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Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 2, No. 5, May 1977
Page 16
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Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 2, No. 5, May 1977 - Page 16. May 1977. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. May 6, 2021. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/4096/show/4090.

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.

(May 1977). Houston Breakthrough, Vol. 2, No. 5, May 1977 - 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/4096/show/4090

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, Vol. 2, No. 5, May 1977 - Page 16, May 1977, Houston and Texas Feminist and Lesbian Newsletters, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed May 6, 2021, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/feminist/item/4096/show/4090.

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, Vol. 2, No. 5, May 1977
Publisher Breakthrough Publishing Co.
Date May 1977
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
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File Name femin_201109_528p.jpg
Transcript White House meeting GAY DELEGATION AT WHITE HOUSE POKEY ANDERSON, far left, MIDGE COSTANZA, center Pokey Anderson of Houston attended an historic White House meeting on March 26,1977. Her report follows: In 1965, Frank Kameny was in the first group of people to demonstrate for gay rights outside the White House gates. Twelve years later, on March 26,1977, Frank Kameny was inside those gates, along with 13 other gay activists from around the country. The delegation met with one of President Carter's top seven aides, Margaret Costanza, who offered a special welcome to Frank: "It's a pleasure to meet you. I'm sorry that it has taken so long to come into a house that belongs to you as much as it belongs to anyone in this country." Costanza and other White officials set a tone of openness and genuine concern, and even conducted a guided tour of the President's Oval Office before the meeting began. The unprecedented meeting was arranged by Jean O'Leary of the National Gay Task Force and covered three hours of well-documented testimony on issues ranging from less-than-honorable discharges for homosexuals to job and housing discrimination to abuse of gays in prison. Costanza promised to make the documentation available to Carter and other appropriate White House officials, and agreed to arrange meetings with heads of the appropriate federal agencies: Civil Rights Commission, Civil Service Commission, HUD, Justice Department, HEW, EEOC, State Department and Defense Department. Referring to the Defense Department, she warned women in the group, "Bring your bulletproof bras." Costanza noted she had received quite a bit of mail about the meeting, "including some letters from people who thought that perhaps on the way to the White House I fell on my head." She remarked that the 10 to 15 negative letters all quoted the same passage from the Bible, one from Romans. "This White House and this government belong to all the people. Whether someone comes here to speak does not depend on their issue, or whether the President agrees with their viewpoint. What today has brought is an involvement of people, people who have a right to participate in their government. . .The nation thanks you for asking for this meeting." She noted that even straight people suffer from anti-gay discrimination — individuals may lose the friendship of gay people out of fear of associating with them; governments lose the abilities of gay people by refusing to hire them. The meeting received national coverage; in one interview, Costanza expressed her shock at the extent of the discrimination from which gay people suffer, and said "there weren't too many dry eyes in that room" when the mother of a lesbian spoke of the many difficulties she had personally encountered. The next step for the gay community will be to prepare additional documentation for meetings with federal agencies. Costanza promised another meeting with gays in six months, to review their progress. If stubborn problems remain that demand the President's personal attention, she will ask him to meet with the gay delegation. In discussing further Presidential appointments to various federal posts, she reiterated the Administration's commitment to minority concerns. The delegation included seven men and seven women from a- round the country, including Boston, New York, Washington, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago and Houston. As Massachusetts State Representative Elaine Noble said, it was nice to see the inside of the White House under such friendly circumstances: "Some of us have been demonstrating outside the gates for so long, we wondered if there even was an inside." Certainly, one meeting will not win gay rights in a day. But, as Jean O'Leary beamed afterward, "The meeting was a happy milestone on the road to full equality under the law for gay women and men." &THE TRAVELING BROWN BAG LUNCH COMPANY Cl&. -noccJ^Sz^w*. Gac/f-/*^/^1 A$fce$iA 1708 SUNSET / HOUSTON, 77005 / 528-2264 THE MADISON CONFERENCE Over the past year, women have suffered legal setbacks in the areas of pregnancy compensation, ERA ratification, abortion rights, equal employment, sexual privacy and equal education. Recent national and local conferences on women and the law