March 9, 2007
Volume 35
Issue 10
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Sunday, Dec 15, 2019



Dear SGN,

Kudos to you! Your newspaper and writer Robert Raketty are to be commended for breaking such important news on SOAP's financial mess. I believe Robert Raketty should be nominated for a journalist award.

The Seattle Out and Proud Committee has continually sidestepped for the last two years showing or posting their finances, which is required of non-profits and certainly for any public event. I've asked SOAP's Treasurer Weston Spriggs at their 2005 meetings for a financial statement, then several times after -- once in writing and have yet to receive any information still two years later. [...]

What is SOAP hiding? Post the financial statement for last year for goodness sake! It's not like they haven't had over a year.

"But we are just volunteers."
Post the financial statement!
"But we need money."
Post the financial statement!
"I'll need more time."
Post the financial statement!

Past donors and sponsors of SOAP need to responsibly ask what happened to their funds and ask for an accounting if they expect to be responsible to their members and the customers they represent. No financial statement; no donations.

Perhaps what is more alarming is that there in no person on SOAP's hand-selected-board that represents an LGBT organization that would give oversight.

Given the fact that two of their past board members, Marcus Purnell and Dale Kirshner funneled publicly donated money to their own magazine in 2005 and that today current board members had full knowledge of this makes this tantamount, in my opinion, to embezzlement, misappropriation of public funds and complicity to fraud.

This organization should be stewards of a public event and not abuse their position to self-profit and hand out favors and gifts.

I think everybody in Seattle and Capitol Hill would like to see Pride events develop but in a responsible manner and not jeopardize well intended donations.

It's a bit alarming that Seattle Center is giving SOAP another chance when SOAP has not posted a financial statement. No financial statement; no contract.

Instead, I hope Seattle Center considers working with the LGBT Community Center in a win-win situation this year, instead of SOAP, for additional Pride weekend events at Seattle Center. Given SOAP's track record, I doubt they will ever come clean.

The LGBT Community Center and community volunteers showed in 2006 that it's possible to put on a large parade on a shoe-string-budget at the last minute. I applaud everyone for that and I am looking forward to this year's events -- but with a responsible tax deductible organization.

Charlette LeFevre
Seattle, WA
[Editor's Note: The following is a letter from Randy Henson to state Senator Margarita Prentice about the Seattle Sonics. The author also sent the letter to the SGN for possible publication.]

Dear Senator Prentice,

I am a constituent of yours -- I live on west Beacon Hill -- and I've been a Sonics fan since their first season. I attended my first game in December of 1966, and I celebrated all night on Capitol Hill the night the Sonics won their only championship in 1979, with Gus, DJ, Downtown, et al. When I lived one block from the old Coliseum in the late 70's and early 80's, I attended several games a year and continued to do so into the mid-90's.

That was back when the tickets were affordable to anyone with a little bit of disposable income. That's not the case anymore. The business model for professional basketball is broken. A Sonics game now is only for people far more affluent than me, who go to watch multi-millionaires who are employed by mega-millionaires and billionaires. It simply doesn't make sense to me that hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars would be used to subsidize the profit-making ventures of such a non-essential enterprise.

Up until now, I haven't been motivated to contact you to express myself on this issue. But now, I am motivated.

After learning about the huge political donations by Sonics co-owners Aubrey McClendon and Tom Ward to the religious bigot Gary Bauer's campaign against equality for sexual minorities, I must speak out. Why on earth would I, as an honorable gay man who was taught by my Christian, Republican parents to be honest and to work for justice for all people, ever want to support the efforts of people like Mr. McClendon and Mr. Ward? Why would you? Their values are so contrary to the values of Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. At this point, I'm just fine with the prospect of the Sonics (and the Storm, if necessary) leaving town, rather than have my tax dollars subsidize wealthy business people who are homophobic bigots. I also believe it would do all professional sports some good if Seattle (as Los Angeles has done with football.) says no to the economic blackmail game of the franchise owners.

I urge you disavow your sponsorship of the "multi-purpose" arena bill. It tarnishes your fine reputation as a civic leader to be associated with these people.

