young people are automatically abusive or exploitative." Id.
Sometime between August 1987 and October 1991, the Bulletin began
incorporating a statement of "Where We Stand" in every publication. See
DX K.*fn8 "Where We Stand" is a statement of NAMBLA's purpose,
proclaiming: "[w]e work to organize support for boys and men who have or
desire consensual sexual and emotional relationships and to educate
society on their positive nature. We speak out against the oppression
endured by men and boys who love one another and support the right of all
people to consensual intergenerational relationships." Id. Included in the
October 1991 issue was a guide to "Staying Safe and Happy as a Man/Boy
Lover." Id. The guidelines were "developed by NAMBLA activists." Id.
Included in the guidelines was advice on how to survive in a culture
hostile to NAMBLA. It explained, inter alia, how to deal with police,
where to store erotica, how to keep specific information about the
identity of your lover a secret; furthermore, it advised not to keep
photos where police might find them, and never to discuss "the specifics
of an illegal relationship with therapists or social workers." Id.
Melzer authored an article in the January-February 1992 Bulletin
entitled "Thanks — and stay generous." DX L. The article
acknowledged receipt of $1,000 in contributions, urged continued
donations, and boasted that membership "became 1,000 strong for the first
time in our history." Id. The March 1992 issue contained an article by
Melzer entitled "Keeping Up the Barricades." DX M. It commented on the
ability of some of NAMBLA's members to "present an image of strength to
the hostile hordes," solicited further contributions, and noted that "our
mission [is] steadfast. We are the good guys. We have prevailed for
[almost] fourteen years, and with your help we will continue to do so."
Id. A piece in the July-August 1992 Bulletin noted that Melzer was one of
three NAMBLA representatives to attend the "6th annual International
Pedophile and Youth Emancipation (IPCE) conference" in Amsterdam,
Holland. DX O. "Much of the three-day meeting [was] used to share
information about the situation for the boy-love/pedophile movement in
the various countries represented." Id.
In November 1992, Melzer reappeared on the Bulletin masthead as a
member of the Collective. Also included on the masthead, as in many other
issues, was a statement that the [Bulletin] content "is determined by the
Bulletin Collective, which includes all NAMBLA members working for the
Bulletin." DX P. In the "Letters" section of the following issue, which
again listed Melzer as a member of the Collective, an anonymous letter
addressed to NAMBLA entitled "Good Touches" appeared. DX Q at 8. "Good
Touches" explained how to "make that special boy feel good." Id. It made
suggestions regarding specific body parts and how best to "rub" them.
Id. It concluded that all the "suggestions are even better when done in a
warm shower." Id. In general, Melzer believes that the "Letters" section
of the Bulletin had "value." Tr. at 4351. With respect to this particular
letter, Melzer considered it "humorous," as "a take-off on some of the
. . . good touch, bad touch advice that . . . some professionals . . . go
around to schools . . . tell[ing] youngsters [about]." Tr. at 4344.
In January-February 1993, the Bulletin included an article about "the
`missing children' hysteria," and characterized it as "little more than
hype from self-serving
bureaucratic child-savers." DX R. The issue also contained a "Letter to a
Young Boy-Lover." Id. The letter purported to be a response to a letter
from a "17-year old boy lover." Id. It gave advice about how to entice
susceptible children into sexual acts. Although Melzer did not agree with
the letter, he thought it was more beneficial than harmful because "most
people reading this, even in that narrow audience would [not] take that
advice. I think this is more of an emotional release just like being in a
psychiatrist's chair." Tr. at 4540.
The June 1993 Bulletin, still listing Melzer as a member of the
Collective, contained a letter entitled "In Praise of Penises." DX V. The
letter celebrated oral sex with pre-adolescent boys. Melzer considered
the letter to be merely an "emotional safety valve," an "outlet" for
fantasies. Tr. at 4531. Melzer considered many of the articles published
in the Bulletin to be such "emotional safety valve[s]." Tr. at 4352; see
also Tr. at 4419.
