Keyword
in
Collection
Date
to
The New Voice, No. 539, February 22 - 28, 1991
File 009
Citation
MLA
APA
Chicago/Turabian
The New Voice, No. 539, February 22 - 28, 1991 - File 009. 1991-02-22/1991-02-28. University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. June 3, 2020. https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/6265/show/6240.

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.

(1991-02-22/1991-02-28). The New Voice, No. 539, February 22 - 28, 1991 - File 009. Montrose Voice. University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/6265/show/6240

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.

The New Voice, No. 539, February 22 - 28, 1991 - File 009, 1991-02-22/1991-02-28, Montrose Voice, University of Houston Libraries, accessed June 3, 2020, https://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/montrose/item/6265/show/6240.

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.

URL
Embed Image
Compound Item Description
Title The New Voice, No. 539, February 22 - 28, 1991
Contributor
  • McClurg, Henry
  • Darbonne, Sheri Cohen
Publisher Community Publishing Company
Date February 22, 1991-February 28, 1991
Language English
Subject
  • LGBTQ community
  • LGBTQ people
  • Gay liberation movement
Place
  • Houston, Texas
Genre
  • newspapers
Type
  • Text
Identifier OCLC: 24648896
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 009
Transcript 8 ™v/TH[NEWVOICt/FEBRUARY22-28.1991 Lesbian Reservist torn between private and military commitments GAYS AND THE WAR: PART 2 By SHERI COHEN DARBONNE TNV Editor "Basically, I excuse the ignorance of the military in order to be able to serve my country..." Reflecting on the anti-gay policies of the U.S. Armed Forces, Capt. Lauren Garza (not her real name) wavered a little in her otherwise forcefully delivered, wrenchingly patriotic commentary. As a committed officer in the U.S. Army Reserves, Garza wants to be involved with the Allied war effort in the Persian Gulf, a desire she tried to explain as concisely as possible—in true military style—on Monday, as the world tried to analyze the chances of an impending, devastating ground war As a gay woman who recently validated her committed relationship with another woman in a holy union ceremony, however, she realizes there are other concerns. Garza, known to friends as a workaholic in her career, church and volunteer activities, is also now in training for a new job, and is still balancing numerous involvements with gay and lesbian community events. Nevertheless, she said, "If I were single, I would go in an instant." Deeply spiritual, she said she has prayed long hours about the conflict going on in her own mind. "I'd say the only reason I haven't already (volunteered) is because of my lov- erT she said. "I've made a commitment to her for the rest of my life...it wouldn't be fair to put my life on the line without considering her wishes," she said. While her partner supports her and "does her beBt to understand" her way of thinking, Garza said she has so far respected the wishes of her lover, choosing to let her decision on active duty wait. Time to decide is a luxury of her highly-specialized unit, which will not itself deploy. Garza's unit has a high-ranked structure—less than ten percent enlisted personnel. The rest are officers—intensely trained experts— many of whom have been called up individually. "I know I could be called up at any time," Garza said. "If there is a ground conflict...I think my chances of being called would be much greater I have told my commanding officer that I don't want to be used as 'filler' (in a domestic base). If I'm going to give up my job and everything else I have here, I want to go to the Persian Gulf. "...My friends at church say they are praying for me not to have to go. What I believe is that if God wants me to go, I will...if not, then I won't," she continued. Garza does not hesitate in stating her Capt. Lauren Garza (right) has been struggling to balance her love for her partner, her country and her community in her personal decisions under the pressure of the Middle East War. (The photo, taken in Honduras in 1985, shows her inspecting the Military Police shift supervisor prior to her platoon going on duty) belief that America's posture in the Middle East conflict is necessary and correct. She is unflinching in defending the war effort as part of a larger picture that will, ironically, lead to greater chances of world peace. Garza sees the U.S. military as a guardian force whose abilities help to preserve that fragile peace. "In training, if we become the bestthat we can be...that helps to assure world peace," she said. "I see victory (of Allied forces) as a step toward peace. I think it would make other leaders in the future think twice before doing what Saddam has done. It's unfortunate that it has to happen this way...I don't pray for war I pray for peace, always. "...Saddam Hussein is despicable. What he has done to his own people, and to those around him, is inexcusable. Something had to be done to let (other leaders) know that he would not be allowed to get away with it." Garza said her background—she came to the United States from Cuba as a political refugee—is partly responsible for her deep patriotism. "I love this county. I think perhaps I take less for granted (about the U.S.)," she said. She also loves the military, a way of life for her for over a decade. Entering the Reserves out of college, Garza spent four years on active duty. Counting ROTC, she says proudly, "I have spent 12 years serving my country." Garza added that she has many gay friends already serving in the Gulf. Her views are not exactly the norm in the national gay and lesbian community, whose organizational leaders, including the National Gay and Lesbian task Force, have stated opposition to the war. Gays and AIDS activists, fueled by the war effort's