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Judge Rand Schrader

June 27, 1993

* In response to "Rand Schrader, Judge and Gay Activist, Dies at 48," June 14:

Los Angeles has lost a good and decent man. Rand Schrader, Municipal Court judge and gay activist, died of AIDS. My family was deeply touched by his quiet generosity and kindness. He married us eight years ago.

In a time when the news is full of discourse about gays in the military, gay rights and AIDS research, I think it's sad that we will no longer have Schrader, an example of everything that is good about America, to participate in those debates. That he was gay is only a plus to who he was and how he will remain in our memories. That he died of AIDS is a tragedy and a sad fact of an exemplary life. That many others in our society cannot accept him because he was homosexual, despite his accomplishments, is a tragedy for America.

We didn't know him very well when we asked him to marry us. My wife had known him through gay friends for whom he led a bonding ceremony. She thought his words were from his heart, and that we would be lucky to have such words spoken on our behalf. Schrader was quite generous in agreeing to spend an afternoon marrying two strangers. He wanted to meet us and not only refused any fee but insisted on buying us dinner as well.

The words he used as a refrain during our wedding that I will always remember are, "From this day forward. . . ." We have been happy living with those words, but "from this day" we will have only his legacy and his deeds to remember him by. We can repay his kindness to us now only through what we teach our son about tolerance and how we share our lives.

WILLIAM NETTLES

CANDACE LEE

Los Angeles

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