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Lesbian Reapplies for Job on Dallas Police Force

February 5, 1992

DALLAS (AP) _ A woman who was denied a job as a police officer because she is a lesbian made a second try Tuesday - a day after a judge struck down a department policy banning homosexuals from the force.

″I’m excited. The adrenalin is flowing and I’m looking forward to February 12th,″ said Mica England, citing the date of her civil service exam.

Ms. England reapplied a day after District Judge Larry Fuller ruled that the city cannot base its hiring policy on a 112-year-old state sodomy law that was labeled unconstitutional in 1990, although that decision is under appeal.

The law made sodomy a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a $200 fine.

The judge made the ruling in a lawsuit Ms. England had filed challenging the policy.

During an hourlong interview with police Tuesday, Ms. England, 27, said she answered ″yes″ when asked whether she had ever committed a ″deviant sex crime.″ The department classifies homosexuality as deviant.

When she applied to the 3,100-member force in 1987, Ms. England was asked the same question during a lie-detector test. The polygraph registered her negative response as a lie. She then admitted she is gay and was disqualified.

Police Capt. J.W. McDonald of the personnel division said Ms. England’s latest application was being considered. However, he said a decision on hiring would be postponed until after a City Council briefing next week. He declined to comment further.

Dallas is the only large city in the nation to bar gay officers.

City Councilman Glenn Box said he would urge the Council to appeal Fuller’s ruling. The City Council last month voted to uphold the ban on gay officers as long as the law remained in effect.

A state district judge declared the sodomy law unconstitutional in 1990. But Attorney General Dan Morales has appealed to the Texas Court of Appeals.

Twenty-five states have laws prohibiting sodomy between all couples or between same-sex couples. Before 1961, all states had such laws. No one ever has been prosecuted under the Texas law.

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