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Gay Activists Barred From Bellotti Reception

By Matthew M. Hoffman, Special to The Crimson

BOSTON--About 15 members of the gay rights group Queer Nation were barred from a reception at Francis X. Bellotti's campaign head-quarters in the Park Plaza Hotel yesterday after a brief confrontation with hotel security.

The group of men and women were escorted from the packed ballroom by a Boston police officer at about 10 p.m. yesterday after entering the room and chanting "We're here, we're queer, and we vote."

Group members described themselves as Bellotti supporters and said they had been received enthusiastically at the reception for Marjorie Clapprood, a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor based across the hall from Bellotti.

They attributed the exclusion to anti-gay prejudices in the Bellotti campaign and the hotel security forces. One group member described the event as "a patent example of direct homophobia."

"Bellotti supports the gay rights bill, but he won't let us in," said Queer Nation member David Stitt.

After being asked to leave by the hotel's director of catering, group leader David Hamburger appealed to a Bellotti aid, who asked to meet with the group at a later time, but said he could not do anything to let them in.

The aide said that the campaign reception was not an appropriate forum for the chant, arguing that the gay rights activists might intimidate other Bellotti supporters. "There are people in that room who don't like you," he said.

Mario Colangelo, the hotel's director of security, said the decision to eject the group had been made by the hotel, not the Bellotti campaign, and that it had been based on their disruptive activities. Bellotti Campaign Manager Mark Roosevelt said he was unaware of the disturbance.

After a brief argument with the Bellotti staffers, Hamburger and the other group members left the hotel peaceably.

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