Letters to the Editor

  • Tuesday March 21, 2006
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Top 10 reasons to censure the president

10) Preemptive war on Iraq based on lies and deceit.

9) Illegal electronic surveillance of countless Americans.

8) Active support of torture and other despicable acts.

7) Complicity in rigging and stealing elections.

6) Criminal responses before, during, and after Hurricane Katrina.

5) Tanking a robust economy and driving the U.S. into incredible debt.

4) Blocking dialogue and actions around climate change and global warming.

3) Dubai ports deal (now unfolding with the Carlyle Group)

2) Unfettered cronyism, corporatism, and corruption.

1) Nine eleven.

Tell our U.S. senators to support Senator Russ Feingold's resolution to censure the president.

Chico Palm

San Francisco

Cool on Clinton

Let me get this straight, virtually every major Democrat running for statewide office in the state of New York is openly for gay marriage, but not Hillary Clinton? Why is that? Could it be that Clinton, as a presidential candidate, needs to run well in the 2008 Southern primaries?

Clinton says a marriage is a sacred bond only between a man and a woman. She said it on the Senate floor. Her husband signed the Defense of Marriage Act. Both Bill and Hillary know how to take our money, take our support, and then triangulate the LGBT legislative agenda into a political football.

There is no reason why the LGBT voting community should be wild about Hillary running for president as long as she is against gays taking vows but not against taking gay political support.


Michael R. LaPaglia

Wilton Manors, Florida

Did Democrats drop the marriage ball?

Assemblyman Mark Leno, a leader of our community who I admire greatly, worked tirelessly to move the marriage equality bill through both houses of the legislature last year. Then it went to the governor for signing. For days, the bill sat on his desk.

One morning, while watching the news, there was a report that Arnold Schwarzenegger would be in Mexico. Then it hit me. California law allows the lieutenant governor to sign any pending bills while the governor is out of the state. I began making phone calls to Senator Jackie Speier, Senator Carole Migden, Assemblyman Leland Yee, Leno, and even the lieutenant governor, Cruz Bustamante, himself.

With each call, I was passed to an assistant who would take my message and "get back to me." Except for the lieutenant governor's staff, who boldly told me "it's an election year, the lieutenant governor won't do something like that because he's still considering a run for governor."

Each staff member of our elected officials called me back that day to tell me "this is not an option."

I think it was pretty clear that at that time, Bustamante was not a viable candidate for governor. He had nothing to lose by signing this landmark legislation and it was the duty of our officials to pressure him to sign it.

Needless to say, the governor returned from Mexico and vetoed the bill, as expected.

To this day, we could have equal marriage legalized, based on the California Constitution. So, who dropped the ball?


David Parker

San Jose, California

High cost of war, DADT

My lover recently returned from Iraq. He is in his mid-20s, as were most of the people with whom he served. His "war stories" are far different than mine and quite disturbing.

As a Korean vet, I receive, to this day, every GI benefit that was offered, i.e., the GI loan, money for higher education that I do not have to reimburse, hospitalization and prescription drugs that I do not have to pay for, and my death will be covered with a full military burial, and my lover gets the flag.

He, having served much more rigorous duty than me, gets next to nothing. This administration has soured me for having served and I am all but ashamed to be an American.

Young people like him went over with little training and faulty equipment. He got shot at, but never hit. He told me if he had been, he "might not have returned to my loving arms."

This Bush war has cost all of us a generation of "the cream of the crop" – 16,000 amputations, 9,000 head and severe brain injuries, and over 2,000 dead.

"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" has had 10,000 of us gay people discharged, with an additional loss of 1,000 key personnel all the way up to top security clearances. Many of those key personnel were medical and language specialists.

Along with the idiocy of these actions, it has cost taxpayers $365 million from the start of DADT.

A dishonorable or bad conduct discharge will follow you all of your life. As a gay man, hooking up with gay friendly employers was not easy. I did five years in the Air Force and 20 with the New York Police Department. Not too friendly.

I ask myself and our gay community: What the hell are we doing about it? We have allowed this administration to diminish our armed forces, and pan our brothers and sisters. I do not hear any bitching about it. Why?

Wayne Smith, USAF (Ret.)

San Francisco

A 'failure to serve'

The Rainbow Sash Movement charges the Archdiocese of Boston with a failure to serve, as Jesus taught us to do ["Catholic group to halt adoptions in Boston – San Francisco next?" March 16] . We live in a world where the lives of born children are being threatened daily, and yet we put so many other things ahead of their needs. For the archdiocese to turn its back on children is akin to the archdiocese turning its back on the Gospel values the church is suppose to promote. I think there is a lot of anger to go around.

However, if there is only anger and no reason, we sink into endless finger pointing. It is natural to demonize those you don't like, it just makes it right. It is more difficult to build bridges, and outreach your hand. So should we judge all the Catholic bishops by the actions of a few? What of the bishops across the country who allow LGBT families to adopt, and do it very quietly? What about options for women who are pregnant who want the baby and cannot afford it? What about Catholic Charities, which does a wonderful job in not being judgmental, and allows LGBT parents to adopt. Should we, like the Archdiocese of Boston, throw out the baby with the water because we can't have it all our way?

The Archdiocese of Boston has committed an abortion of faith, it is putting other issues ahead of the very real needs of born children. Not all archdioceses and dioceses handle it the same way. Perhaps it is time to listen to Jesus and find another way. What I say to my community is what I say to my church: this is a very complex and difficult time, let us reach out to each other and try to find a way.

Joe Murray, U.S. Convener

Rainbow Sash Movement

Chicago, Illinois

AIDS activist remembered

We should all take a minute today to be grateful that Robin Ortiz Young was a member of our community for a few, far too few, years. She passed away last week.

Robin was one of those women who joined the fight against AIDS with strength, wisdom, and talent. She cared for folks, taught classes, designed services, and was always ready to move the agenda. More than 2,000 HIV counseling volunteers in the Bay Area got their training from this remarkable woman.

In addition, she challenged us all to be better people, to honor and understand diversity, fight racism in all of our work and take nothing for granted. 

The goal of a community and society based on equality and justice was possible and required of us all.

We were lucky to have this great teacher among us and we are sad that she is gone way too soon.

Thank you Robin, we will carry on, as you taught us to.

Steven Tierney

San Francisco