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Johnathan Hale’s Open Letter to the Community about public discourse

In light of recent controversy surrounding alleged comments made by one community leader about another, my phone and email inbox has been flooded with messages. Apparently this issue has struck a chord.

First let me state our policy at San Diego Gay & Lesbian News surrounding Letters to the Editor, Guest Commentary and comments on stories.

Letters to the Editor are published after the author has been confirmed, because we will not publish anonymous letters. Letters are published in the order in which they are received. We will publish all letters, unless our Editor in Chief Ken Williams deems the letter blatantly inflammatory or to be containing hate speech.

Guest Commentary is an open forum for community members to express their views on issues of the day. The views expressed in guest commentary do not necessarily represent the views of our company, as we encourage diverse opinions to encourage healthy community discourse. We also allow candidates for office to write two Guest Commentaries per month.

Comments on stories on our Facebook and Twitter pages as well as on our website are highly encouraged and we delight in the community involvement in our stories. Similar to our Letters to the Editor, comments that are blatantly inflammatory or containing hate speech are deleted and often the authors of said comments will be blocked from making future posts. Diverse comments are welcome; mean-spirited comments are not.

It seems that almost every other week I am the subject of personal attacks by Nicole Murray-Ramirez in his column in LGBT Weekly. If he is not attacking me, he is attacking the people I love or another community member who has become his attack-du-joir.

I make this commitment to our community: San Diego Gay & Lesbian News will not be a vehicle for personal attacks or mean-spirited vendettas to be played out. There is no place for such sophomoric antics in public discourse.

I urge all my colleagues in LGBT publishing to lift the bar and put an end to this form of public bullying and character assassination. We are better than this.