September 20, 1996 Issue No. 23

P L A G A L

M E M O R A N D U M

Post Office Box 33292
Washington, DC 20033
Tel: 202-223-6697
Fax: 202-265-9737
Internet: plagalone@aol.com

A Newsletter for Members and Friends of the

Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians

PLAGAL WILL GATHER AT QUILT

TO MOURN OUR DEAD AND DEFEND THE LIVING

The Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians will gather over the weekend of October 11 and 13, 1996, in Washington, D.C., to honor those among us who have lost their lives from AIDS and to plan future efforts on behalf of those whose lives are threatened by abortion on demand. PLAGAL's Board of Directors -- and any other interested and active PLAGALites -- will meet 2:00 P.M. on Saturday afternoon, October 12, 1996, at Joe Beard's residence, 1747 "S" Street, Northwest, Washington, DC, and we will end with pizza and beer. There will be a Candlelight March on Saturday, October 12, 1996. We will spend Sunday, October 13, 1996, at the Quilt, which is being displayed on the Mall.

Among the issues which must be discussed and hopefully resolved will be increased local activities, new tactics to address the lesbian and gay community, publicity, media relations (both straight media and lesbian and gay media), special group outreach, fund-raising, lesbian and gay religious groups, and speakers for straight pro-life groups and gay fora.

PLAGAL is advised that local branches of the Names Project are arranging transportation from various cities in the Northeast to Washington, DC, over that weekend. PLAGALites should contact the Names Project locally or in San Francisco (415-882-5500) to determine if any form of mass transit is available. Anyone planning to attend who will need sleeping accommodations should contact the National Office immediately. PLAGAL Members in the Washington, DC area are urged to contact the National Office if any are able to provide sleeping space for those attending the October Gathering.

DONALD C. MONROE

1951-1996

Don Monroe, the organizing Vice-President of PLAGAL in 1991, died on May 8, 1996, of complications due to AIDS. Don directed PLAGAL's benevolent activities in support of the Bowie Crisis Pregnancy Center, and participated in a number of Marches for Life, both under PLAGAL's banner and on his own. He was active in Libertarians for Life and the Maryland Libertarian Party, which nominated him for Lieutenant Governor in the 1988. He worked in a number of charitable activities within the Leather Community. He was a good friend. Requiescat In Pacem. We'll Miss You.

1996 ABORTION SURVEY

INTRODUCTION

It has long been declared that the gay community is a monolithic entity comprised of ideological robots who spout some standard "party line." Educated individuals have come to understand, however, that there is much greater diversity within groups than between groups.

Members of PLAGAL chose to launch a study on the pro-choice and pro-life issue to test this assertion of diversity within the gay community by performing a nation-wide survey.

METHOD

One major city was targeted with the most intense interview techniques. That city, Cleveland, was canvassed at a popular gay festival and meeting, as well as all organizations of record regardless of political, religious, or gender affiliation were asked to participate in the survey. A large portion of respondents from the East Coast portion of the survey were not included in the sample space because the actual survey forms were stolen on the day of collection.

The response to the survey, while rather low, was quite revealing. The data presented in the following table does indeed show a great deal of diversity in terms of demographics as well as opinion.

The survey spread throughout the country by word of mouth as well as by the intent of the individuals leading the study. The survey was included in several nationwide newsletters of gay and bisexual affiliated groups.

CONCLUSION

In the short space allotted here, it would be impossible to adequately discuss all of the interrelationships among the data. Therefore, it will suffice to say that the purpose of the study, to disprove the notion that the gay community's stance on abortion can be rattled off in one or two pat sentences, has been accomplished.

Of particular significance is the fact that a full forty percent of the respondents stated that abortion is wrong. Incredibly, the demographics of the respondents showed virtually all religion, political, racial , gender, sexual orientation, and age group were represented. Again, while the sample space was by no means randomly selected, it is complex in nature, demonstrating extreme diversity. The sample space was distorted to some degree by the fact that a number of surveys were stolen (received at a Boston Gay Pride Festival). It can be inferred, however, that these surveys would have only served to further support the initial premise of diversity within the gay community on the issue of abortion.

