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On July 10, 1989, Mica England was denied employment with the Dallas Police Department (DPD) because she disclosed that she was a lesbian during her interview. England had previously applied to the DPD in 1987 and passed the required written exam, psychological exam, and physical test, but failed the polygraph test when she was asked if she had ever engaged in “deviant sex.” At the time sexual intercourse between two persons of the same sex was considered “deviant” and a Class C misdemeanor under Texas Penal Code 21.06. (21.06 was declared unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court in 2003 via the ruling in Lawrence v. Texas.) Before England re-applied to the DPD in 1989 she was assured by DPD recruiters that her sexual orientation would not disqualify her from employment and therefore she was surprised to be told that the DPD did not hire gays. With the assistance of the Dallas Gay Alliance, England spoke before the Dallas City Council two times in July 1989 and January 1992, petitioning for the DPD to change its hiring policy. When these appearances proved to be unsuccessful, England filed a lawsuit against the City of Dallas, Mack Vines (the DPD Chief of Police under whose tenure England was denied employment), and the State of Texas. In February 1992, Judge Lawrence L. Fuller of the 200th Judicial District Court, Travis County, granted partial summary judgment, declaring section 21.06 of the Penal Code unconstitutional, and instructed the DPD not to enforce 21.06 or to deny employment based solely on an applicant's admission of violating section 21.06 or of being homosexual. Lambda Legal Defense fund considers England vs. The City of Dallas, Mack Vines, and the State of Texas to be a landmark case because it decreased discrimination in municipal employment throughout Texas by determining that the DPD’s enforcement of 21.06 in relation to employment was discriminatory.
England never became a police officer because she realized that her case had brought her too much notoriety and it would affect her effectiveness as a law enforcement officer. Instead she pursued a career as a chef. England was selected by the Dallas Holocaust Museum as one of their inaugural "upstanders." Her story is on permanent display at the museum.
This Collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Mica England Collection (The Dallas Way), 1989-2019
Reproduction and publication of materials in this collection are subject to the policies of the UNT Special Collections department. Copyright restrictions may apply.
This collection is not restricted.
This collection exists only in a digital format and must be viewed in The Portal to Texas History.
The digital collection can be found in
This collection is arranged into three series by media type, Series 1: Documents, Series 2: Photographs, and Series 3: Audiovisual.
Materials in this collection include photographs, legal documents, England's press kit, excerpts from books that mention England's case, newspaper articles, a press release, and a video of England's 1989 interview with Larry King.
Legal documents related to England's case, England's press kit, newspaper articles about England and her case, and press releases.
Affidavit of Mica England
Order and Final Judgement: Mica England, Plantiff v. The State of Texas, The City of Dallas, and Mack Vines, Chief of Police of the City of Dallas, Defendants
Judge Overturns Dallas Police Ban on Homosexuals
Mica Stands Up - and Pays the Price
D∅mt på sit privat-liv
Lesbian Settles Suit for Bias in Dallas
England vs. The City of Dallas, Mack Vines, and the State of Texas
Oologah Grad Becomes Reluctant Gay-Rights Champion
Mica England Press Kit
1989 Dallas Police Department employment application questionnaire
City of Dallas And Mack Vines v. Mica England, 846 S.W. 2D 957 (Tex. 1993)
Excerpt from the published book Library in a Book: Gay Rights.
Mica M. England, Synopsis of Events and Accomplishments 1989-1994
Challenge To Dallas Police Hiring Policies to Be Filed
Dallas Gay Alliance press release
Letter to Mica England from Bill Clinton
Excerpt from Uncommon Heroes about Mica England
Photograph of Barbara Hobbs, Mica England, and Lupe Valdez
Mica England at Dallas City Hall
Mica England stands in front of Dallas City Hall
Mica England holds up Equal Employment Opportunity poster
Mica England and David Mixner
Mica England and Amber Roman
Mica England and John Thomas embrace during march
Mica England on Larry King Live