodomy in the third degree, a felony, and sex abuse in the third degree, a misdemeanor." He was arraigned in Lane County, Oregon, where the crimes allegedly occurred in 2013.[26]

After the case continued for over a year, lawyers for Bean and the youth reached a civil agreement,[27][28] which the judge ultimately rejected.[29] The alleged victim declined to testify, his attorney Lori Deveny stating that "he did not seek out this prosecution and made his unwillingness to testify known at every step of the process".[28] The judge dismissed the case on September 1, 2015 without prejudice.[30][31] In a statement, Bean wrote "I take some measure of comfort that the world now knows what I have always known – that I was falsely accused and completely innocent of every accusation that was made."[31] On January 4, 2019, Bean was re-indicted on the same charges.[20] In March 2019, the alleged victim filed a civil lawsuit against Bean.[32] In September 2019, Bean's former partner was found guilty of third-degree sodomy and third-degree sexual abuse, which The Oregonian reported as "a blow" to Bean's claims of innocence.[33] Bean was originally to be put on trial for similar charges in November of that year, but the trial was postponed.[34]

On January 14, 2022, all criminal charges against Bean were dismissed because the alleged victim declined to participate in prosecution.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b Jaquiss, Nigel (January 14, 2022). "State Dismisses Criminal Sex Abuse Charges Against Terry Bean". Willamette Week. Retrieved 2022-01-15.
  2. ^ a b c Steves, David (10 May 2007). "Amid grins and tears, two gay-rights bills become law". The Register Guard. p. D1.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Baker, Nena (14 February 1999). "Portlander Advances Gay, Lesbian Rights". The Oregonian. Portland, Oregon. p. C1.
  4. ^ a b c "Executive Profile: Terry Bean". Portland Business Journal. 30 January 2004. p. 13.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Collins, Patrick (16 October 1998). "Mr Fundraiser: Charity-minded man about town Terry Bean is about more than money". Just Out. p. 6.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Cuti, Jaymee R. (4 August 2006). "Strong Brew: Activist Terry Bean's power is felt in Portland and nationwide". Just Out. p. 14.
  7. ^ Beck, Byron (12 November 2008). "Just Add Milk: Director Gus Van Sant delivers the story of the gay-rights movement's patron saint in his most political film to date". Willamette Week.
  8. ^ a b Endine, Steve (2006). Eaklor, Vicki L (ed.). Bringing Lesbian and Gay Rights Into the Mainstream: Twenty Years of Progress. pp. 80–83. ISBN 978-1560235255. {{cite book}}: |newspaper= ignored (help)
  9. ^ a b c d "The Education of Senator Smith". The Advocate. 9 October 2001. pp. 31–34.
  10. ^ a b Prado, Ryan J. "Repeal Reaction: Portland advocates sound off on DADT repeal". Just Out. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
  11. ^ Zusman, Mark (12 January 2005). "Terry Bean, Gay-rights Moneyman". Willamette Week. Portland, Oregon: City of Roses Newspapers. p. 23.
  12. ^ "The Human Rights Campaign Board Members". Archived from the original on 21 August 2009. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
  13. ^ a b "Terry Bean Basic Rights Oregon Tribute". YouTube. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
  14. ^ a b "The Victory Fund: A brief history". The Victory Fund. Retrieved 16 April 2011.
  15. ^ Willson, Kate; Jaquiss, Nigel (August 9, 2018). "Terry Bean's Problem". Willamette Week. Retrieved May 4, 2021.
  16. ^ Griffin, Anna (June 14, 2018). "Portland Leaders Rename Downtown Section Of Stark Street For Harvey Milk". OPB. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  17. ^ Rawles, Timothy (June 15, 2018). "Portland becomes the third city in U.S. to get a Harvey Milk Street". San Diego Gay and Lesbian News. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  18. ^ "Our History". LGBTQ Victory Fund. Retrieved August 5, 2019.
  19. ^ a b Walker, Martin (15 October 1992). "All the President's Gays". The Guardian. p. 2.
  20. ^ a b Jaquiss, Nigel (January 17, 2019). "Terry Bean, the Oregon Gay-Rights Pioneer and Leading Democratic Fundraiser, Re-Indicted on Sex Abuse Charges". Willamette Week. Retrieved August 5, 2019.
  21. ^ a b Boyer, Dave (25 November 2014). "Dem fundraiser charged with child sex abuse met Obama often, flew on Air Force One". Washington Times. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
  22. ^ a b "Gossip Should Have No Friends: Bean Town". Willamette Week. 27 August 2008.
  23. ^ Detzel, Tom (20 October 2002). "Showdown for the Senate: Gordon Smith". The Oregonian. p. A1.
  24. ^ "Congressional Record - Senate" (PDF). Congressional Record. June 7, 2000. p. 9707.
  25. ^ Bernstein, Maxine (November 7, 2014). "Lane County grand jury indicts prominent gay rights activist Terrence Bean in 2013 case involving a 15-year-old boy". OregonLive.com. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  26. ^ Jaquiss, Nigel (November 19, 2014). "Terry Bean Arrested on Charges of Sex Abuse of a Minor". Willamette Week.
  27. ^ Mayes, Steve (September 2, 2015). "Gay rights activist Terry Bean hails dismissal of sex abuse case; prosecutor decries $225,000 settlement offer". The Oregonian.[permanent dead link]
  28. ^ a b "Sex with minor charges dropped against Terry Bean". Washington Blade. September 2, 2015. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  29. ^ Jaquiss, Nigel (November 3, 2015). "Previously Unreleased Police Interview Transcripts Suggest Terry Bean Knew His Alleged Sex Partner Was Under 18". Willamette Week.
  30. ^ Mayes, Steve (August 28, 2015). "With star witness absent, sex crimes case against Terry Bean and ex-boyfriend will be dismissed". The Oregonian.
  31. ^ a b "Judge drops case against prominent gay-rights activist". Associated Press. September 1, 2015. Archived from the original on March 6, 2016.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  32. ^ "New Civil Lawsuit Filed Against Terry Bean in Multnomah County Circuit Court". Willamette Week. March 4, 2019. Retrieved May 3, 2021.
  33. ^ Green, Aimee (September 13, 2019). "Explosive new allegations surface in Terry Bean sex abuse case". The Oregonian. Retrieved May 4, 2021.
  34. ^ Deffenbacher, Chelsea (October 29, 2019). "Sex abuse trial for Terry Bean postponed until spring". The Register-Guard. Retrieved May 4, 2021.

External links