Letters for August 22, 2002

Well-traveled and fundamental truth

I am still marketing on a shoestring budget. I would love to offer my Inn as a lesbian-only place, but the market apparently does not exist, and advertising is very expensive. I would be in foreclosure if I counted only on lesbian support. Don't get me wrong, a significant number of lesbians stay with us and we love it! It's just not enough to pay the bills.

I do not wish to exclude anyone. I invite lesbians, gay men, transgendered people, straight people and their pets as long as they are comfortable staying at a gay-owned and -operated place. Please also note that a number of the gay motels in Broward County also welcome lesbians. I must confess that I run male ads in gay male publications. I also run some female ads in female publications when my sisters don't overcharge me.

I think the article in New Times was quite harsh and conveyed an image of fractionalization in the gay community. I am a member of the Rainbow Alliance, and my experience has been nothing but positive. The guys who organized and manage the Alliance are nice men and good businesspeople. They evidently had a dream, and they are fulfilling it. I believe that I am the only lesbian who owns a motel in Fort Lauderdale, but that is not their fault. In fact, the Alliance members and many other current and former guesthouse owners have been helpful to me in assisting me. Any lesbian who is courageous enough to spend tons of money on a lesbian motel is free to do so and be noticed.

In sum, I ask you to explore the positive options available to lesbians and not focus on the negative. I also wish to assure you that the people promoting Fort Lauderdale as a gay travel destination are doing the best they can. Please don't judge them too harshly.

Amy McGrotty, P.A.

North Miami Beach

He's on the level: I loved Bob Norman's July 11 column concerning Michael Newdow, "First Pledge." I'm finding more and more that the pious are reacting to the pledge controversy with anger and hostility. Those of us who are not Bible thumpers tend to write more level-headed articles.

Joseph F. Ragusa

Bronx, NY

He's leaning toward the Lord: To those who are upset at our patriotism of God and America: God bless America! And if you don't like to hear this, don't read the rest of this letter.

There is so much going on in the world today -- the big thing is looking for peace! Now, after 9/11, people are still afraid to fly or travel. Warnings of other attacks in this, our country, the USA, are common. So the big recent news about the pledge of allegiance "under God" is very disturbing to me. If there are folks and especially atheists who don't want to say the words "under God," then they don't have to say these words -- they are not being forced!

Yes, I was taught when I was young that this is a Christian country based on the ideas of the Founding Fathers, who were Christians. I am not Christian, but it is OK with me to live in a Christian country. No one forces me to change my religion. This is a totally free country. We have freedom of speech and are free to display banners of freedom displaying "God Bless America" on our cars, etc.

E.L. Cohen


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