HOUSTON VOICE • DECEMBER 10, 1999
Around lhe Nation 4
Hawaii court okays marriage ban 4
Former Houston teacher files bias suit 4
lobel resigns as head of NGLTF 4
Utah hate crimes law ruled useless 4
Challenge to N.C. DP lows forges on 4
Gaither's murder was a hate crime, killer says 7
Health News 14
Steamy new book documents gay animals .14
French doctors urge WTO help on AIOS ... .14
New Russian AIDS drug to debut in 2000 .14
World AIDS Day marked by setbocks 14
Police lack strong leads in early morning shooting
VOICES & ECHOES
Bearden: Hale on lhe highway 9
Editorial: Anti-gay ads in our paper? 9
OUT ON THE BAYOU
Outside the music box
Out in Print: 'Gore Vidal
On Stage: An invigorating 'hush'
Eating Out: No ploce to count calories
Donotions for holidoy efforts
CLASSIFIEDS . .
by MATTHEW A. HENNIE
The father of a 31-year-old Houston
woman who was shot and robbed made
an emotional plea last week for the public's help in solving the brutal attack.
Police have few leads and have been
unable to interview Tracey Lynn Deel at
length since she was robbed, shot several
times in the face and chest, dumped and
left for dead in the early morning hours
of Nov. 28 after leaving Chances, a
Montrose bar for lesbians.
Friends in Houston's lesbian community have rallied to raise funds for Deel's
medical recovery and joined with her
father to post a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and indictment of her attackers. CrimeStoppers has
offered a $1,000 reward in the case.
"My daughter has spent her life trying
to help people. I can't see how anybody
would do this to another human being,"
Richard Deel said during a press conference with police investigators Dec. 3.
"For those guys that are involved, they
are going to find you. Even if they don't,
one day you will have to meet God.
When you do, you'll have to pay."
On Thursday, the Houston Police
Department released a composite sketch
of one of the suspects in the case.
Authorities said two young Hispanic
males attacked Deel at Whataburger,
3712 South Shepherd, about 3:55 a.m.
and ordered about $9.55 in food.
Deel called a friend about 2:30 a.m.
Sunday and said she was at Chances,
which was preparing to close, police
said. About two hours later, Deel—who
had been shot several times by a .22-cal-
iber pistol—managed to crawl more than
Richard Deel, whose daughter was robbed and
shot, asked lor the public's help in solving the
Nov. 28 attack.
300 yards to awaken residents of an
apartment complex at 10280 Windmill
Lakes and ask for help.
Police would not comment on where
Deel's Honda Accord, described as a
white, 4-door with license plate VCB
71C and with a Green Bay Packers
sticker on the windshield, is still missing, police said.
Police released a composite sketch ol one of
the men suspected in the Nov. 28 shooting of
Tracey Lynn Deel (right).
About two hours after the attack, police
said, two suspects in the case were videotaped at two banks withdrawing money
from an ATM using Deel's debit card.
Some $400 was taken, authorities said.
Last week, police released brief videotape segments of the men using Deel's
bank card at the ATMs.
A third suspect in the robbery has used
Deel's credit card, police said.
"This is a pretty brutal crime," said Sgt.
L.D. Foltz. "The public should be cautious."
Tracey Deel Fund
Southwest Bank of Texas
Dwayne D. Whiddon
713-235-8881, ext. 1180
Attn: Mail Teller
P.O. Box 27459
Houston, Texas 77227-7459
Gays lose as Exxon Mobil dumps DP benefits
500 Lovett Bi*.
DALLAS (AP)—Exxon Mobil Corp. has
adopted a policy against giving benefits to
the partners of newly hired gay employees,
breaking with a policy at Mobil before the
companies merged last week.
The oil giant said Monday it would continue Exxon's long-standing policy of
extending spousal benefits only to couples
in legally recognized marriages. It will also
continue to extend benefits to same-sex partners of Mobil employees who were receiving benefits before the merger, a spokesman
Human Rights Campaign, the largest
gay-rights group in the nation, accused
Exxon Mobil of taking a step backward from
tin* trend of offering benefits to partners of
gay employees, a policy followed by about
half the country's largest corporations.
"Rollbacks or cancellations of these types
of policies are very rare, and we don't
understand why Exxon is doing this," said
David M. Smith, a spokesman for the group
in Washington. "Gay people don't have
access (to legally recognized marriages), so
thev are being denied a benefit made available to other employees in the workplace."
Smith said other major oil companies,
including BP-Amoco, Shell and Chevron
offer benefits to same-sex partners.
Exxon Mobil spokesman Tom Cirigliano
said the Irving-based company's policy is to
provide benefits coverage only to spouses in
legal marriages, including common-law
"We feel basing benefits coverage on a
legally recognized relationship eliminates
the need for the company to establish criteria of its own to assess the legitimacy of a
relationship," Cirigliano said, "that's
whether it's same sex or heterosexual."
At their annual meeting in May, Exxon
shareholders by a 94.1 percent vote rejected
an amendment to company bylaws that
would have granted benefits to unmarried
partners. Company directors had recommended against the proposal.
The new Exxon Mobil also has adopted
Exxon's general anti-discrimination policy.
Human Rights Campaign and some shareholders had urged the company to adopt
Mobil's policy, which specifically prohibited
discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Since 1998, Mobil had let employees in
same-sex relationships get benefits for their
partners and had a policy specifically bar
ring discrimination based on sexual orientation.
"Exxon Mobil's current policies provide
strong protection against any discrimination
on any basis, including sexual orientation,"
said Ed Burwell, a company spokesman.
The Human Rights Campaign said nearly 3,000 U.S. companies now offer same-sex
partner benefits, including more than 80
Fortune 500 companies.
Three years ago, Perot Systems Corp.
became the first large Dallas-based company
to offer partner benefits to gay and lesbian
employees. However, it decided in 1998 to
stop offering it for new employees.
L.R. Raymond, CEO
5959 Las Colinas Blvd.
Irving, TX 75039-2298