A Social and Gay Rights Organization (1983 - 1998)
This website has been created to serve as an archive for the former High Tech Gays Organization. I have scanned 153 newsletters plus newspaper articles and photos and posted them here. If you wish to contribute (including photos of HTG activities in the past), please email me. Except for the newsletters only a few names are mentioned here. I would like to acknowledge all who worked to make the organization such a great success. Please let me know if I may include your name or send me additional information to post. Thanks, Denny Carroll.
High Tech Gays was a social and gay rights organization that held meetings and social events in San Jose, California from March 1983 to January 1998.
The High Tech Gays organization was founded on the principle that all persons deserve fair and just treatment by the government, their employer, the law and the professional societies to which they belong regardless of their sexual orientation. HTG worked to achieve those goals through political and social action.
As a non-partisan association of gays and lesbians in the high tech and supporting industries, HTG provided a means by which people with similar interests could meet each other socially, assist each other in their job search and become active in the gay rights movement.
As a social organization, HTG gave members and friends a wide range of opportunities from which to choose, from water or snow skiing to river rafting and camping, from afternoons in a museum to evenings at the theatre. All in addition to the monthly potluck meetings which included a prominent guest speaker. These monthly meetings with attendance peaking at over 175 people were held from early 1983 to 1998. A monthly newsletter was published monthly for nearly 15 years. These newsletters are posted on this web site and may be copied, reproduced and shared.
In those 15 years, the organization attained worldwide visibility via articles that appeared in The Advocate, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The San Jose Mercury News plus many other newspapers. Those article profiled HTG's various efforts to fight discrimination in the work place and in the process of obtaining a government security clearance. In addition, HTG became very influential in the political arena. Candidates seeking public office often requested the opportunity to address the membership at the monthly meetings.
Some of the guest speakers:
- The Hon. Donna Hitchens, Superior Court Judge
- Linda Speraw, producer of the video "The Last Laugh"
- Matthew Coles, American Civil Liberties Union
- David Burnnel – Editor in Chief of PC World, Mac World
- Hank Plante, TV news anchor at KPIX
- San Jose Mayoral Candidates
- Caldwell, Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation
- Robert Stipicevich, Fremont School Board
- Pam Walton, producer of the video "Out in Suburbia" and "Gay Youth"
- Cleve Jones, NAMES Project
- Tom Nolan, San Mateo County Supervisor
- John Laird, California Secretary for Natural Resources, state congressman, first openly Gay mayor of Santa Cruz
- State assemblyman John Vasconcellos
LGBT Rights Activism:
- Supported effort to pass AB 101, the Gay Rights Bill, in California
- Participated in the national March on Washington in 1987 & 1993
- Participate yearly in both the San Jose and San Francisco Pride Celebrations
- Host benefits for local AIDS support groups
- Support the efforts of BAYMEC and NGLTF through cooperative membership
- Annually bestow the Richard P. Rudy Community Service Award to a dedicated member of the gay and lesbian community
- Ongoing efforts by the HTG Political and Business Action Committee (PABAC) to persuade companies to change their Equal Employment Opportunity policy to include sexual orientation
- Provide information to lesbians and gays attempting to obtain a Government Security Clearance
Industrial Security Clearances:
Supported lesbians and gays in their fight for Security Clearances in civilian employment:
* High Tech Gays v. Defense Investigative Security Clearance Office, which began in 1984 and first culminated in a very positive ruling by US District Court in August 1987 supporting the rights of gays and lesbians to be treated the same as heterosexuals in the security clearance process. The ruling was unfortunately overturned by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in February of 1990.
* Jean Kovalich v. Defense Investigative Service, in which Kovalich was demoted for being a lesbian. The government finally backed down and made a very positive out-of-court settlement.
* Robert Weston v. Lockheed, in which a defense contractor, on advice from the federal government, would not even process an application for clearance because Weston is gay.
Activities were organized for fun and relaxation year round. A few examples:
- An evening at La Cage Revue
- Beach Blanket Babylon
- Ballet Trocadero de Monte Carlo
- Performances by San Jose Civic Light Opera, TheatreWorks, San Jose/Cleveland Ballet, Palo Alto Players & many others
- Big Lil's Cabaret Melodrama & Pizza Party
- Lily Tomlin's "Search for Intelligent Signs of Life"
- San Francisco stairway hikes
- Alpine and cross country ski trips
- Whitewater rafting
- Bike trips
- Wine country touring
- Horseback riding
- Bay sailing
- Water skiing
- Beach parties
- Chicken Liver & Brussells Sprouts Dinner
- Dessert Orgy
- Tacky Tours
- AIDS Bike-A-Thon fundraiser
- Castro Street Fair
- Dinner nights
- Games nights
- Halloween party
- Robert Mapplethorpe Exhibit
- Gay Games
- Movie nights
- Stanford Linear Accelerator
- NASA Ames Research Center
- Robert Mapplethorpe Exhibit