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What A Difference A Gay Makes
by Sukie de la Croix

July 22


U.S.: More than 25 prominent gay activists place a full-page ad in the Washington Blade urging closeted U.S. Senate and House members to come out. Headlined "A Call to Conscience" the ad urges the legislators to "end your silence and defend your community in this time of unprecedented hostility." * Zimbabwe: The government bans a gay and lesbian organization from taking part in a local international book fair despite an earlier grudging decision to let it participate. Government spokesman Bornwell Chakaodza said the Gays and Lesbians Association of Zimbabwe ( GALZ ) would be barred from any future international book fairs in the country to protect and guarantee "the cultural health of the country from erosion."

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U.S.: At its convention in Phoenix, the Episcopal Church sends a mixed message, by refusing to approve the ordination of sexually active lesbians and gay men, while at the same time declining to criticize two bishops who had performed such ordinations. * The Army Times refuses to publish an advertisement from the Gay and Lesbian Freedom Project, because the wording suggests that there are lesbians and gay men still serving. The paper claims there are no such personnel in the military. * Paul Reubens, AKA Pee Wee Herman, is arrested at an adult porno theater in Sarasota, Fla., and charged with indecent exposure. * Britain: The British government decides to drop rules which bar gay men and lesbians from upper echelon posts, including positions in the diplomatic corps. * Sweden: The 8th Annual conference of the International Gay and Lesbian Youth Organization takes place in Gotenborg.


U.S.: The Chicago City Council votes against legislation that would have added sexual orientation protections in employment, housing and public accommodations. * The lesbian and gay community score a victory when the House of Representatives reject Congressman Dannemeyer's ( R-Calif ) attempt to overturn a Washington, D.C., AIDS insurance bill. * New Jersey members of NOW vote to urge National NOW to call for an economic boycott of the 24 states still outlawing sodomy. * California's Gov. George Deukmejian vetoes Assembly Bill 3667, a bill that would have prevented AIDS discrimination. * In Chicago, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, reaffirm union support for lesbian and gay rights at their 27th annual convention. * Italy: In Milan, a contingent of gay activists from San Francisco join members of Italy's gay-rights group Arci-gay to demonstrate against the U.S. Supreme Court's upholding of Georgia's sodomy law.


U.S.: Dorothy Baca, the fashion designer who created the outrageous blue sequined outfit for Bette Midler's characterization of "Delores de Lago ( The Toast of Chicago ) " sues the star for more than $400,000. Baca charges that she was not paid for designing the costume. * Jeannette Foster, author of the groundbreaking 1956 book Sex Variant Women in Literature, dies at age 86 in a nursing home in Pocahontas, Ark. * In response to published complaints of police brutality, San Francisco's Police Officer's Association files a $20 million libel suit against the gay Bay Area Reporter. * In San Francisco, Gay Run '81 the 2nd annual gay-sponsored foot race, is held in Golden Gate Park. Just under 800 people participate in the event. * In Boston, 30 men are arrested and charged with "open and gross lewdness" in a vice squad raid on the Quagmire bar. * Mayor Jack Evans becomes the first mayor of Dallas to address a gay-lesbian group when he gives a speech for the Dallas Gay Alliance.

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