the decisive factor in low turn-out elections.nFatalism, dire self-fulfilling polls,nand low morale can transform a victoryninto a defeat. It is a concrete and mundanenbut essential realization: in this eranof voter apathy, it is the shared act ofnbringing (literally) one more like-mindednperson to the polls in each neighborhoodnthat can determine whether angood or bad candidate wins on electionnday. Voting and community politickingnmay not be glamorous, but the battle isnwaged on many fronts.n—Anne Marie MorgannTHE LESBIAN ROOMMATE casenin Madison, Wisconsin, that has beennpending since 1989 was finally given anhearing this past fall. In a decision datednDecember 27, 1991, Madison EqualnOpportunities Commission hearing examinernSheilah O. Jakobson found thatnAnne Hacklander Ready and MaureennRowe unlawfully discriminated againstnlesbian Caryl Sprague by refusing to rentnher a room “because of her sexual orientation.”nReady and Rowe were suednunder a local ordinance that reads, innpart, “it shall be an unfair discriminationnpractice and unlawful and herebynprohibited: (a) For any person having thenright of . .. transfer, sale, rental, or leasenof any housing … to refuse to transfer,nsell, rent, or lease . . . [to] any personnsuch housing because of . . . sexual orientation.”nAs the sole leaseholder on anhouse whose owner lived abroad, AnnenReady had the authority to sublease.nWith this in mind and interpreting thenordinance narrowly, the Madison EOCndecided to apply this statute to roommates.nThis interpretation does not seem tonhave been the intent of the lawmakersnwho wrote the ordinance. The case wasnwell-publicized locally in 1989, and innresponse the Madison City Council votedn19 to 2 on September 19 of that yearnto amend the ordinance specifically tonexcept roommates from liability. Accordingnto Bruce M. Davey, the attorneynfor Ready and Rowe, there is a similarnWisconsin law that has not beenninterpreted to apply to roommates, “becausenof serious constitutional infringements,”nhe said. At issue are the rightsnof privacy and free association guaranteednby the Constitution.nIn 1989 at a meeting set to investigatenCaryl Sprague’s complaint, thenMadison EOC drew up an “AgreementnlO/CHRONICLESnin Principle” that ordered Ready andnRowe to pay Sprague $1,000 in damages.nReady and Rowe were also orderednto write Sprague “an acceptable letternof apology,” told that the EOC reservednthe right to monitor their rental practicesnfor two years, and instructed to attendna two-hour sensitivity training classnconducted by the United, a homosexualngroup. After an emotional discussion atnwhich Ready and Rowe were not representednby a lawyer, they signed thenagreement. They then contacted BrucenDavey, who questioned the agreement’snvalidity and requested a formal hearingnbefore an EOC examiner. That hearingnwas finally held on October 14, 1991.nCaryl Sprague declined through hernlawyer to be interviewed. According tonJakobson’s decision, Sprague testifiednduring the hearing that she felt humiliatednat losing the apartment and sufferednfrom crying spells and an inabilitynto concentrate. For her emotional distress,nJakobson awarded her $2,000 inncompensatory damages. Sprague wasnawarded another $1,000 in punitivendamages, plus $300 to reimburse her forna lost security deposit she placed on annapartment later that summer. Readynand Rowe have also been ordered to paynSprague’s attorney’s fees, which as ofnthis writing have not been totaled.nChristopher Kelly, Sprague’s lawyer, declinednto give an estimate of what hisnfees will be, but conceded that they willnrun to several thousand dollars.nJakobson’s decision does not discussnthe city council’s intent in writing thenordinance. Nor does it mention thencouncil’s 1989 revision of the law to excludenroommates. As for the case fornprivacy, Jakobson stated that Ready andnRowe lost their constitutional protectionn”when they entered the public marketplacenby advertising for unknown womennto live with them.” She cited thenSupreme Court’s 1987 decision in RotarynClub ofDuarte v. International RotarynClub to buttress her argument, andndid not draw a distinction between thenprivacy rights of a social organizationnand the privacy rights of individuals inntheir own home. Ready and Rowen”sought strangers as roommates by enteringnthe marketplace, admittedly tongain an economic benefit by reducingntheir share of the $740 per month rentnfor the house. Consequently, I find thatnthere was no intimate relationship subjectnto constitutional protection for thenright of free association,” Jakobsonnnnwrote.nBruce Davey maintained that hisnclients will appeal—first before the entirenEqual Opportunities Commission,nand then in civil court. “We’re going tonkeep fighting,” said Anne Ready.n—Katherine DaltonnGOVERNOR JIM FLORIO’S $2.8billionntax increase two years ago leftnNew Jersey taxpayers with no recourse,ndespite efforts over the last 16 years tonmake the initiative and referendum processnavailable to frustrated citizens. Thenissue was revived again last year by RepublicannAssemblyman Robert Franks,nwho sponsored a bill that would allownindividuals, with petitions in hand, tonpropose legislation or dismantle laws, annoption available in 23 other states.nAccording to the New York Times, oppositionnto last year’s initiative and referendumnproposal was spearheaded bynthe powerful Democratic Speaker,nJoseph Doria, Jr. Rather than face election-yearnreprisal by voting it down, bothnhouses agreed to stall it in committee.nAs promised, Franks reintroduced thenproposal last January, and with Republicansnin control of both the Senate andnAssembly, it was given a warmer reception.nBut when Governor Florio addednhis endorsement the New Jersey EducationnAssociation went on the offensive.nExecutive Director Robert Bonazzi candidlynurged the teachers’ union to attacknthe plan because it “will provide an impetusnfor our enemies to organize at thenlocal level… for lower taxes, for spendingncaps, against school budgets, and toneliminate our tenure rights.”nThe initiative and referendum proposalnis expected to be approved by Augustnfor inclusion on the November ballot,nat which time voters will decide fornthemselves whether they can decide fornthemselves.n—Emily AdamsnPAUL GOTTFRIED and EhzabethtownnCollege’s Institute for Business andnPublic Ethics have become the new publishersnof This World: A Journal of Religionnand Public Life. It will initially benpublished only once a year. The first issue,nentitled “Democracy in Theory andnPractice,” appeared this winter and cannbe ordered by writing the institute atnElizabethtown College, Elizabethtown,nPennsylvania 17022.n