Letters to the Editor: 440

Phil Wilkie/HRC

I’d like to propose HRC give 100% of this year’s proceeds from their annual dinner to help stem the epidemic of youth suicides in the Anoka school district.

The HRC dinner committee should tell the HRC Washington DC based  headquarters, that we have an emergency going on in Minnesota. Our state is polarized politically and bankrupt  financially. So our local GLBT community needs to take matters in our own hands and open a youth center in Anoka for GLBT and alternative youth.

After Mathew Shepard’s 1998 slaying in Wyoming, we could have opened Mathew Shepard Centers across the country to counsel and build community for GLBT youth and their friends. Instead, millions of dollars were raised and spent for PAC’s in Washington to support hate crimes laws. There is no proof that hate crime laws will lessen hate in this country. However there is proof that community-based efforts do help isolated youth.

In the early 1970’s after the Stonewall uprising, Gay House was established in Minneapolis. Similar community-based centers across the country helped an entire generation to come out of the closet to create community. We need a similar effort today to help the current generation of GLBT youth.

Phil Willkie, Minneapolis


Jean Ross/Afghanistan

Lavender Magazine:

More than 10 years after the U.S. invaded Afghanistan, I see little evidence that the current U.S. military strategy is helping to bring peace or stability to that country. I am heartened by reports that our country and our European allies are considering accelerating the withdrawal of military forces and focusing on the long term development both inside Afghanistan and in the region.


Jean Ross, Minneapolis


Brad Trom/Maggie Gallagher and the Marriage Amendment


This past Sunday, (Mar 4, 2012) I attended the meeting at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Owatonna where Maggie Gallagher spoke on the proposed marriage amendment in Minnesota.  The title of her talk was “Defending Marriage in the Age of Confusion”.

Maggie Gallagher, now in her 50’s, states that she grew up as an atheist and that her first-born child was born out of wedlock– odd facts considering that she’s the co-founder of the National Organization for Marriage.  Fast forward to the year 2012: she’s now a member of the Catholic Church and the Catholic Church is a strong financial supporter of her endeavors.  How convenient when you realize that she’s drawing an annual salary of $160,000 plus health insurance benefits – that’s more than what the Governor of Minnesota makes.

Ms. Gallagher uses the podium as a soapbox to further the sales of two previously published books on marriage with another on the way.  For someone who speaks about the virtues of marriage, it’s almost as if she knows next to nothing about love itself.  The very things that she speaks and writes about that are good and desirable in a traditional marriage are also true for those in a same-sex relationship.

After an hour of speaking, the group took a break for 20 minutes and then returned for a question and answer session.  One would expect a civil and respectful response to all inquiries, considering that it was a roomful of self-righteous church-goers, a priest and a bishop; but no.  When a member of the LGBT community presented a hand-written question on one of the provided cards, her condescending response in a Rush Limbaugh-like way stated: “The gay guy asks the following question…”.

I remember seeing her in a TV interview awhile ago with Joe Solmonese, President of the Human Rights Campaign, and every time Joe spoke Maggie would interrupt and try to out-shout him – it was a very unprofessional display of conduct on her behalf.

If the Catholic Church is going to conduct a debate about the marriage amendment, then it should invite speakers on both sides of the aisle, both pro and con.

Brad Trom, Blooming Prairie, MN

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