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Saturday, October 16, 2004

Fisking Lavender Magazine's Mike Krause: He's wrong on Rhodes, Cox and Erhardt

His latest Lavender Collumn is here.

On the constitutional amendment vote in the House, GLBT Minnesotans had universal support among DFLers who dominate the delegations in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth, and the Iron Range.

We had many suburban allies as well, including Connie Bernardy of Fridley, Lynn Carlson of Robbinsdale, Barbara Goodwin of Columbia Heights, Deb Hillstrom of Brooklyn Center, Mike Nelson of Brooklyn Park, Katie Sieben of Newport, Nora Slawik of Maplewood, and Paul Thissen of Richfield.

All these deserve praise. However, it is ironic that Krause left out that Rebecca Otto voted for this anti-gay amendment - and I've heard from sources in the house, that Minority Leader Matt Entenza advised her to vote this way. Since Entenza was a major supporter - and got the DFL house caucus to spend $60,000 on her behalf during the special election, I find this eminently believable. The house DFL caucus notably, did not take an official position on this amendment. Now Otto has capitalized on anti-amendment sentiment when she got the St Paul Pioneer Press endorsement.

Joe Opatz of St. Cloud and Bill Hilty from the Pine County area cast especially courageous votes against the constitutional amendment.

All these political allies deserve to be reelected to their seats.


A handful of Republicans were opposed to the constitutional amendment as well, including Ron Erhardt of Edina, Ray Cox of Northfield, and Jim Rhodes of St. Louis Park. Cox and Rhodes have tough fights for re-election on their hands from David Bly and Steve Simon, respectively.

The issue for GLBT voters in these districts is that a vote for Cox or Rhodes, while rewarding them for supporting GLBT rights, is also a vote for House Speaker Steve Sviggum and other Republican House leaders who have consistently antigay records.

Yes, and voting for Cox or Rhodes opponents is a vote for Matt Entenza, who to gay audiences, will wax eloquent about the need to fight those evil republicans, while privately advising DFLers in swing districts to vote for the anti-gay Bachmann amendment.

Republicans who make the tough votes - against the anti-gay segments of their base, should be rewarded. It's important to have these voices at house caucus meetings. Gays will marginalize themselves politically, if they follow Krause's single party logic.

A suburban race of particular interest, in the New Hope area, features DFLer Sandra Peterson against Republican Lynne Ostermann. Although Ostermann has cultivated a more moderate image among Republican House members, she still voted to put the antigay marriage amendment on the state ballot. Peterson has had support from GLBT elected officials and groups.

Yes, Ostermann did vote for the Bachmann amendment. Log Cabin Republicans of Minnesota endorsed Ostermann in 2000. The Log Cabin Republicans of Minnesota PAC did not endorse Ostermann this time around. Her record in the legislature has been 100% anti-gay. Her rhetoric is different on this issue.

And for the GLBT voters agonizing over races such as the Cox-versus-Bly and Rhodes-versus-Simon contests, remember that the first vote cast by Republicans Cox and Rhodes, if they are reelected, will be for House Speaker.

Even though we had their vote against the constitutional amendment, they absolutely will vote to return Sviggum to the Speaker's chair.

True. Rep Sviggum supported the anti-gay amendment this past session. I'm not clear whether OutFront Minnesota made any attempts to lobby him on this issue this year. But as I said before, Krause is suggesting a recipe to marginalize gays should the Republicans win the house again. I have no problem with voting out anti-gay Republicans. I do have a major problem with voting out pro-gay Republicans - and hardworking legislators like Representative Rhodes. I watched his debate with his opponent - and Rhodes was head and shoulders above his Democratic

That first vote of the session alone should be enough to motivate GLBT voters in all these districts to get out and vote, and tell their friends and allies what it will mean to the GLBT community to have a change in
leadership in St. Paul.

Vote with your brain..... It's stupid to tie our fortunes as a community completely to the Democratic wagon. In order to win politically on our issues, we need to have friends on both sides of the aisle.

