Straight Pride in the Nineties — Nothing has changed.
In 1990/1991, a man named Guy Glodis organized “Straight Pride” at UMass Amherst. This passed Saturday, I spoke with Rick Dodge who was part of the original opposition in 1990/1991 and part of Queer nation. Rather than editorialize, I’m just going to post the interview with Rick, and all the related articles I came up with on the Wayback Machine.
It should be noted that the content is the intellectual property of the original authors, and I have simply copied and pasted relevant articles which have old-school jumps from the front page to back pages — which may be difficult to read in a linear fashion in the age of the internet. However, I’ve provided links to the original archive, so you can see for yourself.
I must begin by stating that I am not a liberal — although certain views I hold may be considered liberal, such as gay rights and affirmative action, I prefer to think of my- self as a conservative.
Which is exactly why I attended the first meeting of the University of Massachusetts Republican Club. I can now say that I do not plan to join the club and I am beginning to rethink my views. There were approximately 14 current members of the club present, mostly club officers and the staff of the Minuteman, the Club’s conservative news-
As the president of the club spoke to open the meeting. 1 became more agitated and appalled at what the club stood for. In his speech (if one can call a disjointed and un- organized collection of statements a speech)
he attacked many Liberal views as well as the “liberal rag,” the Collegian. He gave no reasons for the flaws of these other modes of thought but just mentioned them in passing.
Another member, an officer in Young Americans for Freedom, announced that
they were planning a “straight pride” rally as a compliment to the liberal “gay pride” rallies. Whether or not malice is intended, it puts forth a message that heterosexuals are being oppressed by homosexuals.
These are not ideas I’ve ever known to be associated with the Republican Party. I am a registered Republican and I speak with other Republicans, but none have expressed views like the members of this club. They
are hiding behind the Republican name to carry out their hardcore, reactionary ultra- conservative views. They stand for none of
the Republican ideals I hold true, or inasmuch as I gathered from the meeting.
The aspect of club that disturbed me the most was something I read in a pamphlet that was handed out to open the meeting. It had a short “Republican Quiz” that was supposed to tell you if you are a Republican or not.
If you answered “yes” to questions such as “Are you tabled a racist because you disagree with affirmative action?” and “Have you been informed by your RA/RD that your beliefs regarding homosexuality are
•homophobic?” then you are correct in join- ing the club.
I am not a Republican to keep minorities a permanent underclass and to become rich by exploiting the American public. I believe in strong fiscal policies and social programs. 1 encourage UMass students never to join
the Republican Club if you believe in the equality of man and the “American Dream.”
Do you really want to be a part of something that relies on funding from the John Birch Society to bring in a speaker? I don’t.
LBGA, conservatives look for truce
Charles Delano, the editor-in-chief of the
Minuteman, said “It’s completely different
By KURT MOFFETT
Two groups of University of Massachu-
setts students with a recent history of an-
tagonism are scheduled to meet today to try
to begin working to settle their differences.
The Lesbian Bisexual and Gay AlUance
(LBGA) and the conservative groups of the
Republican Club, the Minuteman and the
Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) are
set to discuss four recommendations pro-
posed by the Chancellor’s Commission on
Civility in Human Relations to improve the
First, the Commission’s list of recom-
mendations hopes to “develop a formal
agreement regarding ground rules by which
both will abide.”
The Commission added that harassment,
destruction of property, biased publications,
violent threats and threatening phone calls
are “inappropriate and unacceptable” to the
LBGA and the conservative groups.
“We’re tired of fighting,” said Shawn
Cotter, a member of the LBGA’s steering
committee. “It’s a waste of energy.”
from last year. We haven’t done anything to
provoke them this semester. The Afinutemon
is not gay-bashing.”
The second recommendation deals with
ending the confusion between the First
Amendment and UMass’ harassment poli-
cies. For example, last spring Young
Americans sponsored a “Straight Pride” rally
that was interpreted by the LBGA as “anti-
gay.” Approximately 600 protestors drowned
out the speakers with whistles, chants and
The confusion relates to whether or not
the speakers were denied their First
Amendment rights of freedom of speech by
the protesters, and if the protestors were
violating UMass’ harassment policies.
