Wisconsin State Journal from Madison, Wisconsin on November 20, 1977 · 7
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Wisconsin State Journal from Madison, Wisconsin · 7

Madison, Wisconsin
Issue Date:
Sunday, November 20, 1977
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WISCONSIN STATE JOURNAL, SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 1 977 SECTION 1, PAGE 7 1 0,000 offend 'pro- family' rally ' N.Y. Times News Service HOUSTON More than 10,000 opponents of abortion and the proposed equal rights amendment held what they called a "pro-family rally" Saturday at the Astro Arena, 5 miles from where the feminist-oriented National Women's Conference was holding its opening-day sessions. The rally's participants, almost all of them white and well-dressed, carried signs reading "ERA Is a Turkey," "God Made Adam and Eve, Not Adam and Steve," "I.W.Y., International Witches Year," "Jimmy, We Are Here, Too," and "Not Gay But Happy People Happy, Texas." The state signs they carried indicated that they were mainly from Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Utah, but there were also participants from as far away as North Dakota and Rochester, N.Y. Paid own way "I came because I felt North Dakota had to be represented at a pro-family rally," said Christine Zentz, 34, of Bismarck, the mother of nine children. "I am opposed to the ERA because it would give more power to the federal government, and I don't think the states need to lose more powers." Mrs. zentz said she had driven to the rally with six women friends in a yellow van, and that they had paid their own expenses. Rita Koomen, 45, of Rochester said she had driven to Houston with five other persons in a rented station wagon because she thought the equal rights amendment would some day hurt her five children. "I'm also against gay rights," she added, "because they're not born that way, they're made, and they'll influence our children if they start teaching their lifestyle in the schools." The rally, attended by many couples with children, was marked by patriotic band music, prayers, a parade of state banners and 20 speakers who stressed woman's traditional role as wife and mother. "The American people do not want the ERA," Phyllis Schlafly of Alton, 111., a leading opponent of the amendment, said in a prepared speech. "And they do not want government-funded abortion, lesbian privileges or the federal government to set up institutions for universal child care." Armed guard Mrs. Schlafly, who is staying in a Ramada Inn suite protected by an armed guard, is coordinating much of the opposition to the government-sponsored conference. She has predicted that the conference will be "the death knell of the women's liberation movement." The rally speakers included two Texas-born women who head the country's largest anti-abortion groups: Dr. Mildred Jefferson, a Boston surgeon who is president of the National Right to Life Group, and Nellie Gray, a Washington lawyer who is president of March for Life. They condemned the "reproductive freedom," or right to abortion resolution in the feminist -oriented National Plan of Action, which will be debated at the four-day women's conference. 'Totally irrational' "To think that women are uniting to kill their unborn offspring is totally irrational," Miss Gray said. Other speakers included Lottie Beth Hobbs, chairman of a pro-family group called the Assn. of the W's; Rep. Robert Dornan (R-Calif.), who has criticized the use of $5 million in federal funds to finance the women's conference; Louie Welch, president of Attention Hunters! mmmmmm fnm f Mr Vnium WtWUMikiTktfist Knackwerst Smoked Irats Smoked Palish Winters Dry Smoked Venison Deer turgor Lendjaeger Doer Summer Sausage "Plain or Garlic" lologne "Plain or Garlic" CI9CC SKINNING WHEN WE riCCC MAKE All SAUSAGE WE BUY HIDES nnCU SUNDAY t THANKSGIVING OPEN 1 101 ML BASTOGNE SAUSAGE LTD. 112W.MoinSt.,lollovillo,WI 424-3374 Ope WMavi Til V ft) 1 v ...... , . ikj FX- A rX4F Convention delegate Susan Catania and daughter. '-AP Wirephoto the Houston Chamber of Commerce; Walter Mengden, a Texas state senator, and Robert Kramer, a Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., investment banker who has actively opposed the equal rights amendment. Anita Bryant, a leading opponent of homosexual rights, sent a videotaped message. Among the groups represented at the rally were Stop ERA, the Eagle Fomm, the Conservative Caucus, the National Right to Life Movement, March for Life, the National Council of Catholic Women, the Mormon Church, Daughters of the American Revolution and the John Birch Society. According to Mrs. Schlafly, most of the participants at the rally paid their own way to Houston, "unlike the delegates to the women's conference, who came at the taxpayers' expense." The delegates received their air fare as well as a $50-a-day living allowance. About 20 percent of the delegates to the women's conference are "pro family," and they control the delegations from such states as Montana, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Utah, Indiana, Ohio and Oklahoma. Many of them have charged that "pro-family" women were deliberately excluded from participating in both the women's conference and the state meetings that led up to it. 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