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Connections, Vol. 3, No. 2, February 1981
File 008
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Connections, Vol. 3, No. 2, February 1981 - File 008. 1981-02. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. April 10, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/2018/show/2004.

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.

(1981-02). Connections, Vol. 3, No. 2, February 1981 - File 008. Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/2018/show/2004

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.

Connections, Vol. 3, No. 2, February 1981 - File 008, 1981-02, Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive, University of Houston Libraries, accessed April 10, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/2018/show/2004.

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 Connections, Vol. 3, No. 2, February 1981
Contributor
  • Olinger, James K.
Publisher Gay Community Services
Date February 1981
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
Place
  • Austin, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 5962584
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 008
Transcript ^CONNECTIONS' VICTORY, THE LANDWK DECISION REJECTING THE DRISKILL'S APPEAL Excerpted by Jim Olinger VAGUENESS Defendant first contends that the term "sexual orientation" is ". . .so vague that men of common intelligence must necessarily guess at its meaning and differ as to its application. ..." However, the phrase is commonly found in the law books and is contained in civil rights ordinances of other cities. "Sexual orientation" is also a term of common usage outside of legal literature, including the Austin American-Statesman. A term so widely used in publications of general circulation cannot be "total babble." Defendant argues that since sexual orientations come in infinite variety and cannot be determined by visual inspection, an innkeeper may unknowingly blunder into a criminal lawsuit. However, religious orientations are no -less numerous and no more discoverable by visual inspection. Yet discrimination in places of public accommodation based on religion is clearly unlawful under the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The jury found beyond a reasonable doubt that Defendant knowingly limited the use of its facilities by complainants on account of their sexual orientation. Defendant's contention that the Austin public acccwnodations. ordinance ,is vpid^.f Or. yagueoess, is overruled. FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT; CRIMINAL TRESPASS Defendant next argues that its policy banning same-sex dancing on its premises is protected by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, Article 1, Section 19 of the Texas Constitution, and Section 30.05, Texas Penal Code ("criminal trespass"). The sixties sit-in cases established that "... places of public amusement. . . are established and maintained under direct license of the law. The authority to establish and maintain them comes from the public. ... A license from the public to establish a place of public amusement, imports, in law, equality of right, at such places, among all members of that public." City public accommodations ordinances are now numerous, and several have survived constitutional attack. Homosexual conduct is a petty misdemeanor under Section 21.06 of the Texas Penal Code. A petty misdemeanor is, of course, still a crime, but the statute punishes conduct, not the status of having an homosexual orientation. It is highly unlikely that the status could Le criminalized. Given that the status of homosexuality is not illegal and probably cannot be made so, was the i ty Council rational when it included homosexuals within the protections of a civil rights lance? Defining "homosexual" as a person with "more than incidental" homosexual experience, it can be imated that there are about twenty million homosexuals in the United States. This substantial number of American citizens has been subjected to discriminatory treatment rivaling that imposed on any racial minority, starting with the privileges of entering the legal, medical, military, and teaching professions and continuing through em- ' constitutionally protected interests in freedom of association, religion, speech and the right to raise children. The Austin City Council has had the political courage to outlaw some discrimination against homosexuals. This Court holds that the City may protect its inhabitants and visitors from discrimination based on their sexual orientation, and that an ordinance to assure such protection is not arbitrary, capricious or irrational. CRIMINAL TRESPASS Defendant next argues that the ordinance in this case purports to create a defense to the charge of criminal trespass, violating the Texas Constitution. This argument is not based on the facts of this case. The prosecutions herein are based upon Defendant's limitation of complainants' use of its facilities, not on denial of access. Complainants were free to stay so long as they did not use the dance floor for its customary purpose, as it was being used by heterosexual couples. In the case before this Court, assuming that the public accommodations ordinance may not conflict with the criminal trespass statute, a rational reading of the ordinance is still possible: "You may allow homosexuals into your place of business or not, but if you allow them in you may not then insult them by limiting their use of the facilities." Continued on page 8 Judge Steve Russell
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