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Top Stories This Week in the Chronicle.
October 13, 2000

 

Hate crime measure is stripped from defense bill

 

by Bob Roehr

Washington, D.C.—A conference committee removed federal hate crime legislation from a Department of Defense appropriation bill on October 5. In an 11 to 9 vote, Senate conferees agreed to drop the amendment when their House colleagues refused to go along with it.

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott, R-Miss., has adamantly opposed the amendment, which passed that body by a vote of 57 to 42 last May. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John Warner, R-Va., opposed all amendments to the defense bill but since then has said that he would vote for a stand-alone hate crime measure.

"The Republican leaders have turned their backs on legislation designed to send the message that all persons should be treated the same under the law--no matter what their race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability," said President Clinton in a prepared statement.

Winnie Stachelberg, political director of the Human Rights Campaign, called the action by the GOP leadership "morally reprehensible." She said, "It is not only bad policy, it is bad politics, and their irresponsible actions may cost the party in November."

"The conservative leadership that refused to allow this legislation to become law has sent a message of callous indifference to our country," said Elizabeth Toledo, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

Kevin Ivers, political director of Log Cabin Republicans, said he "was not surprised" by the outcome. He is "convinced that the Democrats wanted an issue [to use in the campaign] much more than they wanted to pass this bill."

Ivers noted that the legislation did not move in the Senate until Gordon Smith (R-Oregon) became a lead sponsor. It was mired in the House until Bill McCollum (R-Florida) committed to it, and a "motion to instruct" conferees to accept the Senate amendment quickly followed. That was the first recorded vote of the full House on a hate crime bill. Ivers stressed that a bipartisan approach is the most effective way to pass legislation.

Stachelberg said that a freestanding bill "would pass overwhelmingly." But the Republican leadership, especially in the House, will not allow that because "it is scared that their [electoral] base will walk away in November if this bill becomes law."

Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, D-South Dakota, said that they might try to bring a separate hate crime bill to the floor of the Senate in the few days remaining in this session. Or they may try to add it to another bill as an amendment.

"If the national outcry is loud enough, we still have a chance to act on this issue in the remaining days of this Congress," said Senator Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., a principal sponsor of the measure. But so far, that groundswell does not seem to be rising.

"Prospects are dimming but I don’t think that they are doomed," said Stachelberg. She refused to speculate on the prospects of passing a bill in a lame-duck session in November, an increasingly talked about prospect. "The bottom line is, we are looking at now."


 

A new Ohio hate crime bill
may be introduced this year

by Eric Resnick

Columbus—A new bill to add gays and lesbians to Ohio’s hate crime law was revealed at a Statehouse conference on hate crimes.

The October 5 conference was organized by the Interfaith Association of Central Ohio and featured Gloria McCauley, executive director of the Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization, a Columbus group which focuses on hate crimes against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Twenty five participants discussed the legal definitions of hate crimes, and learned that most perpetrators of these crimes commit them against more than one group.

Although the conference was held in the atrium of the Statehouse to bring the issue to the attention of the legislature, only State Sen. Eric Fingerhut, D-Cleveland, was represented. Fingerhut is a supporter of hate crime legislation that includes sexual orientation and gender, and has been working on a bill that would require the state to do a better job tracking such crimes.

Joel Ratner, director of the regional Jewish Anti-Defamation League, announced that he had seen a copy of a new bill that State Rep. Amy Salerno, R-Columbus, was planning to introduce that would add sexual orientation and gender to Ohio’s existing ethnic intimidation law.

Salerno aide Lisa Garrison Ragsdale confirmed that a bill has been drafted, but not yet introduced.

"It is in working form," she said, noting that it has been passed around to a few people seeking feedback, but is not in final form.

Garrison Ragsdale said the Salerno bill will differ from State Rep. Joyce Beatty’s hate crime bill, introduced in March 1999, because it specifically adds assault to the existing statute.

Salerno, a Republican, is not a co-sponsor of Beatty’s bill. Beatty, of Columbus, is a Democrat.

"You can’t underestimate that," said Ratner, noting that in the Republican-controlled legislature, bills introduced by Democrats are seldom given an opportunity to pass.

Beatty’s bill has no Republican co-sponsorship.

According to both Ratner and Garrison Ragsdale, Salerno is looking for the possibility of Republican co-sponsorship as an indicator of when "the timing is ripe to introduce the bill."

Salerno has been indicating her intention to introduce such a bill since 1996.