“Both groups have felt misunderstood,”
Dave Schimmel, co-chairperson of the
Commission, said. “They need to agree on
appropriate and innappropriate ways to settle
Another Commission member, Masha
Rudman, said the groups should “respect
CONTINUED ON PAGE 3
By MICHAEL LEVY
Anti-gay statements expressed last semester by
Paul McGonnigal have caused some to question his
candidacy in the race for the Amherst-Pelham state
representative seat vacated recently by Stanley
The heart of the controversy stems from the sec-
ond annual “Straight Pride” rally held last semester
by three conservative groups on campus — the Re-
publican Club. The Minuteman and the Young
Americans for Freedom.
The rally became a shouting match between con-
servatives and members and supporters of the Les-
bian Gay Bisexual Alliance. Whistles, shouts, chants
and screams came from the crowd and the speakers
shouted back, angry about their inability to be heard.
CONTINUED ON PAGE 10
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 1991
THE MASSACHUSETTS DAILY COLLEGIAN
Paul McGonnigars past statements come back to haunt
I read about David Duke, former KKK grand wizard, and
his campaign for the Louisiana governorship the same day
1 opened a Daily Hampshire Gazette and discovered UMass
Republican Club member Paul McGonnigal was running
for the Massachusetts state House of Representatives.
I began to wonder if I had woken up that morning or if I
were trapped in an awful nightmare about political neo-
Although McGonnigal says in the Gazette he does not
want to be considered “the student candidate,” I think a
close examination of his student political record is necessary
in order to understand his politics, since he has no other
I think it was wise of McGonnigal to try to keep attention
away from his student activities, considering the right-
wing reactionary low-lifes with whom he has associated.
McGonnigal was a very active member of the UMass Re-
publican Club last semester, a fact he conveniently failed to
mention in his Gazette interview. For those who don’t re-
call, this is the club that sponsored the gaybashing “Straight
Pride Rally” last spnng, brought a pro-apartheid speaker
on campus, and sponsored an anti-abortion rally. The Club
was also involved with the horribly sexist and homophobic
“Guy Glodis Talk Show.”
McGonnigal has also been a writer for The Minuteman
— you remember, the ragsheet that has consistently been
anti-gay, anti-women, and anti-just about anything else
remotely related to human rights or civil discourse.
The UMass Republican Club has historically been this
campus’ equivalent to the South’s KKK. Guilt by associa-
tion should be enough to put the nails in McGonnigal’s
But there’s more. An examination of a transcript from
last semester’s “Straight Pride” rally further reveals
McGonnigal’s blatant homophobia. Among other things,
McGonnigal does not think UMass should fund Gay, Les-
bian, or Bisexual programs:
“I’m sad to say that many of those dollars are being
incredibly wasted by you people here today,” McGonnigal
said, addressing the GLB crowd that showed up in protest.
What a distressingly unreasonable and exclusionary
position. If one were to count how much money is spent on
heterosexist programming at this University and weigh the
percentages, GLB programs receive pennies in comparison.
McGonnigal also does not support the Massachusetts
gay civril rights law: “Legislation passed to ensure certain
rights to others exclusively one sexuality or another is
wrong. Keep government out of our bedrooms. You’re doing
nothing of this sort by supporting the Gay Rights Bill.”
Reading this twisted argument reminds me of the
doublespeak described in Orwell’s 1984. Contrary to
McGonnigal’s assertion, the state civdl rights law does not
extend any special privileges to gay people. It protects them
from being denied the privileges given to everyone else,
particularly in employment and housing.
The fact is, government has been in our bedrooms for a
very long time, because sodomy laws are still on the books.
If McGonnigal wants to keep government out of our bed-
rooms, he should be campaigning against the Supreme
Court’s 1987 Hardwick decision and support the decrimi-
nalization of anal and oral sex.
