Too Much Whining
May 27, 2005
To the Editor:
“Victim, victim, victim”—these are the words that immediately come to mind after reading “Cops on the Lookout” by Duncan Osborne (May 26-Jun.1). This article is so riddled with bias and cries of victimization that I almost heaved my lunch. What Mr. Osborne and the defense attorneys fail to admit is that these are not “victims” that we should feel sorry for but miscreants who can’t keep their pecker in their pants.
And this is not about the “Republican” judges hearing these cases, which is the usual fallback position for gays who won’t accept responsibility for inappropriate behavior nor is it open season on gays and not heterosexuals. What this is about are individuals who lack a moral compass, be they gay or straight, and then blaming it on police officers doing their job. Stop using your gayness as reason to be irresponsible.
Ingrid E. Barnes
A Tradition of Laying Wreaths
June 2, 2005
To the Editor:
In reading your article about the wreath laying by the American Veterans for Eqaul Rights (AVER) on Memorial Day, I felt compelled to point out that they are newcomers to that scene (“Memorial Day Includes Gay Vets,” by Stefen Styrsky, Jun. 2-8).
Under the formal auspicies of the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, DC. (GLAA) and as a gay World War II combat veteran, I personally have conducted such a wreath laying on Memorial Day every year since 1980, in solemn honor and memory of all of those who have died in all of our nation’s wars including, but not limited to, the many gay servicemembers who have so died. We conducted our 26th such ceremony a little later in the same afternoon than the one by AVER described in your article. In order to obtain authorization for our first such ceremony in 1980, we had to take the Department of the Army to court. Along with GLAA, I intend to continue such annual Memorial Day ceremonies at least until the military gay ban is rescinded.
Franklin E. Kameny
Washington, D. C.
Lack of Vision at Health Department
June 3, 2005
To the Editor:
After reading your recent article concerning the tactics of Dr. Thomas Freiden regarding the policing of sex in bars and clubs and gyms in the city, I feel compelled to comment. I accuse Dr. Freiden and his department of being unimaginative and short sighted. (More Stringent Sex Club Inspections, by Duncan Osborne, May 26-Jun. 1).
Wasting resources by sending inspectors into clubs and other facilities is nothing short of a scandal. He does this because he can. I suggest that this tactic does nothing to reduce the spread of HIV. Dr. Freiden apparently argues that he must enforce the relevant state laws. Fine, but he certainly has discretion about where to spend his limited funds.
The law also states that you must not jaywalk or honk your horn unnecessarily, but I have not noticed the police enforcing these particular laws. They have better things to do. So does Dr. Freiden.
As far as I can tell, he does little or nothing in the positive sense to prevent HIV transmission. Why, for example, is it necessary for private groups to fund the placement of posters in Chelsea warning of the dangers of crystal meth? Why is the health department not doing this? Why are they not providing free condoms in all bars and other public places where gay men meet? Why are they not holding frequent public meetings to explain the latest medical advances? Why do they have no imagination at all?
I suggest that Dr. Freiden and his staff visit any of a number of major European cities, such as Paris, Berlin or Madrid. Nearly all the bars in Europe permit back-room sex, yet their HIV transmission rates are lower than in NYC. Surely even a person of limited vision, such as Dr. Freiden, can learn something from this. Has he never heard of the Internet? There are at least several dozen sites where it is easy to meet men for sex, safe or not. His tenure as commissioner is nothing short of an embarrassment. He should resign.
Dr. William R. Bauer
Ph. D., Microbiology
Chelsea Quality of Life on the Hudson
May 28, 2005
Duncan Osborne is correct in his criticism of the Hudson Park Patrol officers (“Touch at Your Own Risk,” May 19-25). These “officers” refused to help me last summer for over an hour when my dog collapsed one summer night on the walkway/bike path near Charles Street, even though three cyclists rode up and told them there was an emergency and I needed help. A fourth cyclist insisted they come and help me bring the dog a few blocks to Bethune Street where my car was parked so I could rush her to the vet. By the time they arrived, my dog Espressa had died.
Maybe they were too busy monitoring what gay couples were doing or not doing on the pier. My neighbors helped me bring her body to my car, and I never received an acknowledgement or apology from Hudson Park Trust although I reported the incident.
Dr. Jacqueline Taylor Basker
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