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The following letter was sent to the staff of Mount Si High School after an assembly on Martin Luther King Day featured Rev. Ken Hutcherson. Rev. Hutcherson, a noted opponent of Gay rights, spoke about his struggle for civil rights and was booed by students during his speech.

Dear Leadership Staff of Mount Si High School,

I am writing to let you know that I am outraged at the leadership of Mount Si High School over the January 17, 2008 assembly with featured guest speaker Mr. Ken Hutcherson.

First of all, I am shocked at the school's decision to even invite Mr. Hutcherson. He is a highly controversial religious leader with outspoken homophobic views as well as an outspoken opponent of Microsoft's non-discrimination policies, which extend benefits enjoyed by heterosexual couples to same-sex couples. To invite him to speak at your school is a slap in the face to all people within the LGBTQ community, their families, friends, and anyone else who believes that homophobia is the new civil rights cause and a plague to society, just like racism.

In an attempt to teach the students at Mount Si High School about MLK and his legacy of civil rights and tolerance FOR ALL, you made a foolish mistake by inviting Mr. Hutcherson to speak at the January 17, 2008 assembly. Despite Mr. Hutcherson's personal experiences with racism, he is in no way a man who should be afforded an important platform in shaping the hearts and minds of young people today.

The January 18, 2008 letter posted on the school's website makes absolutely no attempt to bring to light the real issue at hand: inequality. Additionally, I find it disgraceful that the school apologized for "how these events have unfolded and the impact on our students."

As administrative staff of an academic institution, you should all know that an academic setting is precisely the type of arena where these types of issues and questions should be brought up and discussed. Instead of using the letter posted on your website as a platform to discuss the matter and bring to light the real reason Mr. Hutcherson was booed, the letter attempts to gloss over the entire incident.

It is my opinion that as an academic institution, the entire academic staff at Mount Si High School has a social responsibility to teach young people the truth about inequality and civil rights FOR ALL. Inviting Mr. Hutcherson to speak at an MLK event is a poor attempt in doing so.

I believe the school chose Mr. Hutcherson to speak at the assembly because he is a Christian who can safely spew hatred under a religious cloak. You inviting Mr. Hutcherson is essentially an endorsement of that hate. It is my opinion that your school and its administration and staff should not be so concerned with faith, but instead, focus on love. Please remember that Jesus said we are free to love as much as we want, but it is our hate that we should limit.

Lastly, I want to applaud Mount Si teacher Kit McCormick, who questioned Mr. Hutcherson on how he can support human rights if he doesn't support Gay rights. Ms. McCormick is absolutely the type of academic leader the students of Mount Si deserve! Instead of allowing Mr. Hutcherson to hide behind his hate-filled religious cloak, she exposed the man for what he really is: a horrible example of a religious and civil rights leader, especially to impressionable young people!

The entire administration of Mount Si High School should thank Ms. McCormick for being the real example of Dr. King's dream and challenging restrictions on civil rights today.

Lara Mayelian
A Concerned Citizen


Thank you for providing [in Report of "flesh-eating bacteria" outbreak in Gay men causes controversy, 1/18/08] the excellence in journalism that was sadly lacking in the original story published by The New York Times.



The LBGT community should know that Barack Obama continues to show integrity and courage in supporting us in high-profile forums. At the 2004 Democratic Convention, he was the only politician to proudly refer to "our Gay brothers and sisters in red states" in a year when we were being demonized in anti-marriage-equality initiatives across the country.

Showing the same courage this week in his MLK speech in South Carolina, he said that "If we're honest with ourselves, we'll acknowledge that our own community has not always been true to King's vision of a beloved community. We have scorned our Gay brothers and sisters instead of embracing them."

Now THAT is leader I can support. The only time I hear Hillary Clinton invoke our community is at a LOGO forum when she's courting our votes.

Todd Weiner
Seattle, WA

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