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Star-crossed

April 18, 1993

Mark Altman's widely circulated claim that "Star Trek" creator Gene Roddenberry broke a promise to put a gay character in the cast ("Tracking Trek," by Sheldon Teitelbaum, Palm Latitudes, March 7), is simply not true.

What he said was: "In the fifth season of 'Star Trek,' viewers will see more of shipboard life in some episodes, which will, among other things, include gay crew members in day-to-day circumstances."

I know this because Gene dictated it to me. For the last 3 1/2 years of his life, I was Gene's personal assistant. Gene and I often spoke of how "Star Trek" would portray lesbian and gay characters once an appropriate story line was found.

Just prior to his death, at the beginning of the fifth season, Roddenberry told the Advocate: "The 'Star Trek' vision of the future presumes positive changes in behavior and attitudes. We've established that the planet will be free of discrimination and bias by that time so the question we'll address is what homosexuals will be like in the 24th Century."

Gene died before his plan could be carried out.

ERNEST C. OVER

West Hollywood

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