Quote of the day

"We are shut up in schools and college recitation rooms for ten or fifteen years, and come out at last with a bellyful of words and do not know a thing. "

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Student speaks out against CoDE over Day of Silence

Snoqualmie Valley Record
March 19, 2008

By: Sarah Desroche

"I'm currently a student at Mount Si High School and I'm not quite sure what the Coalition to Defend Education, or CoDE, is talking about when they say that teachers are supposedly "touting personal agendas in class" or have "stated their opinion on controversial subjects."

"Last year I chose not to participate in Day of Silence and was never harassed by anyone that day. I don't ever remember classes being disrupted. I do agree, however, with Mrs. McCormick on that Day of Silence isn't supposed to be political at all. I see Day of Silence as a day of respect to all the students at Mount Si who are gay, or lesbian, or bisexual, or transgendered who are afraid to say that they are gay because of what other students might do or say, rather than a day of the school's gay community commanding attention to themselves."

Read the entire letter

Sunday, March 16, 2008

New Public Service Announcement in Honour of Lawrence King

By Natalie Kalow
Executive Producer
Published Mar 13, 2008

In what seems to be the straw that broke the camel’s back, the homophobic attack that lead to Lawrence King’s death has sparked more action from celebrities in the US.

The 15-year-old was shot in the head at the E.O. Green School in Oxnard, California on February 12 - reportedly for being a homosexual.

Just days after her partner Ellen DeGeneres tearfully honored the gay teen on her show, actress Portia De Rossi has recently signed up to pay tribute to King in a new public service announcement TV ad.

De Rossi appears in a new PSA, which debuted on America's gay TV network Logo on Monday. De Rossi says during the announcement, "Imagine if wearing make-up and a dress could get you killed. For 15-year-old Lawrence King, that's just what happened."

She joins other celebrities on the 60 second PSA, such as Grey's Anatomy star T.R. Knight, Janet Jackson, Andre 3000 and Ashanti.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Hutcherson's Watchmen on the Walls named as a Hate Group

Active U.S. Hate Groups

The Southern Poverty Law Center counted 888 active hate groups in the United States in 2007. Only organizations and their chapters known to be active during 2007 are included.

All hate groups have beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.

This list was compiled using hate group publications and websites, citizen and law enforcement reports, field sources and news reports.

Hate group activities can include criminal acts, marches, rallies, speeches, meetings, leafleting or publishing. Websites appearing to be merely the work of a single individual, rather than the publication of a group, are not included in this list. Listing here does not imply a group advocates or engages in violence or other criminal activity.

The Southern Law Poverty Center has added Ken Hutcherson's Watchmen on The Walls cult to their list of "Hate Groups"

That is quite a distinguished honor for Hutch! He shares his spotlight with the likes of the Aryan Nation, the Ku Klux Klan, skinheads and of course the Neo-Nazi's

CoDE should be proud to have such a high profile member on it's roster.

Here is the list of identified Hate Groups in Washington State...Beware of these nuts!

Watchmen on the Walls
United Realms of America Knights of the Ku Klux Klan
St. Michael's Parish/Mount St. Michael
Sigrdrifa White Nationalist
Seattle Creators Assembly
Northwest Hammerskins
National Vanguard
National Socilaists of Washington State
National Socialist Movement - NSM
National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan
Kinsman Redeemer Ministries
Hypatia Publishing
Eastern Washington Skinheads
Aryan Nations
American National Socialist Workers' Party

The Black Knight always triumphs, I'm invincible!

You're a looney!


Friday, 14 March 2008

It's Pastor Hutch calling and it's time to be praying again...I will not be satisfied with any compromise with regard to the Day of Silence in schools. My desire is that there be no Day of Silence recognition during the school day. This activity can take place before or after school just like Christian activities. They already have a Day of Respect, why do they need a Day of Silence?

Look Pastor Hutch! You have failed to impose your bigoted views on our schools. And you will continue to fail for one very simple reason. The LAW is on the side of our LGBT youth and their allies. The LAW is against narrow minded bigots like yourself that try to impose your medieval beliefs on sane and reasonable people.

You and your CoDE cohorts are fighting a losing battle to suppress the rights of free expression our students are guaranteed under the constitution. If you are not happy with this reality, perhaps you and your cohorts should seek a theocracy that is more to your liking than our secular democracy.

In my view, you embody the concept of the evil in men. You have the audacity to say that "God hates soft men". I think Jesus might take offense to that statement, not that you are familiar with his teachings! Your entire being revolves around the dark side.

You are what's wrong with this planet. The hate and bigotry you exude smells as bad as your failed football career did! You hurt people you don't even know every day.

I urge you and your cohorts at CoDE to cease this reprehensible activity before the courts MAKE you cease it!


