By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
GAY RIGHTS OVERKILL
Re: Doug Ireland’s “Dating the Anti-Gay Backlash” [August 8–14]. I don’t know what is more pathetic, the retrograde hatefulness of the current “gay backlash” or the screechy, pushy tactics from left-wing gays that caused it. Yes, it’s amazing that nearly three and a half decades after Stonewall we are still arguing such basic precepts as the right of consenting adults to have privacy in their bedrooms and the need for government and business not to discriminate socially or economically against any of its citizens.
But let’s face it: Gays have long taken those battles as basically won. And they basically were. How often do people really get convicted under arcane sodomy laws? Haven’t most major employers adopted “domestic partnership” policies to extend the same insurance and other benefits to its gay employees that everyone else enjoys? Instead of building methodically on those gains while maintaining a positive public image, GLAAD and other gay political organizations have been waging war on any public or private group that espouses religious convictions that do not accept homosexuality (and that’s most of them). They have defended explicit sexual messages in advertising and promoted homosexual education to schoolchildren. Quiet assimilation has long been discarded as a goal by gay leadership in favor of in-your-face queer activism.
Just how many Boy Scout troops need to be starved into extinction through loss of funding from charities and government agencies? How explicit do “safe sex” ads have to be? How young must schoolchildren be to be given condoms and taught about “alternative lifestyles”? This is not about what’s right or fair. The fact is that if a group has yet to communicate its basic right to exist, then it certainly isn’t ready to take on such sacred institutions as the Boy Scouts, public schools and marriage. Sounds like the gay mafia needs the services of a good consigliere.
RIOTS SUCK TOO
I’m so tired of Erin Aubry Kaplan’s paranoia and knee-jerk faux radicalism that Imay have to start breaking windows. Let me get this straight: Kaplan is actually complaining that the Stop the Violence/ Increase the Peace Foundation implored Inglewood residents not to riot after the Jeremy Morse verdicts [“Quiet Riot,” Cakewalk, August 8–14]? Yeah, those damn sellouts, how dare they imply there might be a riot after a police officer is not found guilty for beating up a black person! Instead of bitching about how people perceive the Inglewood community, maybe Kaplan ought to be grateful that, as riots and crime decrease and nonviolent protest increases, the perception is likely to change. The verdict sucked, and Jeremy Morse sucks, but riots suck too. Kaplan is so caught up in looking for racism everywhere that she misses the real story — that Inglewood residents protested loudly and visibly, that there was no riot (no thanks to Kaplan) and that Morse will likely be retried.
There are two points to be made in response to Kaplan’s piece. First, her statement “Last week’s acquittal of Morse . . .” is incorrect and she knows it, since later in the article she acknowledges that the case will be retried. The jury hung on the conviction of Morse, and a mistrial was declared. Second, all the talk about rioting and the pre-emptive moves to quell possible rioting is based on an underlying assumption that anything other than a conviction of Morse will be a denial of justice. If Morse is convicted, not because the evidence presented to the jury compels it but because the jury fears an acquittal will lead to rioting, what sort of justice is that?
—David M. Marcus
I want to commend the outstanding article written by Jeffrey Anderson entitled “Ghosts in the Machine” [July 4–10]. The article had a tremendous effect on the lives of these individuals. Since the article’s release, Vera Reyes was released pending his appeal. Moreover, Mr. Leyva’s case has been closed so that he may seek release from the district director. This is a miracle because the judge could have denied any relief to him and made him appeal, a course that would have resulted in negative results for Mr. Leyva. Mario Avendano has also been released, but I do not know the terms of it, so I cannot report.
This demonstrates the power of the press. But I believe only a good writer could have had this effect; therefore, I am giving great thanks for the tremendous effort of Mr. Anderson for his major contribution in this respect. Please give him my thanks.
DUMB AND DUMBER
Nikki Finke’s “Barbarian at the Gate” article [Deadline Hollywood, August 15–21], about how Arnold’s candidacy provides “air cover” for Democratic/progressive/Hollywood types, was well-argued. However, I’d disagree with Finke where she says Streisand, Sheen, Sarandon, Robbins, Penn and Garofalo, et al., are no better- or worse-qualified than Arnold to run for public office. Although I’m not necessarily voting for him (Lord knows, we have enough Republicans) Schwarzenegger has qualifications the others don’t: 1. He helped run and pass an afterschool initiative last year. 2. He has a college degree in business. Streisand is a proud graduate of Brooklyn’s Erasmus Hall High School, while Sheen’s Internet Movie Database biography begins, “Purposely flunked his college entrance exam to the University of Dayton so that he could pursue an acting career instead.”
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