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Loose Lips seems to have misread the mainstream gay and lesbian community’s reaction to David Catania’s upset victory in the Dec. 2 special election for an at-large seat on the D.C. Council (12/19).

LL claims that “nearly all the city’s gay leaders boycotted” Catania’s Dec. 15 swearing-in ceremony. Not so. I and other officers of the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance (the city’s and the nation’s oldest continuously active gay civil rights organization) were there to witness this historic occasion, as was Darren Buckner, president of the D.C. Coalition of Black Lesbians, Gay Men, and Bisexuals, plus Democratic Party stalwart Rob Hodgson, Ward 1 candidate Todd Mosley, and the redoubtable Frank Kameny. Other than some Gertrude Stein Democratic Club partisans who remain in denial, few of D.C.’s gay leaders deliberately boycotted the event.

On a broader note, we question LL’s assertion that the District’s gay leadership generally is unhappy

with Catania’s victory because he

is a Republican. Such an attitude can be encountered, but is far from universal. Any number of prominent gay and lesbian Democrats have in fact openly admitted that they voted for Catania, while even some who supported Arrington Dixon (whose services to the gay and lesbian community over the years are well remembered) are not altogether unhappy with Catania’s win. All but a few die-hards recognize that the Council has been lax in exercising its home rule powers and that a shake-up is in order.

Next year, several more openly gay men and women are planning to run for seats on the D.C. Council. If they commit themselves as much to the cause of responsible home rule as to gay and lesbian rights, their addition to the council, regardless of their party affiliations, would be good news for all District residents.

President,

Gay & Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington

via the Internet