Southern Methodist University
Torn Over Gay Rights Issue
By Don Ritz
The Gay and Lesbian Student
Support Organization (GLSSO) at
Southern Methodist University
has filed for formal recognition of
the group by the Student Senate.
This will be the second time the
group has attempted recognition
by the senate. The first attempt
was made late in the spring semester earlier this year; recognition
was denied. The organization then
made two attempts to have the
denial overturned. Both appeals
The senate will make its decision on whether or not to recognize
the GLSSO on October 4. On that
same day the senate will formally
"re-recognize" organizations less
than two years old and any other
organizations new to the campus.
According to The Daily Campus, SMU's student newspaper,
there will be individuals who will
attempt to prevent the GLSSO
from being recognized.
Saad Chehabi, president of
Young Americans for Freedom,
said, "I am still very strongly
opposed to the group. We don't
think they should exist. Alumni
who give money for scholarships
will stop donating. I don't want
them using SMU's name because
we're a very religous—very conservative school."
Ted Brabham, a student senator
last year and probably the most
outspoken opponent of the
GLSSO, said that he would seek a
schoolwide referendum on the subject if the senate recognized the
Brabham said, "The founders of
SMU worked too hard to let a
handful of radicals try to bring
down the integrity of SMU in the
Robert Rios, co-chair of the
GLSSO, said that there is no
organized opposition at this time.
However, Rios stated that it did
not become public knowledge that
the group would seek recognition
until this past Tuesday, Sept. 20.
Rios said that there have been
cases of individual harassment.
Rios and co-chair Leslie Cooper
sent a letter to the SMU administration protesting harassment of
The letter stated, "In the early
morning hours of Saturday, Sept.
17,1983 (approximately 2:30 a.m.),
after being awakened by noise at
his door in Smith Hall, a student
went to his door and found written
on the door with indelible ink in
large lettering: "FAGGOTT,"
"FAG, EAT AND DIE," as well
as "FAG, GO TO HELL, EAT
AND DIE," written on the name
tag of the door. The proper dorm
and campus authorities were notified.
"The GLSSO is determined to
pursue every incident of such
harassment. We believe that the
present rules regarding this type
of harassment are patently unenforceable and also believe that this
continued page 6
Do You Have
Health, page 11
The Newspaper of Montrose Sept. 23, 1983 Issue ..152 Published Every Friday
HPD Displays 'After Sundown' Clout; Nine Gay Bars Hit
By Robert Hyde
Last weekend saw a resurrection of fears
that have been waning since the days of
police chiefs Johnson and Caldwell as the
community reacted to the actions of six
members of the Houston Police Department, unleashed by a new District 17 sergeant, who entered nine popular gay bars
and harassed the bars' managers and
Throughout the week, there had been
rumors of arrests and late night rides
acrosB town in patrol cars, most of which
are now substantiated.
Over a two-night period, officers entered
The Montrose Mining Company, JR's,
The Bam, The Chicken Coop, The Midnite
Sun, Mary's, Dirty Sally's, Lola's Depot
and Kindred Spirits, reports Kent Spear,
aide to District C Councilman George
"There were six officers involved, one a
woman, and three patrol cars," Spear
said. "And these were HPD patrolmen, not
There were varying degrees of harassment. Some bars managers were reluctant
to discuss the matter until more information regarding an official community
response was gathered. Other bar managers told of ID checks, rudeness and arrests.
Randolph Parks, general manager of
The Montrose Mining Company, said that
the officers only asked to see his liquor
license and that the customers were not
At Mary's, the police went a little
further, said their night manager, who
asked not to be identified.
"Between 9:00 and 9:30 Saturday evening, two vans and a cop car pulled up outside, and six officers entered the bar," the
manager said. "They were very rude at
first, checking everyone's ID's and shining flashlights in everyone's faces. Three
underaged kids had just walked in off the
street and were standing by the pool table.
When the cops found out they were
minors, they were taken downtown. As
yet, though, we hadn't served them anything."
