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Dornan on Scheer's Column on Bennett

May 25, 1997

About the lies in Robert Scheer's bizarre May 13 Column Left, "Coming Out to 'Poppy': Heart, Soul, Reality": My faith teaches that Jesus Christ suffers every time someone gives scandal by rejecting privacy in order to go public with sinful conduct.

Brian Bennett, who used the front page of The Times to out himself as a homosexual, left my congressional staff after the 1988 election, 9 1/2 years ago! During the 10 years he was on the federal payroll, with my office--not 12 as he states--Bennett called me "Congressman," never "Poppy," a family nickname used by my 11 grandchildren.

By his choice, my wife Sallie and I have seen Bennett only six times in the last five years! However, I did request he not lecture me in public about his problems and thereby cause a firestorm of attacks in the liberal press. Obviously, he chose to burn his bridges.

Bennett did not move into our home in 1977 when he was 21 but lived in Santa Monica with his father for six years while attending night law school.

My June 27, 1996, congressional floor speech on AIDS, described by Scheer as a "nasty assault" that offended Bennett, was a measured and comprehensive analysis of how homosexual conduct, not orientation, drove and still drives a fatal venereal plague called AIDS.

Mr. Scheer, AIDS has killed twice as many Americans as Hitler did and we're counting still.

ROBERT K. DORNAN

Garden Grove

* As an older Catholic man with a lifelong homosexual condition, I read Scheer's column with great interest and disgust, and whether I am Democratic or Republican is immaterial.

For 20 years while Dornan knew him, Bennett dated women but never married (thank goodness). He realized marriage was not for him, fine. But then to enter into homosexual practice is against the divine will, and this is bad.

My homosexuality was given me as a challenge, a test and a temptation, and believe me it has not been easy. I consider myself no gay basher or homophobic, and my attitude perfectly matches my church's teachings.

For Scheer to end his article "Poppy, I'm gay. Adolf, I'm Jewish," thereby tying the gay agenda with the Jewish Holocaust is sick, and a below-the-belt punch line.

DONALD KOHLES

Los Angeles

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