Margarita Lopez Warned Not to Racketeer with Scientology


NarCONon is Scientology!

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August 8, 2005

AN OPENLY gay female state lawmaker warned Council woman Margarita Lopez not to take money from Scientologists because of what she saw as the group founder's hostility toward homosexuality, The Post has learned.

Ever since Lopez, who is also openly gay, ignored Assemblywoman Deborah Glick's advice and received $115,000 from Scientologists for her Manhattan borough-president campaign, Glick has been deluged with pleas from the gay community asking her to pull her endorsement of Lopez.

"Deborah advised her not to deal with the Scientologists," said a source familiar with the conversation. "Now, gay people are clamoring for Deborah to drop her support, under the circumstances."

The Scientology donations were first reported by The Post and have since received heavy coverage in the city's gay press, sparking a severe backlash against Lopez from within the gay and lesbian community because of some early anti-gay teachings of the church's founder, L. Ron Hubbard.

The issue could be politically damaging for Lopez, because gay voters are expected to make up a sizable slice of the electorate in next month's Democratic primary and there is another openly gay candidate among the crowded field of candidates for borough president.

Gay activists have long been troubled by Scientology. In his writings, Hubbard called gays and lesbians "sexual perverts" and said they were "actually quite ill physically."

The uproar over Lopez's pocketing of Scientologists' donations has reached political powerbrokers in Washington.

The Washington, D.C.-based Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund - an influential group that works to elect openly gay candidates around the country and that supports Lopez - is now looking at making a dual endorsement, according to a source close to the organization.

Openly gay Manhattan Beep candidate Brian Ellner would be the beneficiary, according to the source.

But the Rev. John Carmichael, president of the Church of Scientology of New York, seemed to contradict Hubbard's words.

"As a matter of principle and a matter of fact, the Church of Scientology does not discriminate against people because of their religion, color, race, or sexual orientation," he said.


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