FARENTHCLJ DECRIES 'TYRANNY C?
-.'•c T0WN keeTING ONE
The Houston Gay Political Caucus sponsored Town Meeting I in Houston on Sunday, June 25. The Gay chicano
Organisation, the Lesberadas, a lesbian alliance, as
well as a society for gay civil engineers and The
Executive and Professional Association of Houston participated.
Former Texas gubernatorial candidate Frances "Sissy"
Farenthold was treated to a two-minute-long standing
ovation by more than 3,000 gays who attended Town
Meeting I after she condemned religious fanaticism
against homosexuals and urged gays to demand their
"full human rights."
Farenthold. formerly of Corpus Christi and no* the
president of Wells College in Aurora, N.Y. was the
"Racism is not a state issue, just like parenthood
and childbeatring are not state issues." she said.
"Human rights is a human issue."
Recalling a speech last week by Carter, Farenthold
said the president had vowed to continue calling for
human rights in such countries as South Africa. Yet.
she said, "inequality and basic human injustice" runs
rampant in this country."
Farenthold said human rights in America are subjected
to the "tyranny of the majority" and the"tyranny of
Speaking to the gay community meeting in Houston,
Farenthold said "The righta of this large minority
can no longer be trampled u»on," She stopped several
times on her way out a rear door of the arena to wave
to the crowd which cheered for more than two minutes.
Once the speech was over, Town Meeting I turned into
what one leader described as a "strictly business "
meeting of the gay community. All manner of issues
were debated, from the rights of transsexuals to alleged police brutality leveled against gays.
Several leaders of Houston's lesbian community stood
to declare that the Houston community of gay men had
largely Ignored women in the planning of the meeting,
which GPC leaders hope will be an annual event, and
in gay issues in general.
TGTF PLANS TO FIGHT
DURING 66TH SESSION
The plan calls for:
1) continual identification of human rights supporters in all regions of Texas,
2) building coalitions with groups of traditionally
underrepresented persons and with persons who support our push for equality.
3) a comprehensive communications network aimed at
grass roots involvement with local lawmakers,
A) establishment of an Austin office and a lobbying
5) $25,000 price tag to implement the plan.
According to Kathy Deilsch. moderator of the Texas
Gay Task Force, which sponsored Texas Gay Conference
Five and diafted the plan for the upcoming legislative session . gays will be visible and active in
Austin during the session.
TGTF issued a statement at the conference which
further explains their position:
He will be visible and active in Austin during the
next legislative session. The 1977, 65th session
was a forewarning to us. Be reminded that that session saw the first discriminatory legislation aimed
at Texas gays, a measure to prohibit gay groups from
being recognized and from using state college and
university campus facilities. Certainly such legislation was unconstitutional and improper; however,
there are legislators who feel that "the perverts
must be kept in the closet."
The Task Force is preparing to prevent additional
legislation of this type. An example this next session, commencing January, 1979, may very well be
aimed at prohibiting gay teachers and their supporters from teaching and to allow local school districts to engage in "witchhunts" to determine who
is and isn't gay. Similar legislation has been introduced and/or passed in several other states.
In April, about 30 Task Force members met in New
Braunfels Texas to lay the groundwork for this legislative push. At present, we are gathering data related to the legislature, that is, learning more
about the process of legislation, talking with key
supporters and more importantly, testing the waters
with legislators to learn how they view our concern
for the enactment of new legislation which will
single out Texas gays for harassment and discrimination. The active fundraising campaign to raise
$25,000 will begin later this summer.
A five-point pl»n was Introduced at the Texaa Gay
Conference Five, June 10, In Dallas. The plan outlines how the present Texas law, which criminalizes
homosexual conduct, will be repealed and how Texas
Gays will prevent discriminatory legislation from
passing in the upcoming 66th legislative session.
We believe we must begin our work early, so as to
deter and/or prevent action aimed at pushing us back
into the closets We will not sit back and wait to
see what certain interest groups and their lawmakers
have planned for us. Texas lesbians and gay men are
on the move.