One Community! One Voice
JUINtE 12. 1996
Established 1974 as the Montrose Slar.
reestablished 1960 as the Housion Montrose Slar,
Changed name to The Houston Voice in 1991
incorporating the New Orleans Crescent Cily Slar,
Reestablished as the
Housion Voice by Thomas Nelson in 1993
811 Westheimer, Suite 105
Houston, Texas 77006
Contents copyright 1998
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Charter Member Greater Houslon Gay & Lesbian Chamber
>i Commerce. National Gay Newspaper Guild-member. Gay
md Lesbian Press Association member. Associated Press
Some Republicans just don't get it.
They say they have a "big tent organization." But when it
comes to gays who share some of their political views, the
GOP calls them deviants and hate-mongers, comparing
them to pedophiles and members of the KKK.
Log Cabin Republicans, the state's off-shoot of a national
group with 50 chapters across the country, wants a booth
al lhe GOP state convention. The organizalion followed party
rules, submitted an application last month and a $500 let*,
but was flatly rejected without reason.
That's the second time since 1996.
The state GOP's spokesman, in defending that exclusion
after Log Cabins protested through a press conference in
ALisfin on June 5. said the Republican leadership was barring a "deviant" group. Republicans also won't let the Texas
Freedom Network, a non-partisan group thai counters reli-
gioLis conservatives, to staff a booth.
Spokesman Robert Black said both organizations altack
family values and people of faith. "We don't allow
pedophiles, transvestites or cross-dressers, either." he said.
Funny, though, that the father of modern-day conservatism, former Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater, understood
gays deserve an equal voice. He even argued that gays
should be allowed to serve in the nation's armed forces. Log
Cabin's executive director. Rich Tafel. earned a degree 'at
Harvard Divinity School.
Even the state's highest-ranking Republican. Gov. George
W. Bush, criticized the name-calling by state GOP officials.
A weak rebuke by the popular governor, bul a call for dig-
nily and respect in dealing wilh gays nonetheless.
[kit some Republicans in Texas just don't get it.
The slate's Log Cabins don't want special rights, they are
simply asking for the same chance to be heard granted to
other Republicans. Any fair-minded person Linderstands
this simple request for equality, and open dialogue. The
Republican version of a big tent is limited — nol surprising
for a political party controlled by social and religious conservatives. In denying booth space for Log Cabin, stale GOP
leaders are spewing the same hostility they accuse gay
Republicans of displaying toward people of faith.
Log Cabin, which has more than 50 members serving as
delegates or alternates lo ihe state convention, plan to
protest the party's decision with a rally in Ft. Worth. II won'l
do much — the slate Supreme Court sided wilh Ihe GOP in
1996 in a similar dispute — but a strong showing may
demonstrate that fair-minded Republicans understand
what a big tent approach should mean during the GOP convention.
This controversy and immature name-calling comes as
Log Cabin prepares two fund-raisers to pay for a gay
Republican to lobby state legislators when they return lo
Austin in January. It would supplement lhe efforts of the
Lesbian Gay Rights Lobby of Texas, which already sends a
lobbyist to the slate capital. Both groiips have exchanged
barbs over lhe Log Cabin effort.
Gay Republicans wanl a better effort in targeting gay
friendly conservative legislators: officials of lhe gay righls
lobby said they focus on non-partisan lobbying- Bul both
groups left the door open for working together.
With Ihe hate the slalc's Republican leadership has
demonstrated recently, ils Importanl lhat Lug Cabin and
the gay rights lobby overcome differences and band togeth
er. Gays need all the help they can muster when the legislature returns. The fight for equality hangs in ihe balance,
Nearly (hree months after (he disturbing slaying ol a 28
old gay wailer. lhe facts are still in doubt. Did the
Housion Police Department miss Marc Daniel Kajs' cal! for
help? Dili police overlook signs of the impending tragedy.
which unfolded on March 29? And why was the deparl-
ment's domestic violence unil closed on the weekend?
Some 11 hours before Kajs' former boyfriend gunned him
down near a trendy Monlrose restaurant, he walked into
the police storefront station on Weslheimer and filed a com
plaint. 1 lis parents say their son's conrerns were overlooked
Authorities say the officer filed a detailed report and
warned Kajs to stay home and avoid frequenting places in
which he might run into Ilhan Yilmaz, (he pizza deliverer
who shot Kajs and then turned (he gun on himself and
The complaint was lo be turned over to the police depart
ment's domestic violence unit early Monday, which would
have taken immediate action. Police Chief CO. Bradford
said. Those are comforting words, bul Yilma/ caught Lip
wilh Kajs about 2 p.m. Sunday.
Kajs' lamily accuses officers on more than one occasion of
Ignoring Iheir son's cry for help. Bradford said officers on
the slreels made judgement calls in how to besl deal wilh
lhe ongoing dispute between the two men.
This much is clear: there are lessons the police departmeni need-, lo learn from this tragedy.
Bradford mentioned some ol them
during a meeting earlier Ihis month
with the I luu si I in Gay and Lesbian
Political Caucus when he announced
the results of an internal review of how
the departmeni handled the dispute
between Kajs and Yilmaz. The domes-
tie and family violence unit will be
decentralized into three offices around
Houslon and have investigators avail
able around the clock. Officers on the
streets will receive more training to
know when lo Hag a dispute as domestic violence or stalk
ing. Heller inlormation on where to send battered lesbians
and gays for shelter will also be distributed.
Bradford, who fielded an emotional confrontation from
Kajs' parents, came lo the caucus meeting with something
to offer. He repeatedly called the murder Buiclde "a most
unfortunate tragedy." That wasn't enough and the city's top
cop knew it. He also arrived with plans to alter how police
respond to complaints ol domestic violence and stalking.
City Councilwoman Annise Parker, who has taught sens!
tivilv classes to ! louslon police, said tlie new Initiatives will
make a difference and could prevent similar events from
Unfortunately for Marc Daniel Kajs. the changes can't
come soon enough.
GAY SIGNS OF THE MILLENIUM