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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Gay sex scandal costs WA Republican his House seat

State Rep. Richard Curtis, R-La Center, has resigned his seat amid revelations of a gay sex scandal in Spokane (see article).

House Republican Leader Richard DeBolt released a statement saying:

“I am very disappointed by the news reports of the conduct by Rep. Curtis last week in Spokane. After discussing this matter with House Republican leaders, he has submitted his resignation, which we feel is best for everyone involved. The troubling details continue to emerge, however, it has become clear that he can no longer effectively represent the constituents who elected him. We pray that Richard and his family have the strength and support they need to meet the personal challenges they face.”


Curtis issued his own statement:

“Today I submitted my letter of resignation to Gov. Gregoire effective immediately. While I believe we've done some good and helped a lot of people during the time I served in the Legislature, events that have recently come to light have hurt a lot of people. I sincerely apologize for any pain my actions may have caused.

“This has been damaging to my family, and I don't want to subject them to any additional pain that might result from carrying out this matter under the scrutiny that comes with holding public office.”


Read the Seattle Gay News on Friday for an in-depth article on the situation from SGN Staff Writer Liz Meyer.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Pro-Gay protestors dwarf Watchmen at Lynnwood conference



Don't see the video above? Click here!

Story in the Seattle Gay News this week:

On Saturday, October 20, the sidewalks along all four corners of the intersection in front of the Lynnwood Convention Center were packed with men and women of all ages, races, and sexual orientations. Their brightly colored signs, rainbow flags and-in some cases-manner of dress all sought to convey one message: hate is not welcome in our town.

The protestors, approximately 150 people in strength, assembled outside in the wet and chilly Northwest weather to protest Watchmen on the Walls, an international anti-Gay organization that was meeting at the Center for its sixth convention. Past conferences have been held in Bellevue; Riga, the Latvian capital; and Sacramento, California in recent years.

The Montgomery, Alabama based Southern Poverty Law Center recently described the group as "extremist" and warned that the group's rhetoric could potentially incite violence. However, no violence was reported during the weekend long conference, according to a spokesperson for the Lynnwood Police Department.

"The Watchmen has the right to express their beliefs," Deputy Police Chief Paul Watkins of the Lynnwood Police Department told the Seattle Gay News on Saturday. Likewise, the protestors have the right to express their beliefs. Our position on that is neutral-other than it needs to be conducted in a safe and lawful manner."

Protest organizer Cindy Worthen, an Everett resident, said she pulled the protest together in only a couple days through e-mail. She was pleased with the turnout.

"I'm thrilled. I sent out a couple of e-mails. I have been hearing from people all over-King County, Snohomish County, and, even, Whatcom County," she said. "I am hoping that the Watchmen are given the message that they are not welcome here and that other hate groups get the message that they are not welcome here. That is what I am hoping for. I also want Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender people to know that we love them."

Inside, speakers at the Watchmen on the Walls conference spoke less about love for LGBT people and referred to them as "wrong, unnatural, and harmful."

"...[W]e are especially focused against homosexuality, because those who practice this self-destructive vice, and have organized themselves into a political movement, are the chief enemies of the natural family," said lawyer and author Scott Lively during convention's opening night. "We do not apologize for opposing homosexuality because it is morally, physically, psychologically, and socially wrong, unnatural, and harmful."

Lively, a resident of California, wrote the book The Pink Swastika, which contends that Gays were the masterminds behind the Holocaust. The Southern Poverty Law Center previously noted in an article published on its website that Lively had been ordered to pay $20,000 in damages in 1991 for dragging a Lesbian photojournalist by the hair through a church.

Ken Hutcherson, pastor of Redmond-based Antioch Bible Church and longtime foe of LGBT equal rights, also addressed the conference participants. "I believe in the word of God 100 percent," he said. "What we need to take back is the right to disagree."

Watchmen on the Walls has a large number of Russian speaking immigrants among its membership. This was evident by the Russian interpreter present at the conference.

Protestor Charles Fey, a Marysville resident, said that the Watchmen on the Walls had a right to their views but only up until the point it affects another's ability to do the same.

"It is not illegal in this state to be hateful toward Gays. Hate speech is not illegal," he said. "They have a right to their views but when it threatens my well being or it threatens the well being of specific groups of people, it is concerning because it can lead to violence. We should say that we don't respect that.

