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Montrose Voice, No. 460, August 18, 1989
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Montrose Voice, No. 460, August 18, 1989 - File 006. 1989-08-18. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. June 4, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/163/show/149.

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.

(1989-08-18). Montrose Voice, No. 460, August 18, 1989 - File 006. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/163/show/149

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. 460, August 18, 1989 - File 006, 1989-08-18, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed June 4, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/163/show/149.

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. 460, August 18, 1989
Contributor
  • McClurg, Henry
  • Darbonne, Sheri Cohen
Publisher Community Publishing Company
Date August 18, 1989
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 006
Transcript RIDAY. AUGUST II '/MONTROSEVOICE 5 THRF wants insurance companies to comply with new law In anticipation of new legislation scheduled to take effect on Sept. 1, the Texas Human Rights Foundation is monitoring the insurance industry's underwriting practiced regarding testing of insurance applicants for exposure to the virus that causes AIDS. These practices, heretofore governed by formal rules under the State Board of Insurance, will now be regulated by a state statute passed in the recent legislative session. THRF is a non-profit foundation which has operated a statewide, toll-free telephone line since July 1988, through which callers can receive free legal counseling and attorney referrals for AIDS-related legal problems (1-800-828-6417). THRF became involved in the issue of insurance practices and AIDS testing in August of last year when it filed a formal complaint with the State Board of Insurance against Midland National Life Insurance Company. The complaint alleged that Midland's underwriting practices violated the board's anti-discrimination regulations by using zip codes to determine which applicants for insurance would be required to take a blood test to detect the presence of HIV antibodies, the test that indicates exposure to AIDS. After much prompting from THRF, the board proceeded to investigate the companies use of zip codes, and determined in Februar- y that Midland's selection of certain codes to determine who would be required to take the test was overly broad. The board instructed Midland to re-evaluate its AIDS testing policy to make sure it was grouping applicants ac cording to actual levels of risk presented, rather than an unsubstantiated assumption of where "risk groups" were located. hi i j the board. Midland conceded that its use of three digit zip codes may cover larger geographical areas than those identified by the CDC and stated that it was "willing to change (its) underwriting guidelines in an attempt to more precisely define those areas as designated by the CDC. A Midland official, Jack L. Briggs, however, went on in that response to criticize the board for yielding to "political pressures and ... sympathetic feelings" and trying to force "do for those with AIDS or HIV infection what they do not do for those whohaveother serious health risks" Houston attorney David Bryan, THRF's legal director; expressed satisfaction with Midland's decision to limit testing to high risk areas identified by theCDC, but noted that under the new legislation, Midland will apparently have to drop its use of zip codes entirely. As to Midland's accusation of yielding to political pressure, Bryan commented, "THRF followed proper procedures in complaining te the insurance board; the complaints examiner found Midland's initial underwriting guidelines (did not) group insurance applicants according to the level of risk presented; and Midland responded by modifying its guidelines ... so I fail to see any basis for claiming improper pressure was ap- Bryan said he recently decided to reopen the Midland matter from THRF's perspective because of a bill passed in the 1989 legislative session which appears to supersede previous regulations governing who can be required to take an HIV antibody test. While the regulations prohibit an insurer from using the marital status, occupation, gender; beneficiary designation or zip code to determine an applicant's sexual t the new statute will prohibit an insurer from using such classifications to determine who will be required to take an HIV antibody test. "This new law clearly makes testing by zip code, as practiced by Midland, illegal. Therefore, although an insurer could make testing determinations based on age it cannot, come September, require testing based on zip code or other territorial classifications." THRF's AIDS project coordinator, has been in contact with the insurance board to determine the effects ofthe new lawontheinsur- ance industry. She intends to play an active role in monitoring thein- dustry's compliance. Persons who are aware of violations are urged to file a complaint with the State Board of Insurance, and to send a copy of the complaint to THRF she said. Tucker also noted that "the new insurance law calls for the board to gather data and information relating to the effect of HIV exposure on the availability, adequacy, and affordability of health insurance coverage in this state." The data program is to be in place no later than Jan. 1, 1990, and the board is directed to prepare reports on this issue to be made available to the public. Tucker urged person experiencing skyrocketing premiums, denial or limitation of coverage, or other barriers to insurance coverage to contact the board to make their concerns known, and to inform THRF as well. Memorials emphasize continuing Mickey Leland's work By SHERI COHEN DARBONNE The Montrose Voice While Mickey Leland's Washington press secretary gave her final statement in that role, urging people to continue working for the causes the late Congressman embraced, the Houston Gay and Lesbian Political Caucus and other groups in his district put together responses reflecting the same sentiments. Alma Newsome on Tuesday, Aug. 15, urged Leland supporters to contribute to hunger relief programs or food banks instead of sending flowers to the Congressman's family, HGLPC had released a statement the day before asking the Montrose community to remember Leland by giving donations to Stone