July 29, 2005
Volume 33
Issue 30

Tuesday, Mar 01, 2016 02:09
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Dear SGN,

I feel sad to witness the death of another local Gay-owned business. I speak of Beyond the Closet Books (BTC) on Pike Street, across from the Mercedez dealer. There weren't enough Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender people going in and buying books. I'm not a business person, but I suspected that BTC suffered from location and service.

BTC was isolated with no other apparent Gay businesses immediately nearby (other than Club Seattle). Further, BTC was in a spacial closet when it likely should have been across the street in the large, long-empty retail space that once housed the Seattle Independent Mall and later a struggling yet perfectly local and now defunct cafe. Imagine a Gay-owned and patronized smoke-free hang-out with a Gay bookstore, wi-fi cafe, and maybe even an extra Gay business or two sharing the rent in an area in desperate need of such a thing? Isn't that the kind of help (guidance, vision and connections if not money) the GSBA offers?

But perhaps all this is moot as more GLBTs seem to be living and shopping everywhere else but on Capitol Hill. What the heck is going on in this town? I don't have business or finance degrees; just a lot of sadness, anger and questions.

Marcus Stringer


Dear SGN,

Both the Human Rights Campaign Fund and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force are organizations of integrity. It is not my intention to question that, rather to raise the issue of religious organizational participation in each group.

When we wed politics with religion inside or outside the GLBT Community we are asking for trouble. I would like to ask both national organizations are they now willing to promote the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount? If not then I question the participation of GLBT religious organizations and individuals wearing the religious mantle.

If these individuals and/organizations want to support these two important civil rights organizations then they should become members and support them as individuals. I have membership in one of them, and firmly believe it is the greatest civil rights organization I can support. However as a person of faith I also belong to the Rainbow Sash Movement, a Catholic Organization. We are not an important religious organization, but we believe in Jesus Christ. I believe our mission as people of faith takes us in another direction. We have a lot to do for our community's unemployment, poverty, inadequate education in our country, and that includes GLBT teenagers, the aged, HIV, and the spiritual needs of our extended families.

Politics should never be confused with spirituality and visa versa. These are two different spheres of influence and we should keep them distinct.


Joe Murray

U.S. Convener, Rainbow Sash Movement
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