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Houston Voice, April 8, 2005
File 005
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Houston Voice, April 8, 2005 - File 005. 2005-04-08. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. December 14, 2017. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/4133/show/4112.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(2005-04-08). Houston Voice, April 8, 2005 - File 005. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/4133/show/4112

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Houston Voice, April 8, 2005 - File 005, 2005-04-08, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed December 14, 2017, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/4133/show/4112.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Houston Voice, April 8, 2005
Contributor
  • Crain, Chris
  • Fisher, Binnie
Publisher Window Media
Date April 8, 2005
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 31485329
Rights In Copyright: This item is protected by copyright. Copyright to this resource is held by the creator or current rights holder, and the resource is provided here for educational purposes. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without permission of the copyright owner. Users assume full responsibility for any infringement of copyright or related rights.
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 005
Transcript 4 APRIL 1,2005 www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE local news Case of Merry Stephens is one of "mob mentality" COACH, continued from Page 1 is a lesbian, and school district officials decided she needed to go. NCLR and attorney Michael Shirk from the National Education Association/Texas State Teacher's Association earlier this week negotiated a settlement agreement on behalf of Stephens. Under the agreement, Minter said, the school district agreed to pay Stephens for the last two years of her contract. "This wasn't about trying to get a lot of money," Minter said. Instead, he said, the settlement was about Stephens and all the other lesbian and gay teachers who have been fired because of their sexual orientation. "This has been going on for a long time," Minter said. "Lesbian teachers and coaches have had their careers destroyed by insidious campaigns like this." In Stephens' case, Minter said, not only had she been honored numerous times, but she had led her team to district, regional and semi-state championships, breaking school and district coaching f| MORE INFO National Center for Lesbian Rights www.nclrights.org Shannon Minter, legal director for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said the case of Merry Stephens was settled without going to court because someone did the right thing. records in the process. All along the way, she received excellent evaluations. Then, Minter said, leadership of the district changed and Stephens found herself fighting for her job. Stephens said she was suddenly subjected to intense harassment by superiors. On Dec. 14, 2004, the Bloomberg School Board began termination proceedings. "Merry Stephens is an extraordinary coach whose leadership and teaching skills were highly respected on the basketball court and in the classroom," Minter said. "This settlement agreement sends a powerful message that discrimination will not be tolerated. The days when schools could discriminate with impunity against lesbian and gay teachers and coaches are past." Minter said the settlement came days before a scheduled administrative hearing, after School Board President Derous Byers testified under oath in a deposition that the Board's decision to terminate Stephens was based on the personal anti-gay animosity of several school board members. Byers also testified that several school board members publicly disparaged Coach Stephen because of her sexual orientation, including stating that she "did not deserve to work" in the district because she is a lesbian, Minter said. 'Mob mentality' He describes what happened to Stephen as "mob mentality. You have a group of people who because of their own bias decide to ruin a teacher's life." Had it not been for Byers, Minter said, the case likely would have gone to court. "What was so unique to this case was to have that unequivocal testimony," Minter said. "Usually these things happen in silence and behind closed doors. Mr. Byers is just a good man who thought he ought to tell the truth." TSTA attorney Shirk noted, "In my 15 years of representing workers throughout Texas, rarely have I seen such bigotry and flagrant discrimination," He added, "I hope this settlement will teach the board members who set this in motion a lesson they should have learned a long time ago - that God's grace and the laws of this State protect everyone equally" Stephens, who does not plan to ask for her job back in Bloomberg, said she hopes that by standing up, she will give courage to others. "My focus has always been to be the best coach and teacher I can be," she said. "No one should have to endure hostility and prejudice. I hope that by speaking out, I will give others the courage to stand up for their rights." Helen Carroll, Sports Project Coordinator for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, applauded the settlement. "Coach Stephens' courage in refusing to silently endure this blatant discrimination is an inspiration to the many others in her position; she is a pioneer in changing hearts and minds." Minter said the outcome is bittersweet because, "Part of the sad thing about all this is that she really loves this town." Officials of the Bloomberg School District could not be reached for comment. We specialize in cosmetic laser procedures. I Port Lauderdale Real Estate SKlbJ Renaissance CENTER Hair Removal Enhanced Skin Rejuvenation - removes blemishes and wrinkles: an alternative to facelift. Acne (Active & Scars) Rosacea, Shaving Bumps Face-S* Leg Veins Laser Peel/Resurfacing Restylane® Botox® Gay owned and operated! Free consultations! Se habla espanol. 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