Equally disturbing about McGonnigal is his blatant
disrespect for women. He spoke twice at last semester’s
“Straight Pride” rally and his second speech was utterly
McGonnigal told the angry crowd he wanted to talk
about “sleeping with the enemy” and then proceeded to
name an openly bisexual UMass woman and claim that he
and she had “built bridges together.” The sexual allusion
was obvious and in horribly bad taste. If a sexual liason did
occur, McGonnigal had no business publicly bragging about
it. His insensitivity was grotesque.
But also, it raises a deeper issue. How can a man claim
to have a bisexual lover, and then oppose civil rights for
gays, lesbians, and bisexuals? McGonnigal’s sexist hypoc-
risy powerfully reminds me of the Southern White slave
owners who slept with their Black female slaves but refused
to recognize their humanity.
McGonnigal’s history of membership in sexist, racist,
and homophobic student political organizations and his
remarks at last year’s “Straight Pride” rally reveal why he
must not be elected to represent one of this state’s most
Hopefully, as UMass Republican Club members begin to
realize their past can come back to haunt them, they will
stop engaging in their disgustingly uncivil behavrior and
join the rest of the human race. Until then, they all, like
McGonnigal, should kiss their political aspirations good-bye.
Trystan Skeigh is a Collegian columnist
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
It was Mci-ionnigal’s first turn at the
podium when he presented views which
contradict his platform in the current
“Legislation passed to insure certain
right* to one sexuality or another is
wrong.” McGonnigal said at last
YesU?rday McGonnigal denied be-
“1 do believe that gays and lesbians
need legislative protection,” he said, but
added he is “not fond of the Massachu-
setts gay rights law.”
McGtinnigal. who said he is a Uni-
versity of Massachusetts student and
has been a resident of Amherst for nine
months, said the law fails “in that litis)
ver>- broad.” He claimed “there have
been no convictions” under the law and
said it was due to its “over- breadth.” He
said another problem with the gay righu
law is that it is not obvious who is gay.
comparing it to civil nghts laws con-
cerning gender and race.
McG<innigal was not pleased with the
atmosphere at the straight pride rally
“I was not allowed to state my views.”
he said, finding it “very difficult to keep
my train of thought.”
Approaching the microphone for the
s;econd lime at the rally last semester.
McGonnigal told the crowd about a sexual
experience with a member of the LBGA
.md Queer Nation which he dubbed
“sleeping with the enemy.”
McGonnigal said that he and she had
“bndged an understanding intimately.”
“She is a representative of the LBGA
to the Board of Governors. We can get
along Just ask I her). We did get along
well .” He then addressed her personally,
asking her to “tell I the crowd I how well
we can get along.”
Some members of the LBGA were not
supportive of his candidacy.
“1 personally don’t like it at all.” said
Shawn Cotter, member of the LBGA
steering comittee. “1 personally think
the voters should really look into his
political career at UMass which is not
all that impressive.”
“I think he will do nothing but harm.”
Cotter added, describing McGonnigal as
State Senator Stanley Rosenberg said
someone who is anti-gay rights might
mtt fare well m Amherst.
“Clearly this area by far, by over-
whelming majority, supports gay rights
and protects civil rights and liberties,”
Charles Delano, editor of T/ic Min
uteman said McGonnigal’s statements
“might hurt him.” Delano was confident
that McGonnigal would win the Re
publican primar>’ election, but the gen-
eral election would be tougher in this
“generally democratic” area.
Jeffrey Bergman, financial manager
for the LBGA. said he has no opinion
about McGonnigal’s qualifications, but
thought his University of Massachusetts
origins leflhim”littlechanceofwinning “
Compiled by JASON GEORGE
A man in Kennedy Residence Hall reported Tuesday
afternoon that he was the victim of homophobic threats by
persons unknown to him. The incident is currently under
investigation by police.
Candidate dissatisfied with use of statements
I am writing in response to two pieces which appeared in
the Nov. 7 Collegian , “UM Candidate’s Straight Pride’ Views
Examined” by Michael Levy and a column by Trystan
Skeigh titled “Paul McGonnigal’s Past SUtemenU Come
Back to Haunt.”