P.S. Since God hasn't answered your prayers in the past on this matter, perhaps you should take it as a sign that God wants equality for the LGBT students instead of the discrimination that you seek.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Ken Hutcherson threatens local high school librarian for defending the school's "Sex Club"

Snoqualmie Valley Record

March 12, 2008

The Snoqualmie Valley School District Board of Directors heard more about the perception of bias at Mount Si High School at its March 6 regular meeting.

Mount Si librarian Elaine Harger said she had received an e-mail from Rev. Ken Hutcherson that referred to Mount Si's Gay-Straight Alliance as a "sex club" and asked if Harger wanted to be added to the list of Mount Si teachers he was pushing to have fired."What had I done to justify that he would try to get me fired from my job? This is intimidation, pure and simple," said Harger.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

UPDATED Election Results

Special Election

3/11/2008 11:22:32 PM
Election Night Final
March 11, 2008


Ballots Cast/Registered Voters:
6578/19965 - 32.95%

Poll Precincts Counted/Total Poll Precincts:
46/46 - 100.00%

Prop. No. 1 - General Obligation Bonds - $189,600,000

UPDATED 3/17/2008 6:00:58 PM

4435 - 58.46%

3152 - 41.54%

After two unsuccessful attempts to pass the levy last year, the district appeared to have failed Tuesday to meet the supermajority requirements of 60 percent approval and a minimum turnout of 3,477 voters.
Now 117 votes short of passing, some absentee's are still out...

Total Absentee Ballots Issued - 12185
Absentee Ballots Received* Today - 0
Cumulative Absentee Ballots Received* To Date - 6349
% Absentee Ballots Received* - 52.11

King County will update results at 4:30 p 3/17/08

Monday, March 10, 2008

Hutcherson and the Legacy of MLK

It appears as if Ken Hutcherson's crusade against his daughter's school continues. As we noted previously, Hutcherson was invited to speak at his daughter's high school on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which did not sit too well with some staff because of his anti-gay views. The school apologized for the controversy but Hutcherson was having none of it and demanded that the teachers involved lose their jobs.

And that was the last we had heard of it until Hutcherson showed up on the Wallbuilders Live radio program today to discuss his on-going feud with the school, which has now broadened to include attempts to shut down the school's Gay-Straight Alliance and end the school's participation in The Day of Silence.

On and on Hutcherson and host Rick Green went, complaining about supposed double standards and anti-Christian bigotry, leading Hutcherson to declare that the teachers at the school who oppose his anti-gay views and activism ought to thank their lucky stars that he has found Christ and is no longer violent:

"What it shows is the power of God to control his son. Before I became a Christian, if a white guy looked at me wrong, he was beat up. That's the reason I went out for football, so I could hurt white people legally there in Alabama. I was a much better baseball player than football, but you hit someone with the baseball while they're running to first base, people didn't like that. But you could hit them on the football field and knock them out and they patted you on the back."

But those days are past - supposedly:

"If they don't fire these teachers, I'm going to sue 'em and I'm going to ask them for their dreams. And then they're going to mess around and laugh and I'm going to take their tongue out."

Considering that Hutcherson is the sort to threaten to tear out tongues and rip the arm off of any man who dares to hold the door open for him and "beat him with the wet end," it is a bit of a mystery as to why anyone would think he would be a good choice to discuss Martin Luther King and his legacy of non-violence.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

For the Bible Tells Me So

Rep. Dick Gephardt and family

Can the love between two people ever be an abomination? Is the chasm separating gays and lesbians and Christianity too wide to cross? Is the Bible an excuse to hate?

Through the experiences of five very normal, very Christian, very American families -- including those of former House Majority Leader Richard Gephardt and Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson -- we discover how insightful people of faith handle the realization of having a gay child. Informed by such respected voices as Bishop Desmond Tutu, Harvard's Peter Gomes, Orthodox Rabbi Steve Greenberg and Reverend Jimmy Creech, FOR THE BIBLE TELLS ME SO offers healing, clarity and understanding to anyone caught in the crosshairs of scripture and sexual identity.

2007 Sundance Film Festival

Seattle International Film Festival

Full Frame Documentary Film Festival

Provincetown International Film Festival

Outfest Los Angeles

Milwaukee International Film Festival

Image Out: The Rochester Gay and Lesbian Film Festival

Reel Pride: Fresno Gay and Lesbian Film Festival

Tampa international Gay and Lesbian Film Festival

View the trailer...

The GSA should screen this film.

Would you Endorse the School Bond?

We encourage all community members to support our local school bond measure next Tuesday. Be sure to get out and VOTE.

If you would like to add your endorsement of the bond measure, visit the VVFE Site

Bond detail:
Construct and Equip a Second High School
Construct and Equip a New Elementary School
Purchase and develop land (preferably in North Bend area)
Essential Repairs and Renovations to existing schools and transportation facility
Add Temporary Capacity to Mount Si High School

Bond Amount – $189.6 million.

