6 APRIL 23, 2004
www.houstonvoice.com HOUSTON VOICE
Gay organizations join abortion rights march
more than 750,000
to rally on Sunday
By ADRIAN BRUNE
WASHINGTON - Beyond the manuscript-length march permit, the lengthy volunteer lists and the little piles of buttons on
her desk, feminist organizer Alice Cohan
keeps a very telling photograph. It's not a picture of her partner, or a close family member,
but that of another Alice — Alice Paul, the
chief strategist of the suffrage movement
and author of the Equal Rights Amendment.
Paul has been a heroine of Cohan's since
her early days at the Feminist Majority, and
she said she looks at the black-and-white
photo whenever she needs a reason to continue her work advocating for reproductive
rights. It was taken long before Cohan. 53.
actually met and got to know the legendary
feminist, but Cohan said Paul was no less
feisty on matters of emancipation for women.
"I remember visiting her in the nursing
home, wanting to talk about her days fighting for women's right to vote," Cohan said.
"She would always interrupt me to talk
about strategy for amending the Equal
Rights Amendment and more ways to further women's causes."
Lesbian Alice Cohan reached out to gay organizations to help out with this weekend's March
for Women's Life event. She said the right to privacy arguments help activists in both the gay
civil rights and reproductive rights battles.
(Photo by Adrian Brune)
As she heads into the final days before
Sunday's March for Women's Lives,
Cohan, the executive director of the
event, has been looking at Paul's picture a
bit more frequently, especially as those
days stretch into long nights. But with
more than 1,300 co-sponsors, including
several large gay organizations, and busloads of women coming from all over the
country, Cohan hopes her grassroots,
shoestring-budget demonstration impacts
women's rights as significantly as her
mentor's labors once did.
While she won't anticipate the outcome,
Cohan said she expects attendance at the
ft MORE INFO
March for Women's Lives
17251 St., NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20006
Pro-Life Alliance of Gays & Lesbians
P.O. Box 33292
Washington, DC 20033
march to surpass that of the movement's 1992
rally, which organizers estimated at 750,000.
"Our goal is to assemble a crowd that is
too big to ignore," she said.
Previously led by the National
Organization for Women, this year's march
directors reached out to several other civil
rights contingencies, especially minority
and gay advocacy groups. While the lesbian
feminist movement has consistently made
the connection between gay rights and
reproductive freedom, it is now imperative
for gay men to realize its importance, said
Cohan, a lesbian and longtime activist
within the gay community.
"The issues are so related when we
think about control over our own bodies,"
Cohan said. "Sexual activity without
reproduction gives gays and lesbians a fun
damental tenet on which they base their
Seven gay civil rights groups are listed as
co-sponsors of this weekend's march. They
are the Human Rights Campaign; the
National Gay & Lesbian Task Force; Lambda
Legal Defense & Education Fund; Equal
Partners in Faith; Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian
Center; New York Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual &
Transgender Community Center; and the
National Latina/o Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual &
March organizers say several decisions by
President Bush have threatened reproductive rights, especially his November signing
of a law banning partial birth abortions. But
gay activists and reproductive rights advocates fear the Bush administration's influence over the Supreme Court, which many
observers say is one vote away from overturning Roe vs. Wade, and with it eroding the
foundation beneath Lawrence vs. Texas.
However, not all gay organizations see
eye-to-eye with reproductive rights activists.
Carrying signs that read, "1 in 10 aborted
children are gay," members of PLAGAL, the
Pro-Life Alliance of Gays & Lesbians will
hold a counter-demonstration at the corner
of 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue to
voice their views.
"How can we support legislation that
attacks helpless individuals, some who no
doubt may be part of the future of the GLBT
community?" said Cecilia Brown, PLAGAL's
NHL player arrested in alleged murder-for-hire plot
Intended target may have
been player's boyfriend
By CYD ZEICLER JR.
The FBI arrested Michael Danton, a forward for the National Hockey League's St.
Louis Blues, on April 16 in California on
suspicion of a murder plot. The criminal
complaint mentions that Danton feared the
intended target of the hit would "leave
him," fueling speculation that the man
may have been the hockey star's boyfriend.
Danton was attempting to board a plane
in San Jose after his team was eliminated
from the playoffs by the San Jose Sharks
when he was arrested.
On April 15, the FBI reviewed a three-
way recorded conversation made the day
before among Danton. 23, Damon's friend
Katie Wolfmeyer, 19, and Justin "Levi"
Jones, also 19, the FBI's cooperating witness. Danton allegedly instructed Jones to
enter his home and kill the acquaintance,
whose name has not been revealed.
"Danton said law enforcement could
be led to believe that two burglars came
to Danton's residence and therein argued
regarding some aspect of the burglary,"
the criminal complaint reads. "Danton
told the cooperating witness it would
appear that, during the struggle, one of
the burglars was killed, while one fled
the scene with $3,000 in cash and other
That $3,000 was to serve as a down payment for the $10,000 Jones was allegedly
promised for his services. When Jones, a
part-time police dispatcher, realized that
Danton was serious, he and Columbia, 111.,
Police Chief Joe Edwards took the recorded conversation to the FBI.
On the night of April 15. Katie
Wolfmeyer drove Jones to Danton's apartment. When a security guard called the
acquaintance in Danton's apartment before
letting them through, Jones fled the scene.
Jones called Danton about an hour later and
told him that the job was "botched."
"We'll fix this, and we'll do it soon,"
Danton told Jones, according to the complaint.
Afraid of losing lover?
When the FBI interviewed the acquaintance, who may have been living with
Danton at the time, he told agents that he
and Danton had a severe argument that
Tuesday concerning Danton's "sexual
promiscuity and drinking."
"Danton begged the acquaintance not to
go to the general manager of the St. Louis
Blues hockey organization and ruin his
Danton was attested for allegedly
plotting to kill a
man who was living
with him The complaint alleges
Danton was afraid
was going to leave
him.'(Photo by AP)
career," the complaint reads. "The
acquaintance threatened to leave Danton."
On April 16. the acquaintance agreed to
record a phone conversation with Danton,
according to the complaint. When the
acquaintance asked Danton why he was
going to have him killed. Danton broke
down and sobbed.
"Danton explained that he felt
backed into a corner and also felt that
the acquaintance was going to leave
him," according to the complaint.
"Danton did not want to allow the
acquaintance to leave him, therefore
decided to have him murdered."
While the complaint dirl not detail the
nature of the relationship between
Danton and the acquaintance, within 4B
hours after the story broke, sports
reporters were concluding that they were
Danton's agent, David Frost, told the New
York Daily News that Danton is not gay
"Once the whole thing shakes down,
everyone will understand exactly the circumstances of what happened," Frost told
the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
But in the last week, glimpses of Frost's
own past — and his personal relationship
with Danton — have spilled out from various sources.
Frost had been active in the youth hockey world of Canada for many years before
taking on the role of agent for Danton and
another player now in the NHL. Frost had
a reputation for developing close relation
ships with some of the boys he coached,
Rob Ciccarelli. owner- of a hockey team
fin- whom Danton once played, told the
Sun. What worried me is he had a cult
like attraction for the player."
In 2(X)1. Danton changed lus name from
Michael Jefferson, allegedly due to the rift
Frost caused in Danton's family.
"That man has ruined my son's life,"
Danton's father, Steve Jefferson, told the
Brampton [Ontario] Guardian.
At press time, Danton was still awaiting
extradition to Illinois, where Jom