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About Just out. (Portland, OR) 1983-2013 | View Entire Issue (June 1, 1985)
p a p a l visit
by Lynne DeMont
Fresh Pasta &
Fresh Herbs &
Pope John Paul II angered many liberal
Dutch Catholics during his recent May tour of
Holland when he reiterated the Church's con
servative stand on homosexuality, promis
cuity, birth control, abortion and the status of
The Pope's unpopular views sparked riot
ing, street demonstrations, and challenges
by Dutch Catholic leaders including Helwig
Wasser, a woman official of a Catholic
missionary organization. The Associated
Press reported that Wasser departed from
her prepared text, criticizing the Church and
asking if it could preach effectively “if we lay
down the law rather than extend a helping
Wasser expressed concern about Catholic
credibility if “we exclude rather than^make
room for unmarried people living together,
divorced, homosexuals, married priests and
Wasser said she did not include her critical
words in a prepared text because she feared
Church officials would censor her remarks.
Her words drew a mixture of boos and cheers
from the audience at the Royal Netherlands
Trade Fair and reflected the divided opinions
of many Dutch Catholics.
Feminist Marika Venhorst also challenged
the Pope on his views of male supremacy
within Church hierarchy. “The Church is not
only the business of men,” she said. “The
good ideas of women are not sufficiently ta
ken into account Women should be able to
participate, be part of the thinking, and also
be able to take responsibility in the Church."
Liberal Dutch Catholics have supported
the ordination of women priests for many
years in direct opposition to Church policy
established in Rome.
In Amersfoort, a woman student told the
Pope Teenagers feel that the church does
not understand contemporary problems,
certainly issues such as homosexuality, abor
tion, the position of women in the church,
questions connected with living together and
sex before marriage."
The Pope replied that “the Bible shows us
a demanding Christ Would it be realistic to
imagine a Jesus who is indulgent on marital
love, abortion, sexual relations before or out
side marriage, or homosexual relations?"
At an open-air mass in Maastricht the
Pope defended the Vatican’s 1968 ban on
artificial birth control and its refusal to sanc
The Pope's visit to Holland was beset by
violent demonstrations of liberal groups ex
pressing opposition to the Church’s stand.
Young people in punk costumes marched in
protest parades with homosexual groups
wearing pink triangles. Demonstrators
chanted, "Kill the Pope!" Police radios were
jammed with rock music satirizing the Pope's
Big Sisters now
open to gay
men & women
The Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization
of Sacramento, California has adopted a
non-discrimination policy which will allow
gay men and women to apply as volunteers.
The change in policy was a direct result of a
lawsuit threatened by National Gay Rights
Advocates, the San Francisco-based public
interest law firm. NGRA was representing
Sharon Bee, a lesbian who was turned away
when she tried to volunteer in March, 1984.
Leonard Graff, NGRA Legal Director, said:
“We were not about to allow them to continue
a blanket policy of excluding all gay people
from the organization. That is patently illegal.
We threatened to sue them under the state
Civil Rights A ct When we sent them a draft of
the com plaint the issue was quickly brought
before the Board of Directors.” Graff noted
that the Board unanimously passed a non
discrimination policy at that point rather than
face a lawsuit
Although Ms. Bee has left Sacramento to
attend graduate school the policy change is
now in effect Gay people will be judged, as
others, by individual parents and not excluded
as a class.
Blood banks refuse
Defense Dept, order
A recent federal defense department direc
tive ordering civilian blood banks to give
military doctors names of military personnel
— no attorneys
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testing positive for HTLV-III virus antibodies
"has never left Washington, D.C.,” according
to an American Red Cross official in Portland.
Rumors in the nation’s capital last month
indicated DOD officials might consider issu
ing waivers to private banks following protest
from Red Cross officials. The March 13 order
would have required civilian blood banks col
lecting blood at military installations to report
results for “counseling and medical
Dr. Frans Peetom, Medical Director for the
Red Cross in Portland, said he heard "no
mention of the directive or waiver during a
visit to Washington, D.C., in May.
Release and misuse of Red Cross records
on HTLV-III antibody test results is a “ major
concern" for Red Cross officials, Peetom
said. Proposals have been made to keep files
local to help medical officials retain control.
“Testing for a safe blood supply is the only
use for (the HTLV-III antibody test),” Peetom
stressed. He said the protest made by the
National Red Cross represented the senti
ments of the local branch of the organization.
“We would have severely opposed it,” he
There is only one military installation in
Oregon, the Umatilla Army Depot in
Hermiston. Defense Department officials and
couselor/recruiters in Portland were not
aware of the directive.
Tolerance Day suit filed
The Maine Supreme Court is expected to
reach a decision this summer on a lawsuit
challenging a local school board’s cancella
tion of a high school “Tolerance Day” be
cause a lesbian was scheduled to speak.
Dale McCormick, president of the Maine
Lesbian/Gay Political Alliance, was to partici
pate in the program at Madison High School
along with representatives of other groups
victimized by discrimination. The board
cancelled the forum following protests over
McCormick’s participation from a farmer's
group and the Maine Christian Civic League.
The suit argued before the court April 30,
was filed by McCormick and others. The
Maine Civil Liberties Union acted as counsel
for the plaintiffs and argued that McCormick
was denied equal protection under the law
and that the free speech rights of the plaintiffs
New Mexico governor
New Mexico Gov. Tony Anaya has become
the fifth state governor to ban discrimination
against gay men and lesbians in state
In an executive order signed April 1, Anaya
followed a lead set by Pennsylvania Gov.
Milton Shapp in 1976, California’s Jerry
Brown in 1979, and New York’s Mario
Cuomo and Ohio's Richard Celeste in 1983.
According to the W ashington Blade, the
order applies to employees in all state
agencies. Gay men and lesbians employed
by or applying to businesses contracting with
the state will also be protected by the order.
SF Gay chorale wins
The Archdiocese of San Francisco has
agreed to compensate Dick Kramer’s Gay
Men’s Chorale for losses the group suffered
when Archbishop John Quinn cancelled a
contract for a performance at S t Boniface
Roman Catholic Church.
Ju st O ut, June. 1985