March 1, 1997 Issue No. 26
P L A G A L
M E M O R A N D U M
Post Office Box 33292
Washington, DC 20033
LOCAL PRIDES ARE NEXT
While the March for Life is an inspiring and uplifting occasion for all PLAGAL members and friends who participate in it, in a very real sense it is a side-line -- the main purpose and focus of PLAGAL is advancing the pro-life message within the lesbian and gay community. Nor surprisingly, the best places to accomplish that goal are in conjunction with each locality's version of Gay Pride -- usually held in the early summer of each year. And the best time to start is Right Now.
Right Now, in 1997's late winter, Pride organizers throughout the country are beginning to contact groups that participated and exhibited during 1996. Right Now leaders of lesbian and gay organizations are seeking commitments from their members to staff tables, distribute literature, set up and take down exhibits, and commit themselves to a few hours of standing and talking with old friends and new about the purpose and benefits of that particular group.
PLAGAL cannot be the last to call current and potential members to ask for their help; to contact the organizers of local Pride to reserve a table -- the good spots go quick; to determine what literature -- from PLAGAL and from local pro-life groups -- will most convincingly and persuasively present the pro-life message to the lesbian and gay community in their city.
The National Office can provide some assistance -- in literature (flyers, bumper stickers, buttons), in finances (very very limited) and in manpower (usually names from our mailing list). And a Pride event is a perfect place to show off your PLAGAL T Shirt! But the real work -- and the leadership -- is up to you, whether you are a listed local contact, a new member, or a dedicated pro-lifer who wants to help. Call us!
PLAGAL NOTICED IN BOOK
PLAGAL is mentioned in Yale Law Professor Stephen Carter's book Integrity, when he discusses journalists and the news media's failure to perform with integrity because they don't present facts fully or in a true light. As an example, he mentions that the only view that people have of the pro-life movement is generally that it is made up of right-wing, fundamentalist Christians. This, in fact, is not true. The pro-life movement includes a broader spectrum of people (politically, socially, etc.) than is shown on the evening news.
The Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians gets it from both sides.
During the 1995 Gay Pride parade in Boston, police asked PLAGAL to leave the march after a group of screaming hecklers surrounded PLAGAL's table,
destroying their materials and chanting "fascists." From the other side, March for Life president Nellie Gray tried to refuse PLAGAL's 1996 registration fee, saying their participation in the march was an attempt to be "provocative."
A pro-life gathering two weeks ago sponsored by Yale Students for Life brought together more strange bedfellows, with Feminists for Life (FFL), the anti-death penalty Seamless Garment, and PLAGAL joining the more conservative pro-life students.
"Not everyone in the pro-life movement belongs to a radically religious or conservative group," said Peter Wolfgang of Seamless Garment. "There is a large liberal and progressive element, but it gets ignored in favor of showing extremist religious or conservative groups."
Straddling the political divide, though, leaves pro-life liberals open to accusations of disloyalty. "We always face an initial suspicion," said Kelly Jefferson, Massachusetts State Coordinator of FFL. "Groups doubt our commitment to feminism until they see us actively fighting for women's issues." By the same token, Jefferson admits, the group has "raised a few eyebrows" in the pro-life camp by forming alliances with pro-choice groups to oppose welfare reform and the death penalty.
PLAGAL's Philip Arcidi has little patience for such essentialism. "It is foolish to assume that your identity as a gay or lesbian accounts for how you view such a complicated issue as life before birth."
New Haven Advocate,
Feb. 13, 1997, p. 7
IRS RULES PLAGAL TAX EXEMPT
The Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians, Inc., a corporation organized and operating under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, was granted an advance ruling by the Internal Revenue Service that it was a corporation exempt from federal income tax as an organization described in section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. This decision is operative from and after May 25, 1995 and until the expiration of the advance ruling period on or before April 1, 2000, and contributors to PLAGAL may rely on this ruling as to the tax-exempt status of PLAGAL and the tax-deductible status of their gifts until that date.
