Segerstroms Offer a Shining Example of Anti-Gay Bias

I applaud C.J. Segerstrom & Sons for their propitious handling of the sexual preference matter recently brought to our attention ("Segerstrom Will Change Policy and Ban Gay Discrimination," Oct. 23). As a civic activist and city commissioner in Costa Mesa, I have always viewed the Segerstrom company and family to be forthright and decent in their community leadership and decision-making.

As a longtime resident, I am aware of the many and evolving viewpoints that make up our city's social fabric. Being respectful and understanding of these viewpoints is paramount because we are one community. I hope that other business, community and religious leaders will take note of the Segerstroms' decision.

I am very disheartened about (Gov. Pete) Wilson's, (Rep. William E.) Dannemeyer's, (Rep. Robert K.) Dornan's, (Sen. John) Seymour's and (Sen. Jesse) Helms' separatist comments and actions about the gay and lesbian community. Because of their stands, which I feel are wrong, I have left the Republican Party to become an Independent Party member. Their stands have caused me great embarrassment both as a lifelong Republican and Orange County resident. The time has come to respect all people's lives and beliefs.

My greatest hope is that other leaders at City Hall and our community won't be afraid to publicly say that there must be equal rights and respect for everyone. After all, C.J. Segerstrom & Sons did.

JOHN W. DEWITT

Costa Mesa

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