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November 21, 1994 - Image 4

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-11-21

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4 - The Michigan Daily - Monday, November 21, 1994

~Iw £idtpn 4Ud

'Teenage angst has payed off well, now I'm
bored and old.'
- Nirvana

420 Maynard
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan

Jessie Halladay
Editor in Chief
Samuel Goodstein
Flint Wainess



Editorial Page Editors
Unless otherwise noted, unsigned editorials reflect the opinion of a majority of the Daily's editorial board. All
other articles, letters, and cartoons do not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Michigan Daily.

A 1 VK ruitci'K.IP

Waffling on Bylaw 14.06

f V %L.VI " R .1/4/ J a

lP arty politics are again getting in the way
of doing what is best for the University,
and its constituency. At the November Board
of Regents meeting, several regents challenged
President James J. Duderstadt's implementa-
tion of the amendment to include sexual orien-
tation in Regents' Bylaw 14.06, the
University's anti-discrimination statute.
Claiming they had not been properly informed
that a vote for the bylaw change would lead to
the extension ofbenefits for same-sex couples,
these regents recommended delaying imple-
mentation until a vote is taken in January.
Bylaw 14.06 provides protection from dis-
crimination to students, faculty and staff. In
September 1993 the regents voted to include
protection for gays, lesbians and bisexuals in
the bylaw. To his credit, Duderstadt followed
up this vote by quickly charging a 12-member
task force to study possible areas of imple-
mentation. At the regents meeting this May
the task force presented its findings, recom-
mending - among other things - extending
benefits now given to married students to
same-sex couples. This would include advan-
tages such as access to married student hous-
ing and health care benefits - combined, a
minuscule amount ofmoney. After the regents
were presented with the task force findings,
Duderstadt began turning the task force's rec-
ommendations into policy. Now the regents
are claiming they weren't informed. Yet at the
meeting in May, when the regents were pre-
sented with the task force's recommendations
for implementation of the gay/lesbian protec-
tion clause, the regents expressed tacit ap-
proval of their plan. No objections were raised
by those who had voted for the inclusion of
sexual orientation in 14.06. At the November
meeting, Regent Rebecca McGowan (D-Ann
Arbor) pointed out that the regents had not

objected in May to leaving implementation to
the president.
Regent Deane Baker (R-Ann Arbor) re-
quested that the issue of implementation be
revisited and voted on in January - after the
new Republican regents take office and the
Board's partisan composition changes from a
6-2 Democratic majority to an even 4-4 split.
Both incoming regents, Daniel Horning and
Andrea Fischer, expressed opposition to the
extension of benefits to same-sex couples.
Why wait until January when there is an-
other meeting in December? One can only
speculate. However, it does seem more than
coincidence that the new regents, at least one of
which openly opposes any protection for gays
and lesbians, will take office in January, giving
the Republicans a much larger voice on the
Board of Regents. It has been over a year since
the clause regarding sexual orientation was
approved, and the implementation should not
be put off - the issues are clear, the only
reason to wait is to give more voice to those that
oppose equal rights for homosexuals.
It is well past time that the regents put their
money where their mouths Ore and followed up
theirwords with some action. The bylaw change
has had over a year to be implemented. Since
May, when the regents were presented with a
concrete plan for implementation to which a
large majority gave at least tacit approval, the
regents - with Regent McGowan the lone
exception-have done nothing but undermine
President Duderstadt's attempts to take action.
This plan is far from radical, as it follows a City
of Ann Arbor ordinance giving legal rights to
same-sex unions.
The regents who voted forthe bylaw change
have a responsibility to ensure that its imple-
mentation is voted on at the December Board


Weekend List Why blame


Same sexmarri.es

rhe failure of two statewide anti-gay initia-
Itives on November's ballot, combinedwith
the overturning of Amendment 2 in Colorado,
reminds us that the move to prevent homo-
sexuals from procuring basic civil rights is
bound to fail. Yet the war against the inevi-
table embrace of these rights for homosexuals
continues to be waged. Evidence the situation
closer to home, where the Board of Regents is
making a fuss about the implementation of
Bylaw 14.06 - the University's anti-dis-
crimination policy. These circumstances call
for the state to dig through its dusty law books
and come up with definitive solutions, includ-
ing the legal recognition of same sex mar-
The idea is not original. Same sex mar-
riages are legal in Sweden and Denmark.
Those opposed to this concept may have feared
the Apocalypse, but thus far the two countries
have been able to avoid a total collapse of their
societies, despite these drastic legislative mea-
sures. Surely the Midwest would survive a
change of pace as well.
Challengers of the concept claim that same
sex marriages are immoral. However, they are
forgetting something: in principle, America
believes in the separation of church and state.
A religious judgement clearly has no place in
the laws of ademocratically governed society.
Not everyone subscribes to a religion which
disapproves of homosexuality, and there are
pockets ofdissent within every religion. More-
over, not everyone subscribes to a religion.
After all, any heterosexual couple can be mar-
ried at City Hall. Marriage is a secular institu-
tion, recognized by law. Same-sex couples
must be allowed the same rights as opposite-

