10 Montrose Voice / Sept. 23,1983
Big Brother Balks
By Patrick Franklin
This year marked the 30th anniversary of
President Eisenhower's executive order
banning homosexuals from all government positions. In a more freewheeling
age, it's easy to forget the hysteria of the
50s when a slip of the lip could sink a
career, and gays, lesbians and people who
were merely "suspicious" lost their jobs
Dr. Dan Simoniski, a former political
scientist at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, hasn't forgotten, though. What he
also remembers is the surveillance that
was undertaken by the FBI on domestic
groups that were regarded as "subversive" (a common denunciation of gay activists) and which may continue now.
Siminoski filed a request on October 20,
1982, for all records held by the FBI on 13
specific gay movement groups and any
others affecting the gay and lesbian movement as well. Using the Freedom of Information Act as a lever, the search for
records included not only the main FBI
files, but those at seven field offices of the
Generally, the cost of such request is
borne by the applicant. However, a "fee
waiver" is available for applications that
result in disclosures which are "in the public interest." On January 3 of this year,
Siminoski's request was denied by the
FBI, claiming that the size of the public to
be benefitted was too small and his ability
to get the information to the public too
Obviously, the FBI is waffling. Millions
of gay people are affected by the existence
of government prying, and early indications show clearly that most gay activist
groups have generated government
records. Siminoski has published extensively, writing both for the gay press and
for major academic conferences.
Dr. Siminoski filed an immediate appeal
with the Justice Department and plans to
carry the case further should that be
denied. His case is considered a strong one
by attorneys and experts in Freedom of
Informatin Act issues. Whatever the
result, the case promises tangible benefits
to the gay community; if successful, at
least 2000 pages of documents (the
number the FBI admits having) will be
turned over for public scrutiny.
The case is valuable as a test of gay civil
rights and an opportunity for media coverage and public education. It opens many
doors between gay and nongay supporters
of personal freedom and open government.
Siminsoki's attorneys estimate that his
Kick the Habit:
Suck on a Tube
A tobacco-flavored pacifier for adults is
the latest aid for smokers hoping to kick
the habit. It's called "Smokebreak"—a
white plastic tube the size of a cigarette,
with a tobacco or menthol-flavored cotton
The manufacturer says "Smokebreak"
tastes like the real thing, satisfies your
oral fixation and gives you something to
do with your hands.
A kit of two "Smokebreaks" costs $8 and
is supposed to last three to six months. For
another two bucks, reports the San Francisco Examiner, you can get a booklet on
the dangers of smoking.
You can now prepare yourself for disaster
and earn a college degree at the same time.
Starting this fall, reports the Chronicle of
Higher Education, North Texas State University is offering a bachelor's degree in
Emergency Management and Administration.
The first of its kind in the country, the
program will train students to deal with
everything from mudslides to nuclear war.
legal fees will run from $10,000 to $20,000,
with associated travel, telephone and public relations costs. The gay and lesbian
community has a great deal at stake in his
work, and we strongly urge contributions
to Siminoski so that he can continue to
prepare and pursue a case that affects us
Any contributions are not tax-
deductible, since the government does not
regard this as in the public interest. You
can mark the anniversary of the Presidential Decree of Shame by sending financial
support to Freedom of Information
Defense Fund, Dr. Dan Siminoski, 1221
Redondo Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90019.
Dan can be called for more information
or to arrange speaking engagements at
®1983 Stonewall Features Syndicate
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