Digital History at Ursinus

"Gala Replies to Letter," November 19, 1991

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"Gala Replies to Letter," November 19, 1991


John Ronning's letter to the editor.


The Executive Committee members offer a strong rebuke of John Ronning's letter and sentiments.


Michael Cyr, Jeffrey Bell, and Elisabeth Hauser.


The Grizzly


Ursinus College


November 19, 1991

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Dear Editors:
In response to John Ronning's letter describing, quite graphically, his aversion to GALA, we offer the following response:

1)Sexual preference is not a matter of choice. With the exception of fundamentalist right-wing kooks, everyone pretty much accepts this principle as a fact. Numerous scientific studies have shown that "curing" homosexuals is only successful when the patients are carefully screened beforehand and have had a great deal of hetersexual experience (Davidson 1976). Other "follow-up" research shows that very few "cured" homosexuals remain wholly hetersexual. Past "cures" have included hypnosis, intensive psychoanlysis, prefrontal lobotomy, electroconsulsive shock treatment, chemical castration, aversion therapy, and many other barbaric methods (McGonaghy, Procter, & Barr, 1972).

2) At no time has GALA ever referred to the homophobic tendendies of closed-minded bigots as a "mental illness." Is racism a "mental illness?" How about sexism? Is intolerance and hate-mongering a "Mental illness?" If GALA considered your homophobia to be a mental illness, we would gladly put you in touch with a group of "ex-homophobes" that could help you avoid that short, miserable lifestyle. Of course, this offer is based on the conviction that homophobia is an unfamiliar perversion. Sound familiar?

3) Ronning's rather foolish belief that homosexuals "live with one disease after another, and die young," is yet another example of ludicrous self-delusion. Unhealthy sexual practices and sexually-transmitted diseases are not limited to homosexuals. Last week's announcement by Magic Johnson proves that point. Most gay men and lesbians today are hyper-aware of safe sexual practices.

4) Attempting to link homosexuality to all of Ronning's graphic sexual acts is nothing more than old-fashioned ignorance. Not all gay people engage in the activities he listed. Nor are these activities engaged in exclusively by homosexuals. Heterosexuals outnumber homosexuals ten to one. Statistically it is ridiculous to say that all sexual perversity is practiced within ten percent of the population, while the other ninety percent have uniform sexual practices. GALA is the GAY AND LESBIAN ALLIANCE, not the "whatever-sexual-leanings alliance." So don't ask us to open up to necrophiliacs, pedophiles, and those who practice bestiality. GALA wouldn't want that many heterosexuals in our group anyway.

5) If normal sexual behavior is not to be defined as "non-mastrubating, non-pre-marital, non-pornographic, non-oral, non-anal, non-fantasy, non-anything-but-you-and-your-spouse-under-the-covers-lights-out-missionary-position-for-producing-children-sex," then Ronning has quite a task ahead of himself. If two consenting adults engage in sexual activity in the privacy of their own home, who cares if they want to urinate on each other? Couldn't Ronning spend his excess energy feeding the poor or sheltering the homeless, or doing something more important than standardizing the sexual habits of a nation? Homosexuals are not the only group that is threatened. After we are "cured," who is next? Will these fundamentalist right-wingers stop there? Don't count on it. I ask Ronning: What are your views on divorce, birth control, pre-marital sex, inter-racial marriage, or working women?

To end this letter with a question, I ask: "How tolerant should we be of intolerance?" In a time where "political correctness" is becoming a dirty word, what is the "proper resposne" to mis-informed bigots? How many will not contest this lunatic under the meager excuse, "everyone's entitled to his opinion." Everyone is entitled: So voice your disagreement. Send a message to close-minded, bigoted, extremist, fanatical, narrow, prejudiced, intolerant zealots on this campus and beyond.

Respectuflly submitted,
Michael Cyr, Jeffrey Bell, Elisabeth Hauser
GALA Executive Committee


FacultyMembersSpeakOut Nov 19 1991.jpg



Michael Cyr, Jeffrey Bell, and Elisabeth Hauser. , “"Gala Replies to Letter," November 19, 1991 ,” Digital History at Ursinus, accessed September 21, 2020,