Kennedy Urges Spotlighting AIDS
ow, Free 'Personals'
in the Voice
See Classified Form
inside back cover
By Larry Bush
WASHINGTON, D.C.-Sen. Edward Kennedy (D.-
Mass.) is spearheading an effort to give AIDS more political visibility before the Senate and the Reagan
administration. Kennedy, who was part of a team effort
that added $30 million to the Senate appropriations bill
to fund the Public Health Emergency Fund—only to
have the extra money dropped in a Senate-House conference committee in early October—now has garnered the
signatures of 14 senators on a letter requesting that Sen.
Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) hold AIDS hearings in the Senate
Committee on Labor and Human Resources.
Among the senators cosigning Kennedy's letter are
three of the four Democratic senators seeking their party's nomination for the presidency in 1984: Alan Cranston (Calif.), John Glenn (Ohio) and Ernest "Fritz"
Hollings (S.C.). Only Gary Hart (Colo.) is missing.
Republican heavyweights on the letter include Sen.
IjOweW Weicker (Conn.), who is chair of the appropriations subcommittee on health issues, and Mark Hatfield
(Ore.), chair of the full appropriations committee. In all,
seven of the 17 members of Hatch's committee signed
the letter, but observers noted that among the missing
Democrats was Tom Eagleton, the Missouri senator
who was McGovern's first vice presidential nominee in
1972 and later party to a lawsuit against his niece for
charging that he was involved in homosexual vacations
in Key West, Fla.
While Kennedy's staff suggests that the letter primarily will help keep political visibility on the need to monitor the Reagan administration response to AIDS, others
such as the Federation of AIDS-Related Organizations
lobbyist Gerald Connor and National Gay Task Force
Washington representative Jeff Levi are hoping that
Hatch will decline the request for hearings.
The key concern is the make-up of the Hatch committee, which is controlled by Republicans who are on the
New Christian Right side. Those include Jeremiah Denton (R-Ala.), the ex-POW; John East (N.C.), a Jesse
Helms protege; Paula Hawkins (Fla.), a Mormon like
Hatch; Don Nickles (Okla.), outspokenly anti-gay; and
Charles Grassley (Iowa).
Kennedy pitches his hearing request with that makeup in mind, noting that "Senate hearings would focus
national attention on the health concerns involved in
this issue, rather than involving the Committee in a
Overall, Kennedy raises many of the issues that were
also aired in the Weiss hearings in August in the House,
and the Waxman hearings in Los Angeles in 1982.
The Newspaper of Montrose Nov. 11, 1983 Issue »«159 Published Every Friday
Whitmire Wins Community; GPC Not Totally Pleased
By Robert Hyde
Houston's municipal election is over, but
in its wake remains several scars and
many questions brought on by the sensitive and somewhat strained relationship
between the city's mayor and Houston's
Gay Political Caucus which has left a bad
taste with many members of the gay community.
The past week has seen what some have
called a "radical confrontation" between
the GPC and Kathy Whitmire, a popular
mayor dodging gay issues for television
cameramen, a vocal GPC president trying
to whip a crowd into political abandonment and a mayor pausing in the secrecy
of her election night hotel suite to address
and dodge the sensitive questions that
have arisen over the last few days prior to
Reports of events begun last Friday
evening, when Mayor Kathy Whitmire
toured the community's gay bars with At-
Large Position 4 candidate Anthony Hall
in tow, have been conflicting and will, ultimately, call to account the good faith of
some of the more vocal members of the
community, as well as the GPC's relationship to the community as a whole. Questions will also be raised as to just how far
will Houston's mayor go to support the
gay community which has so overwhelm
ingly endorsed her.
For the last several years, the mayors of
America's largest cities have courted the
gay vote, and San Francisco's Diane Fein-
stem, New York's Edward Koch and Los
Angeles' Tom Bradley set precedents to be
mirrored two years ago by Kathy Whitmire in her first bid for the city's top management position—that of visiting gay
bars near election day.
Last year, Mayor Whitmire made the
tour of the bars under the umbrella of the
community's Gay Political Caucus. This
year, ghe did not, even though GPC
members contend that she promised to do
Montroge-area councilman George Greanias (center), an easy, non-controversial winner in Tuesday's election, addresses
GPC Election Central crowd. Mayor Whitmire, foreground, listens. GPC President Bagneris, far right, had earlier worked
crowd up with statements unfavorable of Whitmire. pmotobybillieduncan
bo up until the last minute.
"We contacted over five people in the
mayor's office," said a GPC member and a
reported aide to state representative
Debra Danburg, "who told us that she
would go on the tour. Then at the last minute, we were told that we had not been
Whether or not this scheduling difficulty regarding GPC's bar tour coincided
with GPC's failure to endorse Mayor Whitmire's favorite in the council race,
Anthony Hall, over Nikki Van Hightower
is a matter of conjecture, but it did set up a
confrontation between the GPC and
Mayor Whitmire in Mary's Lounge, at
1022 Westheimer, that brought the community face to face with problems the
GPC and Mayor Whitmire have regarding
their mutual political interests.
It was near midnight last Friday when
the mayor and Hall entered the popular
Montrose bar—after visits to the Brazos
River Bottom, Miss Charlotte's and
Rich's—preceded minutes before by their
touring scouts who are well known to the
politically active in the gay community.
The mayor's visit had also been preceded
by several members of the GPC who plas-
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