Newspaper Attempts to Bankrupt Small Business

The Lexington Herald-Leader, Lexington, Ky., has always had as one of its editorial obsessions the “rights” of the homosexual community, no matter how much those “rights” impinged upon the “rights” of others. This is currently in evidence per the editorial of 30 March demonizing a small business, Hands On Originals, for its refusal to produce T-shirts for the local homosexual group, the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization, in preparation for the “gay pride” festival in June.

The reason: Christian convictions that militate against homosexual physically-perverted-practices, not the homosexuals themselves. The editorialist chose to accuse the firm of bigotry, the catch-all term for anything the paper doesn’t like, when the actual reason is as stated – religious convictions obviously based on a multitude of biblical scriptures condemning not homosexuals but homosexual behavior, which, in the best light can only be described as lurid or, as scripture has it, “unnatural,” unacceptable by God, as are fornication and adultery.

HOO offered to make available the identification of another provider at no greater cost, but the GLSO would have none of that, even though it was never imperiled in any way. Instead, it chose to file a well-publicized grievance with the local human-rights-commission, thus attempting to shut down HOO for good and throw its employees out of work at a time when the total unemployment rate is about 16%. The editorial headline: “Bad business move.” The editorialist, citing some institutional boycotts already in place, rooted for the same objective, bankruptcy or worse.

In its “news” accounts front section, the paper also publicized a protest meeting, entitled “staff report” and shaded for effect, thus affording GLSO free publicity, giving time and place. A boycott effort has also been engendered, largely through Face-book or some such thing, the objective being to bankrupt HOO. Strangely, Kroger donates 4% of the charges on certain gift cards to GLSO, thus possibly offending many of its customers who consider homosexual behavior antisocial and unhealthy.

This is nothing new for the paper. A few years back, the University of the Cumberlands, Williamsburg, Ky., acting in accordance with its student-handbook, expelled a homosexual student who outed himself on his Internet web-site and even offered pictures such as young men kissing each other. On seven days of a nine-day period in April 2006, the paper made the subject front-page-above-the-fold stuff, positioned in the area devoted to the most important news of the world. The effort was obviously designed to hurt the school in any way possible, especially with respect to recruiting students, notwithstanding that at least 200 institutions of higher learning in the country had a similar provision governing students.

In addition to the massive front-page segments, pictures, and headlines (unimaginable overkill), the paper dedicated a huge plethora of columns and pictures to the subject on its interior pages, all in the front (A) “news, editorial, op-ed” section. In the process, it furnished free-of-charge in the supposed “news accounts” the information that a protest drawing people from all over the state would be held at UC, Williamsburg, Ky., on 19 April 2006.

On the evening TV-news-accounts of that “protest effort,” there seemed to be more interviews with law enforcement people than with the participants (maybe one officer per “protester”), with the officers standing around sort of slack-jawed and obviously wondering why they were there. The paper said “about 50” showed up, so there might have been 35-40 actual participants. There were 1,700 students (now 3,300, including 1,554 graduate students) at the school at the time, so it might be correctly assumed that their apathy was evident. The paper had gambled on a huge turnout and came up empty and embarrassed, leaving Cumberlands unscathed and probably greatly helped in its recruiting and fundraising.

The students knew what the handbook said: “Any student who engages in or promotes sexual behavior not consistent with Christian principles (including sex outside marriage and homosexuality) may be suspended or asked to withdraw from the University of the Cumberlands.” At the time, this was true of the U.S. military, as well, and the law turning it around has not yet been fully inculcated by the services, whose commanders in the field want no part of having to deal with the problems presented by homosexuals in close quarters with “straights.”

The H-L may realize its animus toward “bigoted” heterosexuals because religion is also involved. The paper itself presents a pronounced bigotry toward religion and people of faith, having ridiculed a local church in December 2005 for not having services on Christmas Sunday, and a few weeks before its attack on Cumberlands it attacked the governor’s prayer breakfast. The governor was a Baptist and Cumberlands receives some small support from the Kentucky Baptist Convention, the largest denomination in the state, ergo, Baptists, especially, are bigots as far as the H-L is concerned, even its subscribers who might deign to be (gasp) hateful Baptists.

Addendum: By the newspaper’s account, the demonstration against HOO involved “about 60” protesters, who made their objections known on 30 March in Triangle Park (downtown), some 2.5 miles from the HOO location, where, apparently, no protesters showed up to show their elitist righteousness in behalf of the GLSO. This represented about .02% of Lexington’s population of some 297,000 or so souls. The demonstration against the Cumberlands – a statewide affair advertised by the H-L in 2006 – attracted some 50 or so demonstrators, or about .00125% of the state population of some 4 million souls. The paper should congratulate itself on the recent improvement of its efforts to structure turmoil in a good cause, in this case the ruination of a local small business.