Garrison Ragsdale said there is currently none. "A couple months ago, we heard of the possibility of Rep. Jim Trakas (R-Cleveland) signing on, but he has not responded to our requests for a meeting on it," said Garrison Ragsdale.

Trakas is widely viewed as a moderate Republican. He has spoken at Cleveland Lesbian-Gay Pride marches.

Garrison Ragsdale also said that if the bill is introduced this legislative session, which ends shortly after the November election, it would be "to plant the seed" for it next year. "There’s not time to pass it this session," she added.

At the conference, participants were divided into four groups, each focusing on a particular nature of hate crimes: race, religion, ethnicity; and sexual orientation and gender.

"I work within the specific area of sexual orientation hate crimes every day," said McCauley. "It was helpful to me to be reminded of the similarities between the different categories of hate crimes."

McCauley and conference organizer Steve Dimler, president of the Interfaith Association, called the conference a success, although they would have liked to have seen more participants.

"It was like preaching to the choir," added McCauley, noting that all the participants were people with an interest in the topic.

All the groups discussed how violence is a tool embedded in our cultural socialization process to discourage people from behaving outside cultural norms.

"We learn to punish people for stepping outside of the gender roles," noted Ruben Herrera, an independent consultant on diversity.

Dimler said one of the conference’s objectives is to join the national campaign seeking to end hate violence and pass better hate crime legislation at the federal and state levels. He also indicated that the conference could become an annual event.

McCauley took notice of the irony of the conference taking place on the same day that the Republican U.S. House and Senate leadership stripped hate crime language out of a Department of Defense authorization bill, making passage of federal hate crime protection on the basis of sexual orientation and gender less likely.


GOP conservatives are upset with Cheney’s answer on marriage

by Anthony Glassman

Portland, Oregon—Conservative supporters of the Republican Party spent the last week decrying GOP vice presidential candidate Richard Cheney’s response to a question on lesbian and gay civil rights.

During the October 5 vice presidential debate between Cheney and Democratic candidate Joseph Lieberman, moderator Bernard Shaw asked whether gays and lesbians should have all—he repeated all--the constitutional rights other citizens have.

Leiberman noted that the "ideal" of the Declaration of Independence has been steadily expanded to include more groups, including "gay and lesbian Americans, who are citizens of this country and children of the same awesome God."

He noted that he co-sponsored the gay and lesbian Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Then he touched on the unfairness of denying the rights of marriage to same-sex couples.

"My mind is open to taking some action that will address those elements of unfairness while respecting the traditional religious and civil institution of marriage," he concluded.

Cheney’s answer was fairly similar, and it is this similarity that anti-gay GOP supporters are upset with.

"People should be free to enter into any kind of relationship they want to enter into," Cheney said. "It's really no one else’s business in terms of trying to regulate or prohibit behavior in that regard."

"The next step," Cheney said, is "whether or not there ought to be some kind of official sanction, if you will, of the relationship, or if these relationships should be treated the same way a conventional marriage is. That's a tougher problem. That's not a slam dunk."

Cheney asserted that gay marriages should be determined on a state-by-state basis. "I don't think there should necessarily be a federal policy in this area."

"I think we ought to do everything we can to tolerate and accommodate whatever kind of relationships people want to enter into," he concluded.

Conservatives in his party were not pleased.

The Republican platform expressly opposes same-sex marriages, and the Republicans were the driving force behind the federal Defense of Marriage Act in 1996, denying federal recognition of same-sex marriages. Cheney’s running mate, presidential candidate George W. Bush, opposes gay marriages.

What does this mean for Cheney?

He’s gaining respect and losing respect, depending on who’s doing the talking. Various conservative organizations, most of whom couch their anti-gay beliefs in terms of tradition and religion, are expressing shock, concern, and betrayal. LGBT activists, however, view Cheney’s comments as a continuation of the perceived opening of the Republican Party begun at their convention.

"Dick Cheney has taken a big step forward by breaking ranks with the extreme right in the GOP by recognizing that gay and lesbian families have a place in America and that these relationships should be respected," Winnie Stachelberg, the Human Rights Campaign’s political director, said in a statement released to the press.

The far right, however, had much harsher words for the candidate.

"I can say with certainty that the delegates who nominated Mr. Cheney and the many voters who support him overwhelmingly disagree with that," said former candidate Gary Bauer in an opinion piece published in the New York Times. "This view, embraced by both vice presidential candidates, is wrong--and out of step with the beliefs of the many Americans who consider marriage to be a God-ordained institution between a man and a woman."

