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About Just out. (Portland, OR) 1983-2013 | View Entire Issue (Dec. 16, 1994)
ju st out ▼ d o cs m b o r 10, 1094 ▼ O
Angelou cancels reading
due to picketers
Poet Maya Angelou recently canceled an ap
pearance at Emporia State University in Topeka,
Kan., after an encounter with homophobic picket
ers. Angelou was to have spoken at two sold-out
performances, according to the Baltimore Gay
The picketers—the Rev. Fred Phelps, pastor
of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, and
his followers—often show up at appearances by
those whom they
perceive as sup
portive of homo
A ngelou ap
when she encoun
tered the picketers
the night before her
appearance, ac- , ,
cording to Mistee
Leighty, spokeswoman for the Stormont-Vail
Regional Medical Center. The medical center
houses the Jane C. Stormont Women’s Center,
which sponsored Angelou’s Topeka appearance.
“[The encounter] prevented her from being
able to give us the type of performance she’s used
to giving,” said Rueben Perez, director of student
organizations and activities at Emporia State.
Nearly 5,000 people held tickets to the two perfor
mances, which have reportedly been postponed
until the spring semester.
effective [in preventing the spread of sexually
transmitted diseases], but there are kids out there
who will have sex,” said Amanda Stevenson, 18,
a youth representative of Metro TeenAIDS. The
Catholic League ads “undermine their trust in the
only safe way [to have sex].... You don’t keep
people healthy with fear,” she added.
creators of change
At this year’s Creating Change Conference,
the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force pre
sented awards to nine individuals and organiza
tions in recognition of their activist efforts. Pre
sented just days after Election Day’s victories and
defeats, the awards provided an opportunity to
reflect on the victories of the gay, lesbian and
Creating Change Community Service Awards
went to Diane Hardy-Garcia, executive director
of the Lesbian and Gay Rights Lobby of Texas,
for building a grass-roots gay and lesbian move
ment; Alan S. Hergott for pioneering support of
gay and lesbian rights in the entertainment indus
try; and Mandy Carter, coordinator of the “Na
tional Call to Resist,” for inspiring and leading
communities of color.
Catholic condom ad
may harm, not help
Local and national AIDS organizations re
cently denounced an advertisement posted on 50
Metro buses in Washington, D.C. The ad, paid for
by the Manhattan-based Catholic League for Re
ligious and Civil Rights, reads, “Facts about
condoms: Some break. Some leak. Some are
damaged. We put warning labels on cigarettes.
We put warning labels on beer. So why not on
condoms?” The ad identifies itself as “some com
mon sense” and “a public service message.” It has
also been purchased in Boston and New York.
In a press conference, representatives of the
Whitman-Walker Clinic, the National Associa
tion of People with AIDS, the AIDS National
Interfaith Network, and Metro TeenAIDS all de
nounced the message.
“We all know that abstinence is 100 percent
f Organizations that received the award include
the Lesbian and Gay Community Services Center
of New York; the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian
Community Services Center; the Gay Asian Pa
cific Alliance Community HIV Project; the Japa
nese American Citizens League; Apple Com
puter Inc.; and Olympics Out of Cobb, which kept
Cobb County, Ga., from being the site of two
Olympic events after passing an ordinance which
discriminates against lesbians and gay men.
Plenary speakers at the conference were Glen
Maxey, the first openly gay elected official in the
state of Texas; Mel White, author of Stranger at
the Gate: Being Gay and Christian in America ;
Letitia Gomez, executive director of the National
Latino/a Lesbian and Gay Organization; and Phill
Wilson, director of public policy at AIDS Project
NGLTF is a gay, lesbian and bisexual civil
rights lobbying, education and organizing group.
It has worked since 1973 to end discrimination
and hate-motivated violence based on sexual ori
entation and HIV status.
Creating Change is an annual organizing and
skills-building conference for gay, lesbian and
bisexual activists. The next conference will be
held in 1995 in Detroit, Mich.
An eye for an eye?
Jeffrey Dahmer, confessed killer of 17 young
men and boys over a 13-year period, was mur
dered in prison while he and another prison in
mate were cleaning a toilet, according to prison
officials at Columbia Correctional Institution in
benefits to domestic
In 1995 Paramount Pictures will join a grow
ing number of entertainment companies that offer
medical and dental
benefits to the
Portage, Wis. Dahmer had been a prisoner there
partners of com
since 1992. Officials say he died of massive head
pany employees. In
, injuries while en route to a hospital. The inmate
a report by the Bal
working with Dahmer survived the attack.
timore Gay Paper,
Dahmer survived an attempt on his life earlier
Pa ramount ’s
. this year when another inmate attacked him with
policy will place it
a sharpened toothbrush. There is a suspect in the
in compliance with
current attack, according to Michael Sullivan, the
a Viacom (its new
state corrections secretary. The weapon has not
owner) policy of
yet been identified.
offering these benefits to employees’ same-sex
Dahmer had admitted to luring his victims
away from gay bars, drugging, killing and dis
Universal was the first studio to extend health
membering them, and using the body parts for sex
coverage benefits to same-sex domestic partners.
and cannibalism. He was convicted of all but one
It was followed by Warner Bros, and Sony Pic
of the killings with which he was charged and was
tures, which includes Columbia and Tri-Star.
serving 16 consecutive life sentences.
Hollywood Supports, a lobbying group that
“It’s a sad ending to a very sad story. He’s
promotes workplace rights for gay men and lesbi
inflicted so much pain on families, and now
ans, has a model benefits agreement which has so
unfortunately his family will feel the same thing,”
far been used by 14 companies in the entertain
said E. Michael McCann, the Milwaukee district
ment industry. Other companies which have
attorney who prosecuted Dahmer.
adopted the standard are Ticketmaster and the
Entertainment Radio Network.
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