Thank you for your consideration.
Randy Henson
Dear SGN,

Almost on a daily basis people ask why I am a Republican. Most of my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters feel because an individual is a member of the GLBT community, everybody in this community should be members of the Democratic Party and be void of Christian beliefs. I am a Republican because the Democrat Party does not reflect my core values.

Why do the members of the GLBT community feel -- politically and spiritually -- we should be exact clones of one another? For many years I was a closeted individual. Not anymore. I refuse to be closeted because of my sexual orientation, my religious and my political beliefs.

How sad. I have met many gay men and women who are Christian or Republican. Most are afraid of being castigated by the GLBT community. They remain silent. Personally, the question I hate most from the GLBT Community is: "Are you really gay?" What type of a question is this? I have been gay all my life and do not need anyone to tell me how to be gay. If you want to be my friend or associate, then you will have to accept me in my totality.

Since being out, I have discovered that many gays and lesbians are intolerant about the beliefs of others. If you do not fit into the stereotypical character the GLBT community feels a person should be, then you are viewed with the uttermost suspicion.

There are a lot of misconceptions of what the Republican Party is all about. Please allow me to clarify these misconceptions. The core values of the Republican Party are different from those in the Democratic Party. We believe in lower taxes, limited government, an ownership society, a strong military presence (at home and abroad), a balanced budget, fiscal restraint, limited Government intrusion in the lives of its citizens, and the ability to accumulate wealth.

As Republicans, we are all different from one another. We are not clones; this is why we are the party of inclusion. Example: I am a conservative; I am pro-life; I strongly support the second amendment in that we have a right to own and bear arm; I am against the death penalty; I am pro-family; and I support the right for individuals to accumulate wealth.

I know why I am a Conservative Republican. Can you tell me why you are a Democrat? Lastly, why -- according to many gay democrats -- if an individual is a Republican he/she is either anti-gay or anti-African American?

To fellow members of the Log Cabin Republicans, wake up and quit acting like a bunch of self-defeating Democrats. We are Republicans and do not need to hide who and what we are really all about.

Thank You,
Michael R. La Paglia
Topeka, KS

[Editor's Note: The following is an open letter to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community from the Rainbow Sash Movement, a organization of Gay Catholics and their allies, explaining their disagreement with the tactics of Soulforce, an organization opposed to spiritual violence.]

On March 8 & 9, 2007 a bus of Soulforce members will be visiting Notre Dame University. The Rainbow Sash Movement was contacted by Soulforce for its endorsement of this event. After thoughtful dialogue with a Soulforce representative and a representative of the local Notre Dame Catholic GLBTQ leadership, we found we could not in good conscience support Soulforce's action at the University of Notre Dame for the following reasons.

The local Notre Dame GLBTQ leadership expressed concern that Soulforce's visit would negatively impact, and hinder its on-going dialogue with campus leadership. Also, that Soulforce's communication with the local community appeared to only be concerned with Soulforce's agenda, and not the effect it would have on the local community. After a lot consultation we felt that Soulforce had been somewhat disingenuous in its communication efforts with the local Catholic GLBTQ leadership at Notre Dame. The Rainbow Sash Movement could not turn a deaf ear to the concerns of the local community.

We asked Soulforce to reconsider its visit in the light of the concerns expressed by the local GLBTQ Catholic Community, as sign of its willingness to understand, and respect those concerns. We felt the local community was far better at dealing with local concerns around GLBTQ issues on campus, than were uninvited outsiders.

It is with deep sadness we find ourselves issuing this letter to publicly call on Soulforce to respect our Catholic Space in this matter. We must begin to listen, and respect the various diversities in our National GLBTQ Community, if we are genuinely going to make progress in the areas of civil rights. One group or individual does not speak for all of us. Yes, that means a non-Catholic organization such Soulforce cannot speak for a Catholic community.

We are calling on Soulforce to reconsider this action, which we believe to be reckless, and ill conceived, and at odds with Soulforce's call for genuine dialogue. Furthermore, we call on Soulforce to enter into a meaningful dialogue process that will ensure we are not working at cross-purposes with each other as we go forward.

Joe Murray
US Convener
Rainbow Sash Movement

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