By Chris Lane
By Jeff Balke
By Aaron Reiss
By Angelica Leicht
By Dianna Wray
By Aaron Reiss
By Camilo Smith
By Craig Malisow
Stuart Eskenazi ["Rogue Elephant," September 3] both overstates Log Cabin's enthusiasm for Governor Bush and understates Governor Bush's very public jabs at anti-gay elements in the GOP. As a gay GOP precinct chairman, I can tell you Eskenazi is wrong on both counts.
Although most of us like Governor Bush and think his heart is in the right place on matters of basic fairness to gays, we have no illusions that he is going to be our most vocal champion in the near future.
Bush's broadsides against the religious right are not limited to his criticisms of the state party officials for their vicious attacks on gays. He also distanced himself from Senator Trent Lott's remarks that homosexuality is a "sin" by saying that it is not his job to decide who is going to heaven and who is going to hell. He also publicly criticized the social conservatives on the state Board of Education for disinvesting in Disney. Bush knows the difference between being a political leader and being a religious leader. He knows he was elected governor, not archbishop.
Tell your reporters to try to give their work at least the veneer of objectivity. It makes them sound more credible.
Parts of the article are just schizophrenic. Eskenazi digs up former Log Cabin members and quotes them fretting that Log Cabin is selling out to the religious right in the GOP. Then he quotes a single Republican consultant for the proposition that Log Cabin is threatening "party unity" with its opposition to this same religious right. So which is it? Is Log Cabin a lap dog or an attack dog? Eskenazi likes it both ways.
Eskenazi cites only anonymous Log Cabin sources for the idea that state Senators Jeff Wentworth and Bill Ratliff are our bosom buddies in the Legislature. Then he ridicules the idea that they are allies of gay civil rights. During an interview I, for one, directly contradicted such notions. But that comment didn't make it past Eskenazi's editorial pen.
Next time you decide to do a story on Log Cabin, please consider sending a professional.
Condemn the Consultant
Your slash-and-burn article on the Log Cabin Republicans quotes a Republican political consultant in Austin as saying that Log Cabin should not have protested its exclusion from the state GOP convention because such actions hurt "party unity."
As a former GOP precinct chairman, I am ecstatic that someone in the party is standing up to the vicious anti-gay attacks we have seen in the past few months. Such intolerance and hatred is what is hurting our party.
What would this political seer in Austin have advised blacks who were shut out of the Democratic Party in the South back in the '50s and '60s? Thank God they fought back and thank God gay Republicans are doing the same. It's high time that decent Republicans, like Senator Jeff Wentworth, come out of their political closets and stand beside them.
Miffed at Maxey
It is outrageous for state Representative Glen Maxey to suggest that all gay Republicans care about is their vacations at the expense of those suffering from AIDS. Although Maxey may not know it, because he apparently knows very little about Log Cabin, we have lost several of our members to AIDS. Others of us are living with it. The rest of us have cared for people with it. In Washington, especially, Log Cabin has effectively lobbied for drug-assistance programs and secured Republican support for such programs at levels above what even President Clinton has proposed. Maxey disgraces himself and his office with such intemperate and uninformed insults. I know he's in a tougher re-election battle this year than in the past, but that's no reason to take it out on those who have sacrificed and lost because of a disease that threatens us all.
And Disgusted at Dianne
In your recent piece on the Log Cabin Republicans, Dianne Hardy-Garcia is quoted with a remark strongly implying that Log Cabin does not respect "diversity" within the gay community. Her accusation seems a strange one, coming, as it does, from one who has so often used her organization to attack gay Republicans as political oxymorons.
Perhaps Ms. Hardy-Garcia could also benefit from some diversity training. Log Cabin recognizes that the gay community consists of people of more than one color, culture and gender, and welcomes help and support from any member of the gay community who offers it.
Sexual orientation may be genetic. Political affiliation is not. Winning souls over for social change requires evangelists of many political faiths. Gay Republicans should not be ostracized and vilified by the very people who will ultimately benefit from the changes they are working to bring about -- least of all by one who claims to be a leader in that movement.
Jeffrey L. Dorrell
I don't know whether to throw up at how ridiculous this whole article was ["PC Follies," Insider, by Tim Fleck, August 27], or make another dick joke ! Come on, everybody! Grow the hell up. If you saddle a celebrity with the nickname the "Big Unit" and then expect there to be no connotations or sexual innuendo related to that, you're either really naive or really ignorant. By the way, I loved the comment that to turn a proud nickname into something salacious is disgusting. Please!