Send VVFE your endorsement by clicking here: School Bond Endorsement Please include your name and address. Thank you!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Principal Randy Taylor offers complete support to the GSA and the DoS

The School Board meeting went very well last night. Principal Randy Taylor delivered a report to the board relating to the Day of Silence. Taylor embraced the DoS as a positive and important learning experience and vowed to support the GSA in having a safe and well informed event.

We can sleep well tonight.

Great thanks to all of our neighbors, near and far, who cared enough to stand with our LGBT students including, but certainly not limited to;

Tara Borelli of Lambda Legal who came all the way from Los Angeles!
Our GSA friends from Auburn
The American Civil Liberties Union

And many more I am no doubt forgetting.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Parent and student engage the wheels of justice to defend the GSA and the DoS

Submitted by one of our parents...

March 6, 2008


Snoqualmie Valley School District
Mr. G. Joel Aune, Superintendent
Mr. Randy Taylor, Principal
Mr. Rudy Edwards, Snoqualmie Valley School District Boardmember
Ms. Caroline Loudenback, Snoqualmie Valley School District Boardmember
Ms. Kathryn Lerner, Snoqualmie Valley School District Boardmember
Ms. Marci Busby, Snoqualmie Valley School District Boardmember
Ms. Kristy Sullivan, Snoqualmie Valley School District Boardmember
8001 Silva Ave S.E., P.O. Box 400
Snoqualmie, WA 98065

Dear Superintendent Aune, Principal Taylor, and Members of the School District Board of Directors,

I write at the request of Daniel Ferland, a Mount Si High School parent, and his daughter, Jacqueline Ferland, a Mount Si High senior who is President of the school’s Gay Straight Alliance, to express their significant concerns about recent efforts by outside groups to pressure members of the Mount Si Gay Straight Alliance (“GSA”) to refrain from exercising their rights to freedom of expression at the school. This letter aims to provide the School Board with information about its obligations to ensure safe and equal educational opportunities for all students and to invite any questions you may have on this matter.

Initially, I’d like to provide a brief introduction of my organization. Lambda Legal is the oldest and largest legal organization in the country dedicated to advancing the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender individuals (“LGBT people”) as well as those with HIV. Lambda Legal’s work on behalf of students in schools has included securing the first-ever federal court rulings that schools must protect gay students from violence and harassment; a first-of-its-kind federal court ruling and settlement recognizing the constitutional right of lesbian and gay youth to be “out” about their sexual orientation at school; and recognition that gay-straight alliances must be allowed to meet under the same rules as other student groups.1

Schools occupy an important public trust in our society, which both constitutional law and Washington law define to include the safeguarding of students’ full and equal participation in school regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.2 A school’s obligation to teach respect for the basic dignity of all students is a particularly critical element of this trust because of each school’s important role in training our nation’s future leaders, a role that the courts have long recognized depends on exposure to a robust exchange of ideas. We understand that Mount Si has come under increasing pressure to circumscribe this exchange of ideas ― particularly those relating to LGBT students ― through calls for a taskforce about the teaching of “controversial” subjects, and most recently a distressing “open letter” from an outside group warning GSA members that they should cancel their plans to participate in the nationally recognized Day of Silence or else face “more persecution of gay students” (emphasis in original) based on what they claimed would be a building “resentment” that would “spill[] out in ugly ways,” where “problems experienced will occur again.” Of great alarm, this letter referenced “unstable people [who] sometimes turn their frustration to extreme acts of violence,” including “[s]chool shootings.”

While schools across the nation implement policies on the teaching of controversial subjects in their role as responsible educators, schools may not adopt policies in which the indicia of controversy are discriminatory based on sexual orientation, gender identity or other personal traits placed off limits by anti-discrimination laws. Though some community members have expressed a view that discussion of LGBT people necessarily is controversial by definition, public entities such as schools may not give effect to such private biases by lending those views the imprimatur of school policies. See Palmore v. Sidoti, 466 U.S. 429, 433 (1984) (“Private biases may be outside the reach of the law, but the law cannot, directly or indirectly, give them effect.”) LGBT students and their supporters exist, and have a right to exist, at Mount Si. They are to be governed by, and protected by, the same rules as apply to all other students, including the rules defining what is “controversial.”

