2 The Star/Dec. 9,1983
ACLU Filed Freedom of Information Suit for Siminowski
By Hollis Hood
The American Civic Liberties Union
Foundation of Southern California filed
suit in Federal District Court, Los
Angeles, on October 11 for the release of
documents under a Freedom of Information Act request concerning unlawful FBI
surveillance of gay activists during the
last 33 years.
The suit, filed on behalf of Dan Siminowski, political columnist, lecturer and
consultant, is the culmination of two years
of effort to obtain FBI gay documentation.
"The Freedom of Information Act case
that was filed for me by ACLU of Southern
California grows out of my initial inquiry
more than a year ago," said Siminoski. "I
requested the full record of FBI surveillance ofthe gay rights movement, and several facts became apparent. Many
individuals and groups had been FBI
targets. Documents in an unrelated court
case (AFSC vs. Webster) had demonstrated a pattern of wanton destruction of
documents by the FBI (including some 99
cubic feet of gay-related documents collected under a little-known federal law
called the Hoey Act) and detailed
Civil Rights Bills
Gain Support in
Arizona congressional representative Mo
Udall recently became the 73rd co-sponsor
of HR-2624, the national lesbian and gay
civil rights bill in the U.S. House, and Sen.
Ernest F. Hollings (D-S.C.) registered his
support of S430, making him the eighth
co-sponsor of the Senate bill for employment discrimination protection. Both
endorsements added momentum to the
national gay civil rights movement.
Udall, first elected in 1961, is a respected
elder statesman well known for his liberal
views and strong stand on environmental
issues. Because he had held off sponsorship for several years, Steve Endean, Gay
Rights National Lobby executive director
until his recent resignation, said Udall's
co-sponsorship should be considered a
major breakthrough for the bill.
The two recent sponsorships, the other
by California representative Douglas
Bosco signed in early September, renewed
GRNL's commitment for "84 by '-S4"—to
have 84 bill sponsors by the end of Jan.
Hollings, an announced candidate for
the Democratic Party nomination for president, restated his support for the anti-gay
employment discrimination bill' at the
National Organization of Women's convention recently.
"This is an excellent example of several
organizations working together for gay
civil rights," said GRNL Field Director
Endean further commented, "Sen. Hollings played a key role in the past by
standing firm against former anti-gay
'McDonald amendments' to Legal Services Corporation bills that passed the
House and were sent to the Senate subcommittee he chaired. With his help, we
were able to stop these amendments from
Just Put Your Head
in the Dentist's Lap
Japanese methods are in fashion from the
boardroom to the assembly line, reports
the Washington Post, and now they may
become standard in the dentist's office.
Researchers at the University of Maryland are experimenting with Zen dentistry. Surrounded by hushed voices, muted
colors and potted plants, patients lie with
their heads practically in the dentists'
laps while they operate in graceful, efficient motions.
Dr. Michael Belenky things patients
will feel more secure, and the added control gives the dentist a lighter touch.
responses from the FBI and Justice
Department to the so-called "capitalgate"
investigations which belied their assertions that contemporary gay groups were
not under ongoing surveillance."
The FBI acknowledged tnat it had some
5600 pages of surveillance records of gay
groups, which Siminowski discovered
while working on his current book. Spies
in the Closets: The Record of Thirty Years
of Federal Surveillance of the Gay Rights
Movement, scheduled for publication in
"We have been struggling with the FBI
since last January," he said, "to get these
documents released and to qualify for the
waiver of fees that the law provides to
researchers like myself whose work is in
the public interest. But there is a far larger
record at stake in this litigation. Gay acti
vists, FOIA scholars and students of the
FBI believe the Bureau has probably
gathered tens or h undreds of thousands of
pages of documents on the gay movement
since 1950. We believe that the size ofthe
record when fully released will demonstrate a record of federal activity against
millions of gay Americans that constitutes a scandal of national proportions."
He charges that the record will demonstrate FBI surveillance of normal activities of gay persons, but believes that
evolution of the case will help "policy makers, educators, the media and general public to understand that lesbians and gay
men are like all other Americans and
deserve all the legal protections that are
accorded to other minority groups.
"The documents we seek are essential to
the reconstruction of a full history of gay
Plan Now to Attend the
Gay Press Association
GAY PRESS ASSOCIATION
If you are working in the gay media or are a gay person
working in the non-gay media (either journalism, advertising or administrative), plan to join your colleagues in
Also, for officials of gay organizations who are NOT in the
gay media but who would like to learn how to better
influence the gay media local and national, we'll have
a special workshop.
To Henry McClurg, vice president
Gay Press Association
3317 Montrose #306
Houston, TX 77006
Enclosed is my $25 registration fee (for GPA members) or
$30 registration fee (non-GPA members) for the Southern
Regional Conference. (Include $10 additional if postmarked after Jan. 13) n I am in the gay media. □ I work
for the non-gay media. □ I do not work in the media but
would like to attend the workshop on influencing the gay
media and other events of the conference.
Name . - __
Address - -
DI am a member of the Gay Press Association DI am NOT
a member of the Gay Press Association
(If arriving in Houston by plone. train or bus, let us know vour timeof arrival and we will
pic* you up at th© airport or depot)
When we receive your form, we'll send you a conference schedule
and a brochure on the Savoy Hotel so you can make reservations.
(You do not have to stay at The Savoy to attend the conference.)
The Savoy is within walking distance of several gay clubs. Additionally, busses will be available for tours of Montrose nightspots. Your
registration fee will include tickets for free and discounted admissions to several clubs.
people in this country," Siminowski said.
He further stated that infringement on
personal rights was not anything unique
to the experience of gay persons and "that
a full record of the crimes committed
against us in the last 30 years will only
serve to emphasize the experience of
blacks, Hispanics, women and many
other ethnic and racial minorities."
Gay people are the last minority, he
said, to be understood as deserving of protection of civil rights laws. "We come in all
colors, faiths, ideologies and forms of
works. We are young and old, live in every
part of the nation, yet we have no legal
protections at any level of authority. We
demand the same protections accorded
other Americans and an end to instru-
sions by any governmental agents into
our lives or our communities."
The National Gay Task Force reports that
in the first eight months of this year, 1682
incidents of harassment, threats and
attacks against gay men and women were
reported in its Violence Project.
During this same period, the gay community was hit by the first wave of violence attributed to "AIDS backlash."
According to San Francisco's Community
United Against Violence (CUAV), fear
and hatred associated with AIDS was a
motivating factor in nearly 20 percent of
all incidents reported this year. The
Dorian Group in Seattle also reports that
gangs of youths seeking to beat up
"plague-carrying faggots" were responsible for 22 brutal attacks thiB summer.
In Northampton, Mass., over the past
year gay women were singled out for sexual assault and other physical attack*,
reports the NGTF newsletter. Establishments for gay women were vandalized,
and hundreds of phone threats and other
verbal harassment against these women
According to Kevin Berrill, Violence
Project director, "These (incidents) represent only a small fraction of the total
number of incidents that actually
occurred during this period. The great
majority of gay victims do not report
attacks against them, and far too many
still suffer the aftermath in silence and
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Contents copyright •1963
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