"Two guys were picked up for public
intoxication," he continued. "I know I
Berved one of them only two beers. The
other definitely was not drunk."
Then the manager was confronted with
what appears to be the officers' primary
demand throughout the two evenings as
they hit one bar right after the other. They
asked to see his license for selling beer and
wine. Since he was only able to show them
his mixed beverage permit from the Texas
Alcoholic Beverage Commission, the officers threatened to arrest him, and the manager called in a replacement. Upon
checking with police headquarters, however, the officers at Mary's were informed
that they could not arrest the bar manager
and that the mixed beverage permit
covered the selling of beer and wine.
"The officers were very nice when they
left," the manager said.
A few blocks away at The Barn, a statewide party commemorating the Third
Anniversary of the Sundance Cattle Company was in progress. Upon their arrival
at the bar, four policemen, apparently
unfamiliar with the Texas RiderB' uniform, accused a member of the club with
impersonating an officer, reports bar
owner Walter Strickler.
"The Texas Rider came upstairs to
where the party was going on to see me,
and an officer followed him up," Strickler
said. "I thought it was an isolated incident
until I went downstairs and saw the flashlights."
What Strickler did see was an officer
cornering his bartender and demanding
his beer and wine license.
'"Would you tell him that a mixed beverage permit includes the selling of beer
without a license,' he told me," Strickler
There were no arrests made at the bar,
but Strickler is noticeably upset over what
he deems is needless behavior on the part
of the police department.
"If they're going to enforce the law, they
should know what the law is," Strickler
said. "The TABC checks licenses periodically. There's no need for this."
A more bizarre incident occurred when a
man was arrested at Dirty Sally's, a few
blocks away. Rather than being taken to
the Reisner Street police headquaters, the
man was given a ride to Buffalo Speedway
and dropped off at the Kindred Spirits.
"We have witnesses to the fact that he
was dropped off there," Spear said.
Spear said that this election time walkthrough coincided with last Saturday's
opening of the campaign headquarters of
Mayor Kathy Whitmire, an incumbent
whose tenure has seen many confrontations with the city's men in blue.
"When the sun goes down, we have the
power," Spears said, referring to what he
suspects is a popular concept among
many officers, particularly those in the
Houston Police and Patrolmen's Union,
an organization some feel has a philosophy similar to that of the Ku Klux Klan.
But regardless of who was responsible for
the actions, many members of the community feel that the two progressive years
with Police Chief Lee Brown—years that
show a marked decline in police harassment in the area—have gone down the
And now no one is taking the blame.
Spears feels that the harassment might
be laid on the back of a "Sgt, Richardson,"
newly installed in District 17, who could
have brought in officers from other areas
of the city to display the HPD's "after sundown" clout. He stated that he did not
think any Montrose officers were
A Houston Gay Pobtical Caucus representative called a meeting with the Police
Advisory Committee on Thursday, and
the report of last weekend's activities
seemingly caught the committee by surprise.
"When I brought up the subject," Spears
said, "it caused a tremendous upheaval in
A task force to look into the matter was
formed immediately. Spears will chair the
group which will consist of a mayoral
appointee, an officer of the HPD and representatives from the Community Relations
Committee of the Jewish Federation of
Greater Houston, the Progressive Action
League and the Mexican /American Bar
"We're going to look into this matter in
hopes of coming up with a recommendation to be presented before the Police Advisory Committee, and if the committee
endorses it, it will pass from there to Chief
Brown," Spears said.
"The task force will also delve into the
general harassment of the gay community
over the past two years," he added, "and
will be documented by Greanias' office.
At the moment, word from the top is nil.
There is an ongoing conversation between
Councilman Greanias and Police Chief
Brown, but nothing firm has been
resolved. Phymeon Jackson, spokesperson for the HPD, told the VOICE, "This
matter has been brought to his (Brown's)
attention, and he's looking into it."
"I hope they don't think this is political," Greanias was reported to have said,
and he hopes that the community will give
him enough time to get feedback from the