Gay civil rights have been a touchy subject for Cheney. His daughter, Mary, is openly lesbian, yet Cheney’s wife Lynne denied that in a television interview. Cheney has repeatedly refused to discuss his daughter, who works closely with him in the campaign. But as defense secretary in 1991, he supported his spokesman Pete Williams when he was outed in the press.

The candidate, however, has a staunchly conservative voting record on gay and lesbian issues.

"Live and let live is fine as a policy for people’s private lives, but Secretary Cheney should have been much stronger in saying that same-sex marriages are wrong," Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association, an arch-conservative organization, wrote on the group’s web site. "[He] basically said that if a state decided to legalize homosexual marriage--or polygamy, for that matter--he thought that was ‘appropriate,’ as long as it was decided on the state level."


Casino gambling,
Stoney Awards highlight
Night Out

by Kaizaad Kotwal
and Anthony Glassman

Columbus--Three hundred people crowded the Franklin Park Conservatory for Stonewall Columbus’ "A Night Out 2000," to enjoy casino-style gambling and witness the annual Stoney Awards presentation October 10.

Stonewall executive director Jeff Redfield said that the goal of the evening was to "give people the opportunity to have a lot of fun."

In the beginning of the evening, guests made their way around the various casino games and the many items up for silent auction. Musical entertainment was provided by Mary Daniels and DeQuan Henson.

The evening’s proceedings were emceed by newscasters Andrea Cambern of WBNS Channel 10 and Tylar Bacome of WCMH Channel 4. The keynote speaker for the evening was Julian Potter, special assistant to President Clinton for gay and lesbian community issues.

Potter spoke of the Clinton administration’s record on GLBT issues, asserting that Al Gore and Joseph Lieberman would continue making advances for the community.

"They will not leave us behind, Potter said of the Gore-Lieberman ticket.

Emphasizing that the state of GLBT affairs is a "fragile environment," she concluded that there was still "a lot of work yet to be done."

There were several awards handed out over the course of the evening. The Stoney Awards for volunteer service went to Chuck Miller and Sarah Reading, while the awards for leadership and business went to Michaal Reese and Kukala’s Rainbow Tribe respectively. The award for community service was given to the Columbus chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. Accepting the award was newly-elected P-FLAG-Columbus president Don Brennan, who said that one of their missions was to "ensure that there was a GLBT alliance support group in every high school in the area."

The Rhonda R. Rivera Human Rights Award went to Mary Jo Hudson and the Pink Triangle Award for "noteworthy efforts in protecting individual civil rights and thereby enhancing the struggle for GLBT civil rights" went to Gentle Winds.

The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Dr. Keith Oliver, who passed away August 9. Oliver was a board member of both Stonewall and the Columbus AIDS Task Force, was the primary figure in creating the Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Student Affairs Office at Ohio State, and helped many people through his psychological practice, Accretion.

A Recognition of Excellence was given to the Pride Holiday 2000 Committee.

Channel 4 news anchor Colleen Marshall, a previous winner of the Stoney Award for Media, presented the media award this year to unsuspecting emcees Cambern and Bacome.

Cambern has been very active in the AIDS community. Bacome, who is openly gay, was credited for his "sensitive and important reporting" of a drive-by shooting that claimed the life of a gay man.

Marshall said that Bacome’s work "helped put a human face to the tragic story." In accepting the award, a surprised and moved Bacome said that he was saddened that the perpetrators of the crime have not been found.

Marshall said that as a news person she couldn’t tell the audience how to vote but that "it is important to remember that we have to get funding for AIDS when we go to those poll booths in November." Marshall has a brother who is living with AIDS.

A moving moment came when the Lifetime Achievement Award was posthumously awarded to Edie Holler of Yankee Trader. Bacome said that Holler was one of the earliest allies of the community who helped create a safe and welcoming city for gay and lesbian women. Accepting the award were Holler’s two tearful daughters Debbie Williams and Lynette Howard. Williams said that they knew that their mother would be proud as Howard raised the trophy to the sky.

Comedian Suzanne Westenhoefer accepted the President’s Award. Westenhoefer made the audience laugh when she said that, while the news people couldn’t tell the audience how to vote, she could.

"Besides," she quipped, "do we really want Bush and Dick together for four years? No way!"

