FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 2. 1990/ MONTROSEVOICE
Another salesman totally overwhelmed by
this year's sales theme.
AIDS activists protest Ind. Senate bills
INDIANAPOLIS (AP)—About 30 permit physicians to conduct Indiana chapter of the AIDS Coa- makers to defeat Senate Bills 260
AIDS activists chanted and sang AIDS tests without the consent of lition to Unleash Power, or ACT- and 302.
outside the Indiana Statehouse to 'he patient, UP. gathered on the east steps of "We're going to put forward a
opposetwoSenatebillsthatwould Members of the newly formed theStatehouseJan.24tourgelaw- positive viewpoint," said organiz-
iric Evans of Indianapolis,
re not going to sit back and
h bills ge. passed that Uke
Gays say bigotry, violence has reached new heights
SEATTLE (AP)-Gays and lesbians leaving the closet in hopes of
finding a place in an enlightened
society have instead run into a
wall of hatred, speakers said at a
conference on hate-group crime.
Bigotry and violence against homosexuals have reached epidemic
levels, said Daniel Levitas, executive director of the Atlanta-based
Center for Democratic Renewal.
The center, which monitors such
crimes across the nation, sponsored the program Jan. 27.
"Intolerance is so great that it's
a fundamental challenge to the
fabric of a democratic society."
Levitas told the approximately
250 people attending the conference. "'We are moving backwards.
Whether we continue to move
backwards or will begin to move
forward is dependent upon what
actions are taken or not taken by-
people of good will."
Conference speakers said many
attacks against gays are committed by members of various "hate"
groups across the country or their
Levitas said there are 20,000
members of groups such as the Ku
Klux Klan, skinheads, and neo-
Nafcis and for each actual member
of these groups there are 10 sym-
Kevin Berrill, director of the Anti-Violence Project ofthe National
Gay and Lesbian Task Force, said
gays and lesbians are under siege
not only from the AIDS disease
but from fundamentalist churches
and far-right forces.
"Despite tremendous social and
political obstacles, we have managed to make significant progress!' said Berrill. the keynote
speaker at the conference.
"Visibility is what allows us to
organize, educate and challenge
Berrill believes violence against
homosexuals will intensify in the
His Washington, D.C,-based organization reported there were
7.24H incidents of violence against
gays and lesbians in 1988, up from
7,008 in 1987, 4946 in 1986 and
21)42 in 1985. The numbers have
risen each year not only because
more attacks occur, but because an
increasing percentage are reported, Berrill said.
A 64-year-old retired Lutheran
minister who asked that he not be
identified said even gays who are
not the targets of violence must
endure great difficulties in this
"You can't live a normal life, because homosexuality is not normal to the public's image, but it is
to me," he said. "That is my life.
That is who I am and have always
"I'm looking for ways where 1
can begin to address some of the
gay-lesbian issues that the church
needs to face," he said.
SAPULPA, Okla. (AP)-The ;
Creek County school board has 4
dismissed a history teacher who .. '
conducted a classroom discussion ;
Mike Elledge, an Allen Bowden 5
School teacher, pleaded wilh *
board members during a meeting j
Jan. 23 to let him remain on the ;
"Please don't Eire a very good ';
and caring teacher for a five-mi- .';
mite talk on a forbidden subject/
Elledge said. "Maybe my talk with .Tt
the kids about AIDS was bad judg- ;
Elledge'b voice cracked and he.-';
wept at one point during his,"
speech to the school board He left '"
the meeting surrounded by his stu ^
dents and said he would appeal
(.Inly hours alter the board's de- '-
cision, results of county elections :
were announced. Ten of the 12 ■■%
board members oil her did nut seek-;
rceleciiiiii or wore replaced.
