Friday, January 18, 2013

Dear Abby Writer Passes Away

Dear Abby, whose real name was Pauline Friedman Phillips, has died. She was 94 years old and her daily column was read by millions of people for many decades. I used to read Abby every day for many, many years. I was always impressed by her spot on advice for people who, clearly, didn't have a clue...

Phillips, who had Alzheimer’s disease, died Wednesday in Minneapolis, and private funeral services were held today, her publicist said.

One of her most oft-quoted takes on gay issues came in a 1979 column, in which Dear Abby delivered a famously pithy response to a letter writer complaining about two men, apparently a gay couple, who had moved into the correspondent’s neighborhood. 

“They have all sorts of strange company,” the letter writer commented. Men who look like women, women who look like men, blacks, whites, Indians. Yesterday I even saw too nuns go in there! … How can we improve the quality of this once-respectable neighborhood?” Abby’s reply: “You could move.”

Abby was LGBT friendly and often took on those who wrote in to demonize LGBT Americans. When once confronted with the questions she received about LGBT people, Abby replied...

“People throw Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and other parts of the Bible to me. It doesn’t bother me. I’ve always been compassionate toward gay people.” She frequently referred parents of LGBT children to Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

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