Page 6


Editorial and Business Offices: The Texas Observer, 600 W. 7th St., Austin, Texas 78701. Telephone 477-0746. 7.01111WW penal code both men and women can be charged with prostitution. I would assume that the seduction laws, statutory rape laws, and others could be so drawn as to protect persons of either sex, not just women.” \(An interesting aside: State Rep. Chris Miller of Fort Worth tells the Observer that even before the Texas amendment went into effect Dallas juries convicted a number of women for A random check of ten legislators’ offices indicated that some are getting lots of mail in opposition to the ERA and some are getting almost none. A secretary in Sen. Bill Patman’s office said he is hearing “more on the ERA than anything else.” Sen. Walter Mengden, the Houston Republican, is getting “quite a bit” of mail, possibly, his aide said, because he is a well known critic of the ERA. Sen. Oscar Mauzy of Dallas is getting form letters urging that the ERA amendment not be rescinded and very little _mail in favor of rescinding. Many writers, the legislators agree, do not understand that both the Legislature and the voters have already taken action on the ERA. Many letters simply say, “Don’t vote for the ERA.” the apparent heir to the House speakership, voted against the ERA amendment two years ago, and he believes that his West Texas constituents still oppose it. Clayton says he will not push for rescision of the amendment; he doesn’t think there is a legal procedure to rescind the vote. But, Clayton says, if the Texas House should come to a vote and tie it up, he would break the tie by voting his constituency against the ERA. that during his eight years in the Texas House of Representatives, only two issues have brought him more mail than the ERA liquor by the drink and right to work. Allred went to considerable trouble to check out stories about unisex toilets in Houston and Fort Worth. Several people wrote him saying that the federal government was building a new office complex in Houston that would do away with his and her facilities. “I have contacted the GSA official in the Houston area,” Allred said, “and he tells me this report is completely false.” ANOTHER STORY had it that the Monnig Middle School, a junior high operated by the Fort Worth Independent School District, had unisex restrooms for its faculty. Allred’s call to the Monnig principal was not the first. The beleaguered educator said he’d already talked to a number of news reporters and parents. “He said the school has two faculty lounges. In the past, one has been exclusively for females .and the other for males,” Allred recounted. “This year, at the request of faculty members, both lounges were opened to men and women.” \(Since the lounges are in different parts of the building, it is more convenient for teachers, regardless of sex, to go to the closest been a ladies lounge had a one-commode bathroom,” Allred said, “The principal said he took note of this and noted that the restroom had a door on it. He said he recommended that male faculty members not use the restroom at all and that female members only use it when there were just females in the lounge. “During the years when the lounge was just a women’s lounge, some of the women had gotten into the habit of using it without closing the door. One day this year, a woman used it with the door open and a man walked in. There was a moment of embarrassment before she could close the door. And that’s how the story about unisex bathrooms got started.” Allred, who originally supported the ERA, is now telling his constituents that he is looking at both sides of the issue. Other politicians are also doing doubletakes. A few weeks before the November election, calling the ERA “a great constitutional principle.” Then the letters started arriving, ten to one against the ERA. He started promising he would vote for a review of the amendments. Representative Miller was one of the spbnsors of the equal rights legislation in the Texas House and she continued to defend the ERA during her reelection campaign. Five days before the election \(this Observer was printed on election hurting her. “People who have been taking strong stands for the ERA are backing up,” she said. “It’s going to be rescinded unless Contributing Editors: Steve Barthelme, Bill Brammer, Gary Cartwright, Joe Frantz, Larry Goodwyn, Bill Hamilton, Bill Helmer, Dave Hickey, Franklin Jones, Lyman Jones, Larry L. King, Georgia Earnest Klipple, Larry Lee, Al Melinger, Robert L. Montgomery, Willie Morris, Bill Porterfield, James Presley, Buck Ramsey, John Rogers, Mary Beth Rogers, Roger Shattuck, Edwin Shrake, Dan Strawn, John P. Sullivan, Tom Sutherland. We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth to human values above all interests, to the rights of humankind as the foundation of democracy; we will take orders from none but our own conscience, and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. The editor has exclusive control over the editorial policies and contents of the Observer. None of the other people who are associated with the enterprise shares this responsibility with her. Writers are responsible for their own work, but not for anything they have not themselves written, and in publishing them the editor does not necessarily imply that she agrees with them, because this is a journal of free voices. Published by Texas Observer Publishing Co., biweekly except for a three week interval between issues twice a year, in July and January; 25 issues per year. Entered as second-class matter April 26, 1937, at the Post Office at Austin, Texas, under the Act of March 3, 1879. Second class postage paid at Austin, Texas. Single Copy, 50st. One year, $8.00; two years, $14.00; three years, $19.00; plus, for Texas addresses, 5% sales tax. Foreign, except APO/FPO. 5051 additional per year. Airmail, bulk orders, and group rates on request. Microfilmed by Microfilming Corporation of America, 21 Harristown Road, Glen Rock, N.J. 07452. Change of Address: Please give old and new address, including zip codes, and allow two weeks. Postmaster: Send form 3579 to Texas Observer, 600 W. 7th St., Austin, Texas 78701. THE TEXAS OBSERVER OThe Texas Observer Publishing Co. 1974 Ronnie Dugger, Publisher A window to the South A journal of free voices EDITOR CO-EDITOR ASSOCIATE EDITOR EDITOR AT LARGE Kaye Northcott Molly Ivins John Ferguson Ronnie Dugger BUSINESS STAFF Joe Espinosa Jr. C. R. Olofson Keith Stanford Vol. LXVI, No. 22 Nov. 15, 1974 lacorporating the State Observer and the East Texas Democrat, which in turn incorporated the Austin ForumAdvocate.