Vice President Visits Los Angeles Gays and Lesbians: Gore Says He'll Fight for Hate-Crime Law

Article excerpt

LOS ANGELES - One day after stressing his "own values of faith and family" to a 600-member San Francisco audience, Vice President Al Gore paid a quiet visit yesterday to America's largest homosexual community center.

Mr. Gore's hourlong visit to the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center was the only stop on a two-day swing through California in which he did not meet exclusively with $1,000-per-person campaign donors.

In his walk-through of the center, which includes a hospice and health clinic serving 8,000 patients a month, Mr. Gore made no public comments but spoke individually to several AIDS patients.

The visit came a week after Mr. Gore, 51, announced his presidential bid, proclaiming family values as a cornerstone of his candidacy.

In his first official campaign speech in Carthage, Tenn., Mr. Gore referred to families 27 times, saying, "With your help, I will take my own values of faith and family to the presidency." At several campaign stops last week, AIDS activists disrupted his speeches, blowing air horns and shouting: "Gore is killing Africans. AIDS drugs now."

His visit to the clinic came just days after the Clinton administration quietly awarded the Stonewall Inn a coveted place on the National Register of Historic Places in an emotional ceremony at a party in New York. The Greenwich Village homosexual bar was the site of riots that started the gay rights movement in June 1969.

The stop also came just weeks after Mr. Clinton's appointment of openly homosexual businessman James C. Hormel as ambassador to Luxembourg.

Mr. Clinton infuriated congressional conservatives by making the appointment while the Senate was in recess, bypassing senators who refused to confirm Mr. Hormel because he is homosexual. …