Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 17, No. 12, Ed. 1 Friday, July 21, 2000 Page: 4 of 80
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Gays' complacency about AIDS must end
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Let me get this right. A "new" study in San
Francisco shows that the increase in unprotect-
ed anal sex is leading to an increased number
of new HIV infections? Why does it take a new
study to tell us that? Did the scientific evidence
from the studies conducted in the early 1980s
— which proved that to prevent HTV infection
one needed to practice safe sex — only apply
to the virus in 1980?
What has changed? From a personal stand-
point, it has been 12 months and 7 days since I
last buried a friend, compared to 1984, the year
I buried an average of 6 friends a month.
The gay community has definitely become
complacent. And I can see how. When I open
the pages of Dallas Voice or Poz magazine and
view the ads for the anti-HIV drugs on the
market, I see buffed, healthy HIV-positive men
and women sitting on top of a mountain they
have just climbed.
Let's get honest — how many HIV-positive
individuals do you personally know that have
recently climbed a mountain? As an HIV posi-
tive individual, there are days that I can barely
climb a flight of stairs.
If you think for one moment that the simple
answer to an HTV infection is to pop a,few
pills, I beg you to think again. Talk to HIV pos-
itive individuals who have been on these
drugs for several years, and educate yourself
as to the long-term physical effects these drugs
have on our bodies. Granted, these drugs have
provided me with an extended life for which I
am grateful, but the quality of my life is
nowhere near the level it was prior to my
If we speak up now, perhaps we can stop
the dangerous trend recently documented by
the study in San Francisco. Don't think for one
minute that this is merely happening to gay
men in San Francisco. In 1980 while the major-
ity of the gay community was in denial about
the mysterious "gay cancer" in San Francisco
and New York City, HIV had already quietly
infiltrated the bodies of gay men across the
This trend of unprotected sexual "freedom"
is very frightening to me. It is my hope and
prayer that our community learns from our
past history of this disease.
Article on Greens, Nader unfair
I disagree with a number of points in your
July 7 story about the Green Party and its pres-
idential candidate, Ralph Nader.
I made it clear to your reporter that I could
not speak for the Nader 2000 campaign and
that I was a spokesperson for the Green Party
of Texas. Despite that, I was repeatedly and
inaccurately referred to as the "spokesman for
the Green Party."
Mr. Nader's poor showing in 1996 is
explained by the fact that he was not actively
campaigning. This year he is polling at
between 7 and 10 percent nationwide.
The article states that Ralph Nader has " ..
. has disavowed some of the party's official
agenda" but does not substantiate this claim.
Ralph Nader said in the press conference at the
National Nominating Convention in Denver
that he supports the Green Party's platform,
despite being an Independent.
The story refers to the "gonadal politics"
statement made by Mr. Nader in 1996 (Nader
was quoted by The Baltimore Sun as stating that
abortion rights and same-sex marriage rights
were "gonadal politics") as "a skeleton that
still hangs in his closet." This is an inflamma-
tory statement that has no place in objective
journalism. The article quoted neither Mr.
Nader nor anyone on his staff about this four-
year-old statement. When I was asked about
Mr. Nader's "gonadal politics" comment, I
told the reporter, again, that I could not speak
for Ralph Nader and gave him the name and
number of Ralph Nader's press secretary,
The article quotes Sean Cahill, research
director of the Policy Institute of the National
Gay and Lesbian Task Force, saying that Ralph
Nader does not support same-gender mar-
riage. But other than a few speculative quotes
by Mr. Cahill, the article offers nothing to sub-
stantiate this claim.
The article gave considerably more space to
critics of the Green Party and Ralph Nader.
The Stonewall Democrats' spokesperson
claimed the Green Party's platform was "over-
ambitious and unrealistic" on gay rights. Does
this person seriously believe that it's realistic
to expect gay-friendly public policy from the
party that gave us "Don't Ask, Don't Tell?"
and which flatly refused to involve itself in the
gay marriage battle?
The Democratic spokesperson also repeat-
ed the tired line that a vote for Ralph Nader
would ensure a victory for George W. Bush.
But this statement is nonsense. Polls show Mr.
Bush leading over Al Gore in Texas by 47 per-
cent. A vote for Mr. Gore is meaningless in
Texas. As for the Republican criticism of the
Green Party platform, the Log Cabin
spokesperson seems to be essentially saying
that Republicans could not support the Green
Party platform because it isn't Republican
enough. Does this gentleman really expect
Republicans to find the platform of an opposi-
tion party to be palatable to them?
(Editor's Note: Neither Ralph Nader nor his
press secretary Laura Jones returned our reporter's
repeated phone calls requesting comment for the
Hypocritical talk from NOW
Let's get this straight. Yolanda Clark,
described as being "black and Jewish," said
about the Promise Keepers, "They try to woo
African American men to legitimize their
movement and ward off criticism. They think a
few colored faces in the crowd will make them
look inclusive." Now doesn't that sound like
mountain-top hypocrisy? Clark, a token black
of NOW, criticizing Promise Keepers. Makes
no sense at all.
Police-community forum not a first
Your July 14 article on the police forum at
the Gay and Lesbian Community Center
quotes Deputy Chief of Central Operations
Danny Garcia as saying, "It was a first-of-its-
kind forum between the gay and lesbian com-
munity and the police department."
The Dallas Gay & Lesbian Alliance estab-
lished a relationship with the Dallas Police
Department under Chief Rathburn and contin-
ued to build that relationship under Chief Ben
Click. The DGLA held annual meetings for
many years between the community and the
DPD which were regularly attended by Chief
Click and Sgt. Lynn Albright : hn W'imberley
has always been the driving force behind this
relationship and deserves much thanks. I'm
glad to see that Deputy Chief Danny Garcia is
taking over the relationship between our com-
munity and his officers. I hope he understands
the history, longevity and hard work that have
gone into building that relationship.
JULY 21, 2000
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Vercher, Dennis. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 17, No. 12, Ed. 1 Friday, July 21, 2000, newspaper, July 21, 2000; Dallas, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth615461/m1/4/: accessed October 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.