Soup, a food pantry for people with AIDS. "Mickey dedicated his life to end world hunger, and has fought for compassion (for) and to end discrimination against people with AIDS;' HGLPC President Ray Hill stated in the release. "The loss will be greatly felt in the gay and lesbian community in Hous- Other Houston hunger organizations including the Houston Food Bank and Interfaith Hunger Coalition were targeted for food drives in Leland's honor this week. Newsome, in her stateme.it, had specifically mentioned the Houston Food Bank and the famine relief fund for Sudan and Ethiopia. HGLPC board member Cicely Wynne, charged with organizing the board's response, said the caucus will send a sympathy card to Leland's family and Houston staff in addition to coordinating the Stone Soup drive. The Houston Food Bank also honored Leland with a 1989 Partnership Award for Leland's help in the past several years in obtaining $250,000 and other contributions. The award was accepted by Licia Green, the head of Leland's Houston office, on Tuesday. The remains of the L6 victims of the Aug. 7 crash were recovered by military personnel at the mountainside crash cite Tuesday, ending the wait for Leland's family and staff. However, the bodies of Leland and the other Americans aboard the plane will probably not be returned to the United States until next week, as identification uf the victims by forensic specialists is expected to take that long. This week, the focus shifted from recovery of the bodies to an investigation to determine what caused the plane, carrying Leland and 16 others on a hunger mission in Ethiopia, to crash into a mountain not far from the plane's desti- Leland's wife Allison, at a press conference at Ellington Air Force Base on Tuesday, announced funeral arrangements for her hus- A community memorial celebration will be held at 7:30 p.m. tonight, (Aug. 18) at Hannah Hall Auditorium on the campus of Texas Southern University. Leland was a TSU graduate. A Mass of Christian Interment will be said at 10:00 a.m. Saturday at St. Anne's Catholic Church, 2140 Westheimer, the Leland family parish. Private interment will be held Meanwhile, although community leaders werestill overcome with shock and grief, the fate of the now vacant U.S. Congressional Dist. 1ft seat was already a topic of hushed concern. Leland is described by most as "irreplaceable." "You must remember, however, that we are talking about Barbara Jordan's seat," Hill noted. "When she retired (the seat) ... we said that we would never be able to fill her shoes ...a lot of us at that time didn't trust ILeland) to be a champion of our cause in Congress." Nevertheless, Hill said he is not npressed with the records of the andidates most likely to seek the "None have either the of Jordan's oratorical the strength of Mickey's courage" he said. Hill said he is considering asking HGLPC to support a strategy of running a caucus-supported candidate "if the field is crowded enough" for such a candidate to make a showing. Hi I lir ( arr, executive director "1 Harris County Democrats, said that though the liberal I lenioeral ic district was "certainly not in any danger of being taken over... by conservative Republicans," she considered the loss of Leland irreversible. "It is my opinion, like many others, that Mickey cannot be replaced ... there will not be another Mickey Leland," Carr said. However, she noted, "Only a liberal Democrat (can) win in that dis- Carr said she could not speculate on the race for his seat so soon after the tragic news. "Right now, it's really hard to concentrate on anything like that." Among those possibly expected to announce as contenders are Houston City Council members Rodney Ellis, Anthony Hall and Ben Reyes and State Representatives Larry Evans and Harold Dutton. State Senator Craig Washington, tagged by Wynne and others in Montrose politics as possibly the best choice, has stated flatly that he will not run. Lee Harrington, a past president of the Gay Political Caucus, said he was disturbed that no mainstream media coverage of Leland's background referred to his long time support of the gay community. "I haven't even seen the word gay in any of the (nongay) publications;' Harrington said. "The question gays should ask in Houston ... is which politician would stand up even for (the rights of) people with AIDS," Harrington said. "Mickey stood up, and even conducted a Congressional investigation on Houston's responses to the AIDS crisis to find out why more were not Standing up. We will never forget Food or monetary donations may bemadeinl-eland'shonorto Stone Soup, located at 1004 California, anytime the pantry is open. Hill said. The hours of operation are 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Monday, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; noon to 4:00 p.m. Wednesday and 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday. Pride in the '90's: Don't drop the 'ball' Editorial by SHERI COHEN DARBONNE This Wednesday, Aug. 23, officers will be elected for Houston Gay and Lesbian Pride Week 1990. What this means is that gay pride is entering a new decade in this city. How we react te that signal will reflect whether we are indeed entering a new cycle, or recycling the same old arguments that destroy, not celebrate, our pride. The meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. Wednesday at Dignity Center. The co-chairs who are elected then, if history repeats itself, will direct not only the organization of events but the tone and structure of the entire celebration. Who shows up at this meeting, what they believe and how strongly they stick by what they believe will determine quite a bit, since we are not only planningfor one week but opening the doors to the next ten years. Houston's annual pride celebration means a lot to me. In 1975,1 helped organize the first gay pride "march" through the streets of downtown Houston. This city was so closeted then that over half the participants were here for a Texas Gay Task Force convention. We borrowed a "Grand Marshal"— Vito Russo—from New York. The idea of a full-fledged parade- down Westheimer, yet, and with floats—was like an activist's dream. It just couldn't happen The TGTF conference at the University of Houston, and the march, were put together hastily and almost single-handedly by a (then) radical activist even though (or perhaps because) he was told it couldn't be done. Because he and others dared to challenge their