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Dr. Laura Backs Off Gay Comments

March 11, 2000 GMT

NEW YORK (AP) _ Radio talk show host Laura Schlessinger, under fire for referring to homosexuality as ``deviant″ behavior, said Friday that she’s sorry her comments have hurt some people.

In recent weeks, gay rights activists have started a campaign to try to stop television stations from broadcasting Schlessinger’s ``Dr. Laura″ talk show, which is scheduled to debut in September.

On her popular radio show where she dispenses relationship advice, Schlessinger has also referred to homosexuality as a ``biological error.″

``Regrettably, some of the words I’ve used have hurt some people, and I am sorry for that,″ she said. ``Words that I have used in a clinical context have been perceived as judgment. They were not meant to characterize homosexual individuals or encourage others to disparage homosexuals.

``I regularly remind my listeners that we are all made in God’s image and, therefore, we should treat one another with love and kindness, irrespective of one’s faith,″ she said.

She said she never intended to hurt anyone or contribute to an atmosphere of hate or intolerance.

A spokesman for the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, Scott Seomin, said he had no comment on Schlessinger’s statement.

On her radio show, Schlessinger has likened a Web site set up to criticize her comments,, to fascism.

Paramount Television Group, which is syndicating the ``Dr. Laura″ show, issued its own statement saying it is committed to presenting society’s issues without creating or contributing to an atmosphere of hate or hurt.

Paramount said Schlessinger’s upcoming show ``is planned to include multiple points of view, derived from a variety of sources, guest and a studio audience.″