access to the same tax incentives, insurance
benefits and housing opportunities that hetero-
sexual couples have. A same-sex marriage law
would certainly settle the debate the University
is currently having over the specifics of the
anti-discrimination bylaw. The University
needs to recognize same sex couples and a
statewide law would insure proper implemen-
tation of 14.06, from student health insurance
for spouses and access to student family hous-
ing to paired football tickets.
Those who oppose same-sex marriage have
also raised concerns about marriages being
staged to receive benefits. These concerns are
wholly unfounded. Not only would it be a
painfully difficult method of obtaining ben-
efits, but it is equally possible for an opposite
sex marriage to be one of convenience.
Some obvious barriers to a legislative change
are in place. One is Michigan's ban on sodomy
- a law as unused as it is outdated. That piece
of legislation must be abolished, along with
any other laws hindering personal liberty. Cur-
rently any such law could only be used to
further harass citizens. Obsolete legislation
needs to be replaced with mandates for the
rights of homosexuals and protection of those
Ordinances such as Ann Arbor's domestic
partnership recognition are a nice gesture, but
the issue must be taken several steps further.
Same-sex marriage is more appropriate be-
cause it leaves everyone with the same rights
and opportunities. Gay rights is the final issue
to be tackled in the long civil rights struggle.
Overt discrimination against homosexuals is
tolerated by society in a way it is against no
other group, and this is unacceptable. It is time

editors need
not be
To the Daily:
Har har. It used to be amus-
ing, but it's simply not funny
anymore. Of course, I'm refer-
ring to the wonderfully written
Weekend List. Oh, I'm not
complaining about the Cam-
pus Cinema, Music, orthe The-
ater, Etc. sections. They are
occasionally information ori-
ented and useful.
However, why is the films
section filled with half-witted
wisecracks? I don't read the
Weekendto be entertained. I'm
suppose to read it to find enter-
tainment for the weekend. How
is a description like "Profes-
sional what? Hitman? Pimp?
Electrolysis?..." supposed to
help me find a good flick to
watch this weekend? I'm just
rolling in laughter. I suggest
that whomever is responsible
for writing these mind-numb-
ing sniglets join the Gargoyle
staff or learn to write some-
thing useful. Thanks.
Antony Chen
Glee Club
clarifies role
To the Daily:
In the Friday, Nov. 18 is-
sue of the Daily, the Women's
Glee Cub was "previewed"
("Women's Glee Club looks
toward the future at Hill"). In-
stead of providing the readers
with information about the
concert, the article emphasized
incorrect information about
our executive board and con-
centrated on our supposed "ri-
valry" with the Men's Glee
There is NOT a competi-
tion between the two clubs.
Instead, we have built a cama-
raderie that brings us together.
We apologize to the Men's
Glee Club for the tone of the
article, and would like to pub-
licly state that the views ex-
pressed by one member in the
Club are not those of the
Women's Glee Club.
Jennifer Richardson,
Tamar Galed, Business
Women's Glee Club
liberals' run

the religious
To the Daily:
I would like to thank Jean
Twenge for hercolumn on Nov.
15 ("Baby Killers" and South-
ern Culture) concerning the
Susan Smith case. I can't be-
lieve that this whole time I had
expected a young mother to take
responsibility for her own ac-
tions, including murdering her
own innocent children, when
all the while it was the Reli-
gious Right society that was to
blame! And hats off to the Daily
for choosing such informative,
educated and balanced report-
Brian J. King
LSA sophomore
reason, Daily
To the Daily:
Well, for yet another year,
the Daily has endorsed the
Michigan Party. They will prob-
ably win. The rationale is quite
simple. The Michigan party has
ruined just about all they can so
now they get the endorsement
because there are no issues left.
Despite the fact that there is
a ballot issue that will probably
provide the AATU funding, the
Michigan Party has managed to
drastically reduce funding of
the AATU even if the issue
succeeds. This was done de-
spite an outpouring of support
by students for the AATU. The
Michigan Party has defied the
wishes of the students. This
support for the AATU was also
expressed by numerous edito-
rials in The Daily. The Michi-
gan Party has defied the wishes
of the students.
The Daily has written nu-
merous editorials in regards to
MSA since the Michigan Party
first took control. All of these
editorials, except the four edi-
torials endorsing the Michigan
Party in elections, took nega-
tive positions against the ac-
tions of the Michigan Party.
These issues supported the
MCC and the AATU, which
the Michigan Party then went
on to kill or try to kill. The other
editorials came at a time when
the editorial board of the Daily
found the leadership of the
Michigan Party so terrible that
the editorials advocated "kill-
ing MSA."
There seems to be some sort

