Battling over Amendment 2

In the nearly two months since the voters in Colorado approved constitutional Amendment 2, which removed special protection based on sexual orientation, the battle over the legislation refuses to die. While members of the Hollywood community continue to debate over how to respond to the vote, Colorado residents have been offering their own perspectives on the issue of the legislation, and the call for a boycott of Colorado that its passage prompted. Here is a sampling of the response Amendment 2 has generated, both pro and con.

Draconian boycott

PERHAPS IT IS TIME TO PUT THE RECORD straight regarding the passing of Amendment 2.

It is true that 2 passed in Colorado, as it is also true that it was beaten in Aspen by 3-1. How absurd to blacklist a whole state because certain areas seem to live in the dark ages.

Tatou (an Aspen nightclub) once again this year has set up a program of events for Christmas, New Year’s and Gay Ski Week, only to be threatened along with the rest of Aspen with a boycott.

Recently in the Aspen 24 Hours, a race that annually raises money for AIDS research, the supposed recipient, AMFAR, declined to accept the money — more than $ 135,000 — because of Amendment 2.

How sad that after so much effort from so many people to persuade the public that AIDS is not a gay disease but rather that it has no social boundaries, one of the main charities implies otherwise. It is very sad to us that the people who have the power and influence to help educate people would rather take the easier way out and turn their back on a moral and civil duty like a sulking child. Tatou and Aspen welcome all races, all colors and have no interest in anyone’s sexual orientation. You can be guaranteed it will not be held against you.

Tatou and Aspen are counting on your support in fighting social prejudice, racism and sexism, all of which are fights none of us can win alone, but must meet head-on and united.

We hope we can rely on the Hollywood community to join us in fighting Amendment 2 with both your hearts and your heads.

Steve Abrams
General Manager, Tatou,
Aspen, Col.

Misdirected attempt

THE GROWING PRESSURE FOR A BOYCOTT against Aspen and Colorado may be well intentioned, but is ultimately a misdirected attempt to right a perceived wrong.

First, the American Foundation for AIDS Research shoots itself in the foot by refusing, out of political correctness, to accept $ 135,000 raised from a benefit ski race in Aspen–despite the fact that the express purpose of the donation was for AIDS research.

Now another organization, GLAAD, appeals to the Hollywood elite to join in the boycott–ironically calling upon the very same high profile individuals who would denounce the radical religious right for advocating the boycotting of certain films because of content.

Overlooked, or possibly not well known, is that Aspen passed laws protecting the rights of homosexuals in 1977, one of the first communities in the nation to recognize the need for gay rights legislation. Moreover, Aspen, along with Boulder and Denver, voted overwhelmingly against Amendment 2.

Is it fair to condemn an entire state because of the actions of powerful, special interest groups? And what of the people in Aspen who stand to get hurt the most by a Hollywood boycott–the ski instructors, restaurateurs, shopkeepers and service personnel whose livelihood depends on what they make over the holidays (by some estimates, 50% of their annual income is realized during these two weeks).

I urge members of all facets of the film industry not to boycott Aspen or Colorado. A large number of people here and in other communities in the state are already working to overturn Amendment 2. In the meantime, nothing positive can be gained from hurting those who have worked so hard over the years to provide what must rank as one of the world’s finest getaways, where the quality and enjoyment of live — not sexual orientation — are the primary concern.

Tracy Keenan Wynn
Aspen, Col.

Doesn’t ad up

I WAS AMUSED by the full-page ad run on behalf of the city of Aspen, regarding the notorious Amendment 2 (Daily Variety, Dec. 16). To say that “Aspen doesn’t discriminate” is, quite frankly, a crock. Aspen is a town for the rich and/or beautiful. If you don’t qualify on either of those counts, then you’re swill.

As for Amendment 2 itself, nowhere is it stated that discrimination against gays is permitted, or that it’s open season on them.

All this amendment has done is put a little sanity back into social relations , because it recognizes a fundamental truth–that a person’s right NOT to associate is just as valid as the converse.

One would think that the civil libertarians in Hollywood so concerned with fairness would not object to so basic a tenet.

If the busybodies in Aspen and Hollywood want to do something about improving the quality of life in Colorado, they could start by demanding that the government deport the illegal aliens who are now flooding the cities and the tourist areas by the thousands, taking jobs away from taxpaying citizens and bringing with them the cultural, social and economic problems that are turning Los Angeles into such a sewer.

I won’t hold my breath waiting for THAT to occur.

J.E. Lucas
Leadville, Col.
California non grata

THE MESSAGE TO YOU SHOULD BE CLEAR. A big majority of Coloradans don’t want any California group or organization that is sympathetic to homosexuality holding a convention in our state. We don’t want businesses and organizations tolerant of sodomy relocating in Colorado. We don’t need Joan Rivers and Barbra Streisand as tourists. We don’t want the Martina Navratilovas living here, flaunting their lifestyle in front of our children.

We have enough trouble because of 2,500 Californians moving here every month. We don’t need the San Francisco earthquake, Oakland fire storm, drought, L.A. riot or economic depression that our Lord sent as vengeance against California’s sodomy, R-rated movies and obscene music lyrics.

We also don’t need a governor and mayor leading 400 homosexuals down the streets of Denver and we intend to take care of that in our next election.

Joe Lent
Greeley, Col.

Daily Variety welcomes letters from readers. Send correspondence to: Letters to the Editor, Daily Variety, 5700 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 120, Los Angeles, CA 90036. Or FAX them to (213) 857-0742. Letters should be brief and must include a name, address and a daytime phonenumber. Submissions may be edited for clarity and conciseness.

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