Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 15, No. 47, Ed. 1 Friday, March 19, 1999 Page: 1 of 84
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The Community Newspaper For Gay Lesbian Dallas
3,000 expected at Austin march
By Dennis Vercher
The list of 91 individuals and
groups endorsing the James Byrd, Jr.
Hate Crimes Act at a hearing last
week included a broad range of
organizations, from the Texas Cath-
olic Conference to the Anti-Defama-
tion League, from civil rights groups
to law enforcement officials.
The list of endorsees is notable for
one group which doesn't appear —
Log Cabin Republicans of Texas. Its
leaders say the statewide gay
Republican group supports the bill,
but the organization apparently has
taken little action to lobby for its
See LOG CABIN on Page 9
Cammermeyer, Bono plan
to speak on Sunday; youth
rally, lobby day scheduled
By Dennis Vercher
Nationally-prominent lesbian activ-
ists Margarethe Cammermeyer and
Chastity Bono will join 3,000 gay and
lesbian Texans and their supporters for
a March to the State Capitol in Austin
Styled the "March for Our Families,"
the demonstration will express opposi-
tion to legislation seeking to limit the
ability of gays and lesbians to serve as
foster or adoptive parents, said leaders
affiliated with the event's sponsor,
Lesbian Gay Rights Lobby of Texas.
Marchers will gather at 12:30 p.m.
Sunday on the grounds of the Palmer
Auditorium. The March to the Capitol
begins at 1 p.m., and will conclude with
a rally on the Capitol's south lawn.
Other legislation being considered
by lawmakers meeting for the legisla-
ture's 76th biennial session also will be
spotlighted during the event, said
Dianne Hardy-Garcia, the Lobby's exec-
The March is planned to bolster
efforts to secure passage of the James
Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Act, and speakers
are also expected to strongly support a
comprehensive civil rights bill filed last
week by state Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-
In addition, a youth rally planned for
Saturday afternoon will express sup-
port for two bills filed by state Rep.
Harryette Ehrhardt, D-Dallas, prohibit-
ing discrimination in public education.
A Lobby Day is scheduled on
Monday, when constituents are encour-
aged to visit their legislators on matters
of community concern.
The event is one of many actions tak-
ing place across the country this week.
For details of March-related events,
see the special March on Austin cover-
age beginning on Page 10. ▼
Gay discharges hit record high, report says
Advocacy group for gay service members says military
commanders often ignore ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy
By Chris Leeds
Reports of harassment and dis-
charges of gay and lesbian service
members more than doubled last year
over 1997, an advocacy group said this
Servicemembers Legal Defense Net-
work on Monday released its fifth
annual report, which offered sharp crit-
icism of the Pentagon's enforcement of
the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy.
In 1998, cases of anti-gay harassment
in the military more than doubled from
the previous year, according to the
group. The report counted 400 inci-
dents, ranging from death threats to
assaults, in contrast to 182 occurrences
in 1997 — a 120 percent increase.
The five-year-old Department of
Defense policy states that a same-sex
orientation is not a bar to military ser-
vice unless manifested by homosexual
conduct, such as declaring oneself to be
gay or participating in a same-sex union
ceremony. The policy was intended to
protect military gays and lesbians from
discrimination and harassment, but the
findings released Monday suggested
that the Pentagon has done little to curb
See MILITARY on Page 18
This chart shows the number of gays that have
been discharged each year since the “Don’t ask,
don’t tell” policy was adopted in 1994.
Source: Department of Defense
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Vercher, Dennis. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 15, No. 47, Ed. 1 Friday, March 19, 1999, newspaper, March 19, 1999; Dallas, Texas. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth616177/m1/1/: accessed March 19, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.