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Houston Breakthrough, November 1979
Page 16
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Houston Breakthrough, November 1979 - Page 16. November 1979. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. September 18, 2021. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/1660/show/1643.

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.

(November 1979). Houston Breakthrough, November 1979 - Page 16. Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/1660/show/1643

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 Breakthrough, November 1979 - Page 16, November 1979, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed September 18, 2021, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/1660/show/1643.

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 Breakthrough, November 1979
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date November 1979
Subject.Topical (LCSH)
  • Women
  • Periodicals
  • Feminism--United States--Periodicals
  • Newsletters
Subject.Geographic (TGN)
  • Houston, Texas
Genre (AAT)
  • periodicals
Language English
Type (DCMI)
  • Text
  • Image
Original Item Location HQ1101 .B74
Original Item URL http://library.uh.edu/record=b2332724~S11
Digital Collection Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction Educational use only, no other permissions given. Copyright to this resource is held by the content creator, author, artist or other entity, and is provided here for educational purposes only. It may not be reproduced or distributed in any format without written permission of the copyright owner. For more information please see UH Digital Library Fair Use policy on the UH Digital Library About page.
File Name index.cpd
Item Description
Title Page 16
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
File Name femin_201109_555ao.jpg
Transcript "Hey, Baby, How 'Bout a Little . . ." A male supervisor in the Texas Department of Pardons and Paroles backed his sexual advances to female employees with threats to their job status. Other supervisors shrugged their shoulders and joined in a cover-up in response to complaints. Two women quit their jobs and several gave in to the clearly illegal coercion, but the ACLU's client in Barton v. Texas Department of Pardons and Paroles decided to fight. Through the efforts of cooperating attorney Maretta Comfort, the Department entered into a consent decree, pledging to: (a) provide monetary compensation to the ACLU's client; (b) post notices warning that sexual harassment is illegal; (c) actively discourage future discriminatory conduct; and (d) revise its in-house grievance procedures to assure employees due process (and prevent future cover-ups). Bastille Days As a result of the ACLU's lawsuit, Alberti v. Harris County, the County has begun construction of a new downtown jail facility, and a federal court order led to significant improvements in existing jails and in the criminal courts. The federal court also appointed cooperating attorneys Jim Oitzinger and Gerald Birnberg as ombudsman and deputy ombudsman respectively, charging them with monitoring the county's compliance with the order. This responsibility will continue for the forseeable future. Thou Shalt Not Squeal The Harris County District Attorney's office fired an employee after she told news media representatives of job abuses by County employees in the office of a judge. Cooperating attorney Xavier Grenas filed Flynt v. Vance, asking a federal court for reinstatement and back pay. Come on Outta That Car, Boy . . . In a pattern emerging from more than three dozen complaints to the ACLU, San Jacinto County sheriff's deputies have been stopping cars driven by blacks or young people on US 59 for no reason other than the hope of finding marijuana. The cars and their occupants have all been illegally searched. Those charged with marijuana possession have frequently been jailed overnight, then taken before a justice of the peace (who does not have jurisdiction in marijuana cases) and coerced to plead guilty. They have then been assessed large fines, sometimes far exceeding the amount justices of the peace may lawfully impose. Complaints have fallen off since cooperating attorney John Schulman filed Loud v. San Jacinto County seeking to enjoin these practices and to secure damages for the victims. In Black and White The Revenue Sharing Division of the Department of Housing and Urban Development agreed with allegations that the City of Hearne violated the 14th Amendment by providing unequal municipal services in predominantly white neighborhoods. HUD ordered Hearne to provide black neighborhoods with paved streets, curbs and gutters, parks, and numerous other facilities and services they've been denied. Much of the work on Anderson v. City of Hearne was done by then law students, now attorneys Ed Sargologas and Luro Taylor, with attorney Pat Wiseman. The House I'd Live In Two black families signed contracts to purchase property in a housing development. When the developers learned the purchasers were black, they rescinded the contracts and fired the salesperson. In Beasley v. Landcraft, Inc., cooper ating attorney Melva Christian seeks damages for the salesperson and the spurned purchasers. Short People Got No Reason Former Houston Police Chief Herman Short filed a libel suit against Mayor Jim McConn and the Black Organization for Leadership Development (BOLD), alleging that campaign literature distributed by the defendants before the last mayoral election was defamatory. The literature graphically depicts Short's alleged racist tendencies, his support for capital punishment, and his endorsement of candidate Frank Briscoe, whom McConn defeated. The ACLU represented BOLD in Short v. McConn; cooperating attorney Bruce Fickman contended libel actions by pub- He officials chill the exercise of protected tary judgement, the ACLU hopes to stop the harassment of persons who exercise their constitutional right to free choice in reproductive matters. The cooperating attorney in Schwanecke v. Ali is Jo Ann Doughtie. Doctor Knows Best A doctor affiliated with St. Joseph Hospital filed suit seeking to be appointed guardian of all fetuses who "reside" in Harris County while in the womb or born alive as the result of an abortion. This suit is obviously a poorly camouflaged effort to undermine the constitutional privacy right of Harris County residents to secure abortions. The ACLU prepared to intervene in Application of Schwanecke, but the suit was promptly dismissed. speech. The case was recently settled; BOLD was held harmless. Fetal Effort Ten-weeks pregnant and seeking an abortion, a young woman called the first listing in the Yellow Pages under "Birth Control Information"-the