First, as a candidate for public ofTice it goes without
saying that I must come to expect attacks on my character,
my record and indeed every aspect of my life. I must further
expect these attacks will usually be founded in httle more
than scant, out-of-context information and couched in lan-
guage designed to paint the worst possible portrait of my
views and beliefs. And lastly, 1 must be clear about this: the
people issuing forth these attacks will know relatively
nothing about me. the person, or the platform of my ideas.
All my expectations in these regards were met by the
content, style and indeed the spirit of the two aforemen-
Levy accurately reports that I did speak at the “Straight
Pride “ rally sponsored by the UMass Republican Club and
two other politically conservative RSOs. I did not, however,
express any “1 AInti-gay statements,” which he claims I did.
The quotation he refers to as anti-gay is. “Legislation
passed to ensure certain rights to one sexuality or another
is wrong.” Surely, if one is to be called “anti-gay.” then more
evidence than what is offered by Mr. Levy is necessary.
It is clear, by the context in which this statement was
spoken that the message I was conveying was Libertarian;
i.e., as a society as diverse as ours, it needs to work toward
an ideal marked not by the necessity for protective legisla-
tion, but by an understanding and respect for each other
which would preclude the necessity for such legislation in
the first place.
Mr. Levy’s coverage of the context was poor at best. In
the interim, between now and whenever we can say of
ourselves, “We do not hate on the basis of race, gender.
sexual orientation or physical abilities,” statutory protec-
tion which is narrowly constructed (thus more capable of
being applied) is necessary. Yes, this means I do now and
always have believed in gay right*.
Ms. Skeigh and Mr. Levy both drew conclusions about
several statements I made in reference to a social encounter
I had with “an openly bisexual woman.” The references I
made about the encounter were: “sleeping with the enemy”
and that we had “built bridges together.” Again, out of
context, these statements can be twisted in the most taste-
less and irresponsible of ways, as they have been here.
Ms. Skeigh states. “If a sexual liaison did occur.
McGonnigal had no business bragging about it publicly.”
Ms. Skeigh also accused me of publicly naming the woman
in question. First, that by my statement 1 was alluding to a
sexual encounter at all is beyond the realm of reason.
Second, that 1 mentioned a woman’s name in the context of
those statements is hardly out of the ordinary. I am proud
of my relationships; that because of their richness and
depth, with members of the gay, lesbian and bisexual
community here, does not cast a shadow of impropriety on
this situation at all. The motives and the mindsets of Ms.
Skeigh and Mr. Levy seem altogether clear and, in my
opinion, should not be tolerated by this community.
Lastly. I would like to take this opportunity to express
my outrage at Ms. Skeigh ‘s comparison of me to David
Duke. Ms. Skeigh should reflect for a moment on her own
outrage at tactics employed by right-wing zealots she (and
I ) so thoroughly loathes. Just as homosexuality cannot be
equated with mental illness, neither can I be compared to
the likes of David Duke! Surely you are more capable than
this of uncovering real truths, however, the question is, do
you want to?
Two more enter primary
Challenge McGonnigal in Republican race for rep.
By JASON GEORGE
Two more Amherst men have entered the Republican
primary to fill the Third Hampshire District state repre-
Amherst resident Kevin J. Smith, 35, and University of
Massachusetts sophomore Peter J. Wagner, 19, announced
their candidacy Tuesday for the Amherst-Pelham seat
vacated by Stanley Rosenberg’s election to the state senate.
Wagner, previously a Democrat, said he first considered
registering as a Republican in June, following former State
Senator John Olver’s election to the U.S. House of Repre-
sentatives. Wagner called the Republican Party the “party
of honesty,” stating “when Republicans say they don’t care
about a minority, they mean it.”
Smith, who has worked at the University library since
January 1989, said he is also planning to switch his regis-
tration to Republican from Democrat.
“If you ask anybody on the street the difference between
Democrats and Republicans, they’d be hard-pressed to tell
you,” Smith said. “In this country, we basically have a
business party with two factions.”