Elledge Baid he talked about ac--:
quired immune deficiency syn- "
drome with four of his classes on -
He said he told a hypothet:
story, using himscll as an example-
at one point, in which ■_. higb
school girl has sex with a hoy wb
had previous sex partners to ill
trate "the pyramid effect of c
Assistant Principal Ra/
Walker said parental per
is required to discuss AI D§
According to the state/
teaching AIDS, "schrx
shall make the curric/
materials that will be u/1 le
AIDS prevention an/ucatlon
available for inspeJ1 by lh*'
parents and Juardi/o£ *e stU
dents that mill i
Katie Ve*. a pai*ot who works [
in a nursealTulsaRetfionalMedi-,
dlCentel sivs she complained l».
Piacips >ita Rusher after herld-
yea,oldson told her about the dis-
"I Wee lhal kids need to be.
taughbabout AIDS, but only by.
somenn. who is certified to do so. ■
Mrs. Veil said. "I'm a profession
al, and r wouldn't touch the subnet in a c.assrnom setting."
Crowd pushes for rights measure
By HAL SPENCER
OLYMPIA, Wash. (API-Proponents of a bill to extend civil rights to
homosexuals told an overflow, crowd
at a legislative hearing about discrimination that has cost them jobs,
housing, insurance, coverage and
Eight people appeared to testify
against the measure Jan. 24, some
contending homosexuality is a chosen perversion rather than a biological condition and saying the bill
would lead to special treatment for
pedophiles, alcoholics and others.
Rep. Mike Todd, D-Aaburn, chairperson of the House State Government Committee, ran a tight ship,
ensuring that testimony on the volatile issue did not stray too far afield.
The crowd, which overwhelmingly
favored the bill, was restrained.
The bill. HB2072, sponsored by
Rep. Cal Anderson, D-Seattle, is the
13th such measure to be introduced
in as many years.
"I think if people see the kind of
turnout we have here tonight, we
might have a chance of getting this
through," Anderson said. Tacoma
voters narrowly repealed a gay
rights law last fall while Seattle has
such a law in force.
The legislation would place homo
sexuals under the same state law
that bars discrimination based on
race, religion, national origin, sex,
marital status, age or disability. It
would ban discrimination on issues
ranging from housing to employ-
Backers told stories of discrimination that ranged from losing their
jobs to assault.
Seattle minister David Austin
said he has been assaulted twice because of his sexual preference and
was struck on the back of a head
with a pistol in the last attack. "It
was a long time after each incident
before I could walk down the street
without extreme fear or paranoia,"
ing job at the Sequim Gazette in October after she told co-workers she is
a lesbian. She said she was fired despite good performance reviews before she divulged her sexual preference. No spokesperson for the
Sequim Gazette was immediately
available for comment.
A panel of young men told the
committee that homosexuality is especially difficult for teens, who feel
they must hide their sexual preferences from their parents, friends
and school teachers. Many are harassed and heaten hy classmates,
they said. "We had to live a secret
life, lying to family and friends."
said Eric Hess of Bellevue.
Patricia Henderson of Seattle said
she is discriminated against because she doesn't like homosexuals.
"I should be given the right by the
Constitution to discriminate. There
is rational discrimination and irrational discrimination.'' she said, declaring lhat discrimination against
homosexuals is rational.
She and others said homosexuals
don't need protections against dis
crimination Doug Burman of
Lakewood said if the bill should become law, there will be an effort to repeal it through an initiative.
"The amount of anti-gay violence
is astonishing," said Mark G. Michael, a Seattle psychiatrist who
treats many gay men and women. "I
wish you could see their pain. To be
fired for who you are is a very painful and scarring experience."
Seattle minister Bob Fitzgerald
said he has three children, one of
whom is homosexual, and he considers discrimination a family issue.
"They all seem to be protected except
my youngest son. and I wantiupro-
tectionj now," he said.
"I urge you to consider this a family issue-justice for members of a
Opponent Judy Perry of Olympia
said. "There is a way that seems
right unto man. bot that way brings
Gay people "don't need to be given
any different rights than black people," she said, drawing a roar of
laughter from the crowd.
Enjoy an evening of
for the healing of AIDS.
Saturday, February 3
Vor ticket information
1HLART STRINGS is a project of DIPTA
IX'sifin Industries Foundition for AIDS
luc.-d in 1 Illusion by Ik-ring Community Service l:o