Christine Quinn Becomes Council Speaker
January 11, 2006
To the Editor:
I want to thank Gay City News for your special editions congratulating my good friend, Christine Quinn, as she becomes Speaker of the New York City Council (“New Year, New Speaker, New Day,” by Andy Humm, “The Education of a Council Speaker,” by Paul Schindler, Jan. 5-11). I join my voice with yours in honoring Christine for her extraordinary leadership and vision for our city.
Whether passing Living Wage legislation in the New York City Council, expanding access to quality care as Health Committee Chair, or serving as Executive Director of the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, Christine’s tireless efforts have improved quality of life for thousands of individuals in our community. I applaud her commitment to diversity and dedication to equal rights for all New Yorkers.
As the first female, openly gay Speaker of the New York City Council, Christine has already shown her ability to inspire as a groundbreaking leader. I send her my sincere congratulations, and I look forward to continuing to work with her to do great things for New York City.
Hillary Rodham Clinton
January 5, 2006
I am very disappointed with your endorsement of now City Council Leader Quinn (“Christine Quinn for City Council Speaker,” Editorial, Dec. 29-Jan. 4). I spent a great deal of time myself looking into her background and opinions, and not only would I personally not vote for her for City Council, I would never vote for her to lead the Council. Just because she is a lesbian doesn’t mean she is the best choice.
January 06, 2006.
To the Editor;
Everyone is in luck. I’ve decided to keep my mouth shut as far as Christine Quinn’s being elected to the position of Council speaker is concerned. With the exception, of course, that I agree with one of the other politicians who stated in public print that, “if she starts hammering at Council term limits, then the honeymoon will be over.” Time will tell!
I also read the statement about the strong leadership that the Anti Violence Project has had over the years, and their accomplishments with the police department, complete with names that included those of Richard Haymes, and the present Clarence Patton. I seem to be missing a few facts. Would you please do an article in the very near future that informs us readers as to just what has been accomplished by them? After all, I’m all for giving credit where credit is due!
Perley J. Thibodeau
Upper East Side
Why Quibble With Equal Marriage Rights
January 7, 2006
To The Editor:
Reading the recent rantings against gay marriage in the Letters section of Gay City News, I had the distinct impression that I had mistakenly opened a page in the Focus on the Family newsletter! It’s truly stunning to me that people in our own community would argue against an issue of such fundamental relevance as securing full marriage equality for gay men and lesbians.
It is beside the point whether the institution of marriage is something gay people “should” care about. The fact is, marriage and its attendant rights and privileges are denied us because in the eyes of the law, same-sex couples are second-class citizens. Straight couples take for granted the myriad benefits and responsibilities inherent in marriage that same-sex couples can only dream about. For these reasons alone, marriage rights are worth pursuing. To be sure, we do our community a disservice, and risk playing into the hands of the right wing, when we diminish the importance of marriage equality in favor of other debatably “more important” issues.
Here’s the bottom line: Same-sex couples in New York cannot get married simply because of who we are and who we love. In contrast, heterosexual couples need only to go to the city clerk’s office, plop down the required fee, and receive a marriage license, no questions asked. It does not matter if they’ve known each other for two minutes, or 20 years; it’s immaterial if they even know each at all—if they are a man and a woman, they can get hitched. Any fair-minded person would acknowledge that this is nothing but rank discrimination.
My partner and I have been together in a loving and committed relationship for nearly 24 years and are raising a beautiful, well-adjusted teenage daughter. Yet, we are prevented from obtaining a marriage license because current New York law limits marriage to between a man and a woman. We are working in the courts to change this gross inequity by serving as co-plaintiffs, along with four other same-sex couples, in Hernandez v. Robles, the landmark marriage equality lawsuit filed on our behalf by Lambda Legal.
To those in our community who insist on questioning the merits of marriage equality, can we at least agree that marriage matters if only because we deserve the same right to choose to get married, or not, that our straight friends and neighbors enjoy?
Logo A No-Go
January 10, 2006
To the Editor:
Just recently, I e-mailed Logo with a really good, honest human interest story about my group, AVER, the American Veterans for Equal Rights, telling them this would be a totally great story and they proceeded to ignore me. (“Why is Gay TV So Mediocre?” by Doug Ireland, Jan. 5-11). As a Viet Nam vet and a 9/11 survivor, I am offended at the indifference of this so-called gay cable network television station. I have seen their documentaries and they are watered-down, to say the least. What lack of real substance and true stories. Who cares about some gay farmers in the Outback? Our veterans’ story is one of our men and women in the military who are being harassed, threatened, beaten, killed, and kicked out, simply because of their sexual orientation! Our group leader, Denny Meyer, is one of the key components of the war on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell and was instrumental in getting a resolution against it passed in the City Council.
If this isn’t a real-life drama being played out on a daily basis, nothing is. This is about us and our struggle to stand guard over a country which doesn’t even regard us as human beings worthy of equality. Our gay men women in the military are more at risk than any other group and it seems no one cares. I served two separate terms, the first in Thailand during the height of the Viet Nam war and the second during the days of Sergeant Leonard Matlovitch, who began the struggle for open gay service in the military. I have a story, but so do countless other ex-military and present-day gays in the Armed Forces. One thing we all share in common is our love and devotion for America, and our country has yet to acknowledge us as equal or worthy human beings. In a picture run in Gay City News from the most recent Veteran’s Day parade in Manhattan, I’m the one on the right-hand side, in blue, holding our banner, as we marched up Fifth Avenue to thunderous applause and gratitude with cheers and shouts of thanks all the way up! That was one Veterans Day parade I shall never forget!
James M. McDonald
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