A Clarification From GMHC

February 23, 2004

To The Editor:

As someone who attended the February 8 town meeting on crystal meth, I was surprised that the full context of the message delivered by Eric Altman was not conveyed in “Fight Against Crystal Demanded,” Feb. 19-25, by Duncan Osborne.

Mr. Altman, a GMHC manager, brought up an important poin––that we need to leave community meetings with a list of recommended action steps. Mr. Altman then presented specific examples of actions that were subsequently echoed by some members of the panel, including volunteering to network with friends and create open dialogues about the risks of using crystal.

It is only through partnership that we will be able to fight the dangers of crystal meth addiction and prevent the spread of HIV.

Lynn Schulman

Director of Communications,

Marketing & Community Relations

Gay Men’s Health Crisis

New York City

A Challenge for the Log Cabins, and All of Us

February 25, 2004

To the Editor:

Patrick Guerriero, executive director of the Log Cabin Republicans, has called President Bush’s endorsement of an anti-gay federal marriage amendment to the Constitution a “declaration of war on gay and lesbian families,” and “a dramatically bad step for the president.”

Guerriero warned the GOP that Bush has jeopardized the 1,000,000 gay votes he received in the 2000 election. Gay conservative columnist Andrew Sullivan has told Aaron Brown on CNN, “The Republican Party has lost the support of gay people for a generation.”

It is now more important than ever for gay men and women to engage in conversation with our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends and co-workers, over how damaging and hateful a federal marriage amendment is to our lives. If the GOP feels the political fallout from attacking gay people and our families, along the lines of what Guerriero and Sullivan have predicted, Bush’s radical position to write discrimination into our nation’s Constitution might mark the beginning of the end of LGBT people being used as a political punching bag.

Marc Paige

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Claiming Our Liberty

February 20, 2004

To the Editor:

As a part of the very next Gay Pride parade in Manhattan, what might be the impact of encouraging all participants to go and place flowers at the base of the Statue of Liberty?

The parade moves down Fifth Avenue and ends in the West Village before filtering into the dance parties. This year, if everyone got on the ferry and made this gesture, the flower pile would be high enough to make what is obvious to us more apparent to others.

I wanted to propose the idea to New Yorkers in print and give any reader permission to forward this to any other person or group that could make something happen.

David Valdez


Love and Marriage

February 23, 2004

To the Editor:

The gay Valentine couples who married the weekend of Valentine’s Day could not have picked a more appropriate time.

In ancient Rome, Emperor Claudius II cancelled all marriages and engagements, because he felt they discouraged men from joining the army and fighting his wars. When Valentine, a Christian priest, began performing secret weddings for couples, he was arrested and sentenced to be beaten to death and beheaded. Before his execution (Feb. 14th around 270 A.D.), Valentine left a note for the jailer’s daughter, who befriended him. He closed with “from your Valentine.”

His crime was for wedding couples who were legally forbidden to marry. Sound familiar? Maybe we haven’t progressed that much since then.

Frank Holland



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