“By running as a Republican, I feel I’m sort of entering
the den of wolves,” Smith said.
Wagner said his platform includes mandatory sex edu-
cation in public schools, treatment on demand for drug
users, universal health care, free higher education for
Massachusetts residents and reform of the state’s prison
“I hope the public can see my enthusiasm and my high
energy level as an example of how far I’m willing to go in
working on the issues I’m talking about,” Wagner said.
UMass senior Paul McGonnigal is the only other Re-
publican in the race. Wagner said while “Paul’s running is
the reason for my enthusiasm,” he and Smith did not enter
the race simply to block McGonnigal’s chances to be elected
to the State House.
The Springfield Union-News reported yesterday a
number of charges Smith and Wagner made against
McGonnigal, centering around alleged comments he made
during a “Conservative Awareness Week,” and a “straight
pride rally” at the University last March.
Smith and Wagner both have videotapes of the two
events, which Smith called “very telling about
According to both Wagner and Smith, among other
things, McGonnigal called Gregory Levey, an Amherst
resident who set fire to himself and died on the town
common on Feb. 18, “a bonehead.”
“I don’t see him as having any great compassion for the
human race,” Smith said. “I think he’s in it for himself”
Both Smith and Wagner said they would be willing to
debate McGonnigal. “I’d love to debate Paul McGonnigal on
the issues — separate from the video expose,” Wagner said.
McGonnigal declined to comment on any of Smith and
Wagner’s accusations, stating “with regard to the substance
of the comments, I can’t respond because of the dignifying
effect that comment might possibly have.”
“I will debate any serious and real candidate from either
party,” McGonnigal said. “I can’t consider the two gentle-
men who have announced their bid for the Republican
nomination as either serious or real.
“Scurrilous and personal attacks, especially when
founded in little more than scant information, the inter-
pretation of which is often subjective, have unfortunately
become all too common in American politics,” McGonnigal
said. “By debating either of these two gentlemen, I would be
condoning just that.”
Collegian photo by Josh Reynolds
Conservatives, LBGA complete civility plan
By TAMI MONAHAN
Members of the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexvial Alliance,
the Minuteman, the RepubUcan Club and the Young
Americans for Freedom unveiled yesterday an unprec-
edented “ground rules” agreement to alleviate tensions
and promote civility between the groups.
Members of the Chancellor’s Commission on Civility
in Human Relations worked with the groups to develop
an agreement meant to eliminate harrassment between
the groups, which has consisted of anonymous notes and
harassing phone calls.
The agreement is also intended to de-escalate tensions
surrounding the “Straight Pride” rally sponsored by
conservative groups the week following the LBGA’s
Already some members in the agreement have sug-
gested that they repudiate the ground rules.
Bill Amrhein of the Yoiuig Americans for Freedom,
who did not attend the press conference, said YAF has
never agreed to the ground rules.
Ill keep [the ground rules] in mind,” he said later.
He said he was concerned about a breach of First
Amendment rights, “It would be dissolving the organi-
zations to agree to this.”
“We want to raise the level of communication to be
more honest, direct and pro-active,” said LBGA treasurer
Ali Woolwich, senior film video production and social
Woolwich said they hope to increase commimication
and eliminate infighting between RSOs.
“There is a stigma involved in calUng yourself a
conservative or a Republican at UMass,” said Editor in
Chief of the Minuteman Greg Zenon, a sophomore ma-
joring in journalism, political science and English.
One provision of the agreement requires members of
RSOs to not hold a rally with the word “pride’ in the title
for the spring 1992 semester.
Woolwich said the “Straight Pride” rallies tradition-
ally held by the Young Americans for Freedom had come
to equal “homophobic rhetoric.”
Woolwich S€ud the provision was meant to clear up is
Lesbian, gay ,bisexual students and
heterosexual allies stage a counter-rally
to protest the “Straight Pride” rally dur-
ing Conservative Awareness Week.. The
“Straight Pride” rally was one of the larg-
est and most controversial demonstra-
tions of the 1990–1991 school year. Plwto
by Jeff Holland