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Protection of Rights, Lives of Homosexuals

August 21, 1988

According to a news article (Aug. 10), an anti-gay group has started an initiative drive to remove homosexuals from protection under Irvine's human rights ordinance (which bans discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, marital status, sexual orientation and physical handicap).

The arguments of the group, called the Irvine Values Coalition, seem to me to be irrational. In particular, I refer to the coalition's assertion that "the city of Irvine will become overburdened in trying to enforce the ordinance" and that the ordinance will "prompt an influx of homosexuals into the community." They fear, I suppose, that gays will flock to Irvine and then claim to be victims of discrimination. If this is their fear, why single out gays? By their reasoning, does not the ordinance encourage the physically handicapped to move to Irvine? Is enforcing the ordinance for the disabled any less costly?

On a more serious note, the group panders to the public's fear by trying to reinforce myths and stereotypes. According to your article, Eleanor Moore, vice chairwoman of the coalition, says she fears that "the ordinance could lead to homosexuality being taught as an alternative life style." Is she trying to imply that gays want to "recruit" from the heterosexual population? Time and again, research has shown that sexual orientation is fixed by a very early age and is not the result of "recruitment." Gay rights groups are lobbying for basic civil rights and that is all.

DEBORAH M. BODINGER

Costa Mesa

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