She also urged people to use National Coming Out Day valuably by coming out to more people.

"I have no one left to tell," she joked, "so now I just call complete strangers and announce to them that I am a lesbian."

The event was a complete success, said Redfield.

"Its primary goal is to be a good social event," he said. "We kept ticket prices low and even drink prices were low so it was accessible to everyone."

 


 

Cleveland Lesbian Gay Community Center celebrates a quarter century of service

Cleveland Lesbian-Gay Center pioneers Leon Stevens, left, and John Nosek enjoy the center’s 25th anniversary dinner on October 7. The two joined the center’s parent Gay Educational and Awareness Resources Foundation in 1975, publishing its High Gear newspaper for two years.

Two hundred people celebrate the anniversary at the Metropolitan Club in downtown Cleveland. The host for the evening was Scott Bibbs, co-chair of the Cleveland chapter of Black and White Men Together.

The keynote speaker was Betsy Gressler, political director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. Gressler spoke passionately about the importance of voting in the upcoming election. She then talked about the recent emergence of gay and lesbian visibility in mainstream media, and how, because of this, "there will never be a young person [coming out] who thinks they are the only one."

The evening also featured a quick and lively history of queer and straight happenings nationwide, as well as a performance by the North Coast Men’s Choru. After the dinner, the celebration continued with dancing until midnight.

In addition to celebrating the center’s 25-year history, the festivities also raised over $20,000 for its programs.


Supreme Court allows ‘de facto parent’ ruling to stand

by Anthony Glassman

Washington, D.C.—The Supreme Court on October 10 let stand a New Jersey high court ruling granting de facto parental rights to a lesbian woman’s former partner.

In refusing to hear the case, the Supreme Court tacitly approved the ruling that, even though the former partner was not biologically the parent of the two children, she still had some of the same rights as a biological parent in light of her role in the children’s lives.

The case, M.J.B. v. V.C., revolved around twins, a boy and a girl, conceived by artificial insemination and carried to term by M.J.B. She and V.C. raised the children together until they broke up in 1996. For a while, M.J.B. allowed V.C. to visit the twins, but eventually stopped, claiming that V.C. was not caring for them properly and that her visits were stressful for the children.

V.C. sued; her first case was unsuccessful, but an appellate court granted her visitation rights. M.J.B. appealed to the New Jersey Supreme Court, which upheld the lower court ruling.

"The Supreme Court’s decision not to hear this case certainly doesn’t signify explicit approval of the lower court’s decision," Leslie Cooper of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Lesbian and Gay Rights Project said in a press release. "But the court’s decision not to intervene left an important victory for lesbian and gay parents intact, so we’re very pleased."

The ACLU, who served as co-counsel in the case, has argued that when an adult fills a parental role, the children’s bond with the adult should be respected legally. Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Wisconsin all have legal frameworks established for this "psychological parenthood."

Conservative groups, however, argue that such concepts would grant virtually any adult who played a part in a child’s life a right to visitation.

 


Student held in Gallaudet
slaying is released

by Anthony Glassman
with wire reports

Washington, D.C.—Thomas Minch, a Gallaudet University student who was arrested for the murder of gay fellow freshman Eric Plunkett, was released October 4, less than 24 hours after being charged with the crime.

The young deaf man took his place before the bench when the court clerk announced the charges had been dropped, and U.S. marshals escorted him through a secure back passageway out of the court building.

Both the swift dropping of charges and Minch’s departure through the rear of the courtroom are unusual in such a case.

"I suspect Mr. Minch believes he is owed an apology, but I think our officers made a reasonable judgement," executive assistant police chief Terrance Gainer told the Washington Post. "Rather than defend a bad case, we decided to retreat and come back another day."

The dismissal of the charges does not preclude the possibility of Minch being charged again if police and prosecutors can build a stronger case.

Minch was charged with second-degree murder after Plunkett was found dead in his dorm room September 28.

The two, who had been described as very good friends, had an altercation prior to Plunkett’s disappearance. The chair in his room has been named by police as the most likely weapon in his beating death.

Plunkett, a freshman from Minnesota, had quickly been elected secretary of a gay club on the campus of the oldest university for the deaf in the nation. Early speculation pointed to the possibility of a hate crime, an idea which police dismissed.

Minch, meanwhile, has been barred from campus, both for his own safety and that of other students, according to spokesperson Marcy Coogan. He has returned to New Hampshire with his family.

