February 28, 2013
To the Editor: Thank you for putting forth some rational and well-argued insights (“LGBT Community Center: A Bad Policy Ended Badly,” by Paul Schindler, Feb. 27-Mar. 12). You have shed much needed “light” rather than “heat” on what quickly became an explosive and divisive issue in our community. I look forward to hearing Sarah Schulman speak and reading her book too.
February 28, 2013
To the Editor: Paul Schindler performs a real service to our community in documenting the tortured gyrations, machinations, and obfuscation characterizing the Center's on and then off, and on again, and off again ban on “organize[ing] around the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” And he prepares us for more to come with the implied warning that a hate speech gambit may yet be in the offing.
I was elected to the founding Board of Directors of the Center in 1983 and served for four years. Our vision for the Center encompassed a balance among three key aspects, of which providing services was but one: we needed a place, an alternative to the bars, where people could come and socialize and existing organizations and organizations-to-be needed office and meeting space. The Center was conceived as the place in the city where the action was to happen-— and sometimes the action can get hot and heavy. Playing off one key function against another was unthinkable.
That vision refutes a particularly galling rationale given for the ban: “The Center has been forced to divert significant resources from its primary purpose of providing programming and services to instead navigating between opposing positions involving the Middle East conflict.” Schindler says, “Baloney.” I say, “Bullshit!”
The Board of Directors of the Center must take responsibility for this debacle and defilement of the original vision. Those on the Board responsible for this fiasco must step down, and while so doing they should take their mouthpiece, Glennda Testone, with them.
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