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National Gay Rights
WASHINGTON, D.C. - With far more
co-sponsors than at any comparable point
in a Congressional session, Representees Ted Weiss (D-NY) and Henry Waxman
(D-CA) have re-introduced the national
lesbian and gay civil rights legislation in the
House of Representatives. According to the
Gay Rights National Lobby, this Session's
bill, H.R. 1454. has a total of 34 initial
sponsors. H.R. 1454 is virtually identical to
the last Congress' H.R, 2074.
Although last Session's bill had 55
sponsors at one point, only 49 returned to
Congress this year. The general disorganization accompanying the beginning
of a Congressional Session probably accounts for the fact that some of the former
co-sponsors have not yet signed on.
While the current 34 sponsors is a high
mark for this early in the Congressional
session, Steve Endean, Executive Director
of the Gay Rights National Lobby, warned
that we could lose some ofthe former co-
sponsors from the 96th Congress.
The general apprehension about the
apparent rightward shift politically and the
extra cautious Congresspeople who are
uncertain what reapportionment will do to
their districts could contribute to reluctance
to again co-sponsor gay civil rights
legislation. Endean also pointed out that
several former co-sponsors took a lot of
"political heat" for their co-sponsorship
without off-setting positive feedback from
gay constituents. Among those who have
not yet signed on is long-time sponsor Rep.
Norman Mineta (D-CA). Mineta's district
includes San Jose, which recently repealed
its local gay rights ordinance by a margin of
2 to 1.
The only Texas Representative to co-
sponsor the bill is Mickey Leland
Gay Rights National Lobby urges those
committed to civil rights for gay people to
write the chief sponsors to express
appreciation: Cong. Ted Weiss, 132
Cannon House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515, and Cong. Henry
Waxman, 2418 Rayburn House Office
Building, Washington. D.C 20515.
Mom ...Guess What
Paez Killer Likely
To Be Acquitted
HOUSTON - Members of the Fred Paez
Task Force told a March 22 community
meeting they expect an acquittal of the
officer indicted in the June 28, 1980
shooting death of Gay Political Caucus
secretary Fred Paez.
"I think that we pretty much all agree that
we expect an acquittal," said Ray Hill, a
member of the task force and persona!
friend of Paez. "In terms of prosecutional
evidence, there is none."
Officer Kevin M. McCoy was indicted by a
Harris County grand jury in October, 1980,
of negligent homicide. McCoy had testified
that Paez had made sexual advances
toward him and that his (McCoy's) gun had
discharged when Paez had resisted arrest.
The task force was organized by the gay
community to investigate the case.
Despite the lack of concrete evidence
against McCoy, Hill feels that there had to
have been a prior conspiracy by officers
who testified last October in the grand jury
investigations because many of them have
been involved in anti-gay activities in the
past. Hill admits, however, that his feelings
are academic because "there is not a shred
of evidence to support them.''
Lee Harrington, president ofthe Houston
Gay Political Caucus and a member ofthe
task force, in referring to other police-
related deaths, including those of Randall
Webster, Joe Campos Torres and Gary
Wayne Stock, said, "It is lamentable that
again, in Houston, Texas, we have another
situation (with the Houston Police Department) where no one can really know what
Ray Hill put the situation in stronger
terms when he said, "Let's let people draw
their own conclusion that they (HPD)
murdered him (Paez) and got away with it."
A recent motion on behalf of McCoy to
have the case dismissed was denied and
the trial has been set for May 11.
This Week in Texas
Gay Radio in Austin And
by Wayde Frey
KUTFM is the radio station that
cancelled A Different Drummer. Austin's
first and only gay radio program, in 1980.
KUT-FM is owned by the University of Texas
at Austin, the wealthiest public university in
KUT is only one of the three publicly-
owned radio stations in Austin. The other
two are KMFA and KAZI. KUT is conducting a fund-raising drive during April. If
you want to contribute money to
community-owned radio in Austin, why not
give your money to KMFA or KAZI, stations
that need it"? Remember which station
cancelled Austin's gay radio program.
CONNECTIONS has learned that one of
the publicly-owned radio stations in Austin
may begin rebroadcasting A Different
Drummer, which was a 30-minute weekly
gay radio program produced by Can-
Strong and the Austin Gay Radio Collective
in association with Gay Community
Services. The program was sacked by KUT-
FM in the spring of 1980 after it ran for 13
weeks, despite enthusiastic response from
Gay Press Convention
The Gay Press Association (GPA) will
hold a national convention at the Melrose
Hotel in Dallas May 2-3, 1981. The group
was formed in New York City in January,
More than 100 members of the gay
press, including individuals from other
English-speaking countries, are expected
The Dallas Gay Alliance may sponsor a
cocktail reception for the group.
Texas publications planning to participate in the Dallas convention include
CONNECTIONS, METRO TIMES (Dallas-
Fort Worth), and THIS WEEK IN TEXAS
Some of the other members of the GPA
include THE ADVOCATE, IN TOUCH. THE
SENTINEL, GAY COMMUNITY NEWS.
GAY LIFE CHICAGO, and FIRST HAND.
One of the agenda items at the May
convention will be to set up a computerized
gay press wire service.