40 Years Ago in PGN: Nov. 4-10, 2016

Police not guilty of alleged DYKETACTICS abuse

Adapted from reporting by Betti Watts

Officers of the Philadelphia Civil Disobedience Squad accused of abusing DYKETACTICS members after a demonstration at a City Council meeting were found not guilty in October 1976.

The jury of six women and two men returned the verdict after a two-hour deliberation.

The defense began by introducing a transcript of a tape-recording of the Dec. 4, 1975, City Council meeting. That’s where DYKETACTICS held a demonstration in support of Bill 1275, the gay-rights measure.

All accused officers testified, including Officers Stampone, Provent, McMenamin, Patton and Hamilton. George Fencl, head of the civil-disobedience squad, was also accused and testified.

Hamilton denied touching any of the DYKETACTICS women because they were “too obnoxious to touch.”

Another officer, Batchelor, who was not accused of any wrongdoing but testified for the defense, said she didn’t see any brutality. She added she helped women up from the floor and aided them in leaving council chambers.

One witness for DYKETACTICS had her testimony stricken from the record. She said she was not affiliated with the demonstrators, but refused to answer a question about whether she was a lesbian. The judge threatened to hold her in contempt of court. Attorneys for both sides agreed to remove her testimony.


Penn Christian Association sponsors third gay intern

Adapted from reporting by Harry Langhorne

The Christian Association of the University of Pennsylvania sponsored its third-annual gay intern for the 1976-77 school year.

Bill Stackhouse, a student from Harvard Divinity School, took up the post. He grew up in Kansas City, Mo., and attended Beloit College in Wisconsin for his undergraduate degree.

Stackhouse was expected to work with gay students on campus, including closeted students and the gay student group. He led training sessions for staff at the Marriage Council at Penn, participated in the Penn Women’s Center training program for dormitory advisors and took an active role in the Gays at Penn peer counseling program.

At a freshmen orientation with 200 students, Stackhouse offered information on sexuality and counseling opportunities on campus. He also asked students not to tear down posters for Gays at Penn and to intervene if they saw others removing them.

In Philadelphia, Stackhouse said he wanted to get involved with the Gay Community Center. He observed that the separation between gay men and women seems more extreme in Philadelphia than anywhere else he had lived.