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October 17, 1991 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 1991-10-17

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Page 4-The Michigan Daily- Thursday, October 17,1991

20 Maynard Street
Arbor, Michigan 48109 ANDREW GOTTESMAN
747-2814.- Editor in Chief

Ann f


Edited and Managed
by Students at the
University of Michigan

Opinion Editor

- __

unsigned editorials represent a majority of the Daily's Editorial Board.
All other cartoons, signed articles, and letters do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Daily.
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Ann Arbor domestic partnership -legislation is long. overdue

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Federal legislation provides forprotection against
discrimination on the basis gender, race, reli-
gion,- age, national origin, .or physical handicap.
The one criterion conspicuously absent from this
list is sexual orientation.
In a country that passively condones discrimi-
nation against gay men and lesbians, theAnnArbor*
City Council deserves commendation for its ap-
proval of an ordinance recognizing as domestic
partners two cohabitating homosexual adults.
The ordinance's sponsor, Councilmember Ann
Marie Coleman (D-1st Ward) deserves special
praise. She pointed out that "families exist across
all kinds of lines, and people that care for one
another have the right to be named as a family."
The ordinance, though significant, is only a.
small step in the long process of achieving equal
rights for gay men and lesbians. Advocates for
suchchange can draw encouragement from Mayor.
Liz Brater's assertion that, "this'will send a mes-
sage to the country and the-state that this kind of
legislation is needed..."
Recent events have demonstrated that legisla-
tion like, this . domestic partnership ordinance is
necessary and long overdue.
. Earlier this month, the California legislature
passed a bill that would have outlawed employ-
ment discrimination on the basis of sexual.orien-
tation. This encouraging legislation, unfortunately,
was vetoed by Gov. Pete Wilson.
In an ironic display of the, prevalence of this
kind of discrmination, the Georgia state attorney

general recently fired the new state prosecutor
when he learned that she was married to another
woman. Such marriages are -not illegal in Georgia,
but the state does not recognize them. The former
prosecutor,; with the help of the American Civil
Liberties Union, has filed a discrimination suit
against the attorney general.
Locally, our own University has demonstrated
its insensitivity regarding sexual orientation dis-'
crimination' by refusing to give gay and lesbian
couples the same right to married housing that
heterosexuals enjoy.
Contrary to assertions rooted in ignorance and
intolerance, homosexuals are not abnormal; they
are not inherently promiscuous; they are not de-.
manding "special privileges." Psychologists long
ago discredited the theory that homosexuality was
a mental illness, and now understand that sexual
orientation is something with which one is born,
such as hair or eye color. Furthermore, there are
volumes of.evidence showing employment and.
housing discrimination as well as. violent hate
crimes specifically against gay men and lesbians.-
This proves the need for sexual orientation to be
added in the categories ofpotected classes included.
in anti-discrimination law.
Lesbians and gay men have a long way to go
before they receive all the privileges and immunities
afforded .to other Americans. -But only if bodies
such as the.Ann Arbor City Council and the Cali-
fornia state legislature continue to set a positive
example, will that change ever come.

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Warren doesn't speak
for all law students
: To the.Daily:
I- wish to respond to the
unbelievable exaggerations made'
by Michael Warren in the Daily
(10/9/91). Mr. Warren is quoted
as saying, "The general feeling at
the law school is that (Justice)-
*Scalia is the brightest, most-
intellectually honest justice on the
Court." Mr. Warren was further
quoted as saying, "We consider
him the godhead of legal reason-
I do not know upon what data
Mr. Warren bases these-asser-
tions. I do know, however, that'
they are not reflective of the
general attitudes.at the University
of Michigan Law School I attend.
Admittedly many at the law
school.do hold Justice Scalia in
high regard, but clearly Mr.
Warren.must b' aware that a
substantial number of students do
not share this opinion. Very
many, in fact, believe that Justice
Scalia embodies a judicial
philosophy that is the antithesis of
cherished American values. The
cavalier -manner in which Mr. .
Warren disregards this significant
portion of the law school raises
serious questions about his ability.
to represent the entire law school
in the MSA.
With' any group as large and as
diverse in opinion as -the law
school, it is "intellectually
dishonest" to make broad state-
ments as to the feelings of the
school in general. However, at. the.
risk of ignoring my own. advice,
I'll close with this final comment.
In my opinion, the general feeling
at the law school is that Warren-
does not speak for the rest of us.
William Evans
Law Student

