HOUSTON VOICE • DECEMBER 17, 1999
An aide to Texas
Gov. George W. Bush says
gay Republicans have been
too critical ol the GOP
Around the South
Judge sides with Houston school district in HIV discrimination suit
HOUSTON—A federal judge has ruled that an applicant for a teacher's position in the
Houston Independent School District was rejected because of a low test score, not because
he was HIV-positive, the Houston Chronicle reported Dec. 10. U.S. District Judge Vanessa
Gilmore, in a written decision, said applicant William Ellsworth "did not disclose his HIV
status to the district at any time" during his application process. "We're very pleased with
the outcome of the court case," HISD spokesman Terry Abbott said. "He was not hired
because he fell far below our minimum test-score requirement. We didn't know that he
was HIV (positive)." During a two-day trial last week, Ellsworth, 51, tried to convince
Gilmore that HISD discriminated against him and violated the Americans with
Disabilities Act. Ellsworth, who has a master's degree and taught in HISD for five years
in the 1980s, claimed HISD did know about his medical condition because a principal was
aware he is gay and that his partner died of AIDS.
Bush aide says Log Cabin Republicans too critical of candidate
WASHINGTON—Texas Gov. George W. Bush's top
campaign strategist defended the Republican presidential
frontrunner's decision to snub leaders of the Log Cabin
Republicans, asserting that the gay Republican group had
been critical of Bush on several issues, the Neio York Times
reported Dec. 10. The strategist, Karl Rove, said the group's
leaders have asked for meetings with Bush "with the stated
purpose of coming in and explaining why Governor Bush is
wrong on gay adoption or why he is wrong on broadening
the Texas hate-crimes bill." Rove added that the governor
has "a limited amount of time, and we're just not going to
set aside right now a time to meet with [Log Cabin leaders]
and talk about their dialogue," Rove said. Rich Tafel, the Log
Cabin's executive director, said Bush "has created what has
become a confrontational situation. We have now heard five
different reasons why they won't meet with us."
Kentucky legislature, federal courts to rule on gay rights laws
LOUISVILLE—Two Northern Kentucky lawmakers have announced a bipartisan push to
prohibit local governments from enacting ordinances designed to prevent discrimination
against gays, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported Dec. 10. Reps. Tom Kerr, a Democrat, and Joe
Fischer, a Republican, say they will co-sponsor the bill during the General Assembly session
that begins Jan. 4. Meanwhile, the ACLU has petitioned a federal court in Louisville to join
in defending against a lawsuit to overturn gay rights laws in Louisville and Jefferson
County. Dr. J. Barrett Hyman, the doctor who filed the suits, is being represented by the
American Center for Law and Justice, founded by conservative televangelist Pat Robertson.
Hyman contends that complying with the ordinance interferes with his Christian beliefs.
The ACLU said similar religious arguments were used to fight federal and state civil-rights
laws in the 1960s and 70s
Openly gay S.C. prosecutor to face well-funded GOP challenger
CHARLESTON (AP)—Republican challenger Ralph Hoisington has amassed a campaign
war chest of more than $50,000 to run against openly gay incumbent prosecutor David
Schwacke, who has accumulated only $1,600 for next June's primary. It will be Schwacke's
first re-election effort since acknowledging he is gay after he was charged with using his
office computer during business hours to solicit sex on the Internet. After an investigation,
a grand jury refused to indict Schwacke. Hoisington said he has no intention of making
Schwacke's sexual orientation a campaign issue. At least two Democrats are also considering entering the race.
Sheriff criticized again for anti-gay views on county web-site
FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP)—Lee County Sheriff John
McDougall is under fire again for posting conservative personal views on the office web-site, this time weighing in on
the alleged murder of a teen-ager by two gay men and China
taking over the Panama Canal. The text compares the publicity generated by the death of Matthew Shepard and the
rape, torture and murder of a 13-year-old Arkansas boy,
lesse Dirkhising, allegedly at the hands of two gay men.
"Are the liberal media and their pro-homosexual agenda
trying to persuade us into believing that a hate crime is only
a hate crime when the victim is gay?" McDougall's first letter posted on the Internet in October criticized the ACLU,
gay groups and pro-choice supporters.
—From staff and wire reports
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