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About Just out. (Portland, OR) 1983-2013 | View Entire Issue (July 7, 1995)
jumt o u t V July 7. 1 9 0 5 V 3
Remove pariah status
To the Editor:
Inga Sorensen missed the real value of gay and
lesbian civil rights legislation in her article [“Down,
but not out,” Just Out, June 2,1995] on the Pamela
Seidel vs. Albertson’s Inc. case. Such legislation
has little practical value because it is extremely
difficult to prove that somebody has been fired
because of homosexuality. Employers can almost
always find some convenient excuse other than
homosexuality to terminate lesbian and gay em
In a May 10,1993, New Republic article, openly
gay New Republic editor Andrew Sullivan wrote
that only 1 percent ofWisconsin’s anti-discrimina
tion cases were gay-related although that state has
had state gay rights legislation for over a decade.
Few homosexuals were willing to go through the
hassle and public exposure of a court case to win
back their jobs. Even if Seidel should win, she
might expect to find herself on the garbage detail
scrubbing floors and cleaning up rotten fruit in
produce cold storage.
If we want real results ending employment
discrimination we might best work through com
pany by company, starting with Portland’s
Albertson’s supermarket chain. A little pressure
on Albertson’s might do wonders considering how
competitive the supermarket business is. Blanket
sexual orientation laws have lead to some counter
productive situations. A gay Boy Scouts of America
employment case is presently working its way
through Chicago’s judicial system.
So what good is gay and lesbian rights legisla
tion? I believe we really support gay rights because
it legitimizes us and helps remove us from our
It is the legitimization of homosexuality, not
civil rights, that outrages our enemies. Homo
sexual civil rights and marriage legislation (even
proposed legislation) has repeatedly resulted in
fanatical anti-homosexual crusades by religious
fundamentalists. These, in turn, have brought large
numbers of gays and lesbians out of the closet. And
that has been the real value of gay and lesbian civil
Homosexual women and men are America’s
ultimate social rebels, because we challenge the
traditional family structure and female and male
roles central to traditionalist social philosophy.
The overwhelming majority of heterosexuals are
also involved in this social change, but we are at the
very center of the vortex of change. The tradition
alists, most of whom are religious fundamentalists,
figure if they can exterminate us they can destroy
all social change and return America back to their
comfortable world of Ozzie and Harriet.
Gay and lesbian civil rights and marriage leg
islation is counterproductive if we allow our fun
damentalist enemies to use it to destroy us and turn
America into a theocracy. Only about 25 percent of
the public presently supports us as legitimate mem
bers of society, and we must expand that base to
include the 35 to 40 percent of the public who are
ambivalent about us. Most ambivalents lead lives
which are not very traditional, and if we can
persuade them that the religious right and OCA
threaten them as well as us, we will put our funda
mentalist enemies out of major party politics.
Craig A. Hanson
Blunders and faux pas
To the Editor:
Over the years, we have overlooked your occa
sional blunders and faux pas. Because you are the
voice of our community, we do not hold you to the
same standards of professionalism that we would
expect from more well-funded publications. And,
hey, we all make mistakes. However, when it
comes to giving credit where credit is due.. .enough
In your June 2 issue, you printed a collage of
wonderful photographs portraying our past Gay
Pride celebrations. Three out of seven photos are
actually the work of Linda Carter, not Linda
Kliewer. Again, on page 17, two out of three
photographs also are the artwork of Linda Carter.
(Also the photo of Bob Ralphs on page 9.)
Linda worked many hours to produce a collec
tion of work, some of which she sold— basically,
donated— to you because she wanted to help our
cause. All that she has asked since is that when you
print her photos you print her name. She has never
billed you for re-use as do your other photogra
phers. If you want to tout yourselves as being
patrons of the arts, especially the art produced by
members of our own community, then show some
professionalism and respect within your own me
I have ignored your continual misrepresenta
tion of Linda Carter’s work in the past, because it
has never been to this degree. There are many
artists among you, you must recognize our senti
ment. (Linda Carter is my partner. I know what
kind of time and energy goes into her work.) I’d
like to believe that we would not be so careless.
That we might employ some ethics. What if it was
you...your artwork, with my name on it? Get the
You know I support you all, and I commend the
important work you do, but friends are for telling
other friends to get their shit together when it’s not.
Kate O ’Halloran
Editor’s note: Thank you fo r pointing out the
error o f our ways. I f you saw our photofiles, you 'd
understand how this could happen. Not that that is
an excuse. We o f course value Linda Carter and
her work, and we will be much more diligent in the
future regarding accurate photo credit.
To the Editor:
The evening of Wednesday, June 7 ,1 received
a telephone call from none other than the Citizens
Alliance of Washington’s Sam Woodward— who
most probably was utilizing the services of Life
line America’s long-distance service, whereby 10
percent of his monthly long-distance bill goes
towards the effort to curb queer rights.
Sam and I have practically become regular
telephone confidantes—ever since I requested from
the Washington secretary of state’s office a copy
of the CAW’s latest homophobic initiative, only
to discover the secretary’s office forwarded my
telephone number to Sam for follow-up.
“I understand you seem to have a problem with
our organization,” Sam began, and when I asked
him to explain, I received the information that he
had a copy of “a magazine called Just Out with a
letter from you in it.”
I explained that Lifeline America’s sales pitch
claiming ATT and MCI promote child pornogra
phy gave me cause for concern. Sam referred,
without providing specifics, to congressional in
quiries linking both ATT and MCI to 1-900 num
bers accessed by children, and cited the example
of a man who discovered his 12-year-old son had
run up a $600 phone bill calling various 1-900
“Correct me if I’m wrong,” I responded, “but
I was under the impression that child pornography
referred to pornography which exploited children,
not pornography utilized by children.”
Apparently sensing a hardened case on the
other end of the line, Sam retreated to the issue of
gay rights, referring to the fact that ATT supported
the Gay Games—and then quickly disengaged
from the conversation.
Sam did manage to mention that perhaps he
should remove my name from his database.
Margaret Deirdre O ’Hartigan
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