Mr. Ferland, his daughter Jacqueline, and other students in the GSA are particularly troubled by the “open letter” dated February 27, 2008 addressed directly to the GSA members by a group calling itself the Coalition to Defend Education (“CoDE”). The notion that an outside group of adults may make direct appeals to students to refrain from participating in school activities is deeply distressing for these students, many of whom feel targeted and intimidated by this effort. Moreover, the letter makes plain that CoDE misunderstands the nature and purpose of the Day of Silence, and shows why that and similar activities are essential for LGBT students and their supporters at Mount Si. These students selected the Day of Silence activity precisely because it is educational, calm and non-confrontational. It is a low-key way for them to help their fellow students understand that they exist within the school community, though many of them are invisible much of the time. By its very nature, this silent activity avoids confrontation. And, as the CoDE letter acknowledges, only a small percentage of the student body participates. Yet, even with limited participation, this educational exercise encourages the non-participants to recognize errors in their assumptions about others’ identities and/or attitudes about LGBT people.

Because members of the GSA now feel targeted and pressured not to engage in the educational activities of their school club, we call on each of you to make clear the school administration’s commitment to allowing students to participate in their club and other free speech activities, free from outside adult warnings of dire consequences or coercion.

The parent and student on whose behalf we write are deeply concerned that CoDE’s outside pressure, applied with the admitted goal of censoring and rendering invisible LGBT students and their supporters, is quickly and seriously eroding the environment for all students at the school. From our work in this area, we know how important it is for school officials to take prompt, proactive steps to ensure that all students are able to attend and participate in school free from intimidation, harassment and fear for their safety. Leadership from the School District Board of Directors and Mount Si High School administration on these issues is urgently needed. At the behest of Daniel Ferland and Jacqueline Ferland, we urge the administration to communicate clearly its support for all students regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, its expectation that all students will be treated with respect in the school environment, and its firm refusal to allow students to be pressured or dissuaded by outside parties from engaging in visible, educational activities within their school environment.


Tara L. Borelli
Staff Attorney
Lambda Legal
3325 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1300
Los Angeles, CA 90010

1. See, e.g., Nabozny v. Podlesny, 92 F.3d 446 (7th Cir. 1996) (first judicial opinion in the nation’s history finding that public schools and their individual agents can be held accountable for not stopping antigay abuse; culminated in nearly $1 million settlement for student); Henkle v. Gregory, 150 F.Supp.2d 1067 (2001) (ruling resulting in settlement recognizing the constitutional right of gay and lesbian youth to be open and honest about their sexual orientation in schools and $451,000 payment to student); ColĂ­n v. Orange Unified School District, 83 F.Supp.2d 1135 (2000) (granting preliminary injunction against school district that prohibited gay-straight alliance from meeting and participating in same school privileges as other school clubs).

2. Indeed, Washington’s Legislature has recognized that eliminating discrimination based on these classifications is a matter of state concern, and forms the foundation of a free democratic state. (R.C.W. 49.60.010.)

Monday, March 3, 2008

Obama Confronts African American Crowd on Gay Rights

From The Stranger
Posted By Dan Savage, February 29, 2008 at 9:11 am

Obama’s rally in Beaumont today was the highest-energy of this Texas swing, with a crowd that was about three-quarters black cheering at almost every turn.

An interesting moment came when he was asked a question about LGBT rights and delivered an answer that seemed to suit the questioner, listing the various attributes—race, gender, etc.—that shouldn’t trigger discrimination, to successive cheers. When he came to saying that gays and lesbians deserve equality, though, the crowd fell silent.

So he took a different tack:

“Now I’m a Christian, and I praise Jesus every Sunday,” he said, to a sudden wave of noisy applause and cheers. “I hear people saying things that I don’t think are very Christian with respect to people who are gay and lesbian,” he said, and the crowd seemed to come along with him this time.

Read the complete story

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Proper teaching could change hearts, save lives

LESLIE CRISS, Daily Journal
3/2/2008 10:06:19 AM

Hatred ever kills, love never dies. Such is the vast difference between the two. What is obtained by love is retained for all time. What is obtained by hatred proves a burden in reality for it increases hatred."
- Mohandas K. Gandhi

Two days before Valentine's Day, Lawrence King was shot in the head.

The day after Valentine's Day he was taken off life support and died.

He was 15 years old. An eighth-grader at E.O. Green School in Oxnard, Calif.

He was comfortable, at an early age, being himself, which included being gay.

He had lots of friends. There were also some who developed a great disdain for him because he was different.

"You've got to be taught to hate and fear, you've got to be taught from year to year;
It's got to be drummed in your dear little ear; you've got to be carefully taught."

Brandon McInerney had been noticed bullying Lawrence on occasion. Brandon was a classmate. He's 14.

And on February 12, shortly after the bells had summoned students to school, Brandon walked into a classroom, pulled out a gun and fired a shot into Lawrence's head.

Some say he'll be tried as an adult. That could mean he'll spend the next half century in prison.

Some say he's the second victim in this tragedy - a victim of homophobia and hatred.

I guess I'd have to agree.

"You've got to be taught to be afraid of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a different shade, You've got to be carefully taught."

Read the complete story...