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GOP Opposes Use of State Funds to Counsel Gay Students

March 19, 1988

The attempt to sabotage Uribe's Project 10 program by Republican state Assembly members is a disturbing example of fear and bias triumphing over compassion and illumination.

The purpose of Uribe's program, quite simply, is education and support.

The lawmakers are apparently unaware that at least 10% of the population in this country is gay, and that gay sexual identification is already well established in the hearts of these individuals long before they are involved with this program. Project 10 has no effect in recruiting people to be gay any more than the NAACP recruits people to be black.

Adolescence is a time of wanting and needing to be like one's peers. The source of security and stability as one leaves the comforts of childhood and goes through the awkward transition of adolescence is having other kids going through the same stresses and changes with you. The gay adolescent doesn't have this support system available to him. The profound aloneness experienced by a gay adolescent is, apparently, beyond the cares of comprehension of LaFollette and her anachronistic colleagues.

The keys to undoing this aloneness, it would seem, lie in education and support. Educate all of us. The gay kids need to know they're not freaks (the medical profession has long since removed the label of "disease" from homosexuality). The straight kids need to learn how isolated the gay kids are and how normal it is to be gay, hopefully allowing the straight kids to stop feeling threatened and fearful (the hope being that our kids will grow up to have fewer of these thoughts and fears than our Republican Assembly caucus and thus be able to avoid inflicting pariah status on homosexuals). Gay children need the support of any compassionate souls who will spend the time. Uribe is one of the few in our community so inclined. I applaud her efforts and hope others will stand with me in support of her and those she so ably supports.

The witch hunt for gays has been pursued in the name of "religion"; it is now being extended under the umbrella of partisan politics. What a sorry model we sometimes display for our children.

EDWARD M. RISSMAN, MD

Past President

Los Angeles Pediatric Society

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