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A Post-Election Assessment

November 16, 1986

Abbe Land's election to the West Hollywood City Council did not end a gay majority on the council as reported in The Times. . . . Rather, that majority ended last May when Valerie Terrigno resigned. But really, who cares?

Despite The Times' and Gene La Pietra's attempts to frame a major issue of the campaign as retaining a gay majority on the council, the voters--gay and straight alike--ignored this base sexist appeal and decided the election instead in terms of integrity and length of time in the city.

Just as John F. Kennedy's election to the presidency ended the unofficial rule that no Catholic could ever be elected to our highest office, the fact that several gays have been elected in the past in West Hollywood (and no doubt will be in the future) demonstrates that a person's sexual orientation--like religion--should not count either for or against a candidate.

I, for one, hope the recent West Hollywood election puts to rest forever The Times' constant references to candidates' and people's sexual orientation. Obviously the voters--including gay voters--have; now, perhaps even good liberal Times staff writers can follow suit. Anybody for a campaign for an all-Jewish city council? Just kidding.

MARSHAL A. PHILLIPS

Vice President, West Hollywood Democratic Club

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