Gay rights not a priority for Log Cabin
In his editorial, "Why I support John McCain" ("Who should get your vote?" Dallas Voice, Feb. 15), Rob Schlein made an excellent case for why his Log Cabin Republicans should not be given credibility by people concerned with LGBT equal rights: Log Cabin and its leaders don’t consider such rights to be their priority.
As Schlein points out, the best McCain has to offer our community is a belief in a "big-tent GOP." In other words, LGBT people are welcome to support Republicans but we should not expect anything in return.
This might be good enough for Schlein and Log Cabin, but it’s not good enough for me.
When I helped found the Log Cabin Republicans in Texas back in the early 1990s, it was because I believed LGBT people and our allies needed to advocate for equal rights within the GOP, to challenge the anti-gay zealots on their own ground. I walked away from Log Cabin when it became painfully obvious that the organization had been overrun with people like Schlein who would trade our civil rights for a tax cut.
I’ve since watched in disgust as they have twisted themselves into pretzels to find excuses to support truly awful candidates for reasons completely unrelated to gay and lesbian issues.
Whatever positive qualities John McCain may possess, he and his party have nothing to offer LGBT people. It’s also time for members of our community to recognize that the Log Cabin Republicans are about promoting Republicans to the LGBT community, not about furthering our rights through political engagement in the GOP.
Paul von Wupperfeld
Hillary has earned our support
I wanted to write to voice my strong support, as a gay man, for the candidacy of Hillary Rodham Clinton.
A number of years ago, I attended the New York Gay Pride Weekend. Suddenly, my friend and I heard the crowds going wild from blocks away. The roar of the crowd grew stronger and stronger as this celebrity of obvious fanatical appeal drew closer. We couldn’t imagine who it could be.
Suddenly appearing before us was Hillary Rodham Clinton dressed in a bright, spring-colored jacket. She was surrounded by delighted gay men and women. She was waving enthusiastically to the adoring and flabbergasted crowds.
We were all overwhelmed on that singular day that a former first lady and a U.S. senator was taking the bold and public step of recognizing and celebrating the gay constituents of her state and of her country.
I felt compelled to write to ask my gay brothers and sisters to walk with her now. Do it because she has tirelessly worked to improve conditions for the poor and the working class. Do it because she was the first person to present a universal health care plan to Congress when she was the first lady. Do it because she and her husband have fiercely supported equal rights for women and persons of color.
Do it because she has decades of experience and is highly connected nationally and internationally. Do it because the Clinton years were the most prosperous in recent memory, leaving the country with no national debt. Do it because she has high ideals, but also pragmatic, published solutions to the many critical problems facing us today. Do it because she will begin to implement those solutions during her first day in office.
Lastly, do it because she doesn’t just talk the talk. She walks the walk, just as she did in support of gay Pride on that sunny and happy day in New York City.
Fitzsimmons sets fine example for community
I am writing to thank you for John Wright’s excellent column about my old friend, Dallas County District Clerk Gary Fitzsimmons ("Fitzsimmons weathers LGBT political storm," Dallas Voice, Feb. 15).
Fitzsimmons brought leadership and direction to a department that was floundering. I second the call for LGBT candidates to step up to the call of public service. Nonpartisan city council seats as well as partisan county offices need to hear and see our voices.
I firmly believe that Fitzsimmons is a fine example of hard work and accomplishment. I hope that the next generation of LGBT leaders in both parties will step up to the plate of leadership. It was truly a joy and honor during my Dallas years to work alongside him on various Dallas issues.
I am always beaming with pride about the growth and accomplishments of my Texas home. I love reminding people from Washington, D.C., to New York that Dallas is more than big hair and pink Cadillacs. The North Texas community is a thriving economic and political powerhouse. I am proud to say that the LGBT community has a powerful voice and role in that development. Gary Fitzsimmons, Patti Fink, Carla Holbrook, Ed Oakley, Rob Schlein and others keep the tradition alive and well. Keep up the great work!
