HOUSTON VOICE • JANUARY 7, 2000
Around the South
Bush aide quits over candidate's refusal to meet with gay group
AUSTIN—Diane Ravitch, a respected education historian, has quit as education adviser to
Texas governor George Bush's presidential campaign because of Bush's refusal to meet with
gay Republicans, the New York Times reported Dec. 29. The paper said that Ravitch told associates she is resigning to protest Bush's statement during a television appearance that he
would probably not meet with Log Cabin Republicans. Ravitch was assistant secretary of education when Bush's father was president. She declined to comment on the reason
for her departure. Mindy Tucker, a spokeswoman for the Bush campaign, told the paper that
Ravitch had "been a valued adviser to the campaign, and Governor Bush regrets her position."
Baseball commish orders psychological test for Braves pitcher
NEW YORK (AP)—Baseball has ordered John Rocker to undergo psychological testing following his disparaging remarks about gays and minorities. The outspoken Atlanta Braves
reliever will meet with doctors before commissioner Bud Selig decides whether to impose discipline for Rocker's comments to Sports Illustrated last month. In the interview, Rocker said he
would never play for a New York team because he didn't want to ride a train "next to some
queer with AIDS." He also bashed immigrants and called a black teammate "a fat monkey."
Rocker later apologized and said he was not a racist. "Mr. Rocker's recent remarks made to a
national magazine reporter were reprehensible and completely inexcusable," Selig said in a
statement he released Thursday. "1 am profoundly concerned about the nature of those comments as well as by certain other aspects of his behavior." The Major League Baseball Players
Association, which tries to keep medical reports on players confidential, reacted angrily. "We
did not authorize the release, nor do we necessarily agree with the characterization of the procedure being discussed concerning Mr. Rocker," said Gene Orza, the union's No. 2 official.
Trial set for Saturday for second Ky. soldier charged in killing
FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP)-The court-
martial for a second soldier charged in a
murder case that has prompted scrutiny of
the military's policy towards gays is scheduled to begin Jan. 8, the Army announced
Tuesday. Spc. Justin R. Fisher faces four
charges in connection with the July 5 beating death of Pfc. Barry Winchell. Fisher, 26,
of Lincoln, Neb., is charged with participating as a principal to premeditated murder,
acting as an accessory after the fact, making
false statements to Army investigators and
obstructing the investigation. Last month, \
Pvt. Calvin N. Glover, 18, of Sulphur, Okla., d I
was convicted in a court-martial of premeditated murder and sentenced to life in
prison. Glover used a baseball bat to crush
Winchell's skull as he slept in his cot at Fort
Campbell. For weeks before the beating,
soldiers had harassed Winchell, 21, of
Kansas City, Mo., over rumors he was gay,
and prosecutors said Glover was driven by
anti-gay hatred. Glover never addressed the
allegation that he despised gays, but his attorneys argued that Fisher goaded Glover into
the attack. The death and the revelations at Glover's trial led to criticism, by gay rights
groups and by Winchell's parents, of the Pentagon's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.
Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon has said the Defense Department is working on new
training programs to ensure a fair enforcement of the policy on gays.
Orlando gay community center ready to purchase first building
ORLANDO—Plans are falling in place for a gay and lesbian community center in
Orlando, the gay newspaper Watermark reported. Orlando's Gay, Lesbian & Bisexual
Community Center is in the final stages of a fund-raising blitz to obtain $200,000 for down
payment on a sprawling property in the heart of Orlando's gay-friendly ViMi District. If the
scheduled )an. 4 closing takes place, it will mark the first time the organization will own
property, instead of leasing. "Purchasing the building is a win/win situation," said GLBCC
board president Barry Miller. "PFLAG has already taken us up on our offer of space," said
Miller. "The Orlando Gay Chorus is interested, GALIXY (a gay and lesbian youth group)
will utilize an office, and we've also offered the space to the MBA (the Metropolitan
Business Association)." The push to raise the necessary $200,000 down payment is currently underway. As of Dec. 9, GLBCC had raised $125,000.
—From staff and wire reports
Wolly and Patricia Kutteles, the mother and
stepfather Pfc. Barry L Winchell, criticized
'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' after their son's
commander said the policy prevented him
from stopping harassment of Winchell,
who was later killed.
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