Volume 92, Issue 89

Wednesday, March 17, 1999


Higher bus pass fee LTC driven

Bank invests in violence awareness

Rezs not surfing Wave

Western alumnus not very proud of gay research

New nurses applauded

Southwestern Ontario wants Western meds


Minor crises no match for UPD

Caught on campus

Western alumnus not very proud of gay research

By Nina Chiarelli
Gazette Staff

Western's Facility for Gay and Lesbian Studies has recently come under fire from alumni as the result of a story which appeared in the Spring 1998 issue of the Western Alumni Gazette.

According to Alan Bass, editor-in-chief of the magazine, the story was intended to raise awareness about Western's newly built gay pride library. What followed, however, was a rash of letters to the editor regarding the facility.

One letter in particular, sent by Western alumnus Liz Guccino, quoted verses from the Bible which were taken by some as potentially harmful personal threats.

James Miller, director of the library and the subject of the letter, said although the letter quoted direct passages out of the Bible, he felt jeopardized. "I felt personally threatened. The letter was so clearly directed at me. What was particularly shaken was my own sense of trust and faith in a kind of liberal tolerance."

Guccino said the intention of her letter was by no means to be viewed as a personal threat. "I am not a hate monger and I abhor abuse and violence of all kinds. My letter was written in a Christian spirit of compassionate concern and it was the sin, not the sinner that was being condemned."

Richard Warman, director of the McGill Law Green Party, said he did not agree with the implications of Guccino's letter. On behalf of his organization, Warman addressed a letter in February to Miller which applauded his commitment and work in the gay and lesbian community. "We were encouraged to see that Western was involved in creating this kind of innovative research facility," Warman said.

The McGill Law Green Party also saw fit to enclose a monetary donation with the letter. "Although it was a small amount, it represents a substantial contribution in terms of our overall budget which I think is a reflection of the importance we placed on the donation," Warman said.

Miller was pleased with the donation. "The donation was viewed by us as a gesture of support for what we're doing here. We've used the donation for an enrichment of the library along the lines of the interest of the party," he said, citing purchases for books pertaining to lesbian feminism and ecological issues.

Guccino, who was neither aware of the letter nor the donation, said she does not support the use of funds and facilities at Western for gay and lesbian studies. "I do not understand why any further studies are needed regarding gays and lesbians."

To Contact The News Department:

Copyright The Gazette 1999