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Community News, No. 6, February 1975
File 009
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Community News, No. 6, February 1975 - File 009. 1975-02. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. March 3, 2021. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/1929/show/1924.

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.

(1975-02). Community News, No. 6, February 1975 - File 009. Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/1929/show/1924

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.

Community News, No. 6, February 1975 - File 009, 1975-02, Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive, University of Houston Libraries, accessed March 3, 2021, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/1929/show/1924.

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 Community News, No. 6, February 1975
Contributor
  • Reid, Allen
Publisher AURA; Texas Gay Task Force Communications Committee (Northern Region)
Date February 1975
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
Place
  • Fort Worth, Texas
  • Dallas, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 27910176
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive
Rights No Copyright - United States
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 009
Transcript STAR-TELEGRAM ARTICLE EXPOSES VICE SQUAD HOMOPHOBIA "Vice officers say the homosexuals they arrest are creating a public nuisance," wrote John MaKeig in a feature article about vice activity as related to victimless crimes in the December 29, 1974, issue of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "It's gotten so bad in the last year that you can stand on some of these corners for an hour, say, and you'll get a few offers," one officer was quoted as saying. "Also," the story continues, "officers point to the savage murders in Houston last year and a few here and say homosexuals are not entirely the peaceful persons many feel they are. "Officers say that making such arrests intermittently is a way of making their presence felt." In the article, MaKeig reports on a typical arrest by Officer John Ladd, who "stood looking like Jon Voight in a scent from 'Midnight Cowboy' waiting for his victim to be tempted e- nough to approach him. After circling by five or six times, a car stopped and Ladd got in. "From 10:20 p.m. to 11:15 p.m. the three vice units followed the car around north Fort Worth . .. wondering all the while why the driver hadn't.. . done something overt enough to justify Ladd arresting him. "At 11:25 p.m., the radio in (Officer) Carter's car crackled out the message that Ladd . had arrested the driver " when he had finally made a move of a "homosexual nature." "This just isn't your night, is it?" one of the officers was quoted as saying to the man as he was hauled off to jail. Unitarian Minister Responds to Star-Telegram Article (Excerpts reprinted from an article in the FIRST UNITARIAN ADVANCE with the permission of the author, Rev. Walter Baese, who at the time was pastor of the First Unitarian Church of Fort Worth) The article ought to have aroused the indignation and concern of all, who, if they don't understand the Bill of Rights nor the principles underlying concepts of personal freedom and individual rights, at least suspect there may be something wrong with tax money used to support young plainclothes police officers standing on street corners "looking like Jon Voight," as the article referred to them, for hours on end waiting for those terrible threats to public morals to pass them a number of times in their cars and finally ask one if he wants a ride (with Ihe intent admittedly of something other than simply giving them a ride, at least the hope). All the while this little charade is being observed by a second police officer in a darkened car who (Adapted from a drawing in IN TOUCH magazine) has binoculars. Then, in what presumably is a typical situation, the young officer may drive around as much as an hour or more with the man who has picked him up waiting (inviting) the overt gesture that assures the arrest of this dangerous deviant (since it may not be entirely clear, I refer to the driver, not the vice officer). One legitimately might wonder what the government is doing legislating laws concerning matters of personal choice that it takes such "trolling" to ferret out "offenders" and authorizing a considerable amount of taxpayers money to pay for the operation, particularly while real crime rates soar: robberies, rape, not to speak of other real and far-reaching crimes against society such as those labeled "white collar." How curious it is that the stigma attached to so many real crimes does not compare to that which would fall on the man in the car whose career is virtually over if it becomes known. Could it be clearer than if one is approached, he (or she) has only to say "no," or say nothing at all. I remember years ago in Miami Beach when a prostitute approached me and asked how I'd like a good time! Apart from the obvious fact that she surely misjudged in my own situation, I scarcely became unglued by this "outrage"! And why should anyone who is not terribly threatened (or tempted) already? I do think that "street cruising" is an unattractive behavior, though I understand the motives of lonliness that might cause it. Or the "It's got so bad in downtown Fort Worth that a goodlooking young vice cop can't stand on the corner rubbing the bulging crotch of his tight fitting pants for more than an hour without getting propositioned!" motive of those married men who most frequently engage in it who are fearful to be seen at gay bars or other places where gays would be together, thinking there is more of a risk in going there. That they sometimes are woefully mistaken is sadly the case: for instance when the hustler turns out to be a plainsclotl.es vice officer. But what percentage of homosexuals - and I refer to those of us who are gay and know it and within ourselves live comfortably, or as comfortably as anyone lives with himself - what percentage do you think engage in nightly street cruising? .001 maybe. And the deliberately misleading, intentionally deceptive statement from the vice officers that we are not "peaceful persons" is so absurd and disgustingly untrue as almost to defy any other comment. Something on a par with the notion that all black men are likely to rob 7-Eleven stores.... I think about a friend of mine who had left a gay bar with a friend of his. They were stopped by the police as they were getting into the friend's car. One of the two officers used the most abusive and derisive language against the two young men as he tore the car apart looking for and saying he would find "something" to be able to take those two "perverts" in. He didn't find anything, of course, but obviously did he neither apologize but left them to straighten out the damage with a string of the usual obsen- ities hurled at homosexuals by ignorant (and themselves threatened?) persons in or outside uniforms. It eludes me how any sexual relationships between persons mutually participating by their own choice and volition be those between the same or both sexes - can be called "vice" except by standards or criteria born of ignorance, superstition, hypocrisy, or, perhaps, envy. The vice squad is probably well named. But for the wrong reasons. The wrong "vices." At least where their "commando tactics," "trolling," standing around on street corners, waiting in darkened cars not for any crime with a victim to happen, or to investigate one that has happened, but to catch, punish, humiliate offenders to what are basically personal or private. conventional or parochial standards of morality. In this, it is they who are vicious. "Vicious" meaning, as in its Latin origin, vitiosus. indicates, full of faults, ruined by defects, flaws or errors, having bad habits, malicious, spiteful. mean. And they are not many who have had any contact with the "vice" who unlikely think the word doesn't apply to them. 12 / COMMUNITY NEWS / FEBRUAR Y 75
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