Monday, October 11, 2004

Second Source Confirms MCCL Calls on Behalf of Hennepin County District Judge Candidate Steven Baker

Another independent source told me of the MCCL (Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life) calls on behalf of Steven Baker. The calls were made before the primary, and they appear to have been made by volunteers. My source is going to get me a copy some tapes of the calls.

I understand that some of Commissioner Linda Koblick's constituents are unhappy with her endorsement of Baker, and have contacted her.


Homo-Cleansing the Class Room

A "Muth's Truth"......

by Chuck Muth
October 10, 2004

I feel like Michael Corleone in “Godfather III” who famously said, “Just when I thought that I was out they pull me back in.”

I’ve been trying to refrain from commenting on “the gay thing” for the last couple of months, other than to criticize the gay organization Log Cabin Republicans for failing to endorse the Republican nominee for president. And I stayed pretty much mum on the House’s attempt to pass a Federal Marriage Amendment other than to note that, as in the Senate, the effort went down in flames.

And then along comes Rep. Jim DeMint, who is now running for the U.S. Senate in South Carolina, to pull me back in.

DeMint is an staunch conservative. As a congressman, he has a Lifetime ACU Rating of 97. He is, by far, the superior candidate in the senate race for those of us who long for a strictly limited federal government.

But at a recent debate with his opponent, DeMint joined the ranks of the “homo-cons” by offering up the following: “If a person wants to be publicly gay, they should not be teaching in the public schools.” Good grief. Is this supposed to be the CONSERVATIVE point of view?

Now before some of you rush off to send me the now-requisite hate email (send it to for daring to pen yet another of my patented “fag lover” commentaries, let me put this in perspective.

Back in 1978, a California state legislator named John Briggs put forth a ballot initiative to ban gay teachers. This was at a time in history when most gays were pretty much still “in the closet,” and WAY before “Will & Grace” and “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.”

In a fundraising letter at the time, Briggs compared gay teachers to mass murderers by tying his anti-gay initiative to another initiative strengthening the death penalty: “You can act right now to help protect your family from vicious killers and defend your children from homosexual teachers,” he wrote. Subtle, huh?

The Briggs Amendment, which apparently Jim DeMint would vote for today, over 25 years later, was leading in the polls by as much as 61 percent to 31 percent. And then. . .

Former California Gov. Ronald Reagan came out against it.

On election day, the Briggs amendment was soundly defeated.

Now, those of you from the Leviticus Wing of the GOP can heap hosannas on Jimmy DeMint ‘til the cows come home, but don’t DARE say his position on banning gay teachers is the CONSERVATIVE position. Let me tell you something. I knew Ronald Reagan. OK, not personally. But as my President. Ronald Reagan was a TRUE conservative. And Jim DeMint, you’re no Ronald Reagan.

Wanna talk about teaching or advocating homosexuality (or heterosexuality, for that matter) in the classroom...fine. The subject is open for debate. But banning a teacher simply because of their sexual preference? Uh-uh.

One of the best teachers I had in 12 years of schooling was rumored to be light in the loafers. I couldn’t care less. Not then; not now. He was a FANTASTIC teacher. In fact, he probably sparked my love for writing at an early age - a love which persists to this day - in addition to teaching me how to play Cat Stevens songs on the guitar.

OK, in retrospect that one doesn’t appear to have been such a shining moment. But in fairness, this was long before Cat became a terrorist symp.

In any event, Jim DeMint would have denied me and my classmates the opportunity to learn from this truly gifted individual...simply because he was gay.

You know what? If you don’t want to "risk" having your kids taught by a gay teacher, then pull them out of the public schools. Send ‘em to a private school. Or better yet, home-school them. But don’t try telling the rest of us TRUE conservatives that a teacher should be judged not on their ability to teach and inspire a desire for a lifetime of learning in children, but on their sexual preference.

You know, between President Bush’s big-government "compassionate" conservatism and Jim DeMint’s homo-centric conservatism, I’m starting to think it is indeed time for TRUE limited-government conservatives to tear up their GOP membership cards and sign a Declaration of Conservative Independence. In fact, I think I’ll start writing one right now.

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Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a non-profit public policy advocacy organization in Washington, D.C. The views expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Citizen Outreach. He may be reached at