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Houston Voice, No. 1001, December 31, 1999
File 014
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Houston Voice, No. 1001, December 31, 1999 - File 014. 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/4317.

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 014. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/4333/show/4317

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 014, 1999-12-31, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed December 17, 2017, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/4333/show/4317.

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 014
Transcript HOUSTON VOICE • DECEMBER 31, 1999 NEWS 13 could have predicted either the amount of litigation that has taken place or the range of victories that have occurred over the course of the decade," he said. Based on breadth and impact, Cathcart picked the 1996 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Romer vs. Evans as "the highlight of the decade." In November 1992, Colorado voters passed Amendment 2, which would have repealed all antidiscrimination measures for gays and lesbians statewide. The measure touched off a firestorm of similar attempts in other states, and became a key issue at the 1993 March on Washington. With the Romer case, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Amendment 2 unconstitutional, in one of the high court's first pro-gay decisions, deflating many of the efforts to pass copycat legislation in other jurisdictions. "Up until the time of Romer, it looked like we as a community were going to be faced with putting extensive time, energy and money into fighting these bad anti-gay referenda, which was time and energy that could be spent pushing for positive steps," Cathcart said. Even high profile defeat, like the Hawaii Supreme Court's decision in December 1999 ending hopes for gay marriage there, helped advance the cause of gay rights in the courts by at least bringing the issues to public attention, Cathcart said. This month's decision by the Vermont Supreme Court that gay couples in that state must receive equal rights is proof of the growing success in that debate, he noted. • 'Visibility and access' For many who don't follow politics closely, one of the most tangible moments of gay progress in the decade came in 1997, when Ellen Degeneres came out on her prime-time television show. The event, hyped in the mainstream media for months in advance, put gays in America's living rooms as never before, although the show lasted only one season longer. And while "Ellen" showed mainstream America the daily life of a gay person, the 1998 murder of gay Wyoming college student Matthew Shepard, covered in the general press more extensively than any anti-gay hate crime to date, showed the world our greatest fears. "I don't think, even as optimistic as we were, that any of us thought we would see the amount of change that has happened in the last 10 years, and the level of progress we have made in terms of visibility and access," recalled Cathy Renna, community relations director for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. "In the very early 1990s, the only way to get access to the media was through mass protest or picketing," she said. "Now, there is an unbelievable increase in the level of access we have, whether it is Time magazine or one of the TV stations or movie studios." Like HRC's Besen, Renna said she believes the rise in gay visibility in the media began with "a ground swell of people coming out," especially those involved or interested in journalism. Increased coverage of gay issues in the news media, in turn, helped change the hearts and minds of those in the public, creating a climate where television producers were willing to take a chance on "Ellen" in 1997. "What this really shows is the challenge that we now have," Renna said. "The level of media visibility has prompted an enormous amount of public discussion, and now we have to translate that into more legislative victories and institutional victories. "Now that we have all of this visibility and access, what do we do with it?" she said. "That is the what our community needs to be asking as we head into the next century." POLITICS Openly gay elected officials 1991: 49 1999: 180 (including four in Ga.; Atlanta City Council member Cathy Woolard became the state's first in 1997) YOUTH U.S. schools with gay-straight alliance clubs 1989: two (both New England private schools} 1999:600+ MILITARY Gavs discharged from the U.S. military 1994: 617 (first year of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy) 199»: 1,163 MEDIA Gay lead characters on prime-time TV 19&: zero (Ellen DeGeneres became the first on "Ellen" in 1997) 1999: one (Will on NBC's "Will & Grace"; plus 28 more supporting and recurring charactes on cable and broadcast shows) LEGAL States with sodomy laws 1990: IS (plus the District of Columbia) 1999:36 States with non-discrimination laws that include sexual orientation 1990: one (Wis.) 1999:11 DOMESTIC PARTNERS Companies offering domestic partner benefits 1990:17 1999: about 3,000 (including 80 Fortune 500 companies) SOURCES Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, Gay, lesbian & Straight Education Network, Serviceniembcrs legal Defense Network, Gay & lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, lambda legal Defense & Education Fund; Human Rights Campaign. ?g& group fm Have you met this agent? 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