Letters to the Editor

  • Wednesday May 16, 2012
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Letters to the Editor

Milk vessel a good idea

It's regrettable that Supervisors Christina Olague and David Campos withdrew their support for Supervisor Scott Wiener's resolution calling on the U.S. Navy to name a vessel after Harvey Milk ["2 out supes withdraw support for Milk naval ship resolution," May 10] .

Olague explained that Milk "had an anti-war, anti-military philosophy toward the end of his life." No doubt. In the 1970s, the military was extremely hostile to gays and lesbians. But the battle over the right for us to serve openly in the military has been won, and we won it. Now when we say "the military," we're not talking about an institution that repudiates us: we're talking about one that includes and represents us, and one that offers career opportunities to gay, lesbian, and bisexual young people.

Let's also keep in mind that in our country, the military is under civilian control. Our sad misadventures in the Middle East are a public failing and not the fault of the military, which is required to carry out the orders of the commander in chief. Our objections to those orders should be directed toward the people responsible for them.

Imagine the powerful message a military vessel bearing Milk's name would send to gay, lesbian, and bisexual people not only in America but around the world " a message that would also be seen and heard among those nations who continue to deny the human dignity and rights of their LGBT citizens.

I find it very hard to believe that somebody who fought so hard and for so long as Milk to win equality for us all would object to Mr. Wiener's proposal. In fact, I think he'd be awed that in a quarter of a century we'd go from fighting for the right to keep our jobs and be free from persecution to debating whether or not we want to submit for consideration his name on a military vessel that includes among its complement openly gay and lesbian enlisted personnel and officers.


Logan Decker

San Francisco




Time stands incorrectly

The clock above 463 Castro Street should be set to keep the correct time or removed from the building. A functioning clock would be an asset to the neighborhood.


Phil Points

San Francisco




No word about Mormon polygamy

Amidst all the right-wing hoopla over our president endorsing same-sex marriage, and the conservatives' righteous sputtering about how the "institution" has always been defined as being between one man and one woman, I find it fascinating that none utter a peep about the Mormon traditional support for the " still-existent " practice of polygamy.

Leaving aside many other cultures and social traditions, which have celebrated loving and committed life bonds in a variety of ways, I smell rank hypocrisy in their stampede to attack Barack Obama for standing up for the core issue of social equality while so studiously ignoring Mitt Romney's roots and the original founding principles of his Mormon faith.


Adrian Brooks

San Francisco




Obama's 'evolution' is a little late

So Barack Obama finally came out in favor of gay marriage. Big deal. How short our memory is.

In July, 2009 when being interviewed at the Gerald Ford Foundation former Vice President Dick Cheney was asked, "Is some form of legalized gay marriage inevitable in the U.S.?" Cheney replied, "Well, I think that freedom means freedom for everyone. ... I think people ought to be free to enter any kind of union they wish, any kind of arrangement they wish."

On the September 13, 2011 episode of The View Barbara Walters asked Lynne Cheney her opinion about gays. Her reply, "As you know Dick and I have a daughter who is gay with a wonderful partner and two wonderful grandchildren." On the same show, when asked his opinion on gay marriage, Mr. Cheney said, "You ought to have the right to make whatever decision you want to make."

So Obama's sudden support of gay marriage during a re-election campaign is obviously a little late. I must admit his timing does make a lot of sense, the next day his campaign received $15 million from a fundraiser in Beverly Hills. I would like to know if the first lady even has an opinion she might be allowed to publicly state during the campaign.


Tom McCloskey

Burlingame, California




LGBT center helps people

I would like to take a moment to come to the defense of the LGBT Community Center. In his letter published May 10, Mr. Morris seems to suggest that the center serves no valuable purpose in our community and should be shut down. While I can agree with the gentleman that the facility does need to be better maintained I cannot agree that its programs are a waste of limited public funding. Over a year ago I stumbled into the center unemployed, homeless, destitute, and in poor health. I was new to San Francisco, I was unfamiliar with the city, and had nowhere and no one to turn to. It was the staff and programs at the center that helped me figure out how to access health care, get into a rehabilitation program, and eventually find employment. Today I am a happy, healthy, sober and productive member of our community thanks in part to the wonderful people and resources I found at the center. Like any other organization the center has its share of obstacles but our community would be better served by helping solve the problems rather than ending its service.

David Clayton

San Francisco




Center volunteer weighs in

As a regular volunteer at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center's front desk, I couldn't be prouder of the work currently being done by the center's dedicated staff, including its facilities team, all of whom combine to make the center a welcoming and vital space for the Bay Area's LGBT community.

If you're looking for work, you can get free one-on-one counseling throughout all the stages of your job search. If you're a self-identified woman, and want to begin the process of producing an affinity group, stop by and ask for more information. If you're young and want a place to make friends and/or access the many services available to gay and lesbian youth in this city, you can join us for Youth Meal Night every Tuesday at 5 p.m. If you're involved in the many wonderful programs of SF Openhouse, you know the center as your host. And that's not even the beginning of what you can find at the Center.

In short, if you want an answer to a question, or help of any kind, walk through our front door. There are no forms to fill out " just friendly, knowledgeable volunteers and dedicated staff members who believe in our community. We take care of each other in this city, and the center helps make that possible.


Dan Stewart

San Francisco


Center is a source of support

For the past four years, the LGBT Community Center has been a tremendous support in my life. When I first came to the center, it was to obtain help to adjust to my new life in San Francisco. The staff was kind and courteous and really amazing. As a person with disabilities, they helped me with several problems. I continued to use the center for many reasons, such as support groups, and when I was in dire circumstances the center helped me out at every level. I was even able to pick up my mail at the center. They were extremely helpful to this lower income person who was out of work, including giving me advice on budgeting and payment of bills. They also provided health information pertaining to my diabetes and other health issues, including proper behaviors to avoid STDs. I was also able to use their computer when I needed to. It is not an exaggeration to say that the center saved my life.


Mark Pettis

San Francisco