ejected from
To the Daily:
I would like to express my
disappointment with the per-
formance of the Department
of Public Safety (DPS) at the
last home football game. DPS
seems to be absorbed with ex-
erting their influence over stu-
dents, regardless of whether
or not these students are actu-
ally "posing a threat to public
safety." In fact, recently I have
noticed that DPS has been fo-
cusing on those students who
happen to be the University's
most devoted fans. While it is
true that these students attract
attention-they sit in the front
rows ofthe student section and
create a clamor that football
fans (and players) should be
proud of-they do not threaten
the safety of themselves or
those around them. These fans
(at least the group which I am
familiar with, part of and
speaking about) do not drink,
do not start fights and they
don'tevensmuggle marshmal-
lows into the stadium.
I was especially shocked
when DPS evicted the
University's most devoted fan,
"The Superfan." After a full
season of leading the most spir-
ited students in cheering, "The
Superfan" was ejected from
the stadium by several DPS
officers during the final home,
game. Thereason? Placing his
feet up on the barrier wall "all
season long." Why did they
choose to throw him out be-
fore half-time during the last
game? Why did they elect to
toss him out at all? Even my
mother (who had tickets in the
student section) called to ask
why DPS would throw out
such a dedicated fan and ex-
ceptional student. She won-
dered what he could have pos-
sibly done to warrant such
treatment, and was shocked
and appalled when I relayed
the story.
I'm sure that there must be
other ways for DPS to earn
their wages (however inflated
they may be). In any case, DPS
should rethink their tactics -
they have taken the stadium's
extensive rule too far. Maybe
they should think back to the
days when alcohol was per-
mitted in the stadium and real-
ize that their main concern
should not be where someone
happens to be putting their feet.
Carmen Smith
Engineering junior

and scapegoats
The caption above the cartoo
reads: George Washington with a
1990s sense of responsibility.
In the picture a young boy in
revolutionary garb looks nervously
at his father's questioning face, be-
side a toppled cherry tree. He's hold-
ing an ax behind his back.
"A Black guy did it," he said.
I saw almost the same cartoon thq
next day, with Goldiocks making
the same claim to three angry bears
catching her in the act of porridge
Both cartoons were making ref-
erence to the North Carolina mother
who - before admitting that she
killed her two sons - sobbed on
national television that herboys wer'
kidnapped by an African Americar
But the message clearly goes be-
yond this one woman and the way
she tried to pass blame for a heinous
crime. It also goes beyond the reality
of a racist society that associates
people of color with crime and makes
it easy to believe a "Black guy"
would have kidnapped and murdere
those two little boys.
Those cartoons, and this story of
a scared single mother, speak di-
rectly to a very old human crutch,
emerging now in this country with as
much strength as ever before: blam-
ing a scapegoat.
We're facing a crisis, a crisis
marked by unprecedented murdeq
rates, increasing numbers of chil-
dren killed in drive-by shootings,
and children killed by children. In an
era where a kids getting bludgeoned
to death over a pair of shoes no
longer makes the news, and where
increasing numbers of kids have few
other appealing choices but to cash
in on an inner-city drug economy,
our instinct is to run in fear. We buik
walls of hate and blame because we
don't know how to find solutions.
Like Germans who murdered
millions because they needed some-
one to blame fora suffering economy
and a stinging defeat after the first
World War, white America has come
to blame Blacks for crime and built
walls around our neighborhoods.
That's nothing new, I know. But
hasn't it reached new proportions?
In California, money troubles
and a job crunch have so heightened
hate toward immigrants - prima-
rily from Mexico and South America
- that voters overwhelming ap-
proved a measure that would bar
children of illegal immigrants from
public schools and deny them access
to primary health care.
Before California proposal 187
goes into effect it will be challenged
at length in the courts and hopefully
be deemed unconstitutional. But the
fact that the majority of Californians
supported the idea of throwing im-

migrant kids out of school (so their
only choices will be running arounc4
the streets, selling drugs), makes a
frightening statement about Ameri-
can values.
We have a value system that ap-
parently is so opposed to anyone
taking a cut of money or resources
we think belong to us, that we're
willing to go to extremes to protect
our own interest.
In Washington, soon-to-be
Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich
promises in his highly acclaimed
contract for America to go after the
"welfare queens" he equates with
parasites living off the American
Here we have one of the most
powerful people in our national gov-
ernment, promising to clamp down4
on single mothers struggling to feed
their families and survive.
Does he honestly believe we will
all be better off, and that all our
problems of crime, poverty, unem-





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