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Montrose Voice, No. 33, June 12, 1981
File 004
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Montrose Voice, No. 33, June 12, 1981 - File 004. 1981-06-12. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. May 28, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/3131/show/3117.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

(1981-06-12). Montrose Voice, No. 33, June 12, 1981 - File 004. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/3131/show/3117

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Montrose Voice, No. 33, June 12, 1981 - File 004, 1981-06-12, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed May 28, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/3131/show/3117.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Title Montrose Voice, No. 33, June 12, 1981
Contributor
  • McClurg, Henry
Publisher Community Publishing Company
Date June 12, 1981
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 22329406
Collection
  • University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
  • LGBT Research Collection
  • Montrose Voice
Rights In Copyright
Note This item was digitized from materials loaned by the Gulf Coast Archive and Museum (GCAM).
Item Description
Title File 004
Transcript June 12,1981 / Montrose voice 3 Montrose News Other Texas counties offer aid to help Harris County fight Van Ooteghem lawsuit The governments of several Texas Gulf Coast counties have been reported to be making financial contributions to Harris County in its attempt to fight back a lawsuit ordering it to reinstate gay activist Gay Van Ooteghem. A report in a recent edition of the Beaumont daily newspaper said the Jefferson County commissioners there were among those making contributions. It's being done in a "sneaky, secretive way," said Houston Gay Political Caucus member Pam Jones, who appeared along with GPC president Lee Harrington June 6 on a Beaumont radio talk show to discuss gay issues. Van Ooteghem, who had been on the job six months in July 1975 as assistant treasurer, returned from vacation, told county treasurer Hartsell Gray he was homosexual, and would be appearing at a public session of Commissioner's Court to urge the county commissioners to adopt regulations protecting the civil rights of homosexuals. Gray instructed Van Ooteghem that, no, he would not be allowed to conduct political activity on "county time," which he defined as the regular work hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Gray demanded that Van Ooteghem sign a letter to that effect. Van Ooteghem refused and was fired. The U.S. Supreme Court dismissed an appeal from Harris County in April that was trying to overturn a lower court decision ordering it to reinstate Van Ooteghem with back pay. Gray's successor, Henry E. Kriegel, carried his appeal to the Supreme Court, which refused to review it, but did so "without prejudice," which meant the county was being allowed to have another hearing on its appeal before the lower appeals court in New Orleans. In appealing the case to the Supreme Court, Harris County officials claimed it did not present an issue of "censorship of speech," but only a question of whether an employer may fix hours and place of work and fire an employee who would not comply. The courts had no evidence to find Van Ooteghem was discharged for any reason other than refusing to work his assigned hours, county officials claimed. They also said the suit was between Gray and Van Ooteghem, and the county itself should not be required to come up with money for the back pay award. The US. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans had agreed that the firing violated Van Ooteghem's free speech rights. However, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals had decided in early March on its own motion to rehear the case en banc or before the full body of federal circuit judges. This was very unusual, County Attorney Mike Driscoli was reported as saying, adding that a decision more favorable to the county was being made possible. Originally, U.S. District Judge Ross N. Sterling in Houston had ruled in Van Ooteghem's favor and ordered him reinstated with $56,046.92 in back pay plus attorney's fees. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling, noting that a new work schedule for Van Ooteghem, who had previously set his own hours, could not be justified for any reason "other than the desire to thwart Van Ooteghem's lobbying on behalf of homosexuals." Since Van Ooteghem was hardworking and intelligent, the appeals court said, there could be no other reason for his discharge. Cops stage crackdown on lower Westheimer hustlers Houston vice squad police began a roundup of male prostitutes and others June 3 in the lower Westheimer and Avondale area known as "the circuit." At least 40 people were arrested in the first few days. They were charged with prostitution and solicitation of prostitution, all misdeameanors. Several civic leaders in Montrose had recently come out strongly urging Houston Police to take action; Among them was city councilman Lance Lalor, who was reported to have relayed letters from Montrose citizens to the police about the issue. The Houston Post reported Lalor also included his own letter, which complained the area was crowded with "pimp, drug peddlers, hustlers and loiterers." Vice Capt. Tommy Shane said arresting male hustlers was unlike arresting female prostitutes. "Most of them, we've never arrested before. It's not like female prostitutes. We arrest the same girls day after day after day," the Houston Post quoted Shane. The quote by Shane went on to claim that because of the amount of hustlers in the area, Houston had acquired the title of "homosexual capital of the state." Shane said he had shifted many officers into the area and said they would remain there until prostitution became less of a problem. Integrity becomes Interact Houston's oldest gay rights organization voted June 4 to change its name to avoid confusion with a gay religious group that was using a similar name. Integrity/Houston, which is not a religious-affiliated group, voted to become Interact/Houston. A national organization of gay Episcopalians is known as Integrity. Integrity-now-Interact was using the name Integrity four years before the gay Episcopalian group was started in Georgia and spread nationwide. The Houston chapter of the group, to try to avoid confusion, was calling itself "Episcopal Integrity." In other cities, ironically, chapters were being referred to by "Integrity," followed by a slash and the city's name. Ned Parker, president of Interact/ Houston, said in a press release, "It was obvious that most gays related the name with religion. With our new name, we hope to bring more of the community into contact with the purpose of our organization, which is community education." "In the past, many people avoided our activities because of their mistaken idea that we were a church group," he said. The group was founded in 1970 as a "service/fellowship" organization. Last year they received incorporation papers defining themselves as an educational corporation known technically as I/H Incorporated. I/H Incorporated was granted tax-exempt status by the IRS this year. Interact/Houston holds business meetings at 7:30 p.m. on the first Thursday of each month and educational forums at 7:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month at 3405 Mulberry. Parker said the membership is open to everyone. Among the organization's projects are a Friday night "Community Coffeehouse" each week at the same address from 7:30 p.m. to midnight. The Gay Archives of Texas, also a project of Interact/Houston, announced last month that Jim Kepner, longtime California gay activist and founder of the National Gay Archives, would be giving a presentation in Houston on Monday, June 29, at 7:00 p.m. at 3405 Mulberry "He is probably the most notable authority on gay history in the United. States, and we know that Houston will be very interested in his presentation," said Richard Burkhart, director of the Gay Archives of Texas. Ben Sargent UM&HfSpiiJe.
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