As the saying goes: A friend of the right-wing is no friend of mine.
That's the message that NARAL Pro-Choice Washington relayed to reporters during a morning press conference at a Seattle hotel. The organization released a slew of fundraising letters Seattle City Council candidate Tim Burgess supposedly wrote during a decade of consulting work he did for the right-wing group Concerned Women for America (CWA).
The letters, uncovered in the files of the People for the American Way, a liberal watchdog group, use derogitory language toward Gays and outline CWA's opposition to pro-choice advocates.
Karen Cooper, executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, said Burgess told her organization during an endorsement meeting that he wrote the fundraising letters during his comapany's years of consulting work for CWA between 1995 and 2005. Seattle Gay News Publisher George Bakan, who also participated in the press conference, reminded reporters that Burgess told The Stranger during an interview that he was a "copywriter" on CWA projects, a well understood trade term meaning that he wrote, edited and approved much of the language used in the letters.
Among CWA's accusations in the letters:
- Radical homosexual activists and their allies plan to turn America's public school system into full-fledged gay propaganda and recruitment camps
- Homosexuality and pedophilia are both sexual orientations
- Emergency contraception is the same as an abortion
- The National Education Association seeks to promote the "homosexual lifestyle" in America's public schools
One letter dated January 1997, which had been blown-up to poster size and circled in red by press conference organizers, talks about the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a piece of legislation still under consideration in Congress.
The letter reads: "...ENDA was a blatant attempt to destroy our society's moral foundations. This bill would have forced Christian businessmen and women and other decent Americans to hire homosexuals and those with a variety of 'sexual orientations,' including transvestites and pedophiles."
Bakan said as a newspaper publisher he's turned away advertising from groups professing beliefs he disagreed with, such as "ex-Gay" groups. He said that--in Seattle--few companies would take work from groups such as CWA.
Althought NARAL Pro-Choice Washington and the Seattle Gay News have endorsed Councilman David Della, Burgess' opponent, in the Seattle City Council Position Seven race, Cooper and Bakan said they are releasing the letters Wednesday only in hopes of providing voters with more information from which to cast their ballot.