OpEd: An Apology to Impulse

First and foremost, with its impact upon the LGBT community, SFGN has a responsibility to publish items responsibly- from page one to a little corner in the classifieds.

Last week, we failed in that duty, negligently publishing an anonymous letter to the editor, which should never have seen the light of day.

As one critic justifiably said, it was salacious and mean spirited, and served no public purpose. But religious zealots still send letters like that to LGBT publications weekly, and we publish them anyway. They are an important reminder that the fight for equality continues.

Nevertheless, in this instance we failed to corroborate the identity of the letter writer or the authenticity of the letter. If you have the audacity to call someone out, you ought to have the courage to identify yourself. And without that, you should not have any expectation to be published- even with posts on the Internet.

Even more so, your letter and criticism should enhance a dialogue, not demean and degrade it. The offensive letter we published about the Impulse group did both, and on behalf of SFGN, I apologize for allowing it to run.

As evidenced by the national awards our journalistic team won this week, we hold ourselves to high standards. If we fail to meet them, we must be held accountable ourselves.

From inadvertently publishing the home address of a grieving victim, to negligently giving a voice to a mean letter writer who failed to even use his real name, we screwed up last week.

It's our duty and obligation to our readership and the public to do better. We must, and we will.

To those in Impulse who have been wrongfully hurt, we are sorry. The work you do educating young people about HIV is very important.

Don't allow a bump in the road caused by someone else to stop you from climbing the mountain.

Don't let the anonymous criticism of others impair goals for yourself. Keep on truckin.'

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