This study clearly demonstrates the need for further investigative work on the subject of gays and the topic of abortion. The relationships among the different demographic categories and their individual impact on the outcome of a study would prove to be fascinating.

Throughout the collection period, it was obvious that the topic of abortion in the gay community provokes every conceivable emotion known to humankind--even the emotions that would cause someone to steal surveys in order to negate the study.

Such an act is obviously provoked by ignorance, perhaps the same ignorance that causes heterosexuals and other outsiders to view the gay community as a monolithic amoral entity devoid of individual opinion. Such ignorance can only be cured by education. It can only be hoped that the results of this study have in some way added a tiny grain of knowledge to the world that can be used to educate both gays and straights alike.

 PROFILE: HOW PEOPLE DESCRIBED THEMSELVES: 311 surveys

CATEGORY

ACTUAL #

 

Gay

149

47%

Lesbian

99

31%

Bisexual

39

12%

Male

132

42%

Female

100

32%

Straight

28

9%

Transsexual

1

less than 1%

Republican

41

13%

Democrat

137

44%

Other

45

14%

Liberal

89

28%

Conservative

34

10%

Socialists

22

7%

Libertarian

21

6%

African-A

16

5%

Asian-A

0

0%

Native-A

14

4%

Hispanic-A

6

1%

White

57

18%

Other

55

17%

0-18

10

3%

19-25

51

16%

26-40

156

50%

41-65

73

23%

66+

5

1%

HIV+

6

1%

Atheist

16

5%

Agnostic

36

11%

Catholic

71

22%

Protestant

77

24%

Jewish

14

4%

Other

74

23%

In this category [Religion -- Other] the following religions were mentioned - Anglican, Baptist, Brethren, Buddhist, Christian, Christian Science, Deist, Eastern Orthodox, Eastern Thilos, Episcopalian, Evangelical, Lutheran, Metaphysical, New Age, Non-Denominational, Pagan, Pentecostal , Spiritual Eclectic, Taoist, Universalist Unitarian, Wiccan, and Zoroastrian. They were not counted individually because each fell below 1%

PRO-LIFE SPECTRUM

(QUESTIONS DERIVED FROM THE ROPER POLL)

Participants were asked to choose the statement that matches their own personal belief. Since we were only interested in the responses from the gay/lesbian/bi sexual/transgender community, those who responded as straight were not counted in the calculations below. Percentages are more than 100% due to the fact that some individuals checked more than one category.

ACTUAL

%

CATEGORY

     

24

8%

Abortion is wrong (i.e. should be unlawful) under any circumstances.

35

12%

Abortion is wrong, except to save the life of the mother.

27

9%

Abortion is wrong, except to save the life of the mother and in cases of rape and incest.

9

3%

Abortion is wrong, except to save the life of the mother and in cases of rape, incest, and infant deformity, disease, or retardation.

23

8%

Abortion is wrong, except to save the life of the mother, and in cases of rape, incest, and infant deformity, disease, or retardation, and where the child is unwanted and will not have a good quality of life.

42

15%

Abortion is permissible for any reason until the fetus can survive outside the womb.

35

12%

Abortion is permissible for any reason except to select the sex (or sexual orientation) of the child.

44

15%

Abortion is permissible for any reason the woman chooses, at anytime during the pregnancy and no legal restrictions should be imposed, including parental notification and -- no delay for informed consent.

56

20%

Abortion is permissible for any reason the woman chooses, at anytime during the pregnancy, and no legal restrictions should be imposed, and the government should pay for the procedure if a woman cannot afford the expense.

9

3%

Undecided

11

4%

Other - People in this category did not fit into any of the above selections.

9

3%

Personally felt it was wrong but felt it should be legal. Since 3% of those polled wrote this in, we added this to the list and not under other.

