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Houston Voice, No. 1001, December 31, 1999
File 013
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Houston Voice, No. 1001, December 31, 1999 - File 013. 1999-12-31. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. December 17, 2017. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/4333/show/4316.

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.

(1999-12-31). Houston Voice, No. 1001, December 31, 1999 - File 013. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/4333/show/4316

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, No. 1001, December 31, 1999 - File 013, 1999-12-31, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed December 17, 2017, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/4333/show/4316.

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, No. 1001, December 31, 1999
Contributor
  • Hennie, Matthew A.
Publisher Window Media
Date December 31, 1999
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 013
Transcript 1- 12 NEWS DECEMBER 31, 1999 • HOUSTON VOICE The Gay '90s: 'Our' decade brings dramatic change by LAURA BROWN Despite some disappointments and setbacks along the way, the decade fulfilled its promise of being the gay '90s—with dramatic changes that could not have even been envisioned 10 years ago, leaders of several national gay organizations said this week. Perhaps the greatest change has come in the treatment of HIV and AIDS, and the subsequent social changes as many of those affected by the virus adjusted to living, rather than quickly dying, with the disease. AIDS dominated many aspects of organized gay life in the 1980s and early 1990s, as countless friends and lovers succumbed to the disease and organizations, many gay-led, offered care to the dying and comfort to the bereaved. Out of the abject loss also rose a new political spirit—a spirit born of the activist ACT UP mantra, "Silence equals Death"—that brought gay men and lesbians into the streets time and again, first to fight for better funding and access to HIV treatment, then for other gay rights issues as groups like Queer Nation formed chapters around the country based on ACT UP's grassroots model. But the face of AIDS, and many AIDS organizations, changed dramatically in the mid-1990s, when protease inhibitors became available to treat the disease. Taken as part of complicated medicine regimen dubbed "drug cocktails," protease inhibitors offered The brutal October 1998 killing of college student Matthew Shepard was covered more extensively in the general press than any other anti-gay crime and exposed the dears of gays to the rest of the world. the first real hope of significantly prolonging the lives of those with HIV. Death rates began dropping and headlines filled with stories of those who appeared to have been literally resurrected from the grave. In the wake of the renewed hope, many AIDS groups found themselves restructur- Chat I Personals | News | Travel | Entertainment | People PlanetOufccom vvw*.pbnrtiDuLcrjrn | AOL Keyword: PlanetOut engage ^enjoy ing to focus on managing life with HIV, rather than mostly on hospice and other care for the dying. Agencies, many formed and led by gay men in the beginning of the epidemic, also struggled to target their outreach and programs to people of color and women, as HIV began spreading most rapidly in these populations. Further study soon proved that protease inhibitors were no miracle cure: Some patients did not respond to the drugs, developed serious side effects, or were unable to adhere to the complicated dosing schedules, developing drug-resistant strains of HIV and sparking fears of a new epidemic. But the success of the new treatments for many offered breathing room to activists focusing on other gay rights causes, and the later years of the decade offered victories that would have seemed impossible 10 years earlier. To be certain, major battles remain to be won—as in 1989, the U.S. still has no federal law banning job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, no federal law recognizing the rights of same sex couples and no law allowing federal intervention in anti- gay hate crimes. Yet an unprecedented level of visibility in this decade has led to advances in the fights for each of these, as well as myriad other changes, both in public policies and private opinions, which many say will pave the way to larger victories to come. The U.S. Senate fell only one vote short of passing the Employment Non- Discrimination Act to ban anti-gay job discrimination in 1996, and a bill to add sexual orientation to federal hate crimes laws passed the Senate in 1999 attached to a spending bill, although it was cut from the final version of the bill. Meanwhile, gay lobbyists and their Congressional supporters battled back numerous anti-gay bills and amendments during the heyday of Newt Gingrich's "Republican revolution," including a measure that would have overturned President Clinton's executive order banning sexual orientation discrimination in the federal civilian work force. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"—the 1993 "compromise" bill that banned gays from serving openly in the military while supposedly protecting them from witch hunts—and the "Defense of Marriage Act," which banned federal recognition of same-sex marriages, were the only major anti-gay bills to pass Congress in the 1990s, despite repeated pressure from right-wing organizations. Still, "the single greatest accomplishment of the '90s was not legislative," said Wayne Besen, spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign, the national gay rights lobbying group. "Before the 1990s, when you heard coming out stories, they always began with, 'I thought I was the only one,' and you don't hear that anymore. "In the 1990s, we blew the door off the closet. ... Even though someone might not know another gay person in their small hometown, they know there are role models out there, and they know there are places they can go and be safe." The historic efforts of this decade created numerous markers of how far we've come, from the growing attention to gay rights issues in the current presidential campaign to local victories ranging from more openly gay politicians, and an increasing number of local and state governments banning anti- gay job discrimination and even providing domestic partner benefits. in addition, gay leaders pointed to the following as key moments of "our" decade: • Gay youth come out Gay youth are among the biggest beneficiaries of the role models and safe spaces that emerged in the 1990s, creating an ever- expanding area of civil rights activism that was virtually non-existent until this decade. "For all practical purposes, there was no movement to end homophobia in schools 10 years ago, and the entire LGBT youth movement was very embryonic," said Kevin Jennings, who founded the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network in 1990 and now serves as its national executive director. "Ten years ago, gay youth were an issue no one wanted to touch—the gay movement didn't want to give the right-wing the ammunition of us being recruiters, and the mainstream education community didn't believe there were gay students. ... I think there has been a complete sea change, from an issue no one even acknowledged, much less addressed, in 1990 to a front-burner issue now," he said. Jennings attributed the "sea change" to young people coming out at earlier ages and "demanding to be treated equally," as well as an ever-increasing number of schools recognizing their duty to educate and protect all students. • Fighting anti-gay tide in court In the face of sometimes hostile school systems and public officials, gay youth joined other gay rights activists in taking their battles to court, resulting in key legal victories that will influence policies for years to come. In one of several landmark legal decisions of the 1990s, the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in 1996 that public schools, and school officials, may be held liable under federal law for failing to address anti- gay abuse of a student by other students. Jamie Nabozny, a student from Wisconsin, sued his school district after enduring years of anti-gay abuse in middle school and high school, and his case offered powerful leverage to gay youth facing discrimination around the country. "From youth issues, to sodomy laws, anti- gay referenda, family law and custody, marriage, the military, asylum, immigration, employment, HIV issues—from all of these issue areas I can pull out key cases, and it is an amazing thing to me," said Kevin Cathcart, executive director of the Lambda Legal Defense & Education Network, the national gay legal group involved in many of the precedent-setting cases of the 1990s. "There has been dramatic change in the last 10 years, ... and I don't think anyone
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