"I think it is a little bit strange that people from Russia, the Ukraine and the Balkan countries who may have come here from their countries because their religion wasn't respected enough come to this country and expect to put their views on us."

Wallingford United Methodist Church Pastor Jim Carter also took part in the protest. He said groups such as the Watchman on the Walls have a distorted view of Christian teaching. His church openly welcomes LGBT people as they are, he added.

Robert Guerrero, a Native American, dressed in the traditional garments of his tribe. He traveled to Lynnwood from Tacoma, a two hour drive, to participate in the protest.

"Each time we stand up for each other, we not only let the world know that we have a coalition of people that will stand up against hate, we win one more person and put one more brick in the road to a better society," he said. "As far as I'm concerned, Lynnwood is my backyard. Whether hate sprouts up in Vancouver, Lynnwood or Spokane, all of those places are my backyard. I won't have that. I have got to lend my voice to a chorus of people standing up for what's right."

The Watchmen on the Walls had planned for as many as 700 attendees but fell well short of their goal. About 125 people attended the opening event on Friday and just 40 people showed up for Saturday morning's event. This reporter did not attend other scheduled events of the conference.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Tim Burgess: No friend of mine!

As the saying goes: A friend of the right-wing is no friend of mine.

That's the message that NARAL Pro-Choice Washington relayed to reporters during a morning press conference at a Seattle hotel. The organization released a slew of fundraising letters Seattle City Council candidate Tim Burgess supposedly wrote during a decade of consulting work he did for the right-wing group Concerned Women for America (CWA).

The letters, uncovered in the files of the People for the American Way, a liberal watchdog group, use derogitory language toward Gays and outline CWA's opposition to pro-choice advocates.

Karen Cooper, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, said Burgess told her organization during an endorsement meeting that he wrote the fundraising letters during his comapany's years of consulting work for CWA between 1995 and 2005. Seattle Gay News Publisher George Bakan, who also participated in the press conference, reminded reporters that Burgess told The Stranger during an interview that he was a "copywriter" on CWA projects, a well understood trade term meaning that he wrote, edited and approved much of the language used in the letters.

Among CWA's accusations in the letters:

**Radical homosexual activists and their allies plan to turn America's public school system into full-fledged gay propaganda and recruitment camps
**Homosexuality and pedophilia are both sexual orientations
**Emergency contraception is the same as an abortion
**The National Education Association seeks to promote the "homosexual lifestyle" in America's public schools

One letter dated January 1997, which had been blown-up to poster size and circled in red by press conference organizers, talks about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a piece of legislation still under consideration in Congress.

The letter reads: "...ENDA was a blatant attempt to destroy our society's moral foundations. This bill would have forced Christian businessmen and women and other decent Americans to hire homosexuals and those with a variety of 'sexual orientations,' including transvestites and pedophiles."

Bakan said as a newspaper publisher he's turned away advertising from groups professing beliefs he disagreed with, such as "ex-Gay" groups. He said that--in Seattle--few companies would take work from groups such as CWA.

Althought NARAL Pro-Choice Washington and the Seattle Gay News have endorsed Councilman David Della, Burgess' opponent, in the Seattle City Council Position Seven race, Cooper and Bakan said they are releasing the letters Wednesday only in hopes of providing voters with more information from which to cast their ballot.


The above post and photographs can be used by any blogger or media outlet without compensation. However, credit is always appreciated: Seattle Gay Blog

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

White Rabbits interview - October 12


White Rabbits interview with Seattle Gay News


Of all the up and coming bands out there, we can only keep track of a few. One of them is White Rabbits. Their sound is hard to describe in words, so we won't. We'll just say it's layers and layers of goodness. Seattle Gay News is pleased to feature an interview with this talented new band in our October 12 issue. White Rabbits will perform live at Neumos on Thursday, October 18 opening for Tokyo Police Club. For ticket information, visit http://www.neumos.com/.

We'd love for you to ear-sample music by White Rabbits. Visit www.myspace.com/whiterabbits and listen to our favorites, "While We Go Dancing" and "Kid on My Shoulders". Seattle Gay News selected Fort Nightly by White Rabbits as one of the best recordings of 2007 1/2.