March 23, 2007
Volume 35
Issue 12
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Saturday, Jun 06, 2020



Dear SGN,

I condemn state Senator Dan Swecker in his attempts to amend the Washington State Constitution to ban same-sex couples from marrying. This pathetic attempt at inscribing discrimination into our states constitution is just another example of bigotry towards the LGBT community that we can't afford to ignore, not even in Washington State, which is supposedly a progressive state.

If we hope to make progress and gain understanding from our counterparts, we need to be more vocal about these issues, and demand - nonviolently - that we will not stand for such unacceptable bigotry! Talk to your friend and family about this. Talk to anybody you can about this, regardless of their beliefs on the issue. The only way to get people to understand why equality for the LGBT community is important is to talk to them.

Jason Dombek
Seattle, WA

Dear SGN,

While I think it's commendable that [Independent Event Solutions] has stepped in to help out the financially strapped Seattle Out and Proud (SOAP) organizers, I'm not sure if people are really examining the financial end as closely as they should.

From a non-profit perspective, using debt to finance future budgets is very dangerous, especially if your income stream to pay for that debt is unknown not only for the current year, but for future years when the debt will become due.

For example, at the end of 2006, SOAP was in debt to the Seattle Center for $100K, and now for 2007 they have added another $50K, or a total of $150K, of which IES has actually paid off $50K, so before the event occurs, they need to have a plan to raise $100K, even though they are putting off paying $25K until 2008 and $25K until 2009, that is still debt that is owed and you need to budget for that in your multi-year financial budgeting.

It is important that SOAP creates a Financial Committee whose membership will be able to create such a budget and enforce it throughout the event, before things spiral out of control like last year. If within the coming weeks such a group isn't created, it will be easy to predict what will happen again to their finances -- it shouldn't be up to the Seattle Center to provide oversight for the organization. They shouldn't exist unless they can do this on their own.

Also, since the original contract was for three years, it would also be dangerous for SOAP to even suggest that they hold an event in 2008, unless their multi-year budgets take this into account, and then you'd be looking at raising $150K over this period ($50K in 2007, $50K in 2008, plus the $50K in long-term debt), which is probably not realistic, and hopefully something that the Seattle Center will not consider until they can dig themselves out of this large hole they've already dug for themselves.

Finally, I'd be curious to know what legal responsibilities the members of SOAP have to the organization as board members. Specifically, can they be sued as individuals for their actions as board members? Are their personal assets shielded in the event the organization is sued? What is the amount of liability insurance the organization carries for itself and/or its board members? It would be difficult to find anyone willing to serve on an organization that could put them at personal risk for the mistakes of past and present members, so it's no wonder that only eight people in the community would want to get involved with this entity.

I'm sure that SOAP already has made progress on answering these concerns, but if they haven't, it will be easy to predict what type of headlines we'll be reading in the SGN after the 2007 Pride Event.

[Name withheld at author's request]

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

Dear SGN,

It's that time of year again. Men who are willing to show the judges and the audience their FULL MONTY. That's right, men stripping to music right in front of your eyes. Going all the way to their BIRTHDAY SUITS and staying that way all evening during the contest.

Each year men compete in the Mr. Nude Seattle Contest for a cash prize of $500. (This year we will also have cash prizes for 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th place contestants.) So, whether the winner uses the money for college, bills or just drinking money it is totally up to them. The categories include: First look and introduction (clothed), Striptease (totally NUDE), Question and Answer (totally NUDE) and Final Look (that's right, totally NUDE).

This year marks the ninth annual contest, which is being held on Monday, April 2, 2007 at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center (17th and Yesler). The door opens at 7:00 p.m. and the contest starts at 8:00 p.m. The $20 tickets will be available at the door (you must be over 18 to attend). The price of the tickets gives you a chance to win a door prize donated by AMVC Videos, a local production company specializing in adult videos and one of our annual sponsors. Returning for the ninth year are Mc's Latrina Bidet and Mark "Mom" Finley.

This year we are proud to announce the return of Porn Stars -- Sean Storm from Cre8tive Juices and the return of Damon Phoenix (Damon, who used to be a local resident of the Seattle area). Sean Storm and Damon Phoenix will be our guest STRIPTEASE's for the evening, entertaining our audience and judges with lap dances and more. Our judges this year include the owner of Rplace, Rick; Director of the Wet Spot, Allena; AMVC Videos owner, Allen; and the owner of the Elite Tavern, Eugene.

So, if you have ever wondered what that bartender, the guy behind the counter at Starbucks, or that guy walking down the street looks like naked; now is your chance to find out. Contestant applications are available in advance by e-mailing the producer of the contest directly at You may also get an application at the door the evening of the contest.

Come on men of Seattle, take the chance and show Seattle what YOU are made of and enter this year's contest. So, lets hear it for the Naked MEN on April 2nd !!

Martin Storm

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