devastation of U.S. domestic programs through loss of funding and leadership, have hitched gay causes to the peace movement. Gays participated in recent demonstrations against the war in Houston, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco—including Garza's own brother, a San Francisco resident. "My gay brother and I are complete opposites, in our lifestyle and beliefs," she said. "My brother has, in fact, been very active in the anti-war demonstrations in San Francisco. I think this just shows that we (gays and lesbians) are really a very diverse community. "I think the people who areinvolved in (the demonstrations) are a very important part of the process. I think what they're doing is right and necessary...they provide a balance, we need to see both the pro and con. And if there is a possibility of peace, without having to go into a ground battle...perhaps this objective can be helped by (the pacifists') efforts," she added. Although it is not enough to weaken her pride in her country and lifestyle, Garza feels strongly about the U.S. military's homophobic policy of excluding gays and lesbians, which she says many commanding officers now choose wisely to "quietly ignore." So strong are these mixed feelings, she said, that Garza has made plans to take her "next step in coming out"—by risking the very thing she values most. Although she asked that her real name not be used in this article, Garza agreed to include a photo that shows her profile. And, in what she calls her biggest "coming out" move yet, Garza said she decided to be photographed— in full uniform—for the Houston Gay/Lesbian Pride Week 1991 "Take Pride Pos1f■r'■ "This is a very big risk for me," she said. "I have ten years left to military retirement. If the military sees (the picture on the poster), and decides to act on it, I could lose everything. However, if it does happen, I will fight. "I read about the poster about three weeks ago, and decided to be on it about a week later!' The reason? She believes her actions will better the chances of reversing the anti-gay and lesbian policy, and will inspire other gays in the military. "I think it will help others who are serving, to see someone who is willing to take a step for them. Sometimes, you have to be willing to accept the possible losses to take a stand," she said. NewsLine:TheWbrld Lesbian and gay group's UN bid delayed until 1993 For the first time in the history of the United Nations, gay and lesbian international activists have lobbied for official recognition and inclusion in the United Nations. But officials with the International Lesbian and Gay Association (ILGA), which submitted the application for recognition last year and testified last week at the U.N., say their bid for recognition has been postponed until 1993 by delegates who were unable to reach an agreement. ILGA, which represents gay and lesbian groups throughout the world, is seeking consultant status with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the U.N., which oversees, among other things human rights issues. Consultant status means ILGA would be able to intervene in human rights issues at the U.N. ILGA officials testified before the ECOSOC Committee on Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs). "We're very pleased at the amount of support we received from African, European and Latin American delegates, particularly unsolicited and highly positive comments by Ethiopia," said Lisa Power, ILGA secretary general. "We're disappointed we did not get in, but not surprised. The deferral was due to religious beliefs and was no reflection on our suitability—we are clearly eligible and have much to offer the U-N." The countries on the NGO committee include the Philippines, Sweden, Libya, Lesotho, Nicaragua, Oman, Sudan, USSR, Costa Rica, Cyprus, France, Ethiopia, Burundi, Ireland, Greece and Iraq. Decisions of the committee are made by consensus, not majority vote. A majority of countries supported ILGA. However, the ambassador from Libya, Abdussalam Derguwa, called ILGA a "sexually immoral" organization and said homosexuality is "contrary to the law of life" and "not in line with our religious morals." He then quoted from the Koran before saying that "studies and research have shown that their sexually immoral practices have led to the spread of AIDS," and that IGLA "will in no way contribute to the work of the U.N." Libya said it would oppose the application now and again in 1993. Oman also opposed the application, and the Philippine delegate, Ernastina Kodikara, said she was "not at home with this." An unexpected supporter of the bid was Ethiopia. Heile Mariam Goshu strongly advocated acceptance of ILGA into the U.N., saying, "We are not making moral or value judgments. We must face facts whether we like it or not—they (gays and lesbians) are a minority of thousands or even millions." He also spoke of ILGA's work on AIDS and other social issues. Costa Rica also supported ILGA, say ing, "This organization has great merits." Sweden stated that ILGA is "clearly in the framework" of Paragraph 1296 of the ECOSOC mandate, which "calls for the discussion of legal and social problems of sexual minorities." Representing ILGA were Power and John Clark, secretaries general of the organization; Susan Allee, ILGA's U.S. attorney and member of the board of directors of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF); and Michael Weltmann and Dr. Harold Kooden of the N.Y. Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center. ILGA will continue to lobby the U.N. for inclusion, and will discuss the issue at its 1991 International Conference in Guadelajara, Mexico, June 30-July 6. In the meantime, ILGA officials said theor- ganization will cement relationships with the supportive delegates and work to "enlighten the delegates who cannot see the need for gay and lesbian rights.''
File Name uhlib_24648896_n539_008.jpg