Just out. (Portland, OR) 1983-2013, March 02, 1984, Page 4, Image 4

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passes AB1
By a one vote margin, the California State
Senate passed legislation to prohibit job dis­
crim ination against lesbians and gay men.
The measure, introduced by Assemblyman
Art Agnos, D.-S.F., passed the Assembly last
June but must go back to that house for a
vote on minor amendments. If the amend­
ments are approved as expected, the bill will
then go to Governor Deukmejian.
Asked last week if he would sign the bill,
Deukmejian said, "We will wait until it gets to
our desk and then we probably want to re­
ceive views from all interested parties before
making the final decision.”
After the vote, Agnos said he is “cautiously
optim istic” that Deukmejian will allow it to
become law, because the governor has so far
not expressed opposition to the measure. He
has also let stand an executive order by
form er Governor Jerry Brown prohibiting
discrim ination in state employment on the
basis of sexual orientation.
If the measure becomes law, California will
become the second state in the nation to
have such legislation. Wisconsin, where
homosexual acts are prohibited, has a gay
rights job discrimination law. Attempts to pass
such legislation in Oregon have been
defeated five times in the past ten years.
Amendments added in the Senate, which
still must be approved by the Assembly, pro­
vide that the law does not apply to convicted
sex offenders.
Opposition to the measure was led by con­
servative Republican Senators Richardson
(Arcadia) and Doolittle (Citrus Heights) who
several times warned of a threat to the public
health by the possible spread of AIDS.
Richardson also proceeded to read from
the Bible as if he were on the pulpit, calling
homosexuality “an abomination,” “ hateful
and disgusting.”
“ Don’t argue with me," Richardson said.
“ This is the Lord speaking through his holy
w rit"
"This bill is going to make an affirmation
that the state endorses homosexual conduct”
Doolittle said, warning that if it passed,
homosexuals would "be hired to work with
your children.”
Senator Art Torres, D.-L.A., retorted, "My
God, how archaic. Are we also to suggest that
anyone who went to parochial school will turn
out to be a nun?"
Form er Los Angeles Police Chief, Republi­
can Senator Ed Davis admonished his con­
servative colleagues that "we cannot have
any one branch of faith making our laws for
us; God must be thoroughly disgusted at
some of the things we do in the name of
If the measure becomes law, people who
thought they were discriminated against be­
cause of their sexual preference could file a
com plaint with the Fair Housing and Em­
ployment Department Employers would be
subject to civil fines. The measure covers
employers with more than five employees.
Free speech
Woo wins
On February 17th, an elated Merle Woo
and her Defense Committee announced a
settlement in Woo's free speech and discri­
mination case against the University of
California (GC). On February 16th, GC Re­
gents approved a settlement returning Woo
to work with a two year contract in the Depart­
ment of Education, a cash sum of $48,584
and $25,000 in attorney’s fees.
“We have shown by our victory that free
speech for teachers, staff and students does
not stop at the schoolhouse gate’,” said Woo
after the victory. “ I’m overjoyed to go back to
teaching, but I’m sorry not to be returning to
Asian American Studies. Also, a two year
contract is no substitute for UC’s original
promises of permanent em ploym ent’
Woo was fired in June 1982 from the Asian
American Studies (AAS) Program at Berkeley.
Woo filed complaints in federal and state
courts charging GC with violation of her First
Amendment rights: firing her because she
was critical of AAS tenure track faculty for
eliminating student participation, com ­
munity-related courses and the goal of a
Third World College. She also charged GC
with discriminating against her for being out­
spoken as a trade unionist, a lesbian, and a
socialist feminist affiliated with Radical Wo­
men and the Freedom Socialist Party.
Woo stated, "... GC, no longer the liberal
bastion of free speech, has been accelerating
its right-wing activities. The Reaganizing of
GC is marked by attacks on Ethnic Studies,
Women’s Studies, affirmative action, student
democracy, union-organizing, and of course,
academic freedom.”
"My Defense Committee and I won be­
cause we were GC’s most organized and
com m itted opposition, representing the ma­
jority of people on campus: people of color,
women, lesbians and gays, staff and low-paid
teachers," said Woo.
With a compelling legal case and the
meticulous work of attorney Mary C. Dunlap,
Woo won several procedural victories along
the way, including:
• November 1983. The American Federa­
tion of Teachers (AFT) won its charge be­
fore the Public Employment Relations
Board (PERB) that the four year rule was
an unfair labor practice. GC attempted to
cut lecturers’ teaching time from eight to
four years. PERB ordered GC to reinstate
Woo and all other lecturers fired under the
rule, with back pay and interest
• June 5,1 98 3. GC lost its bid to dismiss
Woo’s case from Federal court and to
eliminate much of its political content
• December 1,1983. State court Judge
McKibben ruled Woo could litigate in both
state and federal courts simultaneously.
Is AIDS a d e a d
AIDS researchers in San Francisco are at­
tem pting to dissuade gay men from engag­
ing in “ promiscuous sexual activity" in baths
and sex clubs which may endanger their
According to a new public health depart­
ment study in San Francisco, rectal gonor­
rhea, which decreased during the height of
publicity about AIDS last year, is increasing
again as men return to their traditional sexual
“ Promiscuity isn’t a gay issue — it’s a
men’s issue,” said Dr. Steve Morin, one of the
gay com m unity’s most prominent psycho­
“ Men are encouraged to explore sexuality
and recreational sex for their whole lives. Wo­
men most certainly are not encouraged like
this, so they discourage heterosexual men
from promiscuity,” said Morin, who has
worked extensively on AIDS-related issues.
Given all the intricacies of changing sexual
behavior, sociologists and psychologists who
have studied other epidemics insist that gays
are not reacting differently from any group of
people faced with similar circumstances.
Leon McKusick, one of three psychother­
apists who conducted a recent study of gay
sexual habits in San Francisco, said, “ Data
shows the single most influential thing that
does impact on the sexual behavior is when
they have seen someone in the advanced
stages of the disease.”
"You’re not looking at a community that is
weird.” said psychotherapist McKusick.
"They’re acting the way people react to such
perils. A lot of cigarette smokers didn’t quit
smoking even when they knew it could cause
lung cancer. Changes come in stages and
that’s what we re seeing here.”
As the legal victories snowballed, so did
evidence supporting Woo’s claims, including
documents and witnesses who said Woo was
offered permanent employment and that dis­
crim inatory remarks were made about her
politics and sexuality. GC shifted explanations
for Woo’s firing — strong evidence of dis­
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