10 Montrose voice / June 24,1983
Foot in Mouth
By Randy Alfred
San Francisco city Supervisor Harry Britt
spoke to the May 21 commemoration ofthe
1979 White Night Riots as dusk settled at
City Hall. Britt opened inauspiciously,
before he got to the issue of the lenient
five-year prison term assassin Dan White
is serving for the 1978 slayings of Supervisor Harvey Milk (whom Britt succeeded)
and Mayor George Moscone. (May 21 was
the fourth anniversary of the manslaughter verdict in the case.)
"Right now I'm getting cold," Britt
started. "So if you will all snuggle up a
little closer together. I'm going to cut my
little closer together,
thing quite short."
As the crowd snickered and hooted, he
hastily added, "I hope Channel 7 has
NAIL ON HEAD: Britt had some interesting observations when he recovered,
however: "Five years after that riot, when
we thought the world had maybe caught
some glimpse of the injustice done against
lesbians and gay men, not only are the
archbisop, the National Council of
Churches, the Episcopal bishop, all ofthe
so-called moral leaders ofthe city still protecting the world against queers, but the
cops are wearing gas masks to protect
against people who have AIDS, CBS is
still portraying us as a sinister force out to
destroy everything good about the United
States of America, and I do not see the
same kind of outcry against Archbishop
Quinn and his homophobic statements
that I see against Dan White, even from
our alleged best friends in city government.
"As black people have had to learn that
just hating the Ku Klux Klan ain't
enough, but that racism is everywhere and
will be there until the black experience is
expressed so effectively that it goes away,
we have got to learn that it's not enough to
hate Dan White. We have got to deal with
the mainstream homophobia in our
media, in our church leadership, and in
our government, or we are never going to
be safe in this society."
AIDS CONSPIRACY? "For the first
time, the theory that has been bandied
about has appeared in print with some
elaboration, and, in a non-gay newspaper," pioneer gay-rights activist Bob
Basker wrote me when he forwarded an
editorial from People's World, the Communist Party newspaper.
Writing in the May 7 issue, Carl Bloice
noted the suspicion that AIDS is related to
swine fever and reiterated the Cuban
charge that the outbreak of the fever there
a few years ago was a U.S. (and probably
CIA) action. Since then, swine fever,
though under control in Cuba, has broken
out elsewhere in the Caribbean where public health and sanitation levels are low.
One such place, Blice wrote, is Haiti.
Haitian immigrants to the U.S. are an "at
risk" group for AIDS, and some epidemiologists believe Haiti to be the Western Hemisphere focus of AIDS. Bloice concluded,
"This raises the very real possibility that
today's AIDS sufferers are victims of an
act of horrendous bacteriological warfare."
DEVELOPMENTS: Last fall, the
national Centers for Disease Control
released information that gay men with
AIDS were more likely than gay men without the disease to have had more sexual
partners per year, more sexual partners in
the year before onset of symptoms, and a
higher porportion of their partners in
bathhouses, bookstores and porno theaters.
This spring, Bay Area Physicians for
Human Rights published a pamphlet,
"Guidelines for Risk Reduction." with the
front-page admonition: "The message is
clear: avoid the direct exchange of bodily
The word was already reaching many
gay men through other media and/or their
own physicians, for a study of 600 Bay
Area gay men (singles and couples)
revealed that 30 percent had reduced or
stopped high-risk sexual behaviors. However, the authors, psychologists Leon
McKusick and William Horstman and
psychiatrist Arthur Carfagni, noted that
62 percent have continued or increased at
"at least one high-risk behavior with new
or anonymous contacts." They concluded:
"Remedial and public-information efforts
should be aimed at these groups of sexu
ally active gay men."
No sooner than this report began to circulate, a group of gay leaders summoned
bathhouse, bookstore, and theater owners
to a meeting to discuss posting of notices
and distribution of pamphlets and condoms at those establishments. The aim is
to reduce transmission of the unknown
AIDS agent and to prevent its spread from
San Francisco in the wake of Lesbian-
/Gay Freedom Day.
The day before the meeting, Roger
Gross, president ofthe Golden Gate Business Association, told a Board of Supervisors' hearing that "the health scare and
crisis" has already reduced local business
in gay establishments and will soon cause
"a substantial decline" in tourist trade.
At the meeting, bathhouse owners were
cooperative but felt they were being
singled out. Many, in fact, did not show up
Within the week, S.F. Chronicle columnist Herb Caen reported that doctors and
nurses were patrolling the baths to kick
out known AIDS sufferers who were still
frequenting the places.
Alfred's column originates at the "Sentinel," a San Francisco gay newspaper.
©1983 Randy Alfred, all rights reserved.
The twenty-four townhomes at Stanford Square afford the
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These one and two-bedroom traditional brirk studio homes
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Careful attention has been given to security requirments.
An automatic entry gate permits controlled access to the
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Stanford Square Townhomes offer a variety of amenities,
* Woodburning fireplaces
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* Kitchen appliances (refrigerator & microwave oven)
* Washers & dryers
* Smoke detectors
* Pre-wiring for cable TV
Cathedral ceilings, skylights, attics, studies, porches and
balconies also are included in many of the floor plans. A
swimming pool and sun deck are located in the center of the
BY KITTRELL REALTY