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Irvine Rights Law

June 26, 1988

The Irvine City Council asserts that they are representing the wishes of the community by passing a human rights ordinance that would grant homosexuals protection against discrimination. They claim that because the candidates recently voted into office endorsed this portion of the ordinance, the people that voted for them endorsed it also. This is simply not the case.

Many citizens were forced to defend their positions on other major issues by voting for candidates that they agreed with in spite of those candidates' support of gay rights and thereby compromised their stand. Overcrowding, traffic congestion and safety along Yale Avenue were of more immediate and serious concern to residents and the subject of widespread propaganda and debate.

But many were (and still are) unsure about the significance of the sexual orientation provision classifying homosexuality as a basic civil right along with age, race, religion, gender, and the handicapped. The homosexual issue needs to stand before the public on its own merit and not hide behind city management and other civil rights issues.

While it is always difficult to defeat an incumbent, conservative candidate Barry Hammond managed to come from political obscurity and a very modest campaign budget to capture over 8,000 votes against incumbent Larry Agran.

Hal Maloney, who had dropped from the race and endorsed Hammond, received more than 3,000 votes, making a statement against the Agran ticket. Mayor Agran's 15,651 votes out of over 50,000 registered Irvine voters can hardly be called a "mandate" by the people and certainly can't be translated into widespread community support for gay rights.

The highly personal significance of this issue and the impact it will have on the city and the nation demand that the citizens, and not the government, decide what action to take regarding homosexuality.

SUSAN BOOZIER

Irvine

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