came just in time to provide encouragement and expertise for those who are concerned about the way the legal system in this country is treating women. Women from all over the country met in Madison, Wisconsin recently for the Eighth Annual Conference on Women and the Law. The conference examined a diverse range of topics: constitutional law; sex discrimination in schools and universities; labor organizing; Title VII strategies; law school recruitment and admissions; domestic relations; the effects of tax, insurance and social security laws and regulations on women and the rights of elderly and poor women. The conference has changed a lot since it was started in 1969 by a group of women in law school at N.Y.U. who were irate over the discrimination they had encountered both in the classroom and in interviewing for jobs. The goals of the first national conference were to establish a communications network among women law students and to devise strategies for bringing more women into the legal field. Fewer than 100 women attended the first conference. In later conferences, as attendance increased, the emphasis shifted to the exchange of cases, strategies and information pertaining to the legal rights of women. This year, more than 3,000 persons registered for the eighth national conference in Madison. The growth of the conference has in turn led to an expansion of the conference's goals to include recognition of the problems faced by women doubly oppressed by our legal system — lesbians and Third World women. The lesbian program began an entire day before the conference workshops on Saturday, but almost everyone was able to arrive early for this new section. Experi enced panelists in each workshop covered problems of gay women married to men, lesbian mothers' rights and discrimination in the military. The Third World women program explored the compounded discrimination faced by Asian- American, Black, Chicana and Native American women who have even more difficulty than other women in finding role models in the legal profession. The workshops, moderated by minority attorneys active in community organizing, focused on welfare advocacy and discrimination law. There was more time this year to discuss theoretical questions like: why are women losing ground in the courts, and what part does a less-than-booming economy play in these defeats? The extra day gave everyone time to examine substantive law issues, to hear directly from women involved in litigation, to speculate on what the future will hold for women and what part the newly developing specialty known as "feminist law" will play in that future. M Law conferences held JUDGE JOE KEGANS (L) SPEAKS TO LAW STUDENTS THE HOUSTON CONFERENCE In many respects, the Second Conference on Women and the Law held last month at Texas Southern University's Thurgood Marshall School of Law closely resembled the early national conferences; it emphasized the recruitment of women into the legal field. As more and more women enter the profession each year, the national conference has shifted its focus to offer training and substantive law analysis as well as encouragement and role models for women considering law as a career. Minority women, however, have special problems before, during and after they enter law school, and the number of minority women entering law school has not increased as dramatically as the number oi white women going into law. With this in mind, the Women's Law Caucus at Thurgood Marshall sponsored their Second Annual Recruitment program, designed to acquaint participants with opportunities in the legal profession. The two-day conference was free to any woman interested in learning about the field, in meeting other minority attorneys, law students, legal workers and administrators. It sought to attract women from a wide variety of lifestyles, at different levels of education — older women presently enrolled in college, women with college degrees but no jobs, and high school seniors. The turnout was excellent. Mary Daffin, a law clerk for Chief Judge John R. Brown of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals spoke about the problems experience^ by minority women in getting jobs once they have completed school and gave practical suggestions to job seekers. In her capacity as Administrator of the City of Houston's Fair Housing Division, Joan Edwards has worked to ensure that minorities in Houston are protected by the law, and that these laws are enforced. She emphasized in her discussions the effect women in law can have on existing administrative institutions. Representing the private bar, Ella Brown, a Houston attorney, addressed her remarks to the "joys and sorrows" she has experienced as a minority woman engaged in non-governmental law. Panelists Constance Fain and Thelma Garcia discussed the relationship between the law school and the community. In addition to the panel discussions, workshops were held on such topics as financial aid for law students, the Law School Admissions Test, and how the law school admission process functions. The conference ended on Saturday with the staging of a mock rape trial, presided over by Joe Kegans, a woman who was recently appointed criminal court judge. The recent conferences on women and the law held in Houston and Madison have helped make the motto "Women helping women through law" a reality. Patricia O'Kane HOUSTON BREAKTHROUGH • MAY 1977 • PAGE 15