Letters to the Editor: Dolphin Dems Push Against Tim Smith, Parkland Shooting, Bruce Presley

Photo via TimSmith.com

Dolphin Dems Push Back Against Candidate Tim Smith

Letter to the Editor

Dear South Florida Gay News:

I am writing in reference to your article entitled “Dolphin Dems Accused of ‘Rigging’ Their Endorsement.” The reason Mr. Smith was not on the ballot for endorsement at the February meeting is because he did not comply with the endorsement process as stated in the bylaws and was therefore ineligible to be endorsed.

The Dolphin Democrats is undergoing major changes in its leadership and community involvement. Membership has more than doubled in the past year and new board members are actively engaged in rebuilding the organization. In November 2017 the Bylaws Committee met and completely reviewed the bylaws of the organization and proposed amendments to update them. The revised bylaws were submitted to the membership and voted on at the January 10, 2018 meeting.

One amendment says candidate endorsements are made for one race only and candidates seeking endorsements must request to be endorsed for each race separately. Primary, general and special elections are all separate races. All amendments were publicly available on the Dolphin Democrats’ webpage prior to the January 10th meeting. An announcement was made at that meeting that all candidates seeking endorsements for the upcoming Fort Lauderdale race in March had to submit their request by January 22, 2018 to be eligible for consideration at the February 21, 2018 meeting.

The bylaw amendments were approved by a 2/3 vote of the members attending the January 10th meeting. Mr. Smith voted for the bylaw amendments. Mr. Steven Glassman was the only candidate who correctly followed the bylaw endorsement process. Thus, Mr. Glassman was the only candidate eligible for the endorsement vote at the February 21st meeting.

Although Mr. Smith was not endorsed, his contributions to the organization and the LGBTA community should not be diminished. We wish Mr. Smith luck in his campaign and hope we may continue to receive his long-standing support in the future.

Thank you,

Scott Herman

President of the Dolphin Democrats



Parkland: Another Tragic Loss to our Community

Dear Editor of the SFGN,

A mere dozen days have transpired since yet another massacre of innocent young adults. The Parkland community, Florida and the U.S. have suffered an immense loss. We are all without words to express our sorrow and suffering.

In a week and a half we have witnessed a trans-formative experience in Florida and the United States. The survivors of that horrible murder against 17 human beings have staged a massive response. Their voices now heard loud and clear throughout the nation and the globe, demanding respect for life and the children of God.

With emphasis, without a hint of self-doubt these young men and women have reclaimed and rightfully so their place in history.

On June 2016, almost two years ago a very similar horror was endured by a different community. A hater arrived at the Pulse club in Orlando and killed 49 brothers and sisters and wounded 58. The nation tethered at the edge of the abyss. Our LGBTQ community lost more than many lives that night we lost our political virginity.   Unfortunately, most of us did not perceived it that way. As in the past, we receded back into our mental and sinister closets. Back to our invisible yet powerful ways we went back to the usual.

Unusual, as all destinies are, the latest tragedy shows the generational contrasts that are maybe inevitable after all. The young generation of survivors from Parkland are showing the LGBTQ people how to fight back. The missed opportunity we had will be surveyed by history.

The survivors, young men and young ladies from the Stoneman Douglas High School, are teaching us a lesson. When we are hit we must not just defend ourselves we stand strong, organize and bring the fight and the conversation to another level: from the individual pain to the collective imagination of our nation.

Maybe there is hope after all....


Jimmy Lam


Why Destroy This Man’s Life?

Reader: Have empathy for the abuser as well as the abused

I am writing because I find myself conflicted after reading your article on Bruce Presley’s past...and the follow-up published in the 2-14-18 (Valentine’s Day) Issue.

I know and respect “MeToo,” and believe it takes courage to speak up and out about sexual abuse and assault, especially in our sex-obsessed and repressed society. However, after a 40 year absence, I want to say, “Give me a break!”

The poor man has given to society...and to gay society...benefits of money, expertise and time. The “boys” are now men, and those you write about have managed to be productive citizens through their pain. They were not innocent enough not to have broken rules at Lawrenceville School; they had decided to fight if they were physically assaulted; one did stop his exercises and leave. These seem to have been appropriate responses at the time (perhaps at any time).

So, why destroy a man at the end of his life when these men have managed to pick up and maintain successful lives?

If I were the Symphony or Stonewall, I would not have stripped Presley of these identities but tried to find another way to have the man express - remorse, one would hope - and then move on. I intend to communicate this to them.

Meantime, I would ask, knowing that you have many more years to grow before you reach Presley’s age, that you try to find more balance in your next feature of sexual misbehavior. Empathize, not only with the abused, but for the abuser, whom I expect has not responded to contact attempts because of his own horror of the effects he wrought.

These boys who are now men, should possibly spend more time working on their own resolutions without devastating a school’s reputation, and that of another human being.


Frank E Grant, PhD

Fort Lauderdale



Bruce Presley Was an Excellent Teacher

I am writing to you to provide another perspective on Mr. Bruce Presley, as I learned that he is under investigation for his alleged misconduct at the Lawrenceville School in the 1970s.

I had Mr. Presley as my teacher for AP Physics, and also a teacher of programming (the language known as BASIC).

I do want you that I found him to be an excellent teacher - he made AP Physics clear and easy to learn, and actually supported my college applications, although I was not successful in getting admitted to his Alma Mater, Yale (I ended up attending another Ivy League school). He was always supportive of my interest in science and computers at a time and (time of life- adolescence) when interest in science and math was looked upon as « wonk ».

I personally never saw/heard/experienced any of the behavior that is being reported on in the press or currently under investigation, although I did not have him as a headmaster (I was a day student).

I just wanted to provide this perspective in the midst of the « pile-on » that is occurring with all these accusers coming forward at this time, and would be happy to talk to you by phone.


Evan Lee, L’ville class of 1978

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