Mica England Collection (The Dallas Way), 1989 - 2019Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

By Julie Judkins

Collection Overview

Title: Mica England Collection (The Dallas Way), 1989 - 2019Add to your cart.View associated digital content.
Predominant Dates: 1989 - 1992
ID: 01/ AR0939
Extent: 24.0 Items
Arrangement: This collection is arranged into three series by media type: documents, photographs, and audiovisual.
Date Acquired: 10/00/2019. More info below under Accruals.

Abstract

This collection consists of 24 items related to Mica England's anti-discrimination lawsuit against the Dallas Police Department (DPD), England vs. The City of Dallas, Mack Vines, and the State of Texas.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

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.

Collection Historical Note

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.

Sources:

"England vs. The City of Dallas, Mack Vines, and the State of Texas," The Dallas Way.

"The City of Dallas and Mack Vines/Mica England v. Mica England/The State of Texas--Appeal from 200th District Court of Travis County," Justia.

Access Information

Access Restrictions:

This collection is not restricted.

Use Restrictions:

Reproduction and publication of materials in this collection are subject to the policies of the UNT Special Collections department. Copyright restrictions may apply.

Physical Access Note:

This collection exists only in a digital format and must be viewed in The Portal to Texas History.

Technical Access Note:

This collection exists only in a digital format in The Portal to Texas History. An Internet connection is required to view this collection.

Reading Room or Duplication Requests

Depending on any access restrictions noted above, you may be able to request items be delivered to our reading room, or that we make reproductions for you. Just click on either the or icons in the listings below to be routed to our request form.

Administrative Information

Repository: University of North Texas Special Collections
Accruals: 2019-060
Acquisition Source: Mica England
Acquisition Method: Gift.
Preferred Citation: Mica England Collection (The Dallas Way), University of North Texas Special Collections

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