III. Relationship Between Meizer's NAMBLA Activities and His Teaching
Melzer readily admits that he is a boy lover, and is attracted to boys
up to the age of about 16. See Tr. at 3911, 4102, 4499. Nonetheless, the
record does not contain any evidence that Melzer has ever engaged in a
sexual relationship with someone under the legal age of consent —
Melzer acknowledges that teachers often figure prominently in students'
lives as role models; "many youngsters latch on to an adult . . . and
want to behave like him." Tr. at 3361. However, Melzer believes that
taking an active role in NAMBLA does not compromise his high standard of
conduct or character as a teacher; rather, it shows "intelligence and
responsible behavior." Tr. at 4459. Melzer testified that he never spoke
about his views on sexuality in the classroom, and that his students
never asked what he did in his spare time, other than an occasional
inquiry about vacations. Melzer does not believe that laws should be
broken; given society today, he believes it is unhealthy for underage
youths to engage in sexual acts with adults because the psychological and
social repercussions would be great. When asked to square this with his
belief in NAMBLA's goals, Melzer was evasive; he continually digressed
into rambling, non-responsive replies. When pressed, Melzer explained
that he interpreted NAMBLA's stated purpose to mean that "theoretically
it is possible for youngsters below the age of consent in certain
localities to be able to, you know, that this would be all right." Tr. at
3816. He further testified that a sexual relationship with a child is
"not necessarily" harmful. Tr. at 4503.
Dr. Fred S. Berlin ("Dr. Berlin"), a licensed psychologist, appeared as
an expert on Melzer's behalf and testified that Melzer would not
personally be sexual with a youngster, regardless of his association with
NAMBLA, because he is cognizant that in "American society in 1996 for a
variety of reasons that children are at risk of being harmed." Tr. at
2467. Dr. Berlin did not believe Melzer posed a threat to the students;
he opined that there is no evidence "that a given student is likely to be
so traumatized by this that it would impair them and cause them
significant problems." Tr. at 2516-17.
Dr. Donald J. Lewittes ("Dr. Lewittes"), also a licensed psychologist,
testified on behalf of the BOE and concluded otherwise. He opined that
student knowledge of
Melzer's affiliation and activities with NAMBLA
would be an extremely anxiety provoking and disruptive
experience for the average child and adolescent to be
subjected to in a relationship where they have less
power, that is, as a student, where they are
assigned, where they have no right of option
themselves to control their destiny, where they are
highly dependent upon this person to perform acts such
as teaching and grading which involves their future
and specifically having to do with the sexual identity
and development of adolescents, the feelings
engendered by knowing that an authority figure has
encouraged the disavowal or disruption of legal and
moral codes that their families and the general
community hold. These all would affect my opinion in
relating that these children would react with
anxiety, with fear and in my opinion, the average
adolescents in that situation would have strong
feelings about being assigned to an authority
Tr. at 1747-48.
Also relevant to Melzer's role as a teacher was his obligation,
pursuant to a BOE resolution, to report to the Office of the Deputy
Commissioner of Investigation ("DCI") "any and all information concerning
corrupt or other criminal conduct, conflicts of interest, unethical
conduct, or misconduct by officers or employees of the City School
District of the City of New York or by persons dealing with the City
School District." DX HH. Failure to do so would be cause for removal. In
addition, Melzer was obligated, pursuant to Chancellor's Regulation
A-750, to report to DCI any information he might receive regarding sexual
misconduct involving students, by anyone, at any time, whether on or off
school premises. The Regulation provides that "[s]exual relationships
with students are prohibited, regardless of a student's age." Id.
When asked to reconcile the inherent conflict between his reporting
responsibilities and NAMBLA's stated goals, Melzer responded as follows:
Q: I am asking you if in a NAMBLA meeting someone . . .
admitted to having sex with an underaged youth
identified by name would you report that person to the
A: If the way it was described in an unlikely set of
circumstances someone insisted and said I do not care
and gave the name, address and all that yes, they have
Q: What if the person admitted to having a sexual
relationship with an underaged youth but did not
provide the name, address and whatever other
particulars you referred to, what would you do?
A: From my point of view it would be too vague. I
would tell them to cease and desist, you are on very
dangerous ground. You may be fantasizing, you may not
be. I would point out the potential harm that he is
causing and point out to him that, you know, there is
a strong likelihood that I would report it.
Q: Have you ever reported anyone who is a member of
NAMBLA to the authorities for any reason?
A: No, that situation never occurred.