|Q Gay Austin August, 1978
PORTLAND TOWN COUNCIL OFFERS GAYS
ERGPERTY_ARBITRATIO.N-SERVICE FOR DISPUTES
The Portland (Oregon) Town Council, concerned about
how gay couples who are splitting up deal with property division, is offering the gay community an arbitration service. In order to use the service, both
parties must agree to submit to arbitration as co-
petitioners and agree to decide whether the arbitration is to be advisory and non-binding or binding
and enforceable in a court of law. The arbitration
is done by a panel of three people whose names are
submitted in advance and agreed on by the petitioners. One of the arbitrators is an attorney. The fee
for the service is based in part on the value of the
property in dispute.
NYC GAYS, POLICE CLASH IN BASEBALL GAME
New York's finest, the championship Sixth Precinct
squad, met the finest athletes of New York's 12-team
Metropolitan Community Athletic Association in the
first annual Police vs. Gay softball game on Sunday,
June 11. It was a day for symbolic conflicts; an
overflow crowd of some 2,000 excited fans cheered the
action in Manhattan's Central Park. Despite a suitably macho effort and the energetic cheerleading of
four costumed pompom boys, the gay all-stars went
down in defeat, 12-4.
The game's spirit of friendly interchange follows
eight months of weekly police-gay community dialogues
held at the Sixth Precinct station house. Precinct
Captain Aron Rosenthal in his printed welcome expressed the hope that "familiarity can breed respect"
and said that the goal of the dialogues has been "to
help us all see beyond the labels and stereotypes
that reduce human beings fco one-dimensional characters."
STATE OFFICIAL IN CALIFORNIA RETRACTS
STATEMENT ON HOMOSEXUAL CHILD ABUSERS
California's Secretary of State, March Fong Eu, in
a speech last March to the state Parent Teacher Association Meeting in Los Angeles, stated, "The police
department (of Los Angeles) conservatively estimates
that last year alone there were 34,000 cases of child
70* 1.61* StrMt
abuse involving seKual activities, 70 percent of
which were homosexual in nature." Her statement, based
upon the testimony of LA police Lieutenant Donald La-
Guardia before the California Senate Select Committee
on Children and Youth last year, horrified gay people
in the state. Supervisor Harvey Milk, an elected San
Francisco city official, wrote to the Secretary of
State to protest the figures. Eu met with Milk and
his staff, and as a result of the meeting wrote a retraction and a letter to LA Police Chief Daryl Gates
asking for an explanation of the erroneous figures.
Gates investigated, and responded in a letter to Eu,
that he "has reevaluated the ... figure and concluded
that although the estimate was the result of considerable research, it was not based on hard data. Therefore , the estimate is considered speculative in nature and will not be used again."
EUROPEAN COMMISSION OF HUMAN RIGHTS TAKES
GAY BRITON'S COMPLAINT AGAINST ENGLAND
The European Commission of Human Rights, headquartered in Strasbourg, has accepted another case from
a man challenging laws on homosexuality in the British Isles. Peter Wells, an English businessman, was
sentenced to two and a half years in prison in 1974
for having sex with two 18-year-old men. Wells is
claiming that his conviction and imprisonment violate three articles of the European Convention on
Human Rights. England has signed the convention, and
the government admits that its action against Wells
was interference with his private life. But, it
claims, it was justified under an article that protects the "health and morals" and "protection of the
rights and freedoms of others," The commission has
admitted Well's application.
POLICE IN AUSTRALIA CARRY OUT 'MILITARY'
RAID AGAINST GAYS CELEBRATING SOLIDARITY
On June 24, during "Mardi Gras" celebration of International Homosexual Solidarity Day, police from
the Darlinghurst district of Sydney carried out what
an Australian newsletter termed a "military-style
attack. Everyone caught in the middle of this operation ... was in danger of being bashed and/or taken
... into custody. Heterosexuals, whether sympathetic
or not, were also detained." The public address system and truck carrying it were confiscated. According
to witnesses, police made a special point of brutalizing the women in the march. When one woman screamed
at a police officer, "Let go of my tit," she was
charged with using offensive language. After the arrests of 54 people, lawyers and doctors who tried to
enter the police station to see clients and the injured were threatened with charges of trespass. 24
women were confined in a cell designed to be occupied
by two people.
The Gay Solidarity Group at Sydney University is
urging people to send letters to Neville Wran, Premier of New South Wales to request an inquiry into
the police violence.
The Australian newspaper The Age has conducted a poll
that reveals that 57 percent of the public believes
that gay people should have the same status under the
law as heterosexuals for whom the age of consent is
16. Younger people and those with university education indicate even stronger support for gay rights.
At present, consensual sex for gay people is permitted in only two states and is illegal in all the