30 years ago in PGN

30 years ago in PGN

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Priest arrested for solicitation

Police in New Orleans arrested the Rev. Leo McKenzie, then-communications director of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, June 9 on solicitation charges.

A plainclothes officer alleged that McKenzie propositioned him for oral sex in the Decatur News bookstore, a predominantly LGBT locale, as several officers were conducting surveillance as part of a campaign to shut down shops that sell pornographic materials within 2,000 feet of a church or school.

Then-Archbishop John Krol said he was “shocked and grieved” to learn of his staffer’s arrest but that he would not “condemn him.”

McKenzie was well known among the local LGBT community for his outspoken opposition to the advancement of LGBT-rights issues.

A judge later sentenced McKenzie to a six- to 12-month counseling program in lieu of prison time.

Radio host draws LGBT ire

Bob Grant, a talk-show host at radio station WWDB-FM 96.5, came under fire from the local LGBT community after he ejected an openly gay university professor from his studio.

Dennis Rubini, a history teacher at Temple University, had been scheduled for an hour-and-a-half appearance on Grant’s June 25 program, but Grant ended the interview just five minutes into the show. Grant allegedly called Rubini a “skunk” during the opening of the show, prompting Rubini to fire back, calling Grant “Hitlerian.”

Rubini later said that his comment was motivated by one of Grant’s shows in April, during which the host told two members of the Gay Media Association that homosexuality is a “perversion” and an “aberration.”

Rubini said a WWDB booking agent contacted him to set up the appearance and gave him the option of going on Grant’s show or on a program that was run by a longtime LGBT ally, and Rubini said he chose Grant’s program because “we don’t have to enlighten the enlightened.”

Philly celebrates Stonewall milestone

About 500 LGBT and ally individuals came out to JFK Plaza June 16 for the “Stonewall to San Francisco” rally, commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

Karla Jay and Allen Young, co-authors of “Gay Report,” energized the crowd, and Jay outlined her “10-year plan for 1980,” which laid out her goals of curbing LGBT discrimination.

“We must create a world where straights can’t do a damn thing if they don’t like us, a world where gay power is not a slogan, but a reality in the 1980s,” Jay said.

Participants raised money for the March on Washington planned for the fall of 1979, and also held a candlelight vigil in honor of slain San Francisco City Supervisor Harvey Milk and former PGN staffer Jan Sergienko.

— Jen Colletta


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