vol 3, no.
Continued from page 1.
the march, claiming they needed more
time to organize for it.
Chuck Renslow of the Metropolitan
Gay Business Association of Chicago
agreed with the Houstonians. "I'm pushing for a 1980 date in order to get properly organized," he said.
Differences aside, Shiflett and Ray
Hill, also from Houston, later agreed
to serve on the interim steering committee for the march.
An important decision on the
nature of the planning organization
was made early in the conference when
the delegates accepted a proposal from
the women's caucus to assure "complete
gender parity throughout its proceedings and march preparations, leadership, publications, paid positions and
in all related areas." The vote to require
an equal voice for women offset early
accusations that the conference would
be dominated by men, accusations
stemming in part from the letter inviting organizations to participate in
the conference, which encouraged,
but did not require, gender parity
in the delegations.
Since delegates to the conference
represented organizations, a disproportionate number of them came from
large cities with highly developed gay
communities like San Francisco and
New York. On the second day the
conference was criticized in a proposal from the Hinterlands caucus, which
consisted of delegates from non-urban
and non-coastal areas. Bringing to light
antagonisms already glimpsed, they
accused the delegates of "cultural and
regional imperialism," and "blatant
disregard of regional delegates." They
moved to delete the word "national"
from the march title "until adequate
representation of regions is obtained."
Their proposal failed by a vote of 74
There had been talk before the
convention of scuttling it in favor of
a later meeting modelled after the
International Women's Year Convention, in which delegates were
chosen by regions.
But the conference decided the
principal organizing structure for
the march would be a steering committee whose members would represent every region of the country equally. The rest of the organizing body is
to consist of a national board made
up of representatives of groups supporting the march and a coordinating
committee whose members would represent two proposed offices and other
The delegates accepted a list of
demands for the march, which reads:
1. Repeal all anti-lesbian/gay laws.
2. Pass a comprehensive lesbian/gay
rights bill in Congress.
3. Issue a Presidential executive
order banning discrimination based on
sexual orientation in the Federal Government and in Federally contracted
4. Non-descrimination in lesbian
mother and gay father custody cases.
5. Full rights for gay youth, including revision of the age of consent laws.
Gary van Ooteghem. publisher of
Houston's Upfront, a gay paper, has
been advocating for some time a
"human rights" march on the capital
which would be organized primarily
by homosexuals but would avoid
being identified as a gay event. Originally set at May 6, the date was later
changed to October 28. Claiming that
"Houston human rights activists are
the furthest advanced of any in the
country," an article in the January
12, 1979 issue of Upfront said that
"large numbers of gays would not
attend a gay march, but would support
the more broad human rights concept."
Van Ooteghem's proposal was soundly rejected at the Philadelphia conference.
Unless conflicts evident at the
Philadelphia convention grow and destroy what solidarity exists between
lesbians and gay men across the country, we are likely to witness this year
a spectacle never imagined before: a
million openly homosexual people on
the streets of Washington.V
Continued from page 8.
Once again, there are three nominees who could very well win. Warren
Beatty (Heaven Can Wait) is an enigmatic, mythified darling in Hollywood;
he may overwhelm everybody with his magnetism and sexiness, but not with
his somnambular performance in this film, his personal brainchild. Once previously nominated, Beatty could steal the award, but I say he won't unless
"Heaven" sweeps most of the categories. Don't hold your breath.
Jon Voight (Coming Home) was a favorite throughout most of the year,
and may indeed pull it out. His warm, sensitive portrayal of a paraplegic Vietnam vet practically saved the movie. In his favor: he has been nominated before.
Working against him: like Fonda, Voight must contend with the Academy's
poor memory of springtime films. My bet is that Robert DeNiro (The Deer
' &ci. tAe active man"
the best selection in adult
Hunter) will take home the Oscar. He has been growing slowly since Ins de
trifying performance in The Godfather, Part II. and the Academy has bee
watching closely, offering first one Best Actor nomination (for Taxi Drive.
and now another. With The Deer Hunter, DeNiro firmly establishes himse
as a major talent and artist. He makes superb acting appear effortless: h
concentration and his ability to communicate with or without wonN
amazing. I can't help but believe that, in the Academy's eyes, his time I
Best Picture of 1978. Predicting this category is always tricky businei
To guess Best Picture with any hope of success, at leasi two things must t
considered. First, how narrow is the nominated film's subject and tliemt
Second, how closely does the film reflect the nation's "lone".' That is. ai
the attitudes and the mood of current American society better projected i
this nominated film than the others? I think these are important considfi
ations, and they often work together. Annie Hall, for example, was not a rtarrtt
film; it dealt with a very fundamental concern in our society: the interpersod
relationship, and how it works - or doesn't work - under the pressures ,it
priorities of the seventies. Since this is a topic that is relevant and im portal
to almost everyone today, it follows that the film also reflected the "lone
of America to a substantial degree. Consequently it wasn't really surprisii
that Annie Hall won Best Picture.
What about this year? I'm afraid that Midnight Express, which documerj
the personal ordeal of an American youth imprisoned in Turkey for drug smu
gling, is too narrow a film to win. An Unmarried Woman is not really "narrow.
ii deals with a woman's perspective of love, and coping with change and nel
found self-reliance. That is relevant to everyone - women, and those who1
women affect in some way. Still, the film has a sort of upper-class bias th:
lessens its overall impact, and it doesn't carry the social consciousness th:
distinguishes the other dramas nominated. So ! rule it out.
Coming Home and The Deer Hunter, among those newly emerging Hint)
that try to bring the Vietnam War to some sort of meaningful perspective in th
American conscience, should be considered together for the purposes of the Bes
Picture award. Vietnam is not a narrow concern in any sense; though some o
us would rather not think about the war and its consequences, it remains in ou
minds, and therefore is relevant in one way or another to all of us. The questioi
is, "If competing alone, which of the two war films would win the award, baso
on its ability to deal with the concern most relevantly, skillfully and powei
fully?" The Deer Hunter would probably come out ahead of Coming Homi
It is more ambitious (to some extent Coming Home is contained within it]
if not necessarily more skillful. And, in my mind, it is more powerful, thougj
of course there is room for disagreement here. Still, I believe, The Deer Hunte
So that leaves two movies to consider head-to-head: The Deer Huutc
and the one comedy nominated. Heaven Can Wait. To speak of the latter a
"narrow" or "irrelevant" is ironically useless; where a light comedy is con
cerned, its escapism is precisely what people like about it. Its irrelevance i
its relevance, and in this case that's a powerful force indeed. Heaven Can Wax
is a slick, classy daydream, full of wit and gentle sarcasm. So the choice fo
Best Picture comes down to two films as different as night and day; there cai
be no hazy allegiance. The Academy will swing either to a painfully relevant
emotionally purging movie, or to a joyous harmless fairy tale. Whichever wa;
the Academy chooses, the decision will influence winners all the way dowi
the line. I believe the award will go to The Deer Hunter. But the selection o
either film will be an interesting reflection on the times in which we live.
Best Director. I don't mess with this one. Twenty-three out of the pas
twenty-five years, the Director award has gone to the person responsible fo
the Best Picture. Since 1 have picked The Deer Hunter as Best Film, I wouh
be foolish not to pick the director of that film, Michael Cimino.
Other picks. Cinematography: Nestor Almendros, Days of Heaven; Bes
Original Score: Giorgio Moroder, Midnight Express; Original Song, "Hope
lessly Devoted to You," from Grease.^