March 08, 1993 12:00 PM

Correspondents cheered actress Jane Seymour and her family-oriented television show, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman (PEOPLE, Feb. 15). A majority also spoke out in defense of gays in the military and criticized a previous correspondent who had suggested that the same crisis AIDS has brought to the figure-skating world would grow to devastate the armed forces if gays are unbanned.


As a longtime fan of Jane Seymour, I was happy to read of her newfound personal happiness and also the success of her show. However, I must admit that my coworkers and I tune in to Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman to see Joe Lando. Now there’s a vision!

LYNN M. HOLTE, Seattle

We limit our TV viewing to sports, Rush, Family Channel, all the Hallmark Hall of Fame shows and, so far, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. We trust that Jane and the Hollywood writers remember that the rare woman doctor of that era would have had the moral underpinnings to remain a virgin until she married. Oh, well. Our TV set does have an off switch.

SYLVIA and BYRON BAKER, Eugene. Oreg.


I have been reading many articles and letters regarding barring homosexuals from the military. Looking back over years of news stories, I remember reading about soldiers being raped during Operation Desert Storm. Oh, wait. Those were heterosexual men raping female soldiers—not homosexuals. Then there was that Tailhook problem. Oh, wait. Those were heterosexual Navy men allegedly molesting female Navy people and civilians—not homosexuals. Sexual misconduct, no matter what the personal persuasion, should not be tolerated.

R.J. SLOANE, Federal Way, Wash.

I served in the Air Force as an Avionics Instruments Systems Specialist on the flight line. I was sexually harassed because I served in a career field just opened to women. I feel men are afraid to have gays openly serving because they think they will be sexually harassed. Obviously they would rather be the harassers than the harassees. Gentlemen, get over it! Not all of you are as sexually appealing as you believe you are—to women or to other men.

JENNIE McDONALD, Montgomery, Ala.

If PEOPLE thinks it can wash over the abominable sin of being gay by splashing stories of homosexual war heroes’ woes and triumphs, it had better think again. If gays are legally allowed in the military, it will destroy the morale and integrity of the unit. There would be many added stresses with respect to intimate living quarters and rampant sexual promiscuity, not to mention combat situations where the blood of HIV-infected people is splashed over everyone else.

LAUREN PRITCHETT, Fayetteville, Ga.


Apparently letter writer Dayle Shockely hasn’t heard the news—AIDS is no longer a “gay” disease, it’s everyone’s disease. With more and more heterosexuals found to be HIV positive, it is closed-minded and ignorant to assume that allowing homosexuals into the military would increase the “potential spread of this killer disease.” Dayle Shockley was right about one thing—AIDS has had a devastating impact on the figure-skating world. It has also had a devastating impact on the art world, the fashion world, the music world and every oilier world imaginable. AIDS does not discriminate.


It absolutely astounds me that Hillary Clinton is perceived as such a threat to so many of your readers. We women are so tired of being reproached for what we wear and how we assert our hard-earned independence and God-given intellect. I am grateful to the Hillary Clintons of this world. May her small inroad in the sexist Washington hierarchy allow my daughters’ generation the privilege of voting for just such a woman as President.

JEAN SWANSON DOW, East Hampton, Conn.


My ex-companion, Barbara Kopple, is an extraordinary documentary filmmaker, but I fear that your exclusive reliance on her for an account of her life and career does some damage to the verité in cinema verité. Although I was not mentioned in your story, I was the principal cinematographer of Harlan County, USA as well as a cameraman and hinder of American Dream. Also, so as not to create confusion for our son, let the record show that Barbara and I split up, after 17 years, in 1988, which makes it impossible for her to have set up housekeeping “by the early ’80s with her current husband.”

HART PERRY, New York City

Barbara Kopple also told us that she was 40 years old and a graduate of Northeastern University. We have since learned that she is 46 and did not graduate from the school.—ED.

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