Bruce Garrett Cartoon

June 3, 2002

News Item:
Choir Refuses To Perform With Gay Men's Chorus

Singers in a Wenatchee Washington College choir refused to appear at a local concert celebrating diversity, when they discovered it would be headlined by the Seattle Gay Men's Chorus.

Only nine out of 20 members of the Wenatchee choir elected to perform with the Gay Men's chorus during the event, which was sponsored by the local chapter of Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)

The concert, titled "Voices from the Heart," was billed as "an evening of music celebrating diversity, self-respect and respect for others." The defections forced the choir to change its name to the "Wenatchee Valley College Chamber Ensemble" for the concert.

Earlier in the year, state representative Rep. Mike Armstrong, (R-Wenatchee) was among those who voted against a proposal to require all 296 Washington state school districts to adopt or amend anti-bullying policies, to protect gay and lesbian youth. Religious conservatives, who had blocked similar legislation in previous years, claimed it would infringe on students' First Amendment right to speak against homosexuality.

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