Section One

April 8, 2005

Volume 33,
Issue 14

Sat, Feb 27, 2016


Letters to the Editor
Micah Painter needs to sue

Dear SGN,

It’s time for Micah Painter to start suing asses! The felony malicious harassment statute that Samusenko, Kravchenko and Savchak were convicted under provides for the right to sue for damages, including punitive damages of up to $10,000 per assailant.

It’s not enough the three have been convicted of crimes. They need to be made further public examples of by showing the economic consequences of their actions. I hope Micah Painter will consult an attorney, prior to the defendants’ sentencing, about his legal options. I think it would be delicious if the defendants were served with a lawsuit, in the courtroom, when they are sentenced.

Finally, since Micah has a state constitutional right to address the trial court, prior to sentencing, he should ask the judge to sentence all three defendants to consecutive sentences, rather than the usual concurrent sentences. Defendants Kravchenko and Savchak should be sentenced to 365 consecutive days for the fourth degree assault conviction to be served consecutively with the malicious harassment convictions. Samusenko should be sentenced consecutively for his second degree assault and malicious harassment convictions.

Usually judges give defendants concurrent sentences for multiple convictions, but I think Micah Painter might be able to convince King County Superior Court Judge Jeffrey M. Ramsdell that the facts of his assault are so heinous as to justify consecutive sentencing.

Steven L. Kendall

If we can’t depend on Democrats then we have to depend on ourselves

Dear SGN:

This has not been a good week in Olympia for Washington queers. The Senate Democrats may be able to pull a rabbit out of the hat by the time you read this, but in all likelihood HB 1515, the Anderson-Murray Civil Rights Bill, is - at best - on life support. The situation is discouraging, but we can’t allow it to be debilitating. We must keep moving forward, we must keep up the fight. If we can’t depend on Democrats then we have to depend on ourselves.

We have a plethora of issues in front of us. For well over a year foremost among them is the issue of marriage equality. More states keep passing constitutional amendments to deny us full equality, while some states, especially California and New England, are taking significant steps toward full marriage equality. Here in the state of Washington we await a State Supreme Court decision that will hopefully be as favorable as the one in Massachusetts.

In the meantime, we can’t let ourselves become complacent. We must keep fighting on, we must not let our rights become a back burner issue. We still have a message: We’re still here! We’re still queer! We still want our rights!

One of the many marriage-related issues we face is the federal income tax system. We pay for marriage-related rights and benefits that we are not allowed to access. This has got to end and the best solution is to give the right to marry. To deliver this message to the general public, is organizing a NO TAXATION WITH DISCRIMINATION protest on tax day - Friday, April 15 - at Seattle’s main post office (3rd Avenue & Union St., Downtown) 5:00-6:30 p.m. Everyone who supports marriage equality and fairness in taxing is invited to join us. will have a limited number of signs available, so you are encouraged to bring your own signs and banners with messages centered on NO TAXATION WITH DISCRIMINATION.

This is a peaceful, nonviolent protest to take place on the sidewalk. This event is endorsed by the Legal Marriage Alliance of Washington, Marriage Equality Now, Equal Rights Washington, Seattle PFLAG and Lambda Legal. I hope you will join us too.

In solidarity,

Bill Dubay

Time to unseat Sen. Dave Schmidt (D-44)

[Editor’s note: Sen. Dave Schmidt (D-44-South Snohomish County) posted his reason this week to a 44th District newsgroup on why he does not support equality for Gays. The following is one reader’s response back to Sen. Schmidt. Schmidt’s statements are in italics.]

Dear Senator Schmidt:

I am frankly shocked to read this. Parts of it seem to be lifted from official policy papers on the subject of Part 175 found in the records of the German Government from the late 1930s.

• “The term sexual orientation is too inclusive and too broad.” The definition in the bill is precise and narrow.

• “A person’s sexual orientation can change over time.” This statement is not accepted by mainstream psychology or psychiatry.

• “ The definition of sexual orientation presumes all types of sexuality is (sic) the same; it puts sex outside of the realm of morality.” Actually, sex is outside the realm of this bill - it’s about discrimination.

• “This bill would lead to discrimination against organizations that disapprove of sex outside of marriage.” Nothing of the sort has ever resulted from similar legislation in other states or in Washington state cities and counties with similar laws.

• “There is no documentation of discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.” This is what we call “the big lie” for, as you know, discrimination has been well documented.

• “It should not be the law that people cannot speak out against an unnatural state; you cannot force people to accept these practices.” There is, of course, nothing in the bill that abridges anyone’s First Amendment rights, or forces anyone to accept any kind of “practice.”

• “Sexual preference is not an immutable characteristic. There is no means of verification of sexual preference because it is self-proclaimed. The definition of sexual orientation creates a protection that a person could invoke one day and then deny another day.” Who would ever choose to be homosexual? Did you choose to be heterosexual? If so, when? Enquiring minds want to know!

• “Discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is not the same as discrimination on the basis of race.” No, it’s different because it could happen to anybody, Gay or straight.

• “You cannot make what someone does in the bedroom a law.” What a wonderfully libertarian sentiment, and precisely our point.

• “Homosexual men and women, just like heterosexual men and women, can live their whole lives without ever having to make their sexual preference an issue.” Unfortunately, one’s actual or perceived sexual orientation can be made an issue by a complete stranger.

• “People cannot avoid the color of their skin.” What has skin color or race got to do with this?

• “In 1997, Initiative 677, which prohibited discrimination based on sexual orientation, was rejected by the voters with a 59 percent ‘no’ vote.” Minority rights are seldom popular enough to win a majority, which is why we must protect everybody’s civil rights. However, recent polls indicate that now the majority does support non discrimination, and it’s overwhelmingly so amongst young voters.

• “HB 1515 creates special rights for homosexual people.” If you actually believe this last statement then please elaborate. The term “special rights” is nothing more than a homophobic hate slogan.

I am terribly disappointed that you are sending out this kind of drivel, apparently culled from some hate group’s web site. If you are really as ignorant and prejudiced as this seems to indicate, then you should recuse yourself from voting on this issue.

Your constituent,

James V. DeBlasio

Everett, WA

Leslie Robinson

Madelyn Arnold