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Montrose Voice, No. 152, September 23, 1983
File 021
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Montrose Voice, No. 152, September 23, 1983 - File 021. 1983-09-23. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. October 24, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/1601/show/1592.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(1983-09-23). Montrose Voice, No. 152, September 23, 1983 - File 021. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/1601/show/1592

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Montrose Voice, No. 152, September 23, 1983 - File 021, 1983-09-23, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed October 24, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/1601/show/1592.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Montrose Voice, No. 152, September 23, 1983
Contributor
  • McClurg, Henry
Publisher Community Publishing Company
Date September 23, 1983
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 22329406
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Montrose Voice
Rights In Copyright
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 021
Transcript Gay Community Spies in the Closet—Part II 20 Montrose Voice / Sept. 23,1983 By Dan Siminoski, Ph. D. In my last column, I summarized some of the evidence indicating that the FBI has infiltrated and surveilled lesbian and gay groups since at least 1950. It appears the FBI acted for a number of reasons: the linkage of homosexuals and "subversives" in the early McCarthy era; the implementation of obscure federal laws regulating sexual "misconduct" by federal employees; and outright Bureau prejudice against sexual and other minorities. In response to a Freedom of Information Act search I filed a year ago, the FBI admits surveillance of an unspecified number of groups, including the Matta- chine Society, One Inc., the Daughters of Bilitis, the Gay Activists Alliance and the National Gay Task Force. Bureau statements to me and to the Justice Department acknowledge thousands of pages of records. However, other FBI-related lawsuits suggest that the Bureau now holds (or has illegally destroyed) tens of thousands of pages of pertinent records. This basic discrepancy, and the FBI's improper denial of a "waiver" of costs for providing me documents, have caused me to appeal the FBI's ruling to the Justice Department. However, after eight months of delays and missed timetables, Justice still has not ruled in my case. Therefore, as this column appears, I am filing suit in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles to force the FBI release all pertinent records. I will be represented in court by ACLU of Southern California; many gay and non-gay groups are supporting the case in a variety of ways. The coming legal struggle will benefit the national gay rights movement on several fronts. Of course, I want to review the records we expect to receive from the litigation, and I certainly want them to be available to other researchers. Accordingly, I have arranged to have all records (including my personal notes and diaries) deposited in the National Gay Archive in Los Angeles. Those records should help to reconstruct a significant portion of our history, unquestionably an important outcome of the case. But my purposes are primarily political, not academic. I am a political organizer, not a scholar or researcher. My firBt concern is for the long-term legal and political goals of the gay community. At least three Let us hear from you. Letters to the Editor Montrose Voice 3317 Montrose #306 Houston, TX 77006 of these goals might be affected by the case: increased cohesion of our local communities; increased strength of national organizations without depletion of resources; and improvement of connections with non-gay communities who share similar needs and goals. Let's consider each of these issues separately. LOCAL COHESION: I read somewhere that lesbians and gays are the only truly "Americanized" minority, since we come from all social, political and religious groups, sharing only Bexual preference in common. That fact is readily apparent when one travels extensively throughout the country, as I have in recent months. We are remarkably diverse as a national community. However, one side effect of that diversity is to make union and common purpose difficult to accomplish. The national community tends to unite in times of external threat (Anita Bryant, The Family Protection Act), but even in those moments of power, we have found it hard to present a cohesive image of ourselves to potential allies, policy makers and the media. That diversity has even made communication among ourselves difficult. Our groups tend to be organized by function, by race, by locality. In many locales, we are still struggling to lower barriers between lesbians and gay men, between social classes, between races. Our organizations are similarly fragmented. What we need are issues that touch all of us, that unite us and can be used as a tool to help others understand our problems and goals. This case will demonstrate FBI surveillance of gay organizations of all types. It will demonstrate a pattern of spying similar to that experienced by black, Hispanic, anti-war and other activist movements. As the AIDS crisis tragically and ironically shows, we can come together when the need is great. I hope that an effective media campaign around this case will help build even more unity. NATIONAL ORGANIZATION: Our national associations, beset by the effects of recession and the urgent but unplanned needs of AIDS research and information, are struggling for fiscal stability. As gay involvement in American politics broadens, so does its need for funds. I believe it would be a mistake for me to seek financial help for media and travel support from our national organizations. Legal coBts are being borne by the ACLU, and I hope to raise money from businesses, individuals and personal lecture and writing fees. As I have travelled around the country, media coverage of this particular issue has given me an opportunity to generalize from my case to the broader issues of the gay rights movement. Indeed, one of my principal purposes in this litigation is to create a forum for the discussion of gay issues with the general public. This case will graphically illustrate a scandalous history of interference with the rights of millions of "invisible Americans" whose only crimes are their sexual identities. It is worth noting that the ACLU sees this scandal not as a sexual, but as a civil liberties issue. Public perception of "gay rights" as "civil rights" makes gay/non-gay dialogue far more possible. THE RAINBOW COALITION: The most important benefit of the case may be the potential it offers for connecting our community with other minorities whose agendas are similar to ours. This "networking" has begun with considerable success: the gay role in the 1982 elections and consideration of the MCC for membership in the National Council of Churches, for example. The most recent example was gay inclusion in the "Rainbow Coalition," a constituent group that planned the "March on Washington for Jobs, Peace and Freedom." Connections with non-gay groups are increasing rapidly, another reflection of legitimacy and power. This case, with its overtones of FBI interference with a legitimate cause, offers a chance for us to bring our issues to the attention of all Americans. Working with other causes that have endured similar interference can maximize the success of our movement. READER INVOLVEMENT: No movement-oriented struggle is successful through the efforts of one person. This case is supported by a growing number of groups committed to the inclusion of gay people in the mainstream of American life. Individuals and groups can do their part by doing research, instituting press relations, arranging speaking engagements or fundraisers, or simple financial contributions. Dare to struggle! Dare to win! Dr. Siminoski is a political scientist who has been active in the gay rights movement for about a decade. He is currently working on a book. "Spies in the Closet," to be published by Alyson Press next summer. He may be written at 1221 Redondo Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90019. ©1983 Stonewall Features Syndicate. QaaXU** ... a ^iqUkoiied gi^t stone ir stowing if C$k fewgest ^eddy ^Bea/x Coiecto in cjUonfiose Come 9faij wiA Oh CaZUwi bib ^awtioMte—Houston. 'Uem 77006—529-8299 ©pen iMotdiHf lt*u Satwcfaij t lam-7pm. gfHdaijs t({ 9pm TRAV€L CONSULTANTS IWdLL €< Don't be Left Out in the Colfjl Make Your Holiday Reservations NOW to Obtain the Lowest Fares Come by or call to register for a FREE TRIP TO MEXICO Call Bruce Woolley at (713) 529-8464 or Toll Free at 1-800-392-5193 2029 Southwest Freeway, Houston »AMJ|:^
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