Responding to the article “Laguna Beach Gay Life Ebbing Away” (Dec. 9) about Laguna Beach, your newspaper did a great disservice to this community.
The tenor of the article perpetuates the myth that AIDS is a gay disease. This only serves to keep the general population ignorant of the brutal and unforgiving statistics currently being collected.
When the incidence of the disease on a per-capita basis was cited, the story failed to observe that doctors and hospitals in this community accurately report the disease as a primary cause of death, while many others in the state and the country opt for reporting some other condition in an effort to avoid the stigma of the disease.
A person with AIDS is apt to come to this city seeking dignified care and support--which inflates the incidence rate--more than to other cities that are still floundering in bureaucratic morass, bias and bigotry.
The story resorted to ridiculous observations that “25% of the city’s population is gay” and “since the ‘20s, the city has been a mecca for homosexuals.” Those numbers have no basis in fact. Believing that this community of 25,000 contains 6,000 or more gay individuals is ludicrous.
The assumption that the city is a mecca for homosexuals is a vapid, inane claim. This city is an energetic, aesthetic, geographic wonder with a strong business and social direction and a history of being an artistic vortex.
ROBERT DENNING, Laguna Beach