USF Library hosts ‘gay landslide’

Special to The Oracle

Recent years have seen a number of victories for the LGBT community that will be the subject of a lecture titled “Gay Landslide! Victories for Human Rights: Four Decades of Progress.”

USF alumnus Mitchell Katine, who served as the attorney in the Supreme Court case of Lawrence v. Texas in 2003, will be at the USF Alumni Center today to discuss the progression of LGBT civil rights, along with Commissioner Kevin Beckner and USF associate professor Sara Crawley.

The 2003 case struck down sodomy laws in Texas and invalidated them in 13 other states. Katine served as the lawyer for John Lawrence and Tyler Garner, who were charged with having “deviate sex” by a jealous ex-partner. 

The anti-sodomy laws were ruled unconstitutional as a violation of privacy.

Katine has created numerous LGBT organizations in Houston and Texas, and voices issues on same-sex marriage, gay adoption, HIV/AIDS and civil rights on national news programs. He received his bachelor’s degree at USF in mass communications and public relations and was also a USF Ambassador.

Katine, who hasn’t been on campus since he graduated, will talk about the new issues since events like Lawrence v. Texas that have plagued the LGBT community, and how it brought about change and talk of legal marriage. Crawley and Beckner will follow Katine’s lecture with a panel discussion on issues of gender and sexuality. 

“It’ll be a lively discussion,” said William Garrison, dean of the USF Libraries. 

Garrison also said an LGBT collection in the library has been accumulating for two years now, and has grown through purchases and item donations. 

“We are home to the Equality Florida archives,” Garrison said. “We will be the home to the Tampa International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival archives. We’re happy to preserve materials and make sure that they’re used by students and faculty on campus.”

The library’s initiative documents profound social changes throughout history and archives works and art to provide to the public. 

The event will be held at 6:30 p.m. and a reception will be held at 5:30 p.m. during which those in attendance can speak with Katine, Beckner and Crawley.