The IRS ruling, however, is contingent upon PLAGAL meeting IRS's definition of a "publicly supported organization." Currently, almost a majority of PLAGAL's financial support is derived from two individuals -- Philip Arcidi and Joe Beard. To qualify in 2000 for IRS's final ruling, PLAGAL must approximately double its support from everyone else, so that Arcidi and Beard are providing less than one-third of PLAGAL's entire budget.
PLAGAL will be applying for bulk rate postal permits as soon as possible. For this reason, we shall very much appreciate your forwarding your zip +4 code number to us as soon as possible. If you do not know your zip+4, please look it up. Probably it is on one of your current utility bills.
ARCIDI MAKES SHOW
For those in the New York City area with a taste for artistic endeavours, Philip Arcidi, President of PLAGAL, is participating in an exhibition at the Hunter College Fine Arts Building between February 12 and March 22, 1997. Philip is currently seeking a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Connecticut at Storrs, and the exhibition is composed of the works of MFA candidates from several New York area programs.
SIGN ON TO THE
PLAGAL has started a new feature: The PLAGAL Bulletin. This is an irregular newsletter sent out exclusively by e-mail to those on PLAGAL's mailing list who have disclosed their e-mail addresses. It contains information about fast breaking news, calls for action, events, or other information that needs to go out in advance of the regular newsletter, The PLAGAL Memorandum.
To subscribe, all you have to do is have an e-mail account and disclose this on the PLAGAL Membership Form.
DID PLAGAL GET INK?
When anything appears in the lesbian and gay media discussing the Pro-Life movement, or in any media discussing PLAGAL, Please, PLEASE send it to us. We do not have -- and cannot afford -- a clipping service or subscriptions to the multitude of lesbian and gay media. We are always discovering -- some months after the event -- that we were mentioned somewhere. As has become our custom, we would also like to remind our readers that PLAGAL needs the names (and addresses, voice and fax numbers, and now e-mail addresses) of local gay and lesbian media.
meanwhile. . .
Tom Sena's piece, A World Without Gays was published as an op-ed article in San Jose's OutNow (January 28, 1997), Wisconsin Light, Los Angeles' Edge Magazine, Atlanta's Southern Voice, San Antonio's Marquise, and -- in a fairly edited version -- as a letter to the editor in The Washington Blade (January 17, 1997)
PLAGAL LOCAL CONTACTS
BOSTON: Michael Dubson-Sage
10 Ferndale Avenue
Dorchester, MA 02124
CLEVELAND: Cecilia Holesovsky
Post Office Box 609001
Cleveland, OH 44109
CONNECTICUT: Philip Arcidi
U-200 Box 67 UCONN
445 Whitney Road Extension
Storrs, CN 06269-9012
1515 Vine Street: No. 5
Denver, CO 80206
FLORIDA: Bob Bauman
800 Southwest 4th Street
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312
INDIANA: David Horne
Post Office Box 7891
Bloomington, IN 47407
IOWA: Juan M. Jorge Ramirez
LOS ANGELES: Moses Remedios
516 West 31st Street: No. 21
Los Angeles, CA 90007
MINNESOTA: John R. Stanek
5053 Washburn Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55412-2225
NEW YORK CITY: Mike Flannery
210 East 23rd Street: No. 5-R
New York, NY 10009
OMAHA: Elizabeth Bejan
2328 South 32nd Avenue
Omaha, NE 68104
PHILA: Charles F. Volz, Jr.
10935 Ellicott Road
Philadelphia, PA 19154
ROCHESTER: Donna M. Kearney
Post Office Box 10035
Rochester, NY 14610
SAN JOSE: Steve Cook
Post Office Box 4848
San Jose CA 95150
WASH. DC: National Office
P. O. Box 33292
Washington, DC 20033
WISCONSIN: Jim McFarland
1133 East Pleasant: No. 206
Milwaukee, WI 53202
TOM SENA INTERVIEWED
Tom Sena was interviewed for GRIT Internet Radio. This is a recent innovation of the internet, and is unlike other radio broadcasts -- because, among other things, it is not broadcast. The way the show works, once it is aired the first time it becomes available on demand for some time thereafter. I'm not sure when the station will be playing it. If you e-mail them (firstname.lastname@example.org) they can tell you when it will be on.
