Subject: Boards's lesson on character | story, Oct. 13
Equality, justice for all
I applaud the tireless efforts of Linda Lerner. She has displayed a sense of equality and justice for all. She has had all of the students' needs at the core of her battle. This battle is often uphill and solo, but she perseveres, her aim is equality and the betterment for all of the students.
The School Board denied a grant from Learning for Life, a subsidiary of the Boy Scouts of America. ... The BSA has been a wonderful group for many, as long as one is not gay. Many students have taken their lives because they were bullied, and this is a form of discrimination.
The School Board is to be applauded for saying no to the overt discrimination of one student, but in this case many students.
Lerner has made it an issue to be supportive and inclusive to all, not just those in the "in" group, and for this she is to be applauded. I can recall many years ago when she attended a service at King of Peace MCC, she was there as a candidate, a resident, a person with morals but she was also there as a mother.
Change does happen, one person at a time. Hopefully this is just the beginning of many changes. The BSA practices discrimination, and this practice has been allowed by the Supreme Court. This discrimination might be legal, but under no circumstances is it moral. This topic is allowing many to take a sigh of relief, maybe a small one, for if the School Board defends discrimination, what is next?
Mark L. Grantham, Gulfport
Standing up to bigotry
Imagine an elected official with the character to stand up to bigotry and intolerance! Linda Lerner should be commended for her unwavering stand on opposing the Boy Scouts of America's intolerance of gay people. The Boy Scouts also exclude atheists. But wait, isn't the gay intolerance also a religious issue? It is the religious fundamentalists' dogma that also fuels the anti-gay attitude. Perhaps the BSA should change its name to the Christian Scouts of America.
Francis Prahl, St. Petersburg
If only I had known
Kudos to Linda Lerner for leading the opposition to the Boy Scouts' grant. Years ago I was a den mother for a Cub Scout group. My two little boys were Cub Scouts.
If I had known about the discrimination against gay Scouts I never would have allowed my boys to join. Discrimination of any kind is a disgrace.
Sybil Rosen, St. Petersburg
I've respected Linda Lerner for years for having the courage to fight against discrimination. It's encouraging to know that other members of the School Board have that same courage. Discrimination is discrimination and there should be no tolerance for it anywhere, but especially in our schools.
Pam Meador, St. Petersburg
Left discriminates, too
Did it occur to the School Board and your newspaper that you are discriminating against the Boy Scouts? Hillsborough does not see a problem. This is typical of the liberal left. It is never politically correct to discriminate against or oppose the liberal agenda. Discrimination is only okay if it relates to conservative causes.
William C. Bolin Sr., Largo
My money is at issue
So Linda Lerner and the majority of the School Board decided to turn down $55,000 from the Boy Scouts because of their policy on gays. Lerner and her cronies are entitled to their opinion, of course, but they should not be making political statements with my money. I do not believe they have the right. If there are ways to make it up, they should have already utilized them. They should put $55,000 of their personal money in the kitty or reverse this decision.
Gerald Doty, St. Petersburg
Re: A hint and a retort: 'I happen to be gay,' | story, Oct. 12
Largo lacks tolerance
Talk about a town without pity. The city of Largo could easily have been the town Gene Pitney once sang about. Perhaps Largo Commission candidate Michael Smith would have been a little more forthcoming about his sexual orientation, but he knows how the folks of Largo react if you don't beat to the tune of the same drummer. Remember what the townspeople did to former City Manager Steve (now Susan) Stanton? Apparently, Commissioner Mary Gray Black couldn't resist the temptation to verbally beat Smith over the head because he is gay. And wouldn't you know it? Black's mailer identifies her as a Christian. At times, these so called "good Christians" really make me laugh. Because if they were really good Christians, I would think they'd be more tolerant of others.
JoAnn Lee Frank, Clearwater
Subject: Accusations of deception, homophobia fly
Gay bashing is just so politically incorrect these days. And it's especially unbecoming when it falls from the lips of a 72-year-old woman who advertises herself as a Christian. It seems like in her long career in local politics Mary Black would have learned to resist the temptation to fan the flames of prejudice to make points with her ultra-conservative supporters. Her Largo Commission opponent Michael Smith handled her hateful comments well. ... He would bring a much-needed breath of fresh air to the commission.
Kathleen Jamison, Largo