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Hollywood

Will West Hollywood Name A Street After Movie Star and AIDS Activist Elizabeth Taylor?

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Wed, Mar 30, 2011 at 8:00 AM

click to enlarge HIV/AIDS activist Elizabeth Taylor
  • HIV/AIDS activist Elizabeth Taylor
West Hollywood City Council members are known for their dedications, proclaiming such things as "Ozzy Osbourne Day," "Slash Day," and the list goes on.

Those rock legends are great (both of them happen to be gay-friendly, by the way), but WeHo council members may want to consider a tribute with a bit more heft...

Naming a West Hollywood street after movie star and AIDS activist Elizabeth Taylor, who passed away last week.

According to Michelle Rex, interim deputy for Councilman John D'Amico, West Hollywood residents have been calling and writing City Hall, making that very suggestion.

Rex says there has yet to be a formal discussion about the proposal among city leaders, but the public's call for an Elizabeth Taylor Way is certainly legitimate.

Local HIV/AIDS activists told L.A. Weekly that Taylor was a major, early force in raising money and awareness to combat the deadly disease that was killing thousands and thousands of gay men.

AIDS Healthcare Foundation president Michael Weinstein pointed out that at a time when many people in Hollywood and across the country were silent about AIDS, Taylor took on President Ronald Reagan for not acting more quickly to fund AIDS research.

In a city with a gay and lesbian population of around 40 percent and an international reputation as a gay mecca, it seems more than appropriate for West Hollywood to dedicate a main thoroughfare after Taylor.

The New York Times, in fact, reported last week that Taylor was a regular at The Abbey in West Hollywood, hanging out with gay folks and sipping shots of Tequila. She was practically a local.

West Hollywood City Council members -- four out of five of whom are gay -- have historically loved voting for official bans and proclamations, beating other metropolises to the punch on a variety of issues. Now they have a chance to do something truly deserved and something residents very much want.

What do you think West Hollywood City Council members John D'Amico, John Duran, John Heilman, Abbe Land, and Jeff Prang should do?

Contact Patrick Range McDonald at pmcdonald@laweekly.com.

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