Abortion Abuse and Advice Information Service. However, the information service is in fact a "right-to-life" front group and the caller's identity was revealed to an anti- abortion activist who filed suit seeking guardianship of the fetus. Without a hearing or notice to the pregnant woman, Judge Bill Bear granted this request. Eileen Brady, the newly- appointed guardian, proceeded to sue the pregnant woman and all other similarly- situated persons with the intent of enjoining all abortions in Harris County. In Woe v. Bear\ in Application of Eileen Brady to be appointed guardian of Jane Doe's Fetus; and in Brady v. Doe, the ACLU succeeded in having the guardianship dissolved and the injunction dismissed. The ACLU also filed in federal court seeking to strike down the Texas guardianship law on the grounds that it subjects persons to substantial denials of liberty without notice, hearings or other due process protection. The federal suit is pending and a damage action on behalf of the young woman is contemplated. Cooperating attorney is Jo Ann Doughtie. Fetal Effort, II In the second of what appears to be a series of frivolous, bad faith lawsuits against clinics and doctors who perform abortions in Harris County, the plaintiff is an anti-abortion advocate who has asked a state court to issue an order forbidding women from securing abortions. The plaintiff's theory is that Texas need not follow the United States Constitution. Representing most of the defendants in this case, the ACLU intends to seek a prompt dismissal, is counterclaiming for malicious prosecution and asking the court to order the plaintiff to pay costs and attorneys fees. By securing a mone- Stay in the Closet Gary Van Ooteghem was hired in 1975 as an accountant in the Harris County Treasurer's office. He was fired later that year after addressing Harris County Commissioner's Court on the subject of gay rights. Cooperating attorneys Pat Wiseman and Larry Sauer filed Van Ooteghem v. Gray, and in a landmark decision this year the court ruled the county had violated Van Ooteghem's right to free speech. The court ordered reinstatement and back pay; the County has appealed. No Crossing Transsexuals are required by their doctors to live one year in the role of the opposite sex before sex reassignment surgery will be performed. Seven transsexuals who have been arrested and prosecuted under a city ordinance prohibiting cross-dressing, together with their physician, have challenged the constitutionality of the ordinance in Jane Doe v. Hoflieinz. Cooperating attorneys Larry Sauer, Pat Wiseman and Connie Acosta hope this ancient class action suit will finally get to trial. Nice Girls Don't . . . A secretary/receptionist for the Galveston County Sheriff's Department was fired after she announced her pregnancy, because the County considered it inappropriate for an unmarried employee to be pregnant. In Ferguson v. Galveston County, cooperating attorney Maretta Comfort told the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that the County's actions violated the rights to privacy and equal protection of the ACLU's client. The County entered into a settlement agreement, restoring back pay and giving other monetary damages to the ACLU's client. Nice Girls Don't, II The superiors of a Pasadena police officer who moved into her fiance's home about a month before her scheduled wedding to reduce expenses considered the arrangement immoral; they placed a repri mand in her personnel file and threatened to fire her if she didn't find a more acceptable living arrangement pending the wedding. The reprimand was removed and the threats rescinded in Buchner v. City of Pasadena. Maggie May Not Though women have been admitted to Texas A&M since 1963, it was 11 years before they were allowed into "The Corps," A&M's elite military officer training program. Five years later, they're still unwelcome. The antagonism and discrimination are generally subtle, but as overt examples, female cadets continue to be barred, regardless of ability, from participation in highly visible Corps subdivisions, including the Aggie Band, the Parsons Mounted Cavalry, and the Ross Volunteers—the official honor guard of the governor of Texas. In Zetgraph v. Texas A&M University, a Corps member and future Air Force pilot (barring further discrimination!) seeks an end to all discriminatory practices, with the aid of cooperating attorneys Carol Nelkin and Lamar Hankins. Father Knows Best A 30-year old woman found herself her father's prisoner after changing her lifestyle. The father's petition to a probate court, In the Matter of Molinello, contended his daughter's "bizarre" behavior included meditation, vegetarianism and divorcing her husband. Without hearing evidence, and without even notifying the daughter, the court granted the father's petition to declare the woman incompetent and appoint the father as guardian. The father terminated the guardianship after the ACLU intervened but cooperating attorneys Burt Moser, Judy Doran and Annie Garcy are seeking a judgment on behalf of a class of similarly situated persons, contending that Texas guardianship procedures violate due process by permitting persons to be declared incompetent without such fundamental procedural safeguards as notice and a hearing. You Ain't Goin' Nowhere Did you know that you can be involuntarily detained for up to 14 days in a psychiatric institution without being brought before a judge, merely because one person—it can be anyone-swears you need treatment? The ACLU contends that involuntary psychiatric patients are entitled to a prompt probable cause hearing, so that persons who are clearly not dangerous to themselves or others can be released immediately. A class action petition In the Matter of Jane Doe, filed by cooperating attorney Bill Walker, addresses this and other problems with the Texas civil commitment process and its administration in Harris County. State law requires that all persons be represented by counsel at their commitment hearings, and that the county appoint attorneys for indigent patients. But appointed attorneys in Harris County represent at least 30 new patients each week. Given this caseload, many patients are induced to waive their hearings, and those who insist on a hearing are often not adequately represented. It's All in Your Mind* A patient in a state psychiatric institution on a 90-day commitment, refused to consent to chemotherapy on the basis that chemotropic drug treatment frequently produces harmful side effects. The hospital staff intended to administer the drugs anyway, but abandoned that intention after cooperating attorney Judy Doran threatened to file suit In the Matter of John Doe. HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH 16 NOVEMBER 1979