Letters to the Editor

Raspberries for Schindler

March 14, 2006

To the Editor:

I have in the past advocated that all people but especially politicians should not march in the New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade on Fifth Avenue because of the refusal of the Ancient Order of Hibernians to allow Irish gays and lesbians to march under their own banner. Irish teachers, police officers, firefighters, schools, and colleges all march under their banners; Irish gay groups should also. However, I believe that Christine Quinn should march this year. 

Ms. Quinn should lead the City Council contingent because she is so vocally Irish, lesbian, a woman, and a New Yorker. Her presence would guarantee publicity for Irish and Irish-American gays and create a presence in the parade. It is precisely for “the sake of the LGBT community” that I must disagree with Paul Schindler of the Gay City News (“Quinn Must Draw a Firm Emerald Line,” Mar. 9-15). She would prove the Hibernian disinformation campaign wrong by her walk up the Avenue.

Kevin P. Coogan


March 13, 2006

To the Editor:

I disagree with editor Paul Schindler’s editorial concerning Speaker Quinn which was printed last week.

Some 15 or so years ago, there were no LGBT people elected to the New York State Assembly, Senate, or the New York City Council. Speaker Quinn was a major catalyst in changing that for good. All the while, she has continued to be a generous and highly effective community activist, contributing time and expertise to countless community forums, projects, and demonstrations.

Because politics is often reduced to a practice of the art of the possible, rather than raised to a practice of achieving ideals, people, more often than not, tend to soften and trade down their values in exchange for a strengthening and trade-up in power.

I have yet to see Speaker Quinn soften, or trade-down, her support for our LGBT community. Moreover, I have yet to see Speaker Quinn make a major miscalculation in strategy in her efforts to support community issues.

As a community, I feel that we are very hard on one another, especially our leaders. Each of us has taken, and continues to take, innumerable risks and to sacrifice everyday just to live as we were meant to live in this world. It is hard not to be demanding of our leaders.

It has been many years since St. Patrick Parade-goers threw beer all over Mayor Dinkins and the LGBT contingent marching with him. A lot has changed since then. Maybe an openly lesbian, Irish City Council speaker proudly marching at the head of the parade could be the beginning of an entirely new relationship between our community and the Hibernians.

I for one believe it is in our community’s best interest to support our City Council speaker with all the leeway she needs to be a great speaker for all of New York.

Sheri Clemons


Denying the Deniers

March 14, 2006

To the Editor:

Your treatment of the recent Harper’s story on HIV, “HIV Denials in Harper’s Faulted” (by Duncan Osborne, Mar. 2-8) is very unfair and one-sided. You seem to be very against dissenting views. Shame!

The writer says the Harper’s article is full of holes but never gives any proof as to why. The whole idea seems to be to put down so-called “AIDS Denialists” and to demonize.

Terry Dobbin

Via e-mail


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