HOUSTON VOICE • FEBRUARY 4, 2000
James Walter Moreland, 39,
was executed last week in
Texas, years after a 'gay panic'
defense foiled to clear him of
Southwest Airlines adds anti-discrimination provisions for gays
DALLAS—Southwest Airlines, the nation's fifth largest airline, has instituted anti-
harassment, anti-discrimination and EEOC policies that include sexual orientation as a protected category, the Dallas Voice reported. The Dallas-based airline announced the new protections in a letter sent to employees by Herb Kellaher, the airline's chairman, president and
t EO. I he protections may be the result of an ongoing controversy between the airline and
the flight attendants' union over domestic partner benefits for unmarried employees, as
well .is longstanding charges of homophobia at Southwest. The issue came to a head in
December when Southwest pilot Gary S. Ward claimed in a pilots' newsletter that "the
homosexual community alone is a high-risk group medically." Ward also wrote that if
Southwest adopted 1)1' benefits, it would be "a stab in the back of the American family."
Right attendant Marty Nelson ol San Francisco said many pilots will not speak to male
flight attendants, and some will not let men serve cabin crews.
Ft. Worth rights commission accused of pro-gay 'litmus test'
FORT WORTH, Tex.—A man who was rejected for a seat on Fort Worth's Human
Relations Commission has charged officials with using nominees' positions on a possible
gay rights ordinance as a "litmus test" for appointment to the body, the Dallas Voice reported Nominees opposed to the proposed ordinance were automatically rejected, Larry
Stevens alleged. Stevens, who previously ran a failed bid for a city council seat, was one of
six nominees interviewed for possible appointment to the commission. "They asked me,
'Mow do vou feel about special protections based on sexual preference7'" Stevens said.
This question was not about matters of justice or about my history of working against discrimination. It was just about how 1 felt about someone who practices a certain behavior
that is against the law in this state," Stevens said. Council member Becky Haskin, who
chaired the selection committee, said candidates for the commission all were asked
several questions. "I think he had some issues ahead of time... that's why I think he
wasn't selected," she said
Human Rights Watch set to monitor 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' in S.C
COLl MBIA, S.C (AP)—The military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy is getting a review
by Human Rights Watch. The group, best know for investigating international torture and
child abuse, has sent a delegate to Fort Jackson, the Army's largest training base, to collect
information about bow the policy is working. The New York-based organization monitors
human rights issues in about 70 countries, reporting on topics that include prisons, freedom of speech and land mines. "1 guess the simple goal is to look at this policy and the
treatment ol gays and lesbians in terms of the context of international human rights
standards," said senior researcher Allison Collins. She visited the fort with permission of
Army officials The group also will compare the lives of gay U.S. service members with
those in the military of other countries. Ihe United States and turkey are the only NATO
countries that ban gays from military service, according to the Service Members
I 'dense Network.
—from staff and win reports
Around the South [
For more extensive coverage: www.houstonvoice.com
Gay man, another who claimed 'gay panic/ executed in Texas
HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP)—Glen Alan McGinnis, 27,
was executed Jan. 25 for gunning down laundromat clerk
Leta Ann Wilkerson in 1990. McGinnis admitted shooting
Wilkerson and leaving for dead the 30-year-old mother of
two. Defense attorney William Hall described McGinnis
as a deeply troubled teen whose race and homosexual
orientation doomed him in the eyes of the jury. "He was
polite, respectful, legitimately sorry about what he'd
done," Hall said. "But he was also a black man who killed
a white woman. And he was very, very gay, and that didn't help." The Vatican, the European Union, the American
bar Association and a collection of anti-death penalty
groups pleaded for the life of McGinnis because he was a
juvenile when he killed Wilkerson. The execution came
just five days after another gay man, Rickey Lee Bryant,
31, was put to death in Texas for killing his lover and four
neighbors in 1982.
Meanwhile, James Walter Moreland, 39, condemned
for a knife attack that left two Fast Texas men dead more
than 17 years ago, was executed Jan. 27. The 39-year-old
Indiana native repeatedly stabbed Clinton Corbet Abbott
and John Royce Cravey in the back, robbed them, and left them to die in a Eustace, Texas
trailer home after a day of beer drinking in 1982. Moreland maintained he acted out of fear
after Cravey, a 41-year-old iron worker, allegedly made sexual advances toward him.
Relatives of Moreland's victims rankle at the suggestion. "My brother was by no means a
homosexual. I know this for a fact," said Robert Cravey "Neither was Clint. He'd have
fought you if you even mentioned it to him."
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