A California state senator has been stripped of a committee chairmanship and fired from a state commission on women after describing abortion supporters as "bulldykes," "lesbians" and "murderous marauders" who are hard, Jewish and "arguably" female.
In an unusual disciplinary move, the Senate Rules Committee voted Monday to remove Republican Sen. John G. Schmitz of Orange County from his posts as chairman of the Constitutional Amendments Committee, vice chairman of the Industrial Relations Committee and member of the Commission on the Status of Women.
Earlier this month Schmitz chaired a Los Angeles committee hearing on anti-abortion legislation he had written.
At the hearing, Schmitz was presented with a chastity belt by Gloria Allred, a Los Angeles attorney and feminist leader who said that if Schmitz's legislation, which defines life as beginning at conception, became law, women would have to resort to chastity belts for birth control.
Schmitz responded with a two-page press release written under the Constitutional Amendments Committee letterhead. In the release, the senator said the committee hearings, held in four California cities, were attended by "imported lesbians, anti-male and pro-abortion queer groups in San Francisco and other centers of decadence."
He added that at the Los Angeles hearing, the front rows were filled "with a sea of hard, Jewish and (arguably) female faces."
Schmitz also described attorney Allred as a "slick butch lawyeress." Allred, who is the mother of a 20-year-old daughter, later told reporters, "Sen. Schmitz knows very well that I am not a lesbian, for he has met my husband on many social occasions including a party at my home and his son's wedding reception."
Senate president pro tem David Roberti, a Democrat, said that this was the first time since 1967 that a legislator has been removed from a chairmanship, and that the main reason for the action against Schmitz was the anti-Semitic remarks in his release. Schmitz later complained to a television reporter that his statements about Jews were not derogatory, and that he had not suggested they be put in ovens, as the Nazis did in World War II.
Schmitz did not attend the closed-door hearing, which lasted three hours. The senator's office later released a statement in which he characterized the Rules Committee action as "obviously that of a kangaroo court," stemming "from intensive pressure on the three Democratic members of the committee from the vast pro-abortion establishment."
The Rules Committee vote to remove Schmitz was 3 to 0. One Republican member of the committee was ill and unable to attend the meeting, and the other reportedly voted against removing Schmitz from the vice chairmanship and abstained on the two other votes.
The Rules Committee did not hear any witnesses, but during the meeting Roberti met in his office with four people, one of whom was Allred, seeking Schmitz's ouster. Schmitz supporters tried without success to arrange a similar meeting.
Schmitz is campaigning for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by S. I. Hayakawa in a Republican field that includes President Reagan's daughter, Maureen, and Reps. Barry Goldwater Jr., Pete McCloskey and Robert K. Dornan. Schmitz is a long-time member of the John Birch Society and in 1972 ran for president as the American Independent Party's nominee.