The Michigan Daily - Thursday, February 12, 1998 - 7A
Continued from Page 1A
said gays faced similar problems.
"I was walking down the street one
day when I was a student here and a
bunch of football players came up to
me," said Toy, who served as co-direc-
tor of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual
Transgender Affairs Office since its
founding in 1971. "They began harass-
ing me and calling me a 'faggot'- and
Shat kind of thing happened lots of
times to gays."
But verbal harassment wasn't the
only concern for members of the gay
community. Before the ordinance was
passed, Toy said, violence against gays
was not uncommon and local restaurant
and store owners often turned gays
away at the door.
During this time period, University
administrators were unsympathetic to the
roblems of gay community members.
WFormer University President Robben
Flerping told The Michigan Daily in
May of 1970 that he would not allow
Ann Arbor's Gay Liberation Front to
hold its statewide conference in
"Any conference on the subject of
homosexuality ought ... to be clearly
educational in nature," Fleming told the
Daily. Because the GLF "does not qual-
fy under these criteria, (University)
acilities will not be available"
Toy said that with the passing of the
human rights ordinance, minorities
began receiving better treatment. Black
and gay residents now had legal means
by which they could assert their rights,
and overt discrimination slowly became
taboo, he said.
Does Ann Arbor deserve its reputa-
tion as a liberal, progressive town?
The verdict is mixed, and minority
leaders concur that prejudice in Ann
Arbor is far from non-existent.
"The faculty and staff, to a great
extent, haven't bought into the adminis-
tration goal of integrating the University,"
said Chemistry Prof. Billy Jo Evans. "1
don't think there's a single black profes-
sor in biology.
"It's also hard for blacks to gain lead-
ership experience. They have leadership
opportunities in only a few University
offices," Evans said.
LSA sophomore Ozell Hayes said
racial tensions on campus have increased
since the Center for Individual Rights
filed lawsuits against the College of
Literature, Science and the Arts and the
Law School that target the schools' use of
race as a factor in the admissions process.
"It's created an environment that's
very tense between blacks and whites,
even though affirmative action is not a
black and white issue," Hayes said.
"But it's not as bad in Ann Arbor as it is
in Detroit and the area around Detroit.
"When (black men) go into a store
near Detroit, they are followed around,
asked over and over again if they need
anything," Hayes said.
Smith said that issues such as affirma-
tive action have widened racial divisions.
"I think there was a liberalization of
attitudes everywhere in the country
from the 70s, but now, I see a kind of
hardening again," Smith said.
But acceptance of gays has only
increased during the past 10 years, said
Cecy Ewing, chair of Ann Arbor's
Human Rights Commission.
"In 1985, I was walking down the
street with my partner and two gay
men," Ewing said. "We had bricks
thrown at us. But now, Ann Arbor is the
best place to live in Michigan in terms
of non-discrimination for gays."
But Engineering junior Kenneth
Jones said many Ann Arbor residents
tolerate, rather than accept, members of
the gay community.
"I don't think people are so blatant with
homophobia and racism anymore," Jones
said. "People try to tolerate (minorities)
because it's the PC thing to do.
"Because it's a college campus, Ann
Arbor is still a bit more accepting (than
other areas)," Jones said.
Toy said that the University has
become more supportive of gays since
Fleming made his statements nearly 30
years ago. In the fall of 1971, the
University agreed to help fund the
LGBT office and offered benefits to
same sex couples in 1993.
The University "has been a leader in
offering support to us and I am grateful
for it," Toy said. "Things can always get
better. We need to make sure they do for
us and for other groups."
Chauncey said the city's Human
Rights department rarely receives reports
of violations of the ordinance from the
University community, although faculty,
students and staff who are victims of dis-
crimination can receive restitution if dis-
Chauncey said he works with the
City Attorney's Office to investigate all
discrimination grievances. While it is
often difficult to find conclusive evi-
dence of discrimination, the department
has recorded a number of successes.
"There was a lesbian lady who
recently was discharged from employ-
ment," Chauncey said. "The employers
made a number of unsubstantiated rea-
sons for the discharge.
"We had enough evidence to show she
was fired due to sexual orientation and a
financial settlement was worked out
with her former employers," he said.
A look ahead
While gays have become more
accepted in Ann Arbor, there is still
progress to be made, Smith said.
Smith said she has been surprised at
white residents' negative reactions to a
new city plan to achieve racial equality
in the Ann Arbor school district.
"It's interesting to hear reactions of sup-
posedly progressive people in Ann Arbor,"
Smith said. "They think they moved to
Ann Arbor for their children to go to
school with people who look like they do."
She said society will not improve if
people continue to ignore the interests
"As a population, we're only as
strong as out weakest connection,"
Smith said. "If we don't make every
effort to bring everyone to their highest
level, we have failed."
Graduate Library employee Mark Chaffee observes the Hopwood awards at
the seventh floor of the Graduate Library.
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SAIL OR WINDSURF up north this
summer, three instructors and head of sailing
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On campus interviews at job fair 2/18.
Questions: Crystalaire Camp, 2768 South
Shore Road East, Frankfort, MI 49635 (616)
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SALES POSITIONS available for Spring/
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UMI is an established information services
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department is seeking to fill one 40 hrs./week
position of one paid intern starting February,
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should have a strong interest in the
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A interested persons should send or fax a
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International Sales and Marketing
300 N. Zeeb Road
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
SUMMER CAMP COUNSELORS
NEEDED FOR PREMIERE CAMPS
Positions for talented, energetic, and fun
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THE PRINCETON REVIEW, the nation's
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