|Delaware House Bill 36 (HB36) is much more than just the old HB99 with a new moniker. Like the old bill, HB36 protects heterosexual, bisexual and homosexual Delawareans from discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, public works contracts and insurance.
But HB36 does much more. The bill's writers took seriously the objections against HB99 and actually incorporated safeguards in HB36 against all of the dangers HB99's detractors had imagined. Thus for example, HB36 cannot be used to advance gay marriage. Sexual orientation cannot be advocated in schools. Employers will not have to institute hiring quotas and may continue to practice employment-at-will. Religious groups will be largely exempt. Similarly other guarantees are written right into the bill.
HB36 is well-crafted legislation written in Delaware's best tradition of polite consideration of opposing sides. We must lobby and encourage our lawmakers to see that no conceivable harm can come from this bill due to its internal guarantees, but that the interests of fairness and democracy will be well served by its passage.
Doug & Corey Marshall-Steele
It is always good to read Letters from CAMP Rehoboth. As a Gay man in the Lewes/Rehoboth area, I feel (after working at the Renegade in the D.J. booth as light man) that the closing of the Renegade had a very bad impact on Rehoboth. I stood up there many nights and watched all the guys dance and have a great timesweat running down, shirts flying off, and the energy level incredible. Now there is nowhere for us to go to really let our hair down and be in our own worldif only for a few hours.
I have spoken to a lot of guys that used to come here on vacation but now don't bother since they have dance clubs where they live. I feel that since the closing of the Renegade and Club AM the Rehoboth gay community is losing ground. I looked around town this past summer and was amazed at the difference in gay people here. I wish I had the money to open a dance club, as God knows we need one.
As much complaining as there was about the Renegade, the place was packed and everyone had a blast, even the employees. I listen to my tape collection from the Renegade and can almost close my eyes and see all the people on the dance boxes and the packed dance floor. With the music playing and the lights flashing, it was great. The question is, will we ever, ever have another world to go to like the Renegade.
Welcome back! After a brief (but still too long) hiatus over the holidays and new year, I grabbed the first issue of Letters for 2005 the day it hit the streets.
But what a bittersweet occasion it was! The first thing I always do is sit down to be informed and entertained by Fay Jacobs and Marc Acito. First I discover that this was Marc's last column!
While I thoroughly enjoyed his first novel and wish him all the luck in the world with his new venture (writing novels full time), his column will be sorely missed!
But of course Fay's column was still like sitting down with an old friend over a cup of coffee. Warm, witty, amusing with just enough caustic humor thrown in.
My partner and I have been part-time residents of Rehoboth for the past few years ("We live in Rehoboth but work in Pennsylvania" is our mantra) and manage to take advantage of our home here two or three times a month. This past weekend brought us down for our first taste of Bingo-A-Go-Go and what a terrific community event it was! Even though we took home no prizes, we still consider ourselves winners for being a part of a community that can pull off functions like this!
Fay's first column of the year touched on recent problems with censorship, both locally and nationally, and once again she exactly hit the mark. But what I wanted to bring up is a short tale about my beginning months coming to Rehoboth. Being a radio news and weather junkie, I quickly found a station that seemed to have both. But shortly after listening to the programming in between hourly news and weather, I immediately knew this would not be my radio station! Especially after the tirades they brought forth this past fall about the Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival. Having been a supporter of the festival for the past five years (traveling 150+ miles each year to see the films), I was aghast that there was so much negative talk about an event that brings literally thousands of visitors to the area to attend dozens of sold out shows! The bile and hatred spewing forth from the local talk show hosts was enough to forever turn me off that station. Good riddance, WGMD! I wrote to the editors of two local newspapers to support the film festival against the radical rantings of these broadcasters, but neither was published (to the best of my knowledge).
And while I have never taken a stand like this, I declared to those around me that I will make a point of NOT supporting the advertisers on that radio station, even though it means never again going to my favorite local Italian restaurant, my favorite seafood house, and some other great local businesses. I was especially shocked to hear Cloud 9 advertising there! Of course, these businesses will survive just fine without my hard-earned gay dollars.
With so much good going on (the growth and expansion of CAMP Rehoboth, the recently announced move of Lambda Rising to a larger, more visible location, and the countless community events that take place yearly), there is a lot to be thankful for about Rehoboth Beach.
So onward through 2005! My best wishes to CAMP Rehoboth and the community for its warmth, hard work, and dedication to making this area a better place for all of us!
Letters should be sent to CAMP Rehoboth, 39 Baltimore Ave., Rehoboth, DE 19971, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
LETTERS From CAMP Rehoboth, Vol. 15, No. 2 March 11, 2005