PLAGAL LOCAL CONTACTS

ALABAMA: Martha Goodson

1308 Plum Tree Trail No. "B"

Birmingham, AL 35226

(205) 822-8296

72763.3211@compuserve.com

BOSTON: Michael Dubson-Sage

10 Ferndale Avenue

Dorchester, MA 02124

(617) 825-5866

CLEVELAND: Cecilia Holesovsky

Post Office Box 609001

Cleveland, OH 44109

(216) 734-8178

CONNECTICUT: Philip Arcidi

U-200 Box 67 UCONN

445 Whitney Road Extension

Storrs, CN 06269-9012

(860) 427-6811

DENVER (LISOL):

Gabriel Hermelin

Elijah Crane

1375 Pearl Street; No. 4

Denver, CO 80203

(303) 837-8073

INDIANA: David Horne

Post Office Box 7891

Bloomington, IN 47407

(812) 336-6959

dhorne@indiana.edu

IOWA: Juan M. Jorge Ramirez

(319) 358-6527

ramirez-jorge@uiowa.edu

LOS ANGELES: Moses Remedios

516 West 31st Street: No. 21

Los Angeles, CA 90007

(213) 742-1790

remedios@hsc.usc.edu

MINNESOTA: John R. Stanek

5053 Washburn Avenue South Minneapolis, MN 55412-2225

(612) 929-6160

NEW YORK CITY: Mike Flannery

Expectant Mother Care

210 East 23rd Street: No. 5-R

New York, NY 10009

(212) 260-7320

OMAHA: Elizabeth Bejan

2328 South 32nd Avenue

Omaha, NE 68104

(402) 341-8328

PHILA: Charles F. Volz, Jr.

10935 Ellicott Road

Philadelphia, PA 19154

(215) 632-4685

volzcf@aol.com

ROCHESTER: Donna M. Kearney

Post Office Box 10035

Rochester, NY 14610

(716) 442-6399

SAN JOSE: Steve Cook

Post Office Box 4848

San Jose CA 95150

(408) 286-7357

WASH. DC: National Office

P. O. Box 33292

Washington, DC 20033

(202) 223-6697

plagal one@aol.com

PLAGAL ELECTS

NATIONAL OFFICERS

The Annual Meeting re-elected PLAGAL's National Board of Directors. Retained in office were Philip Arcidi, of Boston, MA; Joe Beard, of Washington, DC; John Buckley, of Fairfax, VA; Steve Cook, of San Jose, CA; Martha Goodson, of Birmingham, AL; Cecilia Holesovsky, of Cleveland OH; Donna Marie Kearney, of Rochester, NY; Betty Ann Keener, of Chambersburg, PA; Tom Sena, of Washington, DC; John Stanek, of Minneapolis, MN; and Chuck Volz, of Philadelphia, PA. PLAGAL's name was not changed.

The Board then continued Philip Arcidi as President and Joe Beard as Secretary-Treasurer. All other directors are ex-officio Vice-Presidents.

"Gosh We Hate To Ask, But We Really Could Use Some Money!"

You may have noticed that the PLAGAL Memorandum has not appeared in your mailbox with its usual regularity this year. The answer is not entirely the summer doldrums, but rather money!

PLAGAL is in somewhat of a financial crunch as of late. With a growing mailing list and the cost of putting out a newsletter (hint, you're reading it), the financial resources we currently have are not sufficient to meet the demands of running this organization. As we grow and become more active both in the gay and pro-life communities, we are going to need to establish a solid base of financial supporters. Would you please consider sending us a donation today? Also, if you know of any friends who have money they just don't know what to do with, we ask that you encourage them to support the work of PLAGAL.

ROCHESTER DONATION!

On August 20, 1996, PLAGAL received the following letter:

"Approximately 15 years ago, the members of Corpus Christi Parish decided to tithe 12% of their annual collection to charities and organizations that are not part of [their] ongoing parish activities; and to help people with various needs. This year, members of the Tithing Committee have agreed to send a donation in the amount of $1,175.48 to [PLAGAL]."