To hear it, just visit the GRIT (that's the name of the station) website at www.grit.com. If you're catching the premier broadcast, (some Thursday at 1:15 PM E.S.T.) hit the link that says "get the live stream" and you will hear it. If you are listening to an on-demand re-broadcast, come to GRIT, hit the link for "Politics" and then the one for past shows. You will then see a link for the interview.
To listen you need a soundcard and speakers on your computer. You will also need either RealAudio or Streamworks software, both of which are available for free download on GRIT.
PLAGAL CALLS FOR
HIBERNIAN PARADE CONSISTENCY
Philip Arcidi, President of the Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians [PLAGAL], urged the Ancient Order of Hibernians [AOH] to be consistent in their exclusionary policy and to bar pro-choice leaders from their parade. This policy was upheld by the United States Supreme Court in Hurley v. Irish-American Gay Group of Boston, a 1995 decision concerning the exclusion of gays and lesbians from the 1993 Boston Parade on First Amendment grounds. Since Lesbians and Gays are excluded from the New York St. Patrick's Day Parade because their lives do not conform to Roman Catholic Church teachings, PLAGAL called for the exclusion of pro-choice politicians because they do not conform to those same standards.
In a letter addressed to Edward J. Wallace, President of the AOH, Mr. Arcidi argued: "In years gone by, and, we would expect, in 1997, the Ancient Order of Hibernians will apply a forthright criterion for marching in the New York Saint Patrick's Day Parade: It will admit only those whose public standards confirm with the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. I request that you apply your criterion consistently.
"One of the Church's strongest imperatives, and America's critical human rights issue, is the protection of our most vulnerable minority, preborn infants. In the belief that we share pro-life convictions, I ask the Ancient Order of Hibernians to deny the pro-choice politicians the privilege and honor of marching in the Saint Patrick's Day Parade. The Pro-Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians is greatly troubled to see the Parade rendered a publicity platform for lawmakers who promote America's grievous abortion policy.
"The pro-choice politicians who join your festivities are opportunists, eager for the Ancient Order of Hibernians' validation and, ultimately, another term of office. Their presence reveals a double standard that disfigures your parade. To honor them is to render the 4300 people lost to abortion each day an expendable mortality.
"It is disappointing to see the Ancient Order of Hibernians abandon its self-proclaimed consistency with Roman Catholic teachings only when those who cannot speak for themselves -- the unborn -- suffer the consequences."
MAP SHOWS PLAGAL MEMBERSHIP DISTRIBUTION
Attached is a map showing the location of 587 of PLAGAL's 608 members as of March 1, 1997.
MEMBERSHIP FORM 1997 DUES ARE WELCOME
TELEPHONE MAY PLAGAL
HOME:___________________________________________________MESSAGES BE LEFT?_________
OFFICE:__________________________________________________MESSAGES BE LEFT?_________
FAX:____________________________________________________MESSAGES BE LEFT?_________
INTERNET MAY PLAGAL
ADDRESS:______________________________@_______________MESSAGES BE LEFT?_________
HOW DID YOU LEARN
ABOUT PLAGAL? _____________________________________________________________________
EXPERIENCE (Details Count!): ___________________________________________________________
ORGANIZATIONAL EXPERIENCE: ________________________________________________________
Willing to organize/coordinate a local PLAGAL group? _____
Willing to join a local PLAGAL group?_____
Willing to distribute literature at local Pride or similar event? _____
Wiling to speak for PLAGAL at civic or college group? _____
STATUS: ________ Member ________ Mailing List Only
DUES, CONTRIBUTIONS & PURCHASES:
Annual Dues: $10.00 ______ Contribution: $ ________
Buttons _______ @ $1.00 = $ ___________
Bumper Stickers _______ @ $1.00 = $ ___________
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Size: M / L / XL / XXL : _________
FLYERS: Pink #_____ Blue #_____ Yellow #_____ Green #_____ Lavender #_____
Please Make Checks Payable to P.L.A.G.A.L.
PLEASE RETURN FORM TO:
Post Office Box 33292
Washington, DC 20033-0292