By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
Los Angeles, California
I am 100 percent in support of and in awe of the courage and determination of groups like SHAC and WAR. Abusing innocent creatures is the worst crime I can think of, in the same league as abusing innocent children. These helpless creatures, nonhuman no less than human, look to us for protection, and instead get treated like inanimate objects. I shall do everything I can to spread the word among people who I know care about the well-being of nonhumans to help assure that the evil Huntingdon Labs goes belly-up. As for the individual who sliced in half a screaming, writhing puppy, if I had the power to bring down on him/her an early and very painful, terrifying demise, I surely would.
Re Danial Adkison's "Bliss or Miss" [June 2127]: Whoever had the brilliance to focus on John Wessel and Billy O'Connor, I congratulate you. They are exceptional role models who, as gay business owners and humanitarians, are involved with every aspect of helping by sponsoring benefits and giving generously to numerous causes, and they're the sweetest LTR couple I have ever known. I am proud to have these two men as friends. Bless you, guys, for talking the talk.
As much as I enjoyed Adkison's story on the prospects for same-sex marriage in New York State, I was disappointed by his characterization of the passage of the Sexual Orientation Non- Discrimination Act (SONDA) in December 2002 as being the result of "a deal between the Empire State Pride Agenda, Pataki, and Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno."
Certainly the Pride Agenda played a key role in what was a 30-year struggle by hundreds of organizations and individuals, but I am surprised that the Voice did not mention the impact of openly gay state senator Tom Duane, who helped shepherd not only SONDA but also New York State's Hate Crimes Law, which passed in 2000, becoming the first law in New York State to specifically include protections for lesbians and gay men. We in the LGBT community often talk about why it's so important to have a seat at the table, and having Tom Duane in that seat in the state senateand lesbian Deborah Glick in the state assembly (who was joined in 2003 by openly gay assembly member Daniel O'Donnell)was critical to the passage of SONDA.
As the author of a gay-themed novel published this past spring, I was glad to see Edmund White's piece about the renaissance in gay fiction ["The New Gay Fiction," June 2127]. At least these worthwhile novels are seeing print even if they're not being brought to the attention of readers (I know I'll be picking up several of them based on White's descriptions). As a woman, a novelist, and a reader I know there are a lot of women interested in gay men's stories (witness the popularity of the film Brokeback Mountain), yet this type of fiction is never marketed to women, though women are arguably the main audience for literary fiction.
Nancy Kay Shapiro