restrictions, our celebration evolved into something we can, and should, all be proud. But I'm beginning to wonder now if some of these regulated guys don't consider the pride parade itself an unnecessary spectacle and an embarrassment. Something I once felt made our city's pride planning process special was the attention given to in- clusiveness. The committees always seemed to be discussing how to keepgay and lesbian pride week open to everyone in the community, how to be responsive to the needs of every group. Now, it appears that like young authors Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen, many right herein Houston think the 20 years since Stonewall have been a failure, a "party" that effected no real progress. It seems to me they are taking a lot for granted. It's frightening. Please understand that I am certainly not criticizing the previous committee, nor their efforts to bring some structure and organization to the gay pride week celebration. I'm merely saying that parameters. In 1989, we adopted a "dress and behavior code" for participation in the parade. What comes next? Will we prohibit drag altogether because some entertainers may get disproportionate play in the nongay media? Will we exclude PWAs because their situation focuses "negative" attention on gays or has been "overplayed?" (These are things I've actually heard!) Or, in the spirit of Kirk and Mads en's recommended public relations blitz, maybe we should re-route the parade to benefit businesses which are in the beat fiscal position to help advance our new campaign. Never mind the ones that have given so much for so many years that we aren't even sure what's left. If we are celebrating pride in our community, then we must celebrate—not discourage—diversity. In Houston, that diversity is in herent. And if we want participation, we must not only tolerate but promote inclusiveness. This simply will not happen if the group that makes the key decisions is not inclusive. Come to the meeting. Whether you are a 25-year-old gay white male, a black transvestite who lives in Pearland, or even abisexu- al Filipino woman, you need to be there. People like you were responsible forthe "20 years of pride" on all those signs. If reorganizing "After the Ball" means we should throw diversity out the window, and attempt to as- Okla. activists form direct action group OKLAHOMA CITY-A new gi-ass roots direct action group has formed here called "STAT!" The name is taken from the Latin word mean ing "immediately." STAT! concerns include gay rights issues and the AIDS crisis, nationally and locally. Members feel these issues require urgent attention, and that only through direct action will progress be made. Inspired by the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power of New York City (ACT UP/N.Y.) and the Gay Urban TVuth Squad (GUTS) of Dallas, STAT! currently consists of approximately 40 members and is growing rapidly. Anger in the community over slow moving government agencies and corporations involved in AIDS issues is also growing. "STAT!" feels the time for non-violent direct action is now," said member Matthew Sharp, The group is planning seminars on AIDS issues, including the bureaucracy ofthe FDA and NIH. Letter writing campaigns, marches, and other forms of non-violent protest will stress ST ATI's commitment to strengthen gay rights and push for more action on the AIDS crisis. The group's first activity was participating in Oklahoma City's Gay Pride Week parade. For more information, contact Clay Shears, RO. Box 60886, Oklahoma City, OK 73146-0886 or call (405) 528-6915. Call out the Batlawyer Holy libel suit, Robin is trying to clear his name after being called a smut king. Burt Ward, who played Batman's sidekick in the 1960s tele- i $10 i illio similate into a society that co isid- ersallofuss _mehow less than ac- ceptable, we can't afford a thia point to drop the "ball." If w edo, there may n ver be another. What's ev n sadder is, if this happens, everyone we deal with will see us a s a community that doesn't have any. each from two tabloids, the Globe and News of The World, for writing stories that claimed he was a "porn boss" who threw parties featuring orgies and sex shows. It all started in Dec. 1987 when the News of the World ran a headline that said "Holy Weirdo! Batman's pal is porn boss!" and a story describing Ward's private life as "sordid" and "sure to shock millions of fans." The tabloid added that Ward used the promise of "introductions to film bosses" to persuade people to pay $50 each for tickets to parties at a rented mansion and the Globe followed by saying he was a "Tinseltown porn king" Ward claims he suffered loss of reputation, shame, mortification and hurt feelings and a trial is set for May. Mayors Conference seek AIDS grant proposals The United States Conference of Mayors announced Monday, Aug. 14, that it has released its eighth Request for Proposals (RFP) for funding of community based programs for AIDS risk reduction and education. The targets of the Round 8 RFP include racial and ethnic minorities; substance abusers; HIV antibody positive people and people with AIDS, and people who reside in areas with fewer AIDS cases. Approximately 20 grants will be awarded for projects up to 12 months in duration, in amounts ranging from $20,000 to $50,000 each. AS total of $1 million is available for this funding round. The primary goal of this funding round ii in provide education through community based service organizations, with an emphasis on those that have established ties to the previously mentioned populations, according to the mayors' statement. In announcing the availability of the funds, Conference of Mayors Executive Director J. Thomas Cochran said that the organization was fully committed to providing funding and technical assistance te those groups which have the best access to people who need HIV/AIDS information the "Community based tions ... working with local government and the local health departments, have proven their effectiveness in providing accurate and appropriate information ... in ways that are accepted by their audience," Cochran said. "This must continue, and we are committed to assisting them." Funding for the AIDS grants was made available by the federal Centers for Disease Control. With this latest round, the Conference of Mayors will have awarded $3.54 million to fund 113 projects across the nation.
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