FEBRUARY 4, 2000 • HOUSTON VOICE
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\^/HE STRONGEST IDEAS have always
been the simplest ones. The ones that grow from
vision. At Chase Texas, it is our vision to manage
diversity as we would any other strategic resource.
We have made diversity an integral component
of our culture because we know that bringing
collective experiences and skills to the table
enables us to do things that none of us could do
alone. A simple idea that inspires great rewards.
The right relationship is everything.
Around the Nation
For more extensive coverage: www.houstonvoice.com
Gay couple, trans woman among victims of Alaska Airlines crash
PORT HUENEME, Calif. (AP)—The search for survivors among the 88 people flying on
Alaska Airlines Flight 261 ended Wednesday after 41 hours. Among the victims of the crash
were Toni Choate, a Santa Cruz man who was living as a woman, and William Knudson
and Bradley Long, who owned a bed and breakfast in Puerto Vallarta. Choate was returning to the San Francisco Bay area with his daughter when the plane crashed. Choate was a
general contractor and cabinet finisher originally from Visalia, Calif He was formerly
known as Larry D. Choate, but changed his name and started living as a woman in the mid
1990s, according to friends and relatives. In 1995, Choate bought the Savoy Bar in Santa
Clara, Calif, and moved to San Francisco about a year ago. "He was an excellent father, as
far as taking her places and showing her things," Elliott said. "They were real close."
Knudson and Long were headed home after visiting their inn. They "lived life to the
fullest," said Laura Lyon, vice president at Lyon & Associates Real Estate in Sacramento,
where Long, 38, had worked for the past decade. "They were very much into boating and
had a large hobby restoring old cars," Lyon said. "They were always entertaining, very,
very generous, warmhearted gentlemen."
Military services spell out training, gay discharges down slightly
WASHINGTON (AP>—The U.S. military services for the first time have spelled out for
field commanders a policy of ensuring that troops who complain of anti-gay threats or
harassment are not themselves investigated. The intent is to allow such complaints to be
aired without fear of being kicked out of the service for being gay, and to reinforce the idea
that those who make anti-gay threats will not be tolerated. Defense Secretary William
Cohen said Tuesday the new guidelines on how to investigate anti-gay threats are incorporated in updated training programs designed to ensure that the Clinton administration's
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy on gays is enforced fairly and uniformly throughout the
services. "These plans make it very clear... that there is no room for harassment or threats
in the military," Cohen said in a written statement. The Pentagon also announced Tuesday
the number of discharges from the military for being homosexual fell to 1,034 in the fiscal
year ended Sept. 30 from 1,145 in the year-earlier period.
'Millionaire' quietly includes gay couples among game winners
HOLLYWOOD—The game show "Who Wants to
Be a Millionaire" has garnered attention for more
than its No. 1 ratings, according to a New York Times
report. The quiz show has also quietly broken sexual
and racial barriers, including among its contestants
gay and racially mixed couples that in the past
wouldn't have been aired. When contestant Rob
Coughlin. of Shoreline, Wash., appeared on a show
that aired Jan. 23, host Regis Philbin introduced
Coughlin's companion, Mark Leahy, as soon as the
contestant walked onstage. "Your partner, Mark, is in
the audience, 'Hey, Mark,'" said Philbin, to audience
applause. As Coughlin began answering questions
correctly, Philbin asked Leahy what his partner
should do if he won $1 million. "Get a new
wardrobe," replied Leahy. When Coughlin won
$500,000, Philbin said, "Hey, Mark, come down."
Leahy bounded onto the stage and hugged Coughlin.
"Hey, Mark, nice to see you," Philbin said. ABC executives, who admitted to some trepidation about the
episode, said there was no reaction from viewers.
Airing on ABC three nights a week, "Millionaire" has
an average audience of 28.5 million viewers, the
Report says priests dying of AIDS at higher rate than general
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP)—AIDS has become a serious problem among Roman Catholic
priests and has caused the deaths of hundreds of priests across the United States, the
Kansas City Star reported Jan. 29. The newspaper said the actual number of AIDS deaths is
difficult to determine because death certificates are often altered, but that the death rate
from AIDS appears to be at least four times that of the rate for the general U.S. population.
Examination of death certificates indicated several hundred priests have died of AIDS-
related illnesses since the mid-1980s, and hundreds more are living with HIV. The Star conducted a survey of American priests with a margin of error of 3.5 percent. Six of 10 priests
responding said they knew of at least one priest who had died of an AIDS-related
illness; one-third knew a priest living with AIDS. Asked about their sexual orientation, 75
percent said they were heterosexual, 15 percent said they were homosexual and 5 percent
said they were bisexual.
—From staff and wire reports
Network executives were nervous
about the Jan. 23 episode of "Who
Wants to Be a Millionaire?' when a
gay man hugged his partner after
winning $500,000, but viewers