By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
Send letters to the editor to: L.A. Weekly, P.O. Box 4315, L.A., CA 90078. Or fax us at (323) 465-3220. Or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters, which must be typewritten and include a daytime telephone number for verification, may be edited for purposes of space or clarity.
Overstated and overrated
Re: “Gay Shame” [June 9–15]. The L.A. Weekly has once again allowed Douglas Sadownick to ramble endlessly in a poorly thought-out mishmash of circular logic and hoary overstatement. First of all, Sadownick offers little to justify his unwavering support for Clinton despite the man’s repeated betrayal of gays. A Republican president would be excoriated for such miserable legislation as “Don’t ask, don’t tell,” which has been linked to an increase in harassment of gays in the military. Then, while freely admitting that Bush is largely an unknown quantity on gay issues (he has at least met with the gay Log Cabin Republicans), Sadownick has the nerve to compare a Bush win in November to Hitler’s ascension to power in the early 1930s. How does he expect to be taken seriously as a journalist?
Regardless of who becomes president in November, gay civil rights will only advance when a majority of voters support them. Radical activists and anti-assimilationists do little to advance that goal. In fact, the threatening, hyperbolic tone used by people like Sadownick has probably done more to undermine gay causes than all the Dr. Lauras and Senator Knights combined.
Also, you might want to rethink the “Jesus Christ was gay” photo caption. I know all you hip urban liberals think that kind of thing is funny, but there are an awful lot of Christians in this country (some of whom are not even right-wing extremists) who find such statements patently offensive. Can gays really afford the political capital such antics undoubtedly cost?
I like reading the extreme-left perspective of the L.A. Weekly, but I’m growing bored with filtering the offensive bile out of the articles. Is it your goal to turn others away? Insulting and skewed remarks litter Weekly articles like a Tijuana street. Is that the rep you guys are going for — offensive liberal rather than liberal offensive?
—Cullen McGraw Los Angeles
While I agree with Mr. Sadow nick that the prospects of Bush Jr. as president are rather scary, I think his article is deeply flawed. The comparison with Weimar Germany and the Jews is ridiculous at best, offensive at worst. Furthermore, the whitewashing of Clinton as the great president of gay America is ill-informed. Clinton has failed to effect lasting positive change on gay issues; hiring gays and lesbians is not going to have much effect beyond his presidency, as Mr. Sadownick points out himself. The last president to effect lasting change was Bush Sr., under whom the ban on gay and lesbian immigrants was lifted. Most of the progress in the last few years is due to state courts declaring anti-sodomy laws unconstitutional, as well as supporting gay and lesbian families (e.g., in Vermont).
—Robert Grimm Seattle
Let’s not forget Clinton and Gore completely wimped out on gays in the military and haven’t put any teeth into hate laws. Republican gay bashers live at the extreme radical fringe of the GOP and, as such, are nonplayers. Bush may not talk the talk of the two-faced Clinton, but he’s politician enough to know that he can’t afford to alienate this constituency. Let’s get real here. Clinton isn’t and never has been a supporter. He may say he is, but his actions prove otherwise.
—Tony Assenza Canoga Park
Regarding Douglas Sadownick’s article “Gay Shame,” I have to question the thought process of a writer who calls Bush’s policies “Orwellian” then proceeds to cry because these policies will be a detriment to so-called “hate crime” bills. Adding additional punishment to a criminal because of what he was thinking or what he believed at the time of the crime is Orwellian in its own right. It is also unequal protection under the law.
—Cam Cannon Los Angeles
I am greatly disturbed at being misquoted in Doug Sadownick’s article. I never said that “Personally speaking . . . Clinton has been a disaster on all levels,” and, as should be obvious from some of the other quotes attributed to me in the article, I don’t believe that. I spoke at length with Sadownick and made it clear that I think Clinton has done more for lesbians and gay men than any prior president. His weakness in dealing with ongoing discrimination in the military and marriage does not erase his important contributions to gay equality.
In addition, I did not say that the Romer vs. Evans decision “won by one vote, 5-4.” I told Mr. Sadow nick that this landmark gay civil rights case won by two votes, 6-3, and that the two-point win was due to Clinton’s appointment of Justices Ginsburg and Breyer. I know that when reporters work without a tape recorder, they sometimes have to reconstruct quotes, but it is upsetting to have quotes put in one’s mouth that contradict either the facts or one’s actual views.