from p. 15
a legal piece of paper that Dot and 1
belong to each other, we don't need
that. It wouldn't make it a bit different than what it is."
This weekend many gay couples
will be celebrating their love for one
another in honor of St. Valentine.
Those who do not have a lover will
not. So. what advice would Jeanette
and Dot give to those young souls
searching for Mr. or Ms. .Right.
"I don't think there is advice you
can give to people if they are unsure.
Because as soon they know that this
is right for them, then they are sure.
So. nothing thai anybody else is going
to say is going to make a difference
from page 1
"If we're going to be complacent, we
are going to get our butts kicked." said
Gary Van Ooteghem. president of Log
Cabin Republicans—Houston. They
are able to mount these responses
quickly, and we [previously] have not.
If we don't respond quickly this time,
we're going to get screwed. These religious right people are nuts, absolutely
Clarence Bagby, president of the
Houston Gay and Lesbian Political
Caucus, was equally alarmed. "1
think, of course we would like to see a
strong outpouring of support for the
position that the mayor has taken," he
said. The right-wing extremists have
already activated their system, and
are calling and berating the mayor's
It was unknown at presstime what
effect, if any. the anti-gay public opinion campaign had had.
Under Houston's city charter, which
provides for what is known as a strong
mayor form of government. Brown
does not need council approval, or any
sort of public referendum, to issue
such an order. (Houston voters overwhelmingly rejected a pro-gay ordinance in a 1985 referendum during a
special election marked by unusually
low voter turnout overall.)
In fact, in 1979 Mayor "Silver
Dollar" Jim McConn signed a similar
executive order. Such executive orders
expire when a mayor leaves office.
Kathy Whitmire, who succeeded
McConn, did not renew the order.
"However," said long-time political
activist Ray Hill. That seemed academic, as in order for anyone to see
Mayor Whitmire, they had to get past
Kay Little, and she was a former head
of the Houston Gay and Lesbian
Political Caucus and was (Whitmire's)
chief administrative aid*-*."
Bagby. the current caucus president, said he wasn't expecting Brown
to be intimidated by the pressure.
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The mayor has stood fast in all his
communications with us," Bagby
said. "Certainly there is always the
possibility that anything could happen, bul he has been unyielding in
his support on this issue from our
very first conversations on this a year
ago when he started his campaign,
until the present."
Call to action
As of Wednesday afternoon, Parker
said, "I have not heard formal opposition from any of my fellow council
members." Nonetheless. the
grapevine in city hall was abuzz with
the plans of anti-gay groups, she said.
"As we understand it, the more conservative elements in our communily
probably plan to fill council chambers
Tuesday in public session against
this," Parker said. She was urging
supporters of the measure also to
show up at thai meeting |2 p.m..
Tues., Feb. 17 at City Hall) to demon
strate to counteract the anti-gay
"I would wager a lot that city council chamber will be filled [Tuesday]
with people opposing this issue,"
Parker said. "That just makes sense
and that's what we're preparing for."
She urged supporters of the executive
order to call the mayor's office, write
letters to the editor of the Chronicle
and show up at Tuesday's meeting.
"Just as we saw in the referendum
13 years ago. thc righl wing is bring
ing up old tricks; using mislnforma
lion-saying it affects all workers in
Houston, when all it is jusi for city
employees," she said. "And they're
saying we have to prove then* is dis
crimination." Consequently, Parker
has asked anyone who has suffered
anti gay discrimination on a city job
or in hiring for one lo contacl her
More Import ■ jed sup
porters of Brown's executive order to
attend Tuesday afternoon's City
Council pi ibin session. Those who
want lo speak .11 the meeting, she
said, musi call ihe City Secretary's
office .il least i.ne hour ahead ai liim*.
"Thev should eall as soon as possible, though." Parker said. "It's sort of
a (Irst-come flrsl served situation and
it's possible thai it would be cut off if
people wait to call."
Meanwhile, the media frenzy over
lhe executive order caused Parker
some awkwardness in her relaiionship with Brown. The Iwo frequeiilly
appeared together during the recent
campaign that put both of them In
Wilh broadcast media swarming on
the story after it appeared on the
front of the Chronicle, mainstream
reporters were confusing the employment non-discrimination executive
order with a heretofore non-issue of
the city possibly granling benefits to
same sex domestic partners of city
During Wednesday's news cycle,
Parker responded to reporters questions about the second issue in a way
that alarmed Ihe mayor's office. "The
follow-up queslion was aboul domestic partner benefils." Parker said, "1
slated lhal I thought the mayor said
ihat he supported domesiic partner
benefits, at leasl in principle. <*\nd
lhal now Ihe thing lo rio was lo try
and form consensus on how lo deal
with Dial issue.
"Apparently the mayor became
ungltied," she said. "So I'm sorl of in
the dog house."
By Thursday, Mayor Brown's* office
issued reporters a carefully worded
written statement "clarifying" his
position on non-discrimination policy