Three fundamental concerns are driving the formation of the new citizens organization:
I. The negative impact of special rights initiatives on all businesses and property owners, with a particularly negative impact on faith- based and faith-inspired businesses and property owners.
II. The negative impact of special rights initiatives on every citizen's constitutionally protected rights to freedom of expression, freedom of religion and freedom of assembly.
III. The negative impact of the practice of homosexuality on the individuals who practice it and on the rest of the society.
The main multifaceted emphasis of the group is to defend Traditional Marriage as 'between one man and one woman', to respond to the controversy at the University of Notre Dame regarding homosexual activism at several levels, to respond to 'special rights for homosexuals' ordinances as they come forward in the Region and to facilitate help and ministry for those suffering from the ill effects of the homosexual lifestyle.
Nearly 500 students stayed home on DOS from Mount Si High School, WashingtonGod bless Pastor Hutcherson for his courageous stance.
Saturday, April 26, 2008 - Page updated at 12:00 AM
KEN LAMBERT / THE SEATTLE TIMES
(PHOTO)Ken Hutcherson, pastor of Redmond's Antioch Bible Church and a prominent anti-gay-rights activist, speaks through a bullhorn outside Mount Si High School in Snoqualmie on Friday. Meanwhile, supporters of gay rights conduct a counterprotest in the background.
KEN LAMBERT / THE SEATTLE TIMES
(PHOTO)Pastor Ken Hutcherson, left, of Redmond's Antioch Bible Church, ignores sign-carrying gay-rights supporter John Sawyer, 20, outside Mount Si High School in Snoqualmie on Friday.[NOTE: The sign being carried has an arrow pointing at Pastor Hutcherson, and says,"Throw Rocks Here."]
Mount Si's gay-rights Day of Silence is far from quiet
By Lynn Thompson
Seattle Times Eastside bureau
A Day of Silence inside Mount Si High School meant to show support for gay and lesbian students erupted in noisy protests outside.
More than one-third of students didn't show up for classes Friday. Principal Randy Taylor said 495 out of 1,410 students weren't at school, including 85 athletes whose parents had asked that they be excused for their personal beliefs.
About 100 people joined the Rev. Ken Hutcherson, a prominent anti-gay-rights activist, in prayer and song that questioned the dedication of a school day to what they said was a controversial political cause.
Snoqualmie police placed yellow crime-scene tape between Hutcherson's supporters and about 40 counterdemonstrators, including some former students, who tried to drown out the pastor by beating drums and chanting, "Go home." . . .
Participants take a vow of silence to represent the silence many gay and lesbian students feel they must maintain at school to avoid harassment.
Some conservative Christian groups, including Concerned Women for America, had called for a national boycott and urged followers to keep their children home from school.
The Mount Si event became a flash point for controversy after Hutcherson, whose daughter attends the school, was invited to give the Martin Luther King Jr. Day speech earlier this year about his experiences growing up black in Alabama. Because of his controversial views on homosexuality, one teacher booed his appearance and another questioned his support for equal rights.
Hutcherson, pastor of Antioch Bible Church in Redmond, last week called for 1,000 "prayer warriors" to join him outside the school Friday.
He and his wife also took out a half-page ad in the Snoqualmie Valley Record calling on residents to join them.
Speaking to his followers Friday, Hutcherson said, "We want education, not indoctrination." He said school officials had not listened to parent complaints that the Day of Silence interrupted learning and was more appropriately held before or after school.
"It's not appropriate to have during school," said Lynette Smallwood, the parent of two Mount Si students.
"They're not getting an education."
Hutcherson supporters carried signs that read "Teach Don't Preach" and "Silence for Unnatural Behavior? Not ME." . . .
Another student drove an open Jeep blasting the Village People song "Macho Man" and Diana Ross' "I'm Coming Out."
Students interviewed later said the atmosphere inside the school was at times tense as students expressed a range of opinions. . .
Some students and parents had complained to the school board earlier this spring that the two previous Days of Silence at Mount Si had coerced participation and subjected to harassment students who wanted to stay neutral.
Some teachers also chose to remain silent, drawing objections from students who said they were there to learn. Otherwise, last year's event occurred largely without incident.
Administrators directed teachers to teach this year and said that students should respond if called upon in class. . .
Junior Landon Wilson, wearing an Uncle Sam costume, joined members of the Mount Si Student Conservative Club in handing out red, white and blue ribbons.
He said the group was offering what it considered to be American values as an alternative to an endorsement of the Day of Silence. . .
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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