MisterSF.com Archives / Wedstock

Reverend Lou Sheldon. The Associated Press photo by George Nitkin is from the April 25, 2001 San Francisco Chronicle article, "Gays protest choice for GOP faith summit," by Carla Marinucci.

Wednesday, April 7, 2004: Gay marriage opponent Reverend Lou Sheldon of the Anaheim-based Traditional Values Coalition today accused Pulitzer Prize winning Newsday columnist Jimmy Breslin of fabricating an interview with him. In his column published today, Breslin calls Sheldon a "fruitcake" and says he told the reverend, "You should be confined." Sheldon complained to Newsday editors via telegram. While Breslin said his conversation with Sheldon took place at the Republican National Convention in Houston in 1992, Sheldon said he did not remember speaking with Breslin. Although Breslin did quote Sheldon in a 1992 column from the convention, the quotes attributed to Sheldon in the 2004 article were not disclosed as dating from 1992.

I interviewed Rev. Sheldon at length in 1990. At the time, this was a major coup because I was an openly gay journalist and most religious conservatives such as Sheldon shunned members of the gay press. I convinced Sheldon that my personal interview style was not overly judgmental. There would be no questions like, "How long have you been a bigot?" It was easy to convince him of this because it was generally true and remains so. I prefer to allow people to show who they are. Following is my interview with Rev. Lou Sheldon, originally published in the Sentinel newspaper on June 21, 1990. The views expressed by the reverend are appalling yet they are as germane to the gay rights struggle today as they were 14 years ago. "The issue that we have with homosexuality is of a public policy nature," he tells me, "which impacts on schools, which impacts on marriage, which affects our civil code, which impacts on the special gay rights ordinances up and down the state and across the nation." - HD

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More about the Traditional Values Coalition
More about Jimmy Breslin
More about gay marriage in San Francisco

Copyright 2004 Hank Donat
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