University housing
for homosexuals?
To the Daily:
What is a family? Who is
married? The legal definition is
now open to argument. (For some,
it may not constitute a definite
statement of permanent commit-
Does a sexual bond constitute
a family? What about people who
choose to live together as friends
and roommates who feel close
and deeply bonded? Friends can
be family.
Married student housing is
quite a lovely environment. It was
created for students considered to
have special needs because they
belong to families. But does a
committed sexual relationship
necessarily create such a need?
Does this discriminate against
other "family groups" and-
individuals who may also want
nice, affordable housing? Hon-
estly committed couples do have
special challenges. But there is no.
way, possibly not even, a marriage
certificate, to measure or prove a
couple's level of commitment.
However, there is one type of
family group at the University-
with needs that are very concrete:.
individuals and couples with
children. Students who are paying
the ungodly University expenses,
and are single or married parents,
or unmarried heterosexual and .
- homosexual couples with depen-
dents; need low cost housing in an
environment suitable for kids:'
If there is to be any "family"
or married housing at all, maybe
that should be the basis. Anything
else might discriminate against.
one family or another.
Irena Nagler
University staff member

Utilize caution in
judging committee
To the Daily:
One must be extremely careful
in evaluating the Senate Judiciary
Committee's behavior with
respect to Prof. Anita Hill's
allegations of sexual harassment
on the part of Judge Clarence
The Daily's statement that
"Members of the committee chose
to brush the incident aside" (10/
10/91) seems based upon the
common assumption that the
committee's silence until last
weekend's public revelations was
motivated by disregard of Hill's
One must remember that Hill's
initial complaints to the commit-
tee were made under condition of
anonymity, thus forbidding the
committee to take any public
action on those charges. One may
criticize 'the confidential FBI
report if it treated Hill's allega-
tions lightly, but even a vigorous
investigation by the FBI would
not have been made public had
the charges not been leaked to the
'If members of the committee
had questioned Thomas publicly
about Hill's claims, the committee
would have been soundly criti-
cized from all quarters for
violating Hill's request to remain
anonymous. Their public silence
at that time was the only action
that circumstances would allow.
This is a moot point at best, since
now the public hearings into
Hill's claims are over, giving this
issue thorough (if belated)
scrutiny. But let us be careful not
to ascribe motives to the Judiciary
Committee because of their prior
silence: silence does not always
mean inaction.

Jobless benefits
Presidential veto once again shafts unemployment

p3resident Bush's disinterest.in domestic issues
grows more and more apparent as the 1992
race approaches. Six days ago, the President ve-
toed a $6.5 billion bill to extend welfare benefits to
3 million unemployed Americans. The bill was
sent to the White House with 300 votes from the
House and 65 votes from the Senate. Last night,
Congress was unable to override the President's
callous and inexcusable rejection of the bill.
The-bill would provide 20 additional weeks of
benefits for those in states whose unemployment
rate has averaged 8 percent or more during the past
six months. Those states where the average rate is
7 percent would receive 13 additional weeks of
benefits. All remaining states would receive 7.
weeks of benefits. The President claimed that this
bill, "could slow reemployment and would result
in. benefit delays, payment inaccuracies and esca-
lating' administrative costs." None of those trivial.
reasons excuses the President's move to condemn
3 million Americans to months of unncecssary
President Bush also claims that such a 'bill
would bust the budget agreement and increase the
deficit. It may well do that. But Bush himself was
willing to declare emergency changes forexpenses
that he considered priorities of his cold-war and
conservative agenda.
The president is willing to spend $800 million
on each of 75 B-2 bombers, whose only mission is'
to drop nuclear bombs on Soviet.cities. Last year,-
the President spent $75 billion to save the sinking
savings and loans. The impractical Strategic De-
fense Initiative will drain multiples of what the
welfare bill will cost from theTreasury. Despite the

conservatives' belief that too much revenue is
going to butter, rather than guns, much more rev-
enue needs to be directed towards helping the
unemployed back onto their feet.'
The Democrats are wise to emphasize this as a
partisan issue central to the 1992 presidential.
campaign. President Bush has declared emergen-
.cies to help the Kurds, Turks, and Israelis, but
claims that helping American citizens is not worth
the drain on the Treasury. Why the President is so
willing to help foreign nations, while ignoring his
own, is perplexing.
Two Republican' bills now in the Senate, intro-
duced by Senators David Durenburger (R-Minn.)
and- Bob Dole (R-Kan.) are under consideration:
One of them will probably receive the President's
support. The Durenburger bill would cost $3.9
billion and provide a maximum of. 15 additional
weeks of benef ts. Dole's proposal would cost $3.3
billion and provide benefits for onl 0 weeks at
most. Neitherbill provides nearly enough assistance
for unemployed persons to pay their bills and make
arrangements to look for, a job.
If the United States were fully recovered from'
the recession, as President Bush and Federal Re-
serve chair Alan Greenspan have claimed, perhaps
10 weeks of benefits would suffice. At this point,
however, it seems that the recession and shrunken
job market may last well into next spring. In that.
case, even 20 weeks may not be enough for the'
unemployed to get back on their feet. This legis-
lation was an important opportunity 'for the Presi-
dent to have stood by the American working class,
by supporting extended unemployment benefits.,
Instead, he abandoned them.

