ALGPC ENDORSES LOCAL CANDIDATES
The Austin Lesbian Gay Political Caucus has endorsed five local candidates in the November 4 elections. Endorsed candidates are Mary Jane Bode for
State Representative 37-B, Jimmy Snell for Travis
County Commissioner Precinct 1, Bill Aleshire for
County Tax Assessor Collector, Ann Richards for Travis County Cocrmissioner Precinct 3, and Guy Herman
for Justice of the Peace.
Mary Jane Bode is being opposed by well-financed
Republican Terrell Smith. Bode voted for the repeal
of Section 21.06 of the Texas Penal Code in 1978 and
spoke at Texas Gay Conference VI. Snell is running
against Republican Willie Tucker. Snell voted to include a sexual orientation clause in the Austin Fair
Housing Ordinance. Aleshire, Richards and Herman
have responded favorably to the ALGPC candidate
questionaire and are wholeheartedly endorsed. They
face token or no opposition in their races.
ALGPC held a "Meet the Candidates" party Tuesday, October 28. Proceeds went to the endorsed
candidates and to getting-out-the-vote efforts.
ALGPC CHARGES COPY SERVICE WITH DISCRIMINATION
The Austin Lesbian Gay Political Caucus has
charged Jim and Ginger's Kwik-Kipy with violating
Austin's anti-discrimination ordinance after the
company refused to print the ALGPC newsletter.
ALGPC co-chair Scotty Scott told CONNECTIONS
she took the ALGPC newsletter to Jim and Ginger's
late in September, 1980, after obtaining a bid and
a promise of next-day delivery over the telephone.
Scott says, "I asked the woman at the counter
if there was any problem with the lesbian/gay content
and she said, 'I don't know. The owner is a Christian. I'd better check.'"
Scott says after an extended telephone conversation, the clerk told her "The owner says he can't
legally refuse service unless the machine is broken.
But if you try to have us print it, he'll come down
here and break the machine himself." Scott says
the clerk also said the newsletter couldn't possibly
be ready until the middle of the next week, which
directly contradicted what she had been told over
"She asked me, 'Are you going to be very upset?"'
Scott reports. "I told her, 'I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving it here.'"
Scott then filed a complaint with the Human Rer
lations Commission. "This is a direct violation of
Austin's Public Accomodations ordinance," she says.
"It expressly forbids discriatiination on the basis of
sexual orientation and this is clearly discrimination.
The ALGPC complaint has been investigated, and
the Human Relations Commission is currently negotiating for an out-of-court settlement.
TEXAS DEMOCRATS OPPOSE ANTI-SODOMY LAW
The Texas Democratic Party officially adopted
a gay rights plank calling for the repeal of Section
21.06 of the Texas Penal Code (the "anti-sodomy"
law) at the second session of the Texas State Democratic Convention, which was held in Houston September 26-27, 1980.
The Lesbian/Gay Democrats of Texas (LGDT) and
their supporters worked very hard to include the
plank, which was rejected at the first Texas Democratic Convention, earlier this year. The victory
is a culmination of eight years of work within the
party. LGDT leaders credit the Carter Campaign
with essential behind-the-scenes assistance in
bringing the plank to the floor for a vote.
The LGDT-endorsed candidate for Party Chair,
Bob Slagle, won with 60 percent of the vote.
"DIRTY TRICK" HITS HOUSTON CAMPAIGN
by Jim Olinger
Houston - A "dirty trick" reminiscent of Donald
Segretti and the 1972 Nixon campaign has surfaced in
the Harris County Attorney race. Several lesbian/gay
publications, including CONNECTIONS, received a "news
release," purportedly from "The First Universal Life
Church of Houston," which implied Michael H. Driscoll,
Democratic candidate for the office of County Attorney
of Harris County, was a rabid homophobe who would devote
all his energy and the resources of his office to the
persecution of homosexuals. This is a flat-out lie.
A Houston Gay Political Caucus representative describes Driscoll as a "big gay supporter." Jim Evins,
a Houston attorney associated with Driscoll's campaign,
characterized the incident as a "crank letter." Evins
told CONNECTIONS, "Mike is not given to doing crazy
stuff. He and the Gay Political Caucus support each
"The Universal Life Church is the original mail
order diploma mill," Evins continued. "For ?5, you can
become a minister. A Doctor of Divinity and the ability
to become a bishop goes for $20. You can become a Saint
for $50. If you want your cat to be Saint Cat, send them
$50. They don't care."
Evins isn't sure the ULC is even associated with the
letter. "We called the church's phone number and got no
answer. Their only address is a post office box. We suspect the letter came out of Mike's opponent's campaign.
Ron Deere was a member of Young Americans for Freedom
fifteen years ago and he's still very conservative. Mike's
a pretty devout guy. He goes to church a couple of times
a month and this has him upset and annoyed."
It was feared that the letters had been widely mailed,
but according to Evins, "It's only surfaced a couple of
times so far."
ANTI-GAY CAMPAIGNER DEFEATED
A candidate who mounted a campaign opposing
lesbian/gay rights was defeated at the Texas State
Democratic Convention in Houston on September 27,
David Samuelson, a conservative candidate for
Texas Democratic Party Chair, sent letters to delegates from all over the state which criticized the
time spent debating lesbian/gay rights at the San
Antonio convention in June of 1980. At that time,
a resolution calling for repeal of Section 21.06
of the Texas Penal Code (the "anti-sodomy" law)
was narrowly defeated.
Samuelson is a member of the Travis County
Commissioners Court who is not running for reelection. Jimmy Snell, endorsed by the Austin
Lesbian Gay Political Caucus, is running for the
seat vacated by Samuelson.
Described by ALGPC co-chair Scotty Scott as
a reactionary with "some following among agricultural people, that's all," Samuelson received one
percent of the vote for state Party Chair.
The party plank calling for the repeal of
21.06 passed in Houston, putting the Texas Democratic Party on record as opposing the state's
intrusion into private sexual matters.
AUSTINITES ELECTED TO TOP LGDT POSTS
Three Austinites have been elected to top offices in the Lesbian/Gay Democrats of Texas.
Scotty Scott, current ALGPC co-chair, and
Steve Thomas, a former ALGPC co-chair, are the new
LGDT co-chairs. Janna Zumbrun, also a former ALGPC
co-chair, was elected Treasurer.
The elections were held in Houston during the
second session of the Texas State Democratic Convention, September 26-27, 1980.