TRIAL DATE SET FOR SODOMY LAW
Dallas - The trial of Donald F. Baker's suit
challenging the Texas Homosexual Conduct Law (Penal
Cede Section 21.06) has been set for June 15, 1981.
Baker, who is president of the Dallas Gay Political
Caucus, is hopeful that the courts will find the law
unconstitutional, especially since New York's sodomy
law was struck down in December, 1980.
Recently, oral depositions were taken in which
Dallas District Attorney Henry Wade and City Attorney
Lee Holt were required to defend the state's position
in maintaining Section 21.06. Most Texas city, county,
and district attorneys have been certified as the defendant class in the suit.
Section 21.06 penalizes sexual relations between consenting adults of the same sex in private.
The suit was filed with the sponsorship of the
Texas Human Rights Foundation and seeks to have
Section 21.06 declared unconstitutional and barred
from enforcement on the grounds that it violates the
individual's rights to privacy, due process and e-
qual protection of the laws guaranteed by the first,
ninth and fourteenth amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
Baker explained he filed the suit "because
21.06 is a blatant intrusion into the individual's
private affairs. The crux of the suit is whether
the state has the right to intrude into an individual's home and private life. I contend it does
not have that right. If a person is suspected of
being homosexual and arrested, the result might
be the loss of a job or the loss of child custody.
Being gay is not a crime."
Baker, 33, is a U.S. Navy veteran who holds
a master's degree from Southern Methodist University. The Dallas native-graduated cum laude from
State University of N.Y., College at Cortland.
In 1973 the Texas Legislature adopted the Model Penal Code of the American Law Institute and
added Section 21.06 to it. The model code endorsed
by the Institute does not recognize homosexual
activity as criminal. Since 1960, 23 states have
eliminated laws similar to Section 21.06.
The American Psychiatric Association passed a
resolution supporting the repeal of criminal statutes singling out homosexual acts by consenting
adults in private, stating in its 1974 resolution
that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and implies no impairment in judgement, reliability or
general social or vocational capability.
Founded in 1976, the Texas Human Rights Foundation is a non-profit public litigating corporation
chartered to fight discrimination on the basis of
sex, race, creed, national origin, age, handicap
status, and sexual orientation.
Austin party in honor of Donald Baker, July 1980.
From left: Dan Boyle, Don Baker, J
Steve Thomas, Donna Johnson,
McCOY ARRAIGNMENT DELAYED
Houston - The arraignment of Houston Police
Officer Kevin McCoy has been postponed indefinitely,
reports Houston Gay Political Caucus President Lee
Officer McCoy is the 25-year-old policeman who
shot HGPC Secretary Fred Paez to death in June, 1980,
on the eve of Gay Pride Week.
McCoy was to have appeared in court January 9,
1981, but the Federal District Court granted a postponement. A new date has not been scheduled. McCoy
is reportedly seeking more time to solidify his case.
McCoy is to be eventually arraigned on charges
of negligent homicide. The decision was reached late
last year by a grand jury investigation, after gay
citizens spearheaded an investigating task force to
press City Hall for action.
Although the charge of negligent homicide is
categorized as a misdemeanor, pressure had forced
its upgrading in order that the case could be heard
in felony court.
The trial hinges on evidence that McCoy was
drinking the night of the shooting and that McCoy
has continued to be homophobic since youth.
This Week in Texas
"Our God is not a woman
Our God is not a man
Our God is both & neither
Our God is I who Am"
REV CANDACE A. NAISBITT
CHURCH OF AUSTIN
Sunday, February 8, Congregational Meeting
after worship service (3 pm).
Saturday, February 21, Membership Day
11 am - 4 pm. Call for details.
Christian Life Series (Wednesday, 9 pm):
Homosexuality and the Bible
Counseling by appointment, 477-7747
Worship Services: 408 West 23rd Street
Sunday at 2:00 pm
Wednesday at 7:30 pm
Mailing Address : P.O. Box 18581
Austin, TX 78745
For more information regarding religious and social
activities, phone (512) 477-7747