Los Angeles Homophile Community Organizes Boycott of the Los Angeles Times
Press Release: October 16, 1969
by Don Slater
from The Homosexual Information Center 3473 1/2 Cahuenga Blvd. Hollywood, California 90028.
It is the stated policy of the Los Angeles Times not to carry any advertisement with the word “homosexual” in it. The Times does not go so far as to say it is opposed to homosexuals — just to the word they are called by.
For economic reasons, naturally, the Times does carry advertisements for products and services that appeal to homosexuals. The hypocrisy of their position is incrédible, and it was carried to the point of absurdity this week when the paper’s advertising department refused to accept an ad because the wording of it included the name of our organization which happens to be The Homosexual Information Center. We don’t mind the slight for ourselves, but the Times by its attitude shows that it is cold and indifferent to the efforts of homosexuals to improve their legal and social position in America.
Our organization Is a part of the over-all homosexual movement taking place in the U.S. today. It is a legally chartered California corporation. Its offices are open daily to serve the public. Its name is not a “put on.” The Times might like to forget that there are some 200,000 homosexuals living in the Los Angeles area — working here, owning and renting houses and apartments here, attending schools and churches hero, and buying products including the Times. But these men and women will not go away simply because the Times shuts them out of its advertising vocabulary.
Could the Times similarly deny the existence of any other minority and expect to get away with it? We think not. The reaction against such a restriction would be so spontaneous and so strong that even this leading paper would feel the pressure. The Times must feel secure that the homosexual minority is too weak or ineffective — that the sympathies of the general public are too unconcerned — to influence its policy in the present Instance.
According to Paul Bothermell, Administrative Assistant, in charge of retail advertising for the Times, the taboo against using the word homosexual has been in effect for a long while, and the Times sees no heed to change its policy. In fact, Mr. Rothérmèll smugly refuses to talk about the matter. We think the paper is wrong. And so, in the face of the Times’ unswerving prejudice, we call on all individuals and organizations interested in civil liberties and justice to avoid buying the Times. We urge everyone to avoid the firms and businesses that advertise their products in the Times. We ask all concerned citizens to write the paper and its advertisers explaining their disapproval.
Further, we are calling the attention of the Anti-Trust division of the U. S. Justice Department to the Times’ conscious bias. We are asking the Justice Department to stop the merger of the Times-Mirror Corp. (owner of the Los Angeles Times) and the Dallas Times Herald Printing Co. (owner of the Dallas Times Herald and KRLD tv and radio stations) to prevent expansion of the bigoted firm. We have also asked the Federal Communications Commission to investigate and prevent the take-over of the television and radio stations by Times-Mirror Corp. on the grounds that we believe the company’s prejudice against homosexuals and homosexuality will prevent it from giving fair treatment to this minority on the publicly-owned airwaves it would be licensed to use.