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An Unexpected Friend in High Places

March 22, 1998

It happened last August in Atty. Gen. Dan Lungren's L.A. office over one of those PB&J lunches he loves so well ("Thunder on the Right," by Mark Z. Barabak, Jan. 25). I and several other board members of the Log Cabin Republicans of California discussed with Lungren the legal issues affecting gays and lesbians in California. We made known our concerns regarding the GOP, a party too frequently portrayed, often inaccurately, as either insensitive or hostile to our concerns. Lungren allowed the meeting to run overtime while he confirmed that he is neither a homophobe nor an irrational right-wing nut.

On the issue of "gay marriage," we all agreed upon the need to maintain and foster the traditional husband-wife family as the cornerstone of any society that places prime responsibility on individuals, not on the state. And we were gratified to learn that Lungren has no problem with those specific elements of domestic-partners legislation not in conflict with his (and our) support of traditional family values, untrammeled by the trappings foisted upon them by the radical right.

Lungren is an open-minded leader, one who has served--and will in the future--all Californians, regardless of their orientation or affiliation.

G. Michael German

General Counsel

Log Cabin Republicans of California

San Francisco

*

Barabak uncritically portrays Lungren as having supported a bill by Democratic Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts to block deportation of a gay man in 1984 as "a matter of equity." Yet Barabak fails to report attempts by Lungren to deny equal rights to gay and lesbian citizens.

For example, Lungren filed a "friend of the court" brief in support of Colorado's Amendment 2, which, in effect, denied equity to Colorado's gay and lesbian citizens. Not only was that position contrary to existing California law regarding nondiscrimination based on sexual orientation, but--since the Colorado amendment was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in May 1996--it also demonstrated Lungren's apparent willingness to betray constitutional rights in the service of his right-wing political agenda.

Is this really the kind of "equity" we want in a governor?

Peter M. Nardi

Claremont

*

Wow! An article about a politician that uses the words discipline and integrity. A politician who dislikes schmoozing and enjoys eating lunch with his wife.

How refreshing.

Mary Bailey

Santa Paula

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