"Tom Minch will not be coming back to Gallaudet," said Provost Jane Fernandes, who spent the evening of October 4 witnessing hundreds of students express their concerns about Minch. She added, however, that Minch might be allowed to return in the future, after discussions with his family.

The murder led to increased concerns over the rise of anti-gay harassment at the school.

 


Lesbian pioneer Ruth Ellis
dies at age 101

by Anthony Glassman

Detroit—A national treasure was lost October 5 when Ruth Ellis died in her sleep in her Detroit apartment. She had been recently hospitalized with heart problems, but wanted to be at home when the end came.

Born July 23, 1899 in Springfield, Illinois, she moved to Detroit in 1937, following the promise of better pay. She and her partner Ceceline Franklin established a print shop in her home, which was also a haven for black LGBT people. Never hiding her sexual orientation, Ellis became a role model and a legend for those around her.

Known nationally as the subject of the award-winning documentary film Living with Pride: Ruth Ellis at 100, she was recently on hand to commemorate the Ruth Ellis Center, a drop-in center for LGBT youth. The city of Detroit also honored her every year with Ruth Ellis Day during February, Black History Month.

Despite her wishes not to have a funeral, a number of her friends have organized a memorial service to be held on October 21.

She was described by author Alice Walker as a woman of "power, audacity, and joy."

"She just loved everyone, no matter who you were," Kofi Adoma, a longtime friend, told the Detroit Free Press. "She was our inspiration and our link to the past."

"When we listened to Ruth’s stories, we knew we should also be able to accomplish things and not have to fear," she said.


News Briefs

Station stops ads for ‘hell house’
featuring dead gay man

Fairfield, Ohio—A Christian radio station is pulling ads for a haunted house described as anti-gay by Stonewall Cincinnati.

WNLT in Fairfield, about 15 miles north of Cincinnati, suspended ads for Kings Point Church of God’s haunted house, which has a display of a gay man who died of AIDS burning in hell. Vern Baldwin, the station’s general manager, said he will review the ads when he returns from Florida.

The station pulled the ads after Stonewall Cincinnati accused the ads, and the church’s "Hell House," of being "blatant gay bashing," according to Doreen Cudnik, Stonewall’s executive director.

The display is meant to show teens the effects of sin, according to church pastor Randy Ballard. It involves a tour through five scenes in hell, including the funeral of a gay man who has died of AIDS, a young woman who has had an abortion, a teen who committed suicide, a drug overdose at a party, and a car crash involving a drunk man and his children.

Stonewall Cincinnati has no plans to protest the church, Cudnik said. They will, however, attempt to run public service announcements on the station featuring other church leaders talking about their acceptance of gay men and lesbians.

Traditionally, fundamentalist churches view Halloween and its trappings as a Pagan celebration, and do not participate in it.

 

Anti-Clinton leader caught fondling cop

Atlanta, Georgia—Matthew Glavin, who led the charge to disbar President Clinton for lying under oath in the Monica Lewinsky case, has stepped down amid charges that he masturbated in a public park and fondled an undercover federal officer’s genitalia.

Glavin, formerly the president and CEO of the Southeastern Legal Foundation, resigned his posts October 4 following the release of information that he had been arrested in May at the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.

Glavin, according to a television report, had been arrested on a similar charge in 1996, and had been sentenced to a $1,000 fine and six months’ probation, during which time he was banned from the park.

Glavin appeared in court for the current charge on October 3; his case was postponed for two weeks. Glavin has refused to confirm the television report, but completely denies the validity of the current charge.

According to undercover U.S. Park Service Officer Brett Morris’ report, Glavin struck up a conversation with him in the Medlock Bridge Unit of the park, which is known as a cruisy area. Glavin started rubbing his own crotch through his shorts, then fondled Morris’ crotch.

 

"Ex-gay" Paulk now ex-chairman

Seattle--Prominent "ex-gay" poster boy John Paulk was stripped of his role as board chairman of Exodus International, the umbrella organization for the "ex-gay" movement, following an October 3 board meeting.

Paulk, who was caught on film by Human Rights Campaign workers in a Washington, D.C. gay bar on September 19, first claimed he walked into the club at random to use the restroom. Later, he admitted that he knew it was a gay bar.

Paulk had been in the bar drinking and chatting for nearly an hour after the first HRC staffer recognized him.

Paulk will continue as a probationary board member, without voting privileges. The probationary status will be reviewed every three months, according to an Exodus press release.