Jim Huggins.
Rackham Graduate Student
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co used about ha rassment

Boys will be boys. In: the. past
this has been the general attitude
toward sexual harassment held by
both men and women. A man who'
was making lewd comments or_

German neoNazis
Christian democrats should target racism, not immigrants

sexual. ad-
v a.n c e s
upon his fe-
male co-.
was "being
aguy." This
type of ac-
tion was ac-
cepted as
n o r m a '1
male be-
havior. Un-
it does not


R esentment toward foreigners has been grow-
ing steadily in Germany, especially since
reunification. A strengthening xenophobic move-
ment, characterized by Nazi slogans and skinhead.
propaganda, has committed over 200.hate crimes
against Jews and immigrants from Turkey,
Mozambique, India, Vietnam and other countries'
in the last few months.
In response to this animosity toward foreigners, .
Chancellor Helmut Kohl's Christian Democrat
party moved to change-German immigration law
in order to decrease the number of new immi-
grants. Rather than fight the intolerance at the root
of the unrest, the Christian Democrats chose to
give in to racist pressure and violence by restrict-.
ing immigration opportunities.
The resurgence of the Nazi movement is not

isolated to Germany. Lithuania, a hotbed of Nazi'
support during World War.II, recently pardoned
dozens of Nazi war criminals imprisoned by the
Soviets. In the Soviet Union, Communism, which
is often associated with Jewish intellectuals, is
now openly discredited. Public animosity toward'
the Communist system, along with increased
freedom of expression, has led' to many Soviets
venting their resentment toward Jews.
Yielding so quickly to racist sentiments not
only evokes disturbing memories ofNazi Germany,
it is ineffective. Restricting immigration will not
address Germany's problems. Cracking down on
violent Nazi rallies will. The Social Democrats.
should vigorously 'condemn racist behavior and
philosophies in order to stem the growing ihtoler-
ance and unrest.

seem that as a society, we are mov-
ing toward abandoning this idea.
The hearings that lead to the
confirmation of Judge Clarence
Thomas to the position' of Supreme
Court Justice were an insult to the
issues. They exemplify how con-
fused this nation is on what sexual
harassment is and who has the right.
to make that distinction.
It seems that wheneverawoman'
accuses a man of a crime it is be-
cause 'somewhere deep down she
wants' to avenge the fact that she
herself is not a man.: After all, it is'
commonly accepted that all women
lie; all women are. manipulative;
and all women are out to get all
men..Granted, this is not said out.
loud; however, it can be seen 'in the'

Committee blasted Anita Hill with
questions like, "Why did you not
report this sooner? Why did you not
resign? Why did you transfer with
Thomas to the Equal Employment
Opportunity - Commission
(EEOC)?" Any woman could have
answered these questions.
A study released by Working
Woman magazine in November of
1988, states that 90 percent of large
corporations in the United 'States
have received sexual harassment
complaints. Only 2 percent of the
women who are sexually harassed
ever report it. This shows that Anita
Hill's experience and her reluctance
to report it are common ' among
American women. Why do women
remain silent?.
Any woman knows the answer.
Studies show that victims. of
sexual harassment are not out for
revenge. Ninety-six percent of
women who are sexually harassed
simply want the behavior stopped..
Of these women,45 percentofthem.
want protection from retaliation.
This last statistic shows how afraid
women are that there will be nega-
tive repercussions for accusing'
someone of sexual harassment. This
fear is based on the fact that. the
judicial process is less than favor-
able to women.
What makes a woman silent is
the likelihood that she will be.
dragged through the mud trying to
prove that she'is not a liar. She will
have to invest time, money and her

tive, these men, will. search vigor-
ously for a fault in her character.
Like rape,-sexual harassment is
committed overwhelmingly against
women. It is easier for men to iden-
tify with the perpetrator and for
women to identify with the victim.
Sexual harassment should be de-
fined by'who is on the receiving end
and by how it is experienced.
In 1980, sexual harassment be-
came a civil offense. Until then it
received no attention in the courts.
In 1986, verbal abuse was recog*
nized as a form of sexual harass-
ment along with sexual advances
and physical touching. Eventually,
sexual harassment became anything
that creates a hostile environment
for women.
Although society 'has only re-
cently recognized sexual harass-
mentas aproblem, the reality is that
women have been sexually harassed
since the beginning of time. Sexual
harassment is more than the obvi-
ous "sleep with me or you'll be
fired." It is pinching a woman's
behind, looking down her shirt when
she bends over, calling her
babe...toots...sweetheart, and mak-
ing teasing sexual comments. It is
any behavior that makes a woman
uncomfortable and undermines her
position of authority.
One positive outcome of the
Clarence Thomas hearings can be a
raised awareness to the issue of
sexual harassment. Thousands of
women are sexually harassed every

Nuts and Bolts

- ' ...

A N 1A1.+1l

by Judd Winick
' lQZE.5 A CHNICI \/!al


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