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News - March 1996

GLAAD critical of newspaper's discrimination against gay editor

NEW YORK -- The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) questions the transfer of Todd Camp, the openly gay graphics editor of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's children's section. Camp was removed from his original post after Debbie Price, the paper's Executive Editor, received a letter from a writer for the Fort Worth chapter of the American Family Association (AFA).

"This is a shocking example of discrimination," said William Waybourn, GLAAD's Managing Director, "Camp's work for a gay community newspaper (the Texas Triangle) has no bearing on his competency as an editor at the Star-Telegram. The American Family Association should not be positioning itself as a job counselor."

Waybourn continued, "The professional capacity of an employee is not determined by his or her sexual orientation. Job performance should be based solely on job related criteria." Waybourn also stated, "This transfer shows the crucial need for workplace protections for lesbians and gay men, especially since Texas is one of those states where lesbians and gay men can be fired without recourse."

The American Family Association has been campaigning to drive the Texas Triangle out of business. In December, they threatened advertisers of the weekly paper with dissemination of their names to local preachers and broadcasting their names on a local radio station advocating a boycott.

The Star-Telegram has actually been praised by local gay organizations in the past for offering domestic partnership benefits to same gender employees and for being one of the leading papers in Texas to support gay rights. "It saddens us to hear that a paper, like the Star-Telegram, which has had a good track record with the gay community, has buckled to the pressure of the Radical Right," said Chuck Donaldson, Interim Chair of the GLAAD's Dallas chapter, "By caving in to the AFA, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram has opened a Pandora's Box to future transfers and/or firings. If you don't think this will affect the rights of reporters to cover stories on the AFA and other extreme right organizations, then think again."

GLAAD is a national organization that promotes fair, accurate and inclusive representation of individuals and events in the media as a means of challenging discrimination based on sexual orientation or identity.

GLAAD encourages people to write the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Debbie Price, Executive Editor at harral@onramp.net.


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