Neither were any of the costumed cops
at the Uniform Sabeth party held at
Duane's, another gay bar, the night following Scruggs and Markley's arrests.
8 MONTROSE VOICE / NOV. 11, 1983
Gays Busted for
By Ernie Potvin
Via GPA Wire Service
LOS ANGELES—Two men were arrested
for impersonating a peace officer after
leaving Rafters bar in West Hollywood
Halloween weekend, following a uniform
theme Halloween party.
Von Scruggs was dressed as a California Highway Patrolman, and his friend
William Markley was in a Los Angeles
Police Department Uniform. Neither of
them wore authentic badges, utility belts,
holstered weapons, handcuffs or batons.
Scruggs said they were both members of a
After rounding the corner from the bar,
Scruggs and Markley were surrounded by
six CHP patrol cars, arrested and taken to
the West Hollywood Sheriffs Station
where they spent the night. Their costumes were confiscated, and they were
charged with the misdemeanor which carries a maximum penalty of up to six-
month's imprisonment or a fine of $500 or
Scruggs said some of the officers tried to
provoke them with name calling and
harassment, but they refused to respond to
He said that the clothing had been purchased from a uniform store that services
CHP and LAPD officers, and explained
how they told the sales clerk they were not
sworn officers when buying the patches.
The store swore they did not Bell the uniforms without the purchaser showing the
An entirely different picture was
painted by Sgt. Norris Soloman of the
LAPD who coordinates relations with the
city's numerous private patrols. Sgt. Solo-
man said that he is unaware of any law
prohibiting the sale of the uniforms to civilians, and he knows that all the uniform
Bales companies do it. He said his office
asks private guards to mix-match the pieces so they aren't confused with a sworn
officer's. Nevertheless, an individual
nightclub guard may try to dress identical
to the LAPD uniform, and when he is discovered, they will tell him to change it.
"Wearing of a police officer's uniform
may or may not be legal," said Soloman.
"It depends on whether or not there was
intent to deceive the public."
He cited the movie industry as the notable exception.
Next we checked with Western Costume,
the film industry's largest supplier, and
got two conflicting responses. One of the
higher-ups in the men's rental department
said they "most emphatically do not rent
police uniforms to the public." He said
they get lots of requests for cops, Nazis,
nuns and priests, which they will only
supply for bonafied theatrical use.
Another employee said that's not true.
"They're just concerned about making
costumes that might be considered in bad
taste. As for uniforms, there's ways to get
around it. We'll change some little detail,
like the width of the pant striping or a
slightly different badge, and let them go
As for priests. Western Costume made
up an absolutely exquisite Pope for one
Halloween celebrant who apparently was
not arrested for impersonating the Pontiff
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Boy Scout Fights
to Get Back
By Dion B. Sanders
Via GPA Wire Serivce
BERKELEY, Calif.—Attorneys for the
Boy Scouts of America said in October
that they will appeal a court decision
ordering an openly gay Eagle Scout to be
reinstated as an adult scout leader.
The California State Court of Appeals in
Los Angeles upheld on Oct. 6 a lower court
ruling that the BSA's 1981 ouster of
Timothy Curran, 21, whose homosexuality was revealed in a newspaper article
that year, was "arbritrary and capri-
BSA attorney Malcom Wheeler said
from Los Angeles that the BSA maintains
a policy of not permitting "girls, gays and
Wheeler said that "one of the ideas of
Scouting is to get kids out in the woods-
removed from everyday problems, one of
those problems being sexual relations."
Curran disputed the assertion, saying
that he found it "highly offensive. They
obviously think that because I'm gay, I'm
going to molest kids, and that's a garbage
stereotype of gays in general and a personal insult to me."
Curran went on to assert the fact that
most cases of child molestation involved
girls-being molested by heterosexual men.
David Park, BSA national director, said
previous attempts "by several boys who
refuse to acknowledge the existence of a
Supreme Being, as well as several
females," were unsuccessful.
In fact, one of the ten "Laws of Scouting" states that "a Scout is reverent ...
A spokesman for the American Civil
Liberties Union said, however, that that
particular policy is unconstitutional, on
the grounds that it violates an atheistic
Scout's First Amendment rights.
"The First Amendment, while it gives us
the right to worship as we please, also
gives people the right not to worship at all,
if they so choose," the spokesman said.
California Superior Court Judge Robert
Weil ruled last July that the BSA must
prove "a rational connection between
You're Reading the
One of America's Major Gay Community
homosexual conduct and any significant
danger of harm to the association" before
the BSA can expel anyone who is gay.
Curran asserted that "it will be difficult
for the Scouts to prove Pm immoral. They
made me an Eagle Scout; they gave me the
Order of the Arrow (one of Scouting'B
highest awards). They've gone to great
lengths to prove how moral I am," Curran
continued, "and now, they're trying to
kick me out simply because I'm gay.
There's no way I'll let them do that to me
without a fight."
Park responded, "We just don't think
parents want homosexuals in the (Scout)
While national BSA leaders are opposed
to Curran's reinstatement, local officials
have openly welcomed Curran back.
David Potter, scoutmaster of Troop 37 in
Berkeley, said that "If you wanted to
select a person who has been the ideal
Scout, that person would be Tim Curran."
In an editorial, the Oakland Tribune.
the newspaper that made public Curran's
gayness in 1981, said that when questioned about Curran being gay, nearly all of
the members of Troop 37 said, "So what?
We don't care." The editorial continued,
"And why should anybody care?"
The editorial concluded that the true
measure of a Scout's worthiness is what he
does in his capacity as a Scout, not what
he does in his private life.