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Gay Austin, Vol. 2, No. 9, July 1978
File 005
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Gay Austin, Vol. 2, No. 9, July 1978 - File 005. 1978-07. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. April 4, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/566/show/545.

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.

(1978-07). Gay Austin, Vol. 2, No. 9, July 1978 - File 005. Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/566/show/545

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.

Gay Austin, Vol. 2, No. 9, July 1978 - File 005, 1978-07, Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM) Digital Archive, University of Houston Libraries, accessed April 4, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/gcam/item/566/show/545.

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 Gay Austin, Vol. 2, No. 9, July 1978
Contributor
  • Kay, Kelly
Publisher Gay Community Services
Date July 1978
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
Place
  • Austin, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 5962538
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 005
Transcript GAY AUSTIN JULY 1978 viewpoint Gay political strategy at the crossroads By ARNIE FLEISCHMANN Anita Bryant's visit to Austin is behind us. So are the party primaries and the county conventions, as well as a series of referenda accross the country, These events suggest several courses which the gay rights movement might follow in Texas and Travis County. In a sense, we have reached a fork in the road and have two strategies to chose from. The first would have us play symbolic politics, a sure way to raise issues and consciousness. The other adopts a more low-key strategy. What can be said for each? Those who promote symbolic politics favor such actions at attempting to repeal the state's sodomy laws. Repealing section 21.06 would undoubtedly be a great ■oral and symbolic victory. Those who favor this strategy, however, should be prepared to demonstrate that attempting to repeal these laws during the next Legislature will actually yield positive results then. The situation is somewhat like marijuana laws. If few people are convicted for violating them, will trying to repeal them bring the self-righteous out of their closets? Will these people pressure for enforcment of laws which are currently ignored? Will theypressure for even more restrictive legislation like that advocated by the Travis County Republican Convention's resolution on hiring gay teachers ? These are questions which the proponents of symbolic politics must grapple with before embarking on their campaign. Many would call the second strategy accomodationist. Its supporters would like to avoid symbolic issues and concentrate instead on building alliances with office holders, bureaucrats, and interest groups. This strategy won't make the evening newscasts and nay prove incapable of maintaining the support of those who can't be full-time gay activists. Those who favor this approach willhave to respond to those who charge that they are taking a go-slow, conservative stance that compromises gay rights. Which shall it be? Personally, I tend to favor the second strategy for several reasons. First of all, we cannot count on the Supreme Court to overturn the state sodomy laws. A series of cases from Texas, Virginia, and North Carolina all suggest this. We may be able to count on the court to guarantee the rights of free speech and association guaranteed by the First Ammendment. But that leaves the questions of individual rights to be decided through the legislative process. Second, we can't win the symbolic issues yet. Asking the Legislature to repeal the sodomy laws next session is like asking the Railroad Commission to favor consumers instead of oil and gas producers- Why won't they do it? Because few. if any, legislators have anything to gain by supporting repeal- Politicians avoid risk, and our task ifi to convince them not only that gay people are not a risk, but also we may be an important political asset to them. What gay Texans need to do is cultivate friends in a Legislature which appears as if it will be more progressive than the last. Having cultivated such friends, we need to get them in a position where they rely on us for campaign workers, contributions, and votes. Only then will we be able to count on them when the going gets tough. Such a strategy seems reasonable in light of what lappened in the U. S. House of representatives when I was working there last year. When an oral vote on a gay rights question was called, we, won. When a roll call was called for on the same question, we lost. We must give politicians something to stick their necks out for. Opposing our enemies will not gain political victories. It's simply not enough to oppose Mayor McClellan for her conduct in last year's fight over a fair housing ordinance for Austin. Our task demands more than confronting delegates to the Travis County Democratic Convention with resolutions on gay rights. While such efforts are a necessary part of an overall strategy, they should get second billing to coalition building and public education efforts. We must influence the recruitment, funding and campaigning of candidates. Among the activities we might promote are forums at which candidates or their representatives can speak with gay voters Endorsements and accompanying press releases are valuable in building alliances. So is the monitoring of votes and statements by local office holders. Congresspeople and their staffs contin-ted on cage 6 Oory\ Qrxd Kvb n\oiKe.r cata\U dvscoss l\b aLeci^orv. To hjecor^
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