Boycott Saloon?

I have read both articles in the June 18 Lavender related to the Reverend Tom Brock. I have also read writer John Townsend’s response to the Star Tribune article, and all the letters to the editor in the July 16 Lavender. I am incredulous. Perhaps that is a feeling that goes along with my “disorder.”

First, I find it a bit stunning that the members of clergy and others who condemn the Lavender articles actually have the audacity to accuse Lavender of hypocrisy. What makes their reaction so audacious is that while they demand an apology from Lavender, they request no such accountability or apology from Brock. For years, he has used his radio show, his pulpit, and his public persona to condemn homosexuality and vilify gay people. Where is the demand for accountability for his unchristian-like and hateful behavior?

Second, I applaud Lavender for printing letters that represent the wide range of reaction to Townsend’s articles, even those that are clearly not supportive.

Finally, I am very disappointed at the Saloon Bar for its decision to withhold its support from the gay community. The Saloon relies on the gay community for its existence. They seem perfectly happy to rake in tens of thousands (probably a conservative estimate) of dollars a year from the patronage of the gay community. But, when push comes to shove, the Saloon abandons us, denies support of our community, and chooses to side with Brock and his denigrating of the gay community. I guess we are just an open wallet to them. I will never patronize the Saloon again, and I urge other members of the gay community to consider the same boycott. The Saloon does not support us, so why should we support them?

David Hancox

Lavender Did Right Thing

When I first read the controversial article [Lavender, June 18], I had mixed feelings: I was glad Reverend Tom Brock was exposed, and at the same time, questioned the morality of it—sneaking into the Courage group and all that. But after reading the letters in the later Lavender [July 16], I am convinced that the right thing was done.

Homosexuality is not a sickness or a disorder, hence there is no association with a 12-Step recovery group, and, therefore, the decree of anonymity does not apply. Gays around the world are struggling for acceptance and fair treatment. Anyone gay knows they did not wake up one morning, and decide “to be gay”! It just is.

The Christian church has often been misguided in what the Bible means in its references to homosexuality, and is responsible for creating this moral dilemma the world faces. God does not make mistakes, but humans often do. Misinterpretation of an ancient text often occurs. Ask any nongay person if they can choose to be gay.

The problem only exists because Brock is perpetrating a fraud, and had he not been responsible for spreading the message of hate, then none of this would have happened. Like another letter said, perhaps he will now seek the help he needs to love and accept himself as he was created. And perhaps he can turn around his message of hate to one of love, peace, and inclusion.

God is the only judge of right and wrong. He doesn’t need our help with that. Since humans are imperfect by nature, they cannot judge without bias. It’s not possible.

Vincent Lobascio

Slam Dunk!

I thought you [Lavender President & CEO Stephen Rocheford] did a very good job on Almanac July 9. Your opponent, [University of Minnesota Professor] Jane Kirtly, admitted that Lavender’s tactics were acceptable if this was “a really important story.” You countered by pointing out that it is sometimes a matter of life and death (e.g., Matthew Shepherd, teen suicides). It doesn’t get any more important than that. Slam dunk!

You summed things up well at the end: “We are very proud of the fact that we have forever destroyed his [Reverend Tom Brock’s] capability to speak on the subject of homosexuality in such negative and demeaning terms—forever. This man has no credibility to speak on the subject—and that is a good point.”

August Berkshire


Thank you for the great articles on the Reverend Tom Brock [Lavender, June 18]. I read Lavender’s articles and the Strib’s articles. I agree with you and John Townsend. I also saw you [Lavender President & CEO Stephen Rocheford] on Almanac July 9. Your closing statement to the interviewer regarding Brock’s future utility to the religious community was spot-on: (to paraphrase) He won’t be molesting gay people anymore.

Thanks a huge amount.

Larry Lyke


I watched the Almanac segment July 9 featuring—if that is the right word—you [Lavender President & CEO Stephen Rocheford] and [University of Minnesota Professor] Jane Kirtley. I think it was set up as a hanging, and although you acquitted yourself well, there were some statements by Kirtley about the right way to do journalism that I thought were hogwash, and never mind that they didn’t fit the story very well. On top of the “print bites” that she gave to the Strib earlier, well, it was too much.

Steve Timmer

Letters are subject to editing for grammar, punctuation, space, and libel. They should be no more than 300 words. Letters must include name, address, and phone number. Unsigned letters will not be published. Priority will be given to letters that refer to material previously published in Lavender Magazine. Submit letters to Lavender Magazine, Letters to the Editor, 3715 Chicago Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55407; or e-mail [email protected]

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