HOUSTON VOICE • JANUARY 28, 2000
Melissa Etheridge and lily lomlin are among
those slated to perform next month at a concert to raise funds to fight a California ballot
measure against gay marriage.
Around the Nation
Spanish-language ads favor California anti-gay marriage effort
SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—Sponsors of a
ballot measure banning recognition of
same-sex marriages began airing a Spanish-
language ad Jan. 20 stressing family and tradition while not mentioning the subject of
the initiative. The 30-second spot is running
on Spanish-language stations around the
state, said Robert Glazier, spokesman for
the campaign backing Proposition 22 on the
March 7 ballot. A recent Public Policy
Institute of California poll showed
Hispanics favoring the ballot measure by
more than 2-1, while voters overall supported it by about 3-2.
Meanwhile, openly gay rock star Melissa
Etheridge is set to join a celebrity line-up
fighting Proposition 22. Etheridge will perform at a Beverly Hills fund-raiser on Friday aimed at bringing in $250,000 to help defeat
the anti-gay ballot measure. She will be joined by Lily Tomlin, who acknowledged being
gay in a recent interview.
And in San Diego, four leading Republican mayoral candidates joined forces at a joint
news conference to announce their collective opposition to the Knight initiative. Two other
candidates, one Democrat and one Republican, support the measure.
Oregon professor's anti-gay remark unleashed campus debate
OREGON CITY, Ore. (AP)—A remark about gays attributed to an instructor at
Clackamas Community College has prompted a formal complaint and sparked a campus
debate about academic freedom. Donald Epstein, a veteran instructor of history and religious studies, was giving an overview of Judaic studies when he began discussing the history of anti-Semitism, the relationship between Greeks and Jews, and tensions the two
groups experienced over homosexuality, student Joshua Alexander said. "Then he just
jumped in and said, 'You are better off being dead than homosexual,'" said Alexander, 21,
of Beavercreek. "And he said, 'You can write that down." Alexander has filed a complaint
against Epstein and requested that he not be permitted to teach Judaic studies. The student
said he made the request after visiting Epstein's office to talk about the complaint.
Alexander said Epstein showed him a passage from the Bible supporting his opinion.
Epstein refused to comment about the complaint or the remarks, which allegedly took
place in his course on the Holocaust.
Hearing set for 67 Methodist ministers who blessed gay marriage
SACRAMENTO—Hearings will begin next month against 67 United Methodist ministers who are charged with violating church law by blessing last year's "holy union" of two
lesbian church leaders, the Sacramento Bee reported Jan. 22. The Committee on
Investigation has called the unorthodox hearings for Feb. 1-3 to glean testimony from
experts on biblical scripture, United Methodist law, ethics and other topics related to the
same-sex ceremony, said Rev. Ron Swisher, committee chairman. Swisher and six clergy
colleagues will decide the fate of the pastors, who could, face church trials and removal of
their ministries. Some 95 United Methodist clerics took part in the January 1999 service.
Convicted murderer suspected in killings of three gay men
DETROIT (AP)—Wayne County, Mich, prosecutors plan to charge a Detroit man who
already has been convicted of two murders with the murder of a gay man. Willie Brown,
43, was paroled in 1994 despite two murder convictions. Police now suspect Brown in the
February 1999 slaying of Eddie Matthews, 37, a Detroit nursing home employee. Inspector
William Rice, chief of the Detroit Police Department homicide unit, said Brown's DN A connected him to Matthews' murder. Police said Matthews was strangled with a telephone
cord and a neck scarf, and that money and other items were missing from his apartment.
Both of Brown's previous victims were strangled in a similar fashion. "The murders are
identical," said Rice. Homicide detectives and prosecutors said they also are looking at
Brown in connection with two other unsolved killings. "I think he targets gay men, and he
may have done more for all we know, but at this point we can link him to three," said
Wayne County Assistant Prosecutor Robert Spada.
Colo, board votes to keep teacher under attack for test on sex
R1DGWAY, Colo. (AP)—Biology teacher David Kenney, criticized for a test that included
references to anal sex, will keep his job. The school board voted 3-1 on Jan. 17 not lo accept
his resignation. Kenney was reprimanded and sent an apology to parents. "The board at
this time does not fee! that it is in the school's best interest to accept the resignation of Dr.
Kenney," said Michelle Kyne, board president, reading a statement prepared by the board.
I lie i ontroversy erupted Ian 6 when Kenney gave his 10th grade biology students a test
thai included this question: "\lv brother (an M.D.) feels that one of the main reasons AIDS
spreads is the various forms of anal sex. Describe how you would protect yourself against
this type of transmission, assuming that you enjoy this type ot sexual behavior."
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