PLAGAL responded:

"We cannot express in words our gratitude for this support, which comes at a time of financial crisis for our organization: We were literally wondering where the funds to print and mail our next newsletter -- let alone copies of brochures addressing the lesbian and gay community -- would come from. Your help will make possible the significant continuation of our work within the community that is the focus of our efforts."

CLIPPINGS AND CONTACTS

As has become our custom, we would like to remind our readers that PLAGAL needs the names (and addresses, voice and fax numbers, and now e-mail addresses) of local gay and lesbian media. When anything appears in the lesbian and gay media discussing the Pro-Life movement, or in any media discussing PLAGAL, Please, PLEASE send it to us. We do not have -- and cannot afford -- a clipping service or subscriptions to the multitude of lesbian and gay media. We are always discovering -- some months after the event -- that we were mentioned somewhere.

meanwhile. . .

The March 22, 1966, issue of The Battalion, the campus publication at Texas A & M University, published an article discussing advances in genetic science and its effect on public thought about abortion. The local student pro-life leader, Sara L. Grasso, responded approvingly, and provoked some interest by mentioning PLAGAL.

Indiana University's Daily Student, on June 17, 1996, ran an article by Scott DeNardo, head of IU's lesbigay organization, OUT, describing and discussing the experience of an IU PLAGALite at King's Island's Gay Day. DeNardo noted "We all know homosexuality crosses boundaries such as race, color, religion and national origin, but why does the gay community tend to have this attitude that we are all liberals who vote Democrat and pro-choice. Usually there is no tolerance for variation." Right on, Scott!

PLAGAL PROBES

LOG CABIN

SAN DIEGO - On the weekend of August 9 - 11th Log Cabin held its sixth annual national convention at the Lafayette TraveLodge in San Diego (yes that's right, but it was a really nice Travel Lodge with swaying palms and a swimming pool). In attendance were PLAGALites Moses Remedios and Joe Beard. We arrived with buttons and brochures hoping our presence might encourage some of our brothers and sister to come out of their pro-life closets.

Boy did it ever work! Beard, who has braved these waters in the past, was aware of the "friendliness" if not out-right political alliance that has existed between Log Cabin Republicans (LCR) and pro-abortion Republicans. While we certainly did find "pro-choicers" in our midst, the majority of those in attendance were somewhere in the mushy middle, not really identifying with either side. Much to our surprise, we did find several (just how many? we lost count, but it was a lot more than we expected) that did identify themselves as pro-life. We were thanked on many occasions for being there to counter the attitude that some were feeling that in order to be a good homosexual you also have to be pro-abortion rights.

It appears LCR is recognizing that its membership does not fall lock-step with the pro-abortion establishment. In a special media training session LCR members were instructed to avoid the issue of abortion. If pressed to give a response, they were to say that LCR does not take a position and that they have both pro-life and pro-choice members.

The keynote address for the Saturday luncheon was delivered by Chandler Burr, author of A Separate Creation (see last issue of PLAGAL Memorandum). At one point in his speech, Burr advanced the notion that if there is, as suspected, a genetic link to homosexuality, then the possibility exists that there could be a test that would determine the sexual orientation of an unborn child. If this proves true, then it is more than likely that unborn children will be aborted simply because they are gay. At the conclusion of the luncheon, Beard and Remedios stood at the exit handing out the "Abortion As Gay Bashing?" blue brochures to underscore the argument advanced by Burr.

By the time the convention was over we established new contacts in Texas, Florida, New Jersey and California.

The Log Cabin Convention was held in conjunction with the 1996 Republican National Convention in San Diego, and it should be noted that within that convention, the cordial reception of lesbians and gays was apparent. When Log Cabin announced its support for the Dole-Kemp ticket, it spoke from the podium of the Republican National Committee's press room; when the pro-abortion forces spoke, they screamed from across the street at the protest area.