New York City
An open apology to gay softball league members
In the Feb. 15 issue of Dallas Voice, there is a story about something that I did in December ("Gay softball league out $2K). Many of you have already heard the rumors and the rumblings about it. First and foremost, let me "man up" and tell you that it is all true. There are no excuses, no lies, no other reason to give you anyone else to blame but myself.
I took $2,000 in league funds that belong to you. I want to make that clear that this money belongs to you, the members of the league and not to the board of directors or anyone else who chooses to make this personal. I am in the process of paying you all back. I have sent $400 already with the hopes of repaying it all over the next couple of months. I am not allowed to play gay softball in any city until such time as Dallas reports that the money has been completely paid back.
I would ask that each of you, as members, realize that if what I did was so easy to accomplish, that you also should question how much more of your money might have disappeared.
From the moment that I took the money I knew what I was doing was wrong. I won’t even begin to tell you why I did it, because it doesn’t matter. I did a terrible thing and I understand that this one negative thing I did can make me look bad from now on. I accept that, and I deserve to have all of you hate me for it. I ask you all to forgive me, but I don’t expect forgiveness from anyone. I have never denied cashing the check for the $2,000, but I have lied about it to many people and I am so sorry.
To the members of the Pegasus Slowpitch Softball Association, I am truly sorry for taking the money from you and I will pay every dime of it back, no matter how long it takes. I do ask that, if at all possible, you think back and remember all the good things I might have done for you as a member of the league and try to weigh that in with the bad things I have done. If you still cannot forgive me then I understand.
Friends for the Future of Broadway a misnomer
I have been a member of Broadway Baptist Church for 19 years, and have seen both the good and the bad that is "family."
Broadway is certainly a diverse group of individuals. Many are from other denominations and have found this church a safe and welcoming place to search for God.
But the group that calls themselves Friends for the Future of Broadway is certainly, in my opinion, a misnomer. They are neither friendly nor concerned about the future of the church.
While everyone is entitled to stand up for what is important to them, there also comes a time when differences must be put aside for the greater good. I feel that Broadway has been severely damaged by these well-meaning, if misguided, folk. Society changes from one generation to the next. It is a natural progression. We’ve seen it in many areas of past social concern: slavery, women’s right to vote, the Equal Rights Amendment, legalization of abortion, civil rights the list goes on and on.
We all bring something to the table. When hatred and vitriol flourish, we are all diminished in some manner. Over the years, I have freely given of my monetary and leadership gifts, and Broadway has openly accepted them. As a gay member, I have spoken out against the seeming discrimination and marginalization of the gay membership.
We are all on the same life journey. Are we not to be challenged along the way? Are we not to embrace our brother? When we reach the end of our journey and face our maker, then, and only then, will we have our lives’ questions answered and know the mind of God.
Scott W. Green
Don’t blame victim for murder
I read David Webb’s column in the Dallas Voice, "Stephenson’s death may offer bitter lesson on life" (Dallas Voice, Feb. 15).
As a gay man who has been a victim of a hate crime, I must say I was offended at the subtle insinuation that George Stephenson’s murder may have been his own fault due to his "risky behavior." I had several other people read it, and their opinion was the same as mine. I would hope no future juror at Robert Lester Canaga’s trial would have read this article.
We all make mistakes. No one walks the white carpet of life without having stepped in dog poo occasionally. A lapse in Mr. Stephenson’s better judgment certainly does not dismiss the fact that a psychopath brutally murdered that poor man in cold blood.
Instead of a judgment call on Mr. Stephenson, Webb’s column space would have better served the gay community as an outcry for swift justice for Canaga, and a warning to other gay bashers that the LGBT community and the legal system will no longer tolerate their inhuman behavior.
I have no problem with the death penalty for heinous crimes and hope Canaga gets exactly what he dealt Mr. Stephenson.
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This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, February 22, 2008.