1980s

Crompton 1985

Lou Crompton, 1985

1980 The Crompton-Noll Award in Gay Studies was established by the Gay Caucus for the Modern Languages in Dec. 1980 (Gay Studies Newsletter, March 1981; p1).

1981 San Francisco’s Gay Men’s Chorus performs at First Plymouth Church in Lincoln.

A petition to add sexual orientation as a protected class for non-discrimination is put on the ballot but is defeated by an 80% to 20% vote. The Nebraska Coalition for GLBT Rights forms and organizes the first Pride celebration in Lincoln.

Source: Barb Baier: The Women's Journal Advocate (WJA) started in (aprox.) 1981/82.  The impetus was the proposed ordinance to make LGBT citizens a protected class under the municipal code.  It was a hotly contested ballot issue that the WJA championed.  The oridinance was defeated by (I think) by 75% of the vote.  Unfortunately, a significant portion of Lincoln's professional, out-LGBT people were harmed by the vote.  Many moved out of the city to KC, Minneapolis and Denver because they couldn't get work otherwise.  

Emily Levine, Joy Alice Adams, Martha Stoddard and many others were among the founding mothers of WJA, which continued publishing on a monthly basis until June 1993.  At that time, Lin (Quenzer) and myself were the primary editors and publishers.  By 1993, it had a monthly circulation of 4,000.  Many subscribers were from across the country.  We had been included in a network of alternative college newspapers so a number of articles were being picked up by this national news service.  It was really interesting and exciting because we had women news writers who had blazed trails in that profession contacting us.  Some of which had worked and sued the New York Times for discrimination back in the early 1970s.  

There have been two historians (graduate students who completed theses on the paper) that have compiled bibliographies of the articles, checked to make sure the NE Historical Society were maintaining the paper's archives, etc.  I really don't know if the Society continues to do so.  

Barb estimates that about 150 to 175 women over the 11 to 12 years of publishing were involved in the paper.  It definitely reflected the political movements of that time.

Note: PFLAG is founded (see 2006 for information from an article published in the PFLAG-Cornhusker SPECTRUM).

1985 ASUN is asked by GLSA (Gay, Lesbian Student Association) to include sexual orientation in their non-discrimination policy. ASUN passed the policy but President Gerard Keating vetoed it and a veto override failed. Other senates took it up and passed a policy. As a result of that debate, several student organizations at UNL added sexual orientation to their constitutions (as a protected status). The Residence Hall Association (RHA) was one of the organizations doing so. In April of 1985, Margie Winn, COLAGE Chair, and Rodney Bell, UNL GALA Chair, asked ASUN to adopt a resolution asking the Board of Regents to adopt a resolution empowering ASUN President Bryan Hill to lobby the student senates at UNO and UNMC as well as the Faculty Senates at UNL, UNMC and UNO to add sexual orientation, marital status, and disability to sections 3.0 and 5.2 of the Regent by-laws.

The Faculty Senate adopted a resolution at UNL. AAUW- UNL Chapter also adopted a resolution in favor of non-discrimination.

1988 COLAGE (Committee Offering Lesbian and Gay Events) was denied funding by ASUN (COLAGE was a committee for UPC).

1989 UNL GALA (Gay and Lesbian Alumni/ae) incorporates as a non-profit organization.

Homophobia Awareness Committee meets as an informal group.

Lou Crompton retires from the English Department after 34 years. Professor Crompton also founded the Gay Caucus for Modern Languages. ASUN election survey indicates that 69% of students favor condom machines in the residence halls. ASUN proposed distributing condoms from the ASUN office but the bill fails.

The Board of Regents passes a resolution that reads in part (as reported in the 1989 GALA Nebraskan): “Be it resolved by the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska that: 1. Students on each campus of the University of Nebraska shall be admitted and enjoy the programs and privileges of the University without regard to individual characteristics other than qualifications for admission, academic performance and conduct in accord with University policies and rules and laws applicable to student conduct. 2. Employees on each campus of the University of Nebraska shall be employed and equitably treated in regard to the terms and conditions of their employment without regard to individual characteristics other than qualification for employment, quality of performance of duties and conduct in regard to their employment in accord with University policies and rules and applicable law. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Resolution shall become a policy of the Board of Regents and shall be incorporated into the University Policy Manual.”