PLAGAL BOUTIQUE

The Membership Form -- always the last page of the PLAGAL Memorandum -- now contains space to order PLAGAL buttons, bumper stickers, T-Shirts, and flyers. Order Now!!

PLAGAL Meets "Stewart Smalley" (really Al Frankin)

SAN DIEGO - On August 13, PLAGALites Joe Beard and Moses Remedios (not wearing our "PLAGAL hats") attended the "Whale of a Party" put on by Phyllis Schlafly's Republican National Coalition for Life at Sea World in San Diego.

It was an incredible gathering of the nation's pro-life leaders. One of those attending was Christian Coalition's Ralph Reed, whom Moses immediately congratulated for his surprising interview in The Advocate -- Ralph was probably shocked that anyone there had ever heard of The Advocate, let alone thought his appearance on its pages was a good thing. Then he saw Joe Beard and remembered that PLAGALites are, indeed, everywhere. While making our way to the lunch buffet, we were alerted that Al Frankin, creator "Stuart Smalley" the popular Saturday Night Live self-help guru, was harassing the attendees with his camera crew, asking, mostly mid-west middle to elderly women if they had ever had an "homoerotic fantasy". Jumping at the opportunity, Beard and Remedios rushed over to Frankin. When asked why we were at the event, Remedios (who is an avid, die-hard fan of Stuart Smalley) responded, "Because we're good enough, smart enough, and doggone it! People like us!

Remedios then went on to praise his self help hero for bringing him out of the pit of despair... well, it was self-hatred really! But thanks to Stuart Smalley and the steps of the Program he was doing much better. Frankin somewhat surprised to find a fan in this crowd began to ask the question when Remedios asked it for him. "Have I ever had a 'homoerotic fantasy'? Yep!," looking right into his eyes, "With you... I love you man," then looking at the camera, "and I'm not ashamed to say it!"

Frankin, beaten at his own game and uncertain of Remedios' sexuality, decided to end the interview. A middle-aged woman who had watched in disbelief asked, "Did you just tell him you're gay?" Lady, work with us puh-leeze!

MEMBERSHIP FORM 1996 DUES ARE

PRO-LIFE ALLIANCE ALWAYS WELCOME

NAME:_______________________________________________________________________________

ADDRESS:___________________________________________________________________________

CITY/STATE/ZIP:______________________________________________________________________

TELEPHONE MAY PLAGAL

HOME:___________________________________________________MESSAGES BE LEFT?_________

MAY PLAGAL

OFFICE:__________________________________________________MESSAGES BE LEFT?_________

MAY PLAGAL

FAX:____________________________________________________MESSAGES BE LEFT?_________

INTERNET

ADDRESS:______________________________@___________________________________________

HOW DID YOU LEARN

ABOUT PLAGAL? _____________________________________________________________________

JOB/WORK AREA/

PROFESSION: ________________________________________________________________________

PRIOR PRO-LIFE

EXPERIENCE (Details Count!): ___________________________________________________________

PRIOR LESBIAN/GAY/BISEXUAL

ORGANIZATIONAL EXPERIENCE: ________________________________________________________

PARTICIPATION

Willing to organize/coordinate a local PLAGAL group? _____

Willing to join a local PLAGAL group?_____

Willing to distribute literature at local Pride or similar event? _____

Wiling to speak for PLAGAL at civic or college group? _____

STATUS: ________ Member ________ Mailing List Only

DUES, CONTRIBUTIONS & PURCHASES:

Annual Dues: $10.00 ______ Contribution: $ ________

Buttons _______ @ $1.00 = $ ___________

Bumper Stickers _______ @ $1.00 = $ ___________

T-Shirts _______ @ $10.00 = $ ___________

Size: M / L / XL / XXL : _________

FLYERS: Pink #_____ Blue #_____ Yellow #_____ Green #_____ Lavender #_____

Please Make Checks Payable to P.L.A.G.A.L.

PLEASE RETURN FORM TO:

Post Office Box 33292

Washington, DC 20033-0292