22 Montrose voice/May 21,1982
Letters & Comments
Van Ooteghem answers critics
= 1982 by Gary J. Van Ooteghem
Will Ray Hill and George Barnhart please
step forward onto the carpet. Up to the
line, please. Since your public statements
have generated a circus of false, malicious
gossip regarding my character, I ask you
to step forward and be held accountable
for your actions and remarks.
First, I find it incomprehensible that
you uttered any public accusations about
testimony I made in a court of law, in a
room distant from your own hearing, without first calling me to ask for my version.
You reacted when you should have reasoned. Something not uncommon for the
two of you, I might add. Because of not
extending that simple courtesy, you have
caused much to do about nothing. And of
all that I am going to say on the matter, it
is only this that I would expect an apology
on. The rest of this matter concerns a difference of opinion between us, which you
will have to accept, like it or not. I respect
the rights of others to have differing views
from me on a whole host of matters. Not
agreeing on everything is just as important agreeing on everything. We need
both. Consequently, you are entitled to
your opinions and so am I.
Second, and before I address the real
issue at hand, let me try to dispel many of
the untruths generated by your gang of
two-plus: I am not anti-gay; never have
been. I am not out to interfere with the
right of the French Quarter to exist;
frankly, I don't have an opinion one way
or the other. I have made no disparaging
or spiteful remarks concerning the lack of
gay support regarding my candidacy for
public office. I did say, however, that no
organized gay support came forward,
which is the truth. George Barnhart made
the foregoing accusations and, as usual,
was way off base again.
Ray Hill, on the other hand, called me a
prostitute because I stepped forward and
gave testimony against what he calls
"gay male porno flicks." Tell me Ray, how
you define the word "prostitute." Is it
because you started a FALSE rumor (or
unwittingly repeated to others) that I was
supposedly guilty of some campaign violation (there are several versions of this) and
was about to be indicted by some grand
jury? Further, that I testified for the prose
cution in exchange for them droopping an
indictment against me? It would appear
the only way to vindicate myself would be
to be indicted for something. What nonsense, Ray. You should know better than
I have a hard time understanding why
Ray Hill or George Barnhart decided to
retaliate against my testimony with a
PERSONAL attack on me except that it
appears based either out of ignorance or
stupidity. In Ray Hill's case, I suspect
Third, the issue: As always, there are
two sides to an issue. To listen to both Hill
and Barnhart, it was an anti-gay act to
speak out against a film described by Hill
as a "gay male porno flick." Further, they
embrace the acts in this film as fitting the
gay community's standards. It is here that
I draw the line and disagree with the Gang
of Two-plus. These may be their standards, but they are not the universally
accepted standards ofthe remainder ofthe
For example, the film in question portrays ... (fisting) as one of our gay "standards." I say it is not. Hill and Barnhart
would have had me testify that it was. If I
had perjured myself, presumably they
would have been happy and content. Fisting is not the norm or standard of this
community: whether they like it or not is
not my concern. The issue before the court
was whether or not this film represented
gay lifestyles. I contend that fisting is not
representative of gay lifestyles. Fisting, I
believe, needs to be viewed under some
other standard, but not gay. This was the
only issue I addressed in court.
Personally, I believe that fisting
belongs under sexual aberration rather
than under any gay classifications. Too
often we raise the anti-gay defense on matters which are not. We are not exempt from
all the rules of conduct which govern our
society, even though we may like to think
I respect the rights of all persons to do as
they wish with themselves and/or with
other consenting adults. But I oppose,
object and reject a few people placing their
personal preferences up for all to view,
especially under oath in a court of law, as a
standard lifestyle of our gay community.
It just isn't so. In the court case before us,
fisting was that example. I felt it was time
someone spoke out on the issue and I did
so. I was, frankly, unconcerned whether or
not it was a popular thing to do. It was a
statement I felt important to make.
I do not present my preferences as the
standard for all of us, either, and I will not
permit others to intimidate me into silence
when I disagree with what they suggest
our stantards are. I reserve my right to
differ on the standards of our community.
Hill and Barnhart do not set my standards; I do!
I am no one's puppet. There are those in
our community who have standards at a
different level than those proposed by Hill
and Barnhart. I am only one, but I believe
there are many others, too.
Fourth, an observation: I find it strange
that not a single person came forward to
seek out my position on the matter before
they started their personal attacks on me.
Fortunately, our local publications are
permitting me an opportunity to respond
to these false accusations. My response
would have been made earlier, but I was
out of town for 10 days. It was during my
absense that the Gang of Two-plus
cranked up the rumor mill against me.