"John said he had no sinful intentions in entering that bar," said Bob Davies, North American director of the organization. "I personally do not believe he was in that bar looking for sex with another man."

If he had been, it wouldn’t be the first time an Exodus leader has returned to the "gay lifestyle." Two founders of the group left their wives in 1979 and remained together for years before one of them died.

 

Navy disciplines e-mailer

Washington, D.C.—It was confirmed October 4 that Lieutenant Colonel Edward Melton, who came under fire for homophobic e-mails following the death of Pfc. Barry Winchell, was disciplined following a Navy investigation.

Melton, according to a release from Rep. Barney Frank and the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, had been relieved of his duties at the Marine Corps Communications Electronics School, and assigned a post without supervisory duties, effectively killing his career. Melton retired in July.

Melton, in the offending e-mail, referred to Winchell’s murder as "the ‘hate crime’ death of a homo in the Army," and referred to gays in the military as "backside rangers."

Winchell was murdered last year in his barracks by other soldiers who thought he was gay. Melton’s e-mail was supposed to reiterate the "don’t ask, don’t tell, don’t harass" policy the Pentagon adopted, as well as to reinforce a zero-tolerance policy for violations of the rule.

 

Moms stopped for father’s permission

Newark, N.J.--A lesbian couple say they were humiliated by Continental Airlines at Newark Airport when they tried to board a flight to Mexico with their two children. They say they were told they could not board the plane without written permission from the children’s father.

Regina Quattrochi and Priscilla Lenes of Manhattan went to the airport with their children, aged 10 and 5, on July 28 for a vacation trip to Mexico. But when they reached the gate, they said Continental personnel "persistently and publicly interrogated" them, demanding that they show written permission from the children’s’ father to leave the country.

The employees said they were following a Mexican government travel restriction adopted in the wake of the Elian Gonzalez custody battle that refuses entry to parents traveling "alone" with minors unless they can provide the other parent’s written permission, according to the Lambda Legal Defense Fund, a gay civil rights group that is supporting the women in their dispute with the airline.

To convince check-in employees that the children had no father, Quattrochi had to explain in front of the children and other passengers that they were conceived with donated sperm.

Ultimately, a ticket agent allowed the women to fill out a form the airline uses to verify birth and residence information of passengers without proper identification, then charged them $10 for notarizing it.

Once they arrived in Mexico, the women and the children passed through customs without any problems. When a Mexican agent asked Quattrochi whether she had the father’s permission to travel with the children, she told him there was no father, and the agent waved them through with no further questions.

 

Canadian stations dump Laura

Hamilton, Ontario—The Canwest Global Communications Corporation, which owns four regional broadcast stations in Canada, decided October 4 to drop Laura Schlessinger’s embattled television talk show.

"Our audience has voted and, unfortunately, they cast a ‘nay’ ballot for Dr. Laura on television," said vice president of national programming Roy Gardner in a statement released by each of the four stations. "The latter part of the afternoon is very important to us because it forms the lead-up to our evening news programming, and Dr. Laura just isn’t delivering the viewers."

The Canadian stations stopped broadcasting the show after Friday, October 6. The four outlets are CFCF in Quebec, CHCH in Ontario, CBCB in British Columbia, and CKRD in Alberta.

Schlessinger had come under fire earlier in the year from the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, which criticized her for referring to gays and lesbians as deviant. The agency, which functions solely as a watchdog organization, called the comments "abusively discriminatory," and in violation of Canada’s broadcast code, which is stricter in certain ways than the United States’.

The show is struggling in the U.S. as well, with stations complaining to its parent company Paramount about lost revenue due to low ratings and the show hemorrhaging advertisers. WCBS in New York, owned by Paramount’s parent company Viacom, is considering moving the show to a late-night time slot, a move that would, according to the New York Daily News, "surely be seen as a deathblow to the show."

Schlessinger, who couches many of her comments in her assumed orthodox Judaism, took Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement, to publish an advertisement in Variety apologizing to the gay and lesbian community for pain she might have caused.

"Laura Schlessinger once again blames others for the impact of her rhetoric, refusing to take responsibility for her precisely chosen, scientifically inaccurate descriptions of gay and lesbian lives," said Joan M. Garry, executive director of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, said. "The anger Schlessinger’s words have caused is too great and too profound to simply go away after a qualified admission of some guilt."

Compiled from wire reports by Anthony Glassman, Brian DeWitt and Patti Harris.


 

 

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