a man at a copier

Letter Twenty Three, December 27, 1995

Priscilla's Lawyer Writes a Tactful Letter

Magnum Titan & Magnum

Kenneth Magnum
Magnum Titan & Magnum
Dallas, Oregon

December 27, 1995

Mr. Wes
Houston, Texas 77009

Re: Priscilla

Dear Mr. Wes:

I am writing on behalf of your aunt, Priscilla Chevy. Your aunt has provided me with copies of various letters from the past couple of years between you and her and other members of your family relating to your homosexuality, her disapproval of homosexuality and your partner's exclusion from the family "Uncles' Party" this past summer.

At the outset, permit me to say that I am impressed with your skills as a writer. You argue your case well. You would make a good lawyer.

Having said that, however, it is obvious that the correspondence I have reviewed reveals deep divisions and hurt within your family. That is unfortunate. Your aunt, of course, is entitled to her opinions about homosexuality, just as you are. My purpose in writing is not to persuade you of the rightness of her position, just as I am sure you could not persuade her of the rightness of yours.

Rather, my purpose in writing is to head off what appears may be an escalation of your "Point-Counterpoint" and a broader public airing of your private family matter. I refer to your Christmas letter of this year in which you mention the forthcoming debut of "The Priscilla Letters" section of your Internet Web page on February 1, 1996.

Your aunt is most concerned (justifiably, I believe) that your intent may be to identify her by name and to publish her address, telephone and e-mail address in such a way that may subject her to threatening, harassing and intimidating communications. The prospect of this has caused her much distress and I must insist, on her behalf, that you not identify her by name, provide her address, telephone number or e-mail address or undertake any other course of action that is intended or may be likely to result in the communication of threatening, intimidating or harassing mail, telephone calls or e-mail to her.

You are free, of course, to pursue and advocate as publicly as you choose the issues that are important to you concerning homosexuality and the rights of gays and lesbians. There is nothing to stop you from using your experience with your aunt as an object lesson for whatever point you wish to make. All your aunt requires is that you not cause her to be personally identified to the public, including the viewers of your Internet Web page.

This whole episode has been very painful for your aunt Priscilla. It was never her intent to cause any harm or embarrassment to you. She has acted on her sincerely held beliefs and commitments, as is her right. She believes that the "Point-Counterpoint" has gone far enough with the involvement of your extended family and, now, the recipients of your 1995 Christmas letter.

You can make your point without causing your aunt or other family members any further personal pain, embarrassment and distress. That is what we are asking for.

I would appreciate it if you would confirm in writing your willingness not to further publish or communicate any personally identifying information about your aunt in connection with this matter. Failing that, if you proceed to identify her and if she receives any threatening, harassing or intimidating communications, she will have no choice but to use all legal means to protect herself. I sincerely hope it will not come to that.

I fully appreciate the highly charged nature of the dispute between you and your aunt. I also understand your efforts to advocate for your position. My hope is that you will do so in such a way that does not bring your aunt any further into this to her detriment in a more public forum. Thank you for your courtesies.

Yours very truly,


cc: Aunt Priscilla

PS: At your aunt's request, I am returning to you, unopened, this year's Christmas letters which you addressed to her and her husband and her son Butch. She has asked that you not initiate any further contact or communications with her. That being the case, your response to this letter should be sent directly in care of this office.

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