Letters

Closeted Concerns
Your article in the August 11 edition about the private life and public death of Frank Koury [by Brian Wallstin] was excellent. Koury's closeted lifestyle should serve as an example of the possible outcome of a life hidden deep inside the closet. Of course, while it is easy to point an accusatory finger at Frank Koury for his choice to remain so deeply imbedded in a closet of deception, it is necessary to understand the power of the societal and cultural forces which prompted Koury to play a game with disastrous consequence: a patriarchal, theo-fascist, homophobic society.

The victim in this deceptive game of mendacity is Sam Templeton. It is my opinion, from the information in the fine article, that Mr. Templeton should be entitled to every dime of Mr. Koury's estate. In fact, he is deserving of far more since Mr. Koury lied to him about the knowledge of his HIV-positive status for years.

This is a story with a multitude of angles and deadly transgressions. Mr. Koury's father, George, has no right, none whatsoever, to a dime of his son's estate. Here is another example of a family member intruding into the personal affairs of a gay son, a son whose life can be summed up in one word: deceitful. Shame on Frank Koury. Double shame on George Koury for continuing to inflict pain and anguish on Sam Templeton, and triple shame on a society which forces fine gay people to feel they must live a life shadowed in fear of exposure.

Don Sanders
Houston

Legitimize Commitments
I just finished reading "The Private Life and Public Death of Frank Koury" in your Aug. 11 issue. Again, the story of internalized homophobia and mercenary behavior at the death of an unmarried person turned my stomach.

During the period that I practiced law, I encountered some situations that suggest George Koury is not such a bad guy. He did attempt to make some settlement with Sam Templeton. The worst case I saw found the family of the deceased clearing the gay couple's house to the bare walls, including the personal belongings of the surviving partner, while everyone else was at the funeral home arranging for burial.

George Koury's remarks indicate that he believes, at the deepest level, his son could not have been involved in such a "despicable" relationship were it not for the actions of Sam Templeton. This is nothing new to members of the gay community or family relationships in general. His belittling beliefs that Sam Templeton is a gold digger drove his actions to take everything away from Sam. George Koury would have run up against common- law marriage statutes in Texas had Frank and Sam been an opposed-sex couple. Everything about their relationship supported an assumption of marriage under those statutes had only one of them been a female.

It is a constant of death and families that people are at their most mercenary, most despicable and most base when death knocks at the door. The addition of homosexuality just throws fuel on the family flames. Nonetheless, the belief structures of our society will not be altered until years after committed relationships of any character are legitimized. Once the courts and the written law compel the authority of committed partners, the balance of society will begin to respect those relationships.

One last note: has the vaunted Fulbright & Jaworski heard of conflict of interest? If a solo practitioner had represented both sides of a dispute such as George Koury's and Sam Templeton's, they would have been crucified.

Douglas J. Hord
Houston

Dark Clouds at F&J
I write in outrage of your article on Frank Koury. Whether you receive large quantities of similar letters or not, I can assure you of the dark cloud and disturbed feelings that shadow our law firm today.

Frank Koury was a fine, highly intelligent and distinguished young man who was regarded with the highest esteem at our firm. He has a right to his dignity and privacy. Your article written by Brian Wallstin and clearly dictated by Sam Templeton is nothing more than a cheap, vulgar display of a twisted, flaming mad and scorned lover who obviously had no respect for the reputation and dignity that Frank Koury had worked so hard to attain.

I am incensed that this article was allowed to be published. I personally took all the copies I could find and through [sic] them in the dumpster.

Fran Longmire
Fulbright & Jaworski
Houston

While Ms. Longmire is welcome to her opinion of the article on Frank Koury, she should know -- especially since she works for a law firm -- that to confiscate and dispose of copies of the Press is not simply a crude form of censorship, it's also a form of theft, and it is very definitely illegal.

-- The Editors

Critic Knocking
Q: Knock knock? A: Who's there?
Q: Someone who is so devoid of worldly experience and basic communicative imagination that I must rely on a single lame comparison for anything approximating failure, corruption or malevolence. The comparison of which I speak is one which I have gently nurtured -- if not kept on life support -- for years. The use of this comparison brands me as nothing but the whiny, obviously embarrassed (of the current administration for which I voted), evidently very young and extremely lackluster "reviewer" that I am. The particularly boring allegory that I wield all too often states that the period from 1980 to 1992 was the true Dark Ages and that Ronald Reagan and (especially) George Bush were sired by Satan himself. I am seemingly unable to expand the creativity of my pen while reviewing a movie (from Dave and In The Line Of Fire through It Could Happen To You and Clear and Present Danger) without comparing everything evil to everything Republican, nor am I able to wax optimistic or affirmative without referring to either of the Clintons. I couldn't write a review without stamping my little feet and whimpering about the last two administrations to save my life.

A: David Theis who?!
Fred Rogers
Houston

 
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