Fifth, our image: It's about time we took
a look at our community and the image we
wish to present to the rest of society. Both
of you, Ray and George, have stated publicly that to object to "porno flicks" is to be
"anti-gay." I disagree.
Come forward and make your case, gentlemen. I like a good fight, so let's get on
with it. But no more hitting below the belt;
that's for little people... or big people with
Conclusion: Opinions are like assholes.
Everybody iB entitled to one.
From Ed Coleman
GPW Committee member from MCCR
2Just a quick note to correct a flagrant
error in the May 7, issue of The Voice
concerning the May 2 meeting of Gay
Pride Week Committee.
In the article it was stated that Mr.
Larry Bagneris proposed that the man
and woman Grand Marshal for this year's
parade be elected by the Chairs of the
committees. Not so! In fact a motion was
made by Mr. Scott Miller that the four
Chairs of the Parade Committee select the
Grand Marshals. This motion was seconded by me and a number of others.
Right. It failed overwhelmingly, but don't
give Larry the blame (or credit) for the
By the way, thanks for an outstanding
paper—never miss an issue.
and doings in
By William Marberry
When Governor Bill Clements was in
Montrose to speak at Lanier Jr. High
School, 2600 Woodhead, May 15 at the
13th Senatorial District Republican Convention he said "(Mark White) is a career
politician who has had his snoot in the
trough long enough."
He shoulda stayed around
In the same speech, Governor Clements
said "the Democratic Party is in shambles," bogged down in all its "fussing,
fighting and feuding." This remark was to
praise Republican unity—and only hours
before the same group became locked in a
bitter, name-calling battle where the convention chairman was accused of trying to
boost his ex-wife's slim chance of being
elected to the State Executive Committee
by depriving the Heights, Montrose and
some minority districts of their delegates
to the state convention.
Know what the Governor's concluding
remarks to the 13th District were about?
"Credibility; that is what we Republicans
want to stand for...."
Judicial candidate Charley Price gives a
clever speech in those candidate forums
where two minutes is it.
"My name is easy to remember: if you
are into country and western, then my
name reminds you of Charley Pride;
otherwise, think of the TV show The Price
Is Right, and remember me."
Yield not unto...
Harris County Republican Party Chairman Russ Mather did not immediately
yield the platform when informed that
Gov. Clements had arrived at the 13th
District Convention. Instead, the chairman kept the governor waiting, apparently Figuring his own speech of greater
Mather was urging the convention
delegates to stay long enough into the
afternoon to maintain a quorum so the
resolutions before the convention could be
approved, putting the convention on record against porno, homosexuality, etc.
Typical of Mather's remarks were, "The
pulpits are silent on moral issues, so it is up
to the political arena," and "Separation of
church and state usually means separation of God and country."
Ultimately, the morality resolutions
never even came before the convention
because of hanky-panky in the Nominations Committee over delegate selection.
Where to eat ?
On June 15th, Gov. Clements will be
dining with any friends willing to pay a
thousand dollars a plate, sure to be a very
elegant affair. While across the street—
which was not by accident—is the Harris
County Democratic Party's get-together,
but at only $5 per head, with scrufty attire
Or for those not especially hungry, there
is an opportunity to skip both dinners and
be just as political by joining the scheduled
picket of Ronald Reagan's presence in
Houston the same day.
Wait 'til next time
Democratic Party activist Jerry Mays
said, comparing this year's sedate Democratic Conventions to the action in the
Republican's seething 13th District, "I
belong to the party that's supposed to
fight. We didn't. It was rather boring."
Ray Hill says that he and Gary Van
Ooteghem may meet in an open forum
debate soon. Hill says it will probably be
the second or third Thursday in June and
most likely with the refereeing being done
It has been rumored that Richard Cross,
who failed to defeat State Rep. John
Whitmire in a bid for the Demo's senatorial nomination, may be planning another
political adventure before long. This time
to tackle city councilman Jim Westmoreland.
When Renee Rabb announced to the
May 19Gay Political Caucus meeting that
there was a Debra Danburg fundraiser
scheduled at Arno's, Sunday May 23,
Marion Coleman squealed from the back
of the room "That's when the carnival is!"
meaning the Muscular Dystrophy Carnival at 901 W. Alabama being given by
Kindred Spirits, Briar Patch, the Barn,
and the Drum,
With a little discussion the women
discovered that the same-Sunday functions had little overlap. The Carnival
Against Muscular Dystropy is from 1:00 to
6:00 p.m. and the Debra Danburg fundraiser at Arno's—which is just around the
corner from the Carnival—is from 4:00 to
It's block-walking time again in Montrose
The Gay Political Caucus is organizing
block-walking assignments to boost voter
particiapation in certain targeted run-off