Kudos to The Slovak Spectator
Kudos on your selection of Peter Králik as 2000 Man of the Year! [Peter Králik: Making an issue of homosexuality in Slovakia Vol. 6 no 49]. It should not matter what colour, shape, religion, ancestry or sexual orientation anyone is as long as he/she/they work for peace and justice for all humanity. I salute your publication for taking a bold step that not even our own more 'liberal' American publications have ever taken: naming a gay man as Man of the Year! You have made history!
Pico Rivera, California
A change of plans for next time
What a terrific honour for Peter Králik and the GBLT movement in Slovakia [Peter Králik: Making an issue of homosexuality in Slovakia Vol. 6 no 49].
I have had the pleasure of knowing several people from Bratislava through a cultural exchange programme. I was distinctly saddened one day when the subject of AIDS came up and I was told in no uncertain terms that there were no AIDS cases in their country because there were no gays in their country. I politely pursued the debate with them only to be met with indignation and outrage that I could even suggest there might be gays in Slovakia.
Rather than continue insulting their national pride, I swallowed my GBLT pride and changed the subject.
And when I visited Slovakia this past summer, I did not seek out any GBLT venues so that I would not disrupt the generous hospitality of my hosts. On my next visit to Slovakia, perhaps my itinerary will be different.
Congratulations to Peter Králik!
A visionary highlight
Thank you for highlighting this brave visionary...perhaps the first of his kind [Peter Králik: Making an issue of homosexuality in Slovakia Vol. 6 no 49]. Your article beautifully sums up some important points re: human rights and the progress of civilization.
Hang on a second
Though he does not mention me by name, the Italian Ambassador ("Not so fast" letters Vol. 6 no 49] is clearly responding to my letter of December 4-10, 2000 [Vol. 6 no 47].
The Ambassador reminds us that the community of Catholics is not limited to Slovakia, and, in a breathtaking rhetorical flourish, expands the relevant community outwards to include even the many non-Christians who, he tells us, agree with many of the moral principles of the Catholic Church. The point is clear: anyone who dares to disagree now is in danger of appearing to be unreasonable or "fringe".
But the Ambassador has not addressed the specific question whether gay and lesbian couples have the right to form a family.
Even if many of the principles of the Catholic Church are true and widely believed, that doesn't decide this particular issue. It's a bit like saying that according to the majority of people, a gun is probably not loaded. After the gun has been pointed and the trigger pulled, it's too late to prevent death.
The Ambassador also conjures up the spectre of an alleged contemporary moral decline. Have we witnessed moral decline in the past 40 years? Before answering that question, we should recall such weaknesses of the traditional family as the under-reported phenomenon of domestic violence. We should also be asking whether the Catholic Church's doctrines about birth control and divorce have made life better or worse for women and children. Has the official Catholic policy on condom use led to needless deaths from AIDS?
Finally, I never said or implied that Roman Catholics have no "right" to use the phrase "the Church". I did, however, point out that the use of the definite article brings along shades of meaning, without being specific about what I meant. I shall be more specific now: use of the definite article suggests that the speaker believes himself to have a monopoly as a representative of the only legitimate moral authority.
Money down the drain?
The measures are needed ["Price hikes around corner" by Ed Holt Vol. 6 no 49]. However, I hope that the proposed tax cuts that are mentioned by your analyst actually come through. Of course, if industries remain unchanged or are slow to restructure, then I can't see those tax reductions going through as the industries will remain a sink for public money.
15. Jan 2001 at 0:00