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Montrose Voice, No. 27, May 1, 1981
File 004
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Montrose Voice, No. 27, May 1, 1981 - File 004. 1981-05-01. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. August 15, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/5905/show/5887.

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.

(1981-05-01). Montrose Voice, No. 27, May 1, 1981 - File 004. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/5905/show/5887

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. 27, May 1, 1981 - File 004, 1981-05-01, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed August 15, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/5905/show/5887.

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. 27, May 1, 1981
Contributor
  • McClurg, Henry
Publisher Community Publishing Company
Date May 1, 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 May 1,1981 / Montrose Voice / Page 3 Montrose News Supreme Court dismisses county's appeal of Van Ooteghem's suit WASHINGTON—The U.S. Supreme Court dismissed an appeal from the Harris County government April 27, which was trying to overturn a lower court decision ordering it to reinstate with back pay its former assistant treasurer, Gary Van Ooteghem. Van Ooteghem was fired in July 1975 by County Treasurer Harstell Gray after Van Ooteghem had threatened to lobby on behalf of civil rights for homosexuals before the Commissioners Court, the legislative body of the county government. The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans had agreed that the firing violated Van Ooteghem's free speech rights. Gray's successor, Henry E. Kriegel, then carried its 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. 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 Driscoll 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 jus- tifed for any reason "other than the desire to thwart Van Ooteghem's lobbying on behalf of homosexuals." Since Van Ooteghem was hard-working and intelligent, the appeals court said, there could be no other reason for his discharge. 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 will 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 exact sequence of events of his firing were as follows: Van Ooteghem, who had been on the job six months, returned from vacation, told 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. Since the firing, Van Ooteghem had been involved in a variety of ventures, including the publishing of a biweekly gay newspaper, Upfront America, until earlier this year. In April he was operating a computer company that specialized in accounting services. S7hST™ V^'pI^ «"* ™*y °«">«- 352° Montrose, = 1981 M6' Ph<">e (713) 529-8490. Contents copyright Office hours: l-8pm. ADMINISTRATIVE/EDITORIAL: Henrv McTl,,™ M 1. /_!•• OJ Martinez, associate editor. Y MtC'urg, publisher/editor. Ed Items appearing in the Voice accredited to Co„i„., kt □ rSnciscoChronicle Features Syndicate. Surburfc ZZ^'Zur.l'S Feature Syndicate are copyrighted by thoseconcern, and «« ™'rS ^f the Voice'for use in this newspaper. All other iterns "X Volc^are copyright by the Montrose Voice. vmc<! are POSTMASTER: Send address corrections to 3520 Montrose, suite 227 Houston. TX 77006. Subscription rate in US: $39 per year. 52 issues, or $24 for six months. 26 issues. ADVERTISING: Randy Brown, director. Advertising deadline: Tuesdays, 7:00pm. National advertising representative: Rivendell Marketing, New York. Judge questions verdict over Montrose/ southwest Houston cable TV franchise Whether a federal judge would back up a jury's decision awarding $6.3 million to a rejected Montrose and southwest Houston cable TV company was in doubt April 25. U.S. District Judge Carl O. Bue was studying whether to support the multi-million dollar award to Affiliated Capital Corp. A jury on Feb. 17 found that Gulf Coast Television Co. and Houston Mayor Jim McConn had illegally conspired in awarding the franchise for this portion of the city to Gulf Coast. A federal judge may change the decisions of a jury in cases such as this. Judge Bue said he hit a "roadblock" in trying to spot the evidence in the case. He gave lawyers for Affiliated two weeks to point it out to him. The jury found McConn, the city government and Gulf Coast guilty but Affiliated said it would not penalize taxpayers by accepting any public money for the fine. Meanwhile, an unprecedented hearing on whether Bue should outright void the cable television franchise of Gulf Coast remained postponed after Affiliated had filed a new motion. Affiliated April 13 asked that it be allowed to argue for the injunction as a "potential consumer of cable services" as well as a competitor deprived of a franchise by unfair practice. Gulf Coast was awarded the franchise in 1978. 'Chronicle' article credits gay political power The role of gay people in Houston politics has become "difficult to ignore," said Houston Chronicle political writer Nene Foxhall in the April 26 edition of the newspaper. "The endrosement of the Houston Gay Political Caucus now is sought by many candidates and few, if any, office holders or candidates risk public attacks on the homosexual lifestyle," Fox- hall wrote in the newspaper's weekly "Houston Politics" column. It went on to describe conditions in 1973 when the situation was different and politicans either shunned gay groups or outright ridiculed them. City Council settles lawsuit The Houston City Council April 22 agreed to the $13,400 settlement of a 1977 lawsuit against several Houston officials over an ordinance that made it illegal for members of one sex to appear in public dressed in the clothing of the opposite sex, the Houston Post reported. The settlement was reported to have included $900 in damages to seven "Jane Doe" plaintiffs and $12,500 in legal fees for their attorneys. City Council repealed the ordinance after court proceedings over its unconstitutionality was started. The plaintiffs said the ordinance violated the civil rights of transsexuals undergoing presurgery treatment, a process requiring that men desiring to be women dress like the opposite sex for one to two years before surgery. Named in the 1977 suit were all members of the City Council, the mayor, former police chief Pappy Bond and police officer R.C. Horn. Splash Day is Sunday I GALVESTON—The annual ases. "Splash Day" at Stewart Beach is scheduled for this Sunday, May 3. Stewart Beach is the favorite area of gay men and women and the annual Splash Day draws thousands from Houston. Jimmy Bartlett, who operates a mobile disco service in Houston, said there would be a gay T-dance in the Bamboo Hut noon to 4:00 p.m. "This year we'll be inside the Bamboo Hut, and not actually out on the beach, but it'll be great," he said. Montrose recreation center planned Houston City Council late last month approved a contract with Mosely Associates to prepare plans to construct a recreation center in Cher- ryhurst Park, 1700 Missouri. The planning project was approved April 23 to be funded by the city's park bond fund. Montrose bank suffers $20,000 loss in check scheme An Atlanta man was charged in Houston in late April with operating a check-kiting scheme which authorities said cost banks $150,000, including $20,000 at Allied American Bank in Montrose, reported the Houston Post. David P. Rhodes, 35, was charged April 22 before U.S. Magistrate H. Lingo Platter with willfully and unlawfully overvaluing deposits at various financial institutions, the newspaper said, with bond set at $50,000. An affidavit by FBI agent John F. Foley said Rhodes overvalued his account at River Oaks Bank and Trust by passing insufficient funds checks drawn on checking accounts in Houston and on the East Coast under different aliases, it was reported. The agents affidavit said that River Oaks official H. Butler McCauley had advised him that the bank had been told by the Houston Check Clearing House that Rhodes had used six ali-
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