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No Apology for `Stop the Church'

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NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

To the Editors of The Crimson:

As of this month, 94,770 men, women and children are dead from AIDS. Thousands of these deaths could have been prevented if these people had known how to prevent transmission of the virus by practicing safe sex, including the use of condoms during anal and vaginal intercourse.

The Catholic Church has been a vocal and irresponsible opponent of safe sex education since the beginning of this epidemic and is to blame for the deaths of many of our friends, our neighbors, our relatives and our lovers who never knew a piece of latex could have saved their lives.

I read with dismay Thomas Watson's apology to the Catholic Students Association for offending them by showing ACt UP's Stop the Church video. When is the Catholic Students Association going to apologize for killing thousands, all in the name of a reactionary sexual politics?

Yes, stop the church from interfering in public health policy; yes, stop the church from trying to legislate control over women's bodies; yes, stop the church from trying to prevent the approval of civil rights legislation that would protect gays and lesbians.

I don't care what Catholics do in the privacy of their cathedrals, but when they try to enforce their particular version of morality on the society as a whole, they are transgressing a boundary that separates church from state in this country. It sickens me that it is a scandal to show a film that criticizes the Catholic Church's stand on several public policy issues.

The real scandal is Cardinal John O'Connor's and Cardinal Bernard Law's insistence on and public advocacy of several bits of Catholic dogma even when they are sending thousands to their graves by doing so.

One last item: Watson should choose sides in this war on AIDS, this war on women's rights, this war on gays and lesbians. Can one really be a gay Catholic? Well, I guess you could be a Jewish Nazi or an African-American Klansman. The juxtaposition seems unproductive and impractical to say the least, sadomasochistic and and schizophrenic perhaps come closer to the point. Gregg Gonsalves   Staff, Harvard Law School   Member, ACT-UP

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