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About Just out. (Portland, OR) 1983-2013 | View Entire Issue (Oct. 20, 1995)
O ▼ o c t o b « r 2 0 . 109 5 ▼ ju s t out
is as important
the right home!
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Gay wedding set
The Commission on Sexual Orientation and
the Law, the group created by the Hawaii Legis
lature to examine and report on the impact of
extending legal and economic benefits to same-
sex couples, held its first meeting recently.
The commission must complete three tasks
over the next three months: examine the benefits
conferred by marriage that are now denied same-
sex couples; hold hearings on the public-policy
reasons to extend such benefits to same-sex couples
and on legislation to implement its recommenda
tions; and draft the necessary legislation and
submit a final report to the Legislature when it
convenes in January.
The date has been set for the marriage of Leon,
the gay co-owner of the diner in the popular ABC
comedy Roseanne. The wedding of Leon, played
by Martin Mull, is scheduled to air on Dec. 12.
Current plans call for M ull’s character to wed his
old friend from Femwood 2-Night, Fred Willard.
The long-awaited gay-wedding episode re
volves around the brouhaha following Roseanne’s
insistence that Leon have an elaborate wedding.
Genora Dancel and Ninia Baehr, two o f the six
plaintiffs in Baehr v. Lewin, the Hawaii marriage
The commission was established in response
to a case currently in Hawaii state courts challeng
ing the denial of marriage licenses to same-sex
couples. The Hawaii Supreme Court sent the case
back to circuit court, where it is scheduled to be
heard in July 1996. It is expected that any bill
affecting the status of same-sex marriages will
impact the outcome of the case.
Scouts blown away in
the Windy City
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A hearings officer with the Chicago Commis
sion on Human Relations has found that the Boy
Scouts’ refusal to hire gay men and lesbians was in
violation of the city’s human rights ordinance.
Hearings officer Jeffrey L. Taren, ruling on
Sept. 19 in the case involving a gay man who was
told by the Chicago Area Council of the Boy Scouts
of America that there was “no way” the Scouts
would hire a gay man, has recommended that the
full commission find the Scouts in violation of the
ordinance, reports The Chicago Tribune.
“There is nothing associated with the hiring of
an openly gay man which would require the
[Scouts] to alter anything other than its discrimi
natory hiring policy,” Taren ruled.
The suit was filed by G. Keith Richardson, an
Eagle Scout, who filed at the request of a national
organization called Forgotten Scouts. The orga
nization was looking for a test case to use in its
fight against the Boy Scouts’ hiring practices.
Richardson was represented by the American
Civil Liberties Union.
Taren did not agree with the assertion by
attorneys for the Boy Scouts of America that the
group is a religious organization and, thus, ex
empt from Chicago’s antidiscrimination ordi
nance. He also ruled that because the Boy Scout
Council’s specified goal is to not oppose homo
sexuality, its First Amendment right to freedom
of association was not violated.
The full commission is expected to rule within
six months on whether or not to accept Taren's
Black gay and lesbian
organization goes national
The Black Gay and Lesbian Leadership Fo
rum appointed Keith Boykin as its first executive
director in September. Boykin, a former special
assistant to President Clinton, takes the reins of
the BGLLF as it works to establish itself as a
national organization, according to a story in The
BGLLF began as a Los Angeles-based group
working in AIDS prevention. It established the
AIDS Prevention Team, working with black gay
men and bisexuals. Its previous efforts at estab
lishing a national presence were hampered by a
lack of financial and human resources.
Three years ago the membership voted to be
come a national organization. Earlier this year its
two governing boards were dismantled and an
interim board of directors was appointed. That
board met last month in Washington, D.C., to
begin the work of building a national organization.
Recall of Spokane
A campaign to recall Dexter Amend, the Spo
kane County coroner, following his outrageous
and homophobic remarks about the murder of a
young girl, has been bolstered by a petition signed
by 136 physicians calling for Amend’s recall.
The recall effort began after Amend, com
menting to reporters on the brutal murder of an 8-
year-old girl, described how the child had been
sodomized. He then launched into a hate-filled
tirade against homosexuality. There is no evi
dence that the girl was sexually abused or mur
dered by a gay man or a lesbian.
Doctors signing the petition also expressed
concern about Amend’s inappropriate actions in
volving survivors, as well as problems with death
certificates listing the wrong cause of death, re
ports Spokane’s Stonewall News Northwest.
A judge recently ruled that the recall effort can
proceed. If Amend does not appeal that ruling,
petitioners will begin collecting signatures on the
recall petition. They must collect 35,156 signa
tures to put the recall on the ballot. If they are
successful, a special election could be held as
soon as February.
Students rally to
support fired teacher
A New Hampshire high school English teacher
was fired last month because she used books with
gay and lesbian characters in her classes.
Penny Culliton, who had taught at Mascenic
High School in New Ipswich for five years, as
signed E M. Forster’s novel Maurice and The
Education o f Harriet Hatfield by May Sarton to
her junior and senior students last spring. Culliton
had requested, and been granted, permission from
her principal and the superintendent to use the
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