Rep. Dannemeyer claims that his views on homosexuality reflect probably three-fourths of the American people. However, a New York Times article on July 10--"Studies Discover Clues to the Roots of Homophobia" by Daniel Goldman--states that recent polls "show more Americans are beginning to accept homosexual men and women and support their rights".
Dannemeyer's Proposition 102, his 1988 attempt to halt anonymous AIDS testing in California, failed at the polls. It even lost badly in his own conservative Orange County congressional district. Furthermore, because his embarrassing Prop. 102 was so at odds with the entire public health Establishment, including President Reagan's Surgeon General, C. Everett Koop, the 1988 Bush presidential campaign dropped Dannemeyer as a surrogate speaker in California.
Dannemeyer is out of step with the societal change taking place in America: the increasing openness of gays and their becoming accepted even in his own Republican Party. In a recent flap within the California Republican Party over whether the gay Log Cabin Clubs should be thrown out, Dannemeyer again lost. Both Gov. George Deukmejian and U.S. Sen. Pete Wilson supported the continued inclusion of the gay clubs over Dannemeyer's vociferous objection.
Since Dannemeyer is a self-avowed Christian, it's not too late for his personal redemption. Jesus Christ, the author of Dannemeyer's own religious faith, never ever spoke one negative word about gay men, lesbians or even about homosexuality, Dannemeyer's self-righteous obsession. In fact, Jesus frequently socialized with the outcasts of society, preferring them to the stiff-necked Pharisees, the conservative fundamentalists of his day.
MARSHAL ALAN PHILLIPS
Phillips is former statewide constituency coordinator for gays and lesbians, California Democratic Party, 1988 campaign.