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Should Pastor Ken Hutcherson Get to Publish Lies About Gays In Newspaper Ads?

The Stranger, the Seattle alt-weekly that’s home to Dan Savage’s column, agreed to publish an ad (PDF) from Pastor Ken Hutcherson, the raging bigot last seen marrying Rush Limbaugh, that it knew to be demonstrably false. The paper’s gimmick? It would take the blood money and donate it all to GLSEN, the youth organization dedicated to making schools safer. Does that mean, if Elton John agreed to donate Limbaugh’s $1 million fee to Tim Gill’s PAC Fight Back NY we’d let him off the hook for his hate gig?

Except The Stranger‘s situation is a bit different. It knowingly published material it knew to be false. It published a whole blog post detailing all the things it knew to be untrue about the ad. And while it’s admirable — and perhaps the only ethical thing to do — to donate the money to GLSEN, a newspaper’s first responsibility is to its readers. Namely, don’t lead them astray, whether with shoddy journalism or a running a pharmaceutical ad riddled with half-truths.

And while The Stranger can point to Hutcherson’s prior complaining about papers like the Snoqualmie Valley Record not running his ads as one of the reasons it caved, there’s a very simple reason to reject his copy: It’s full of lies.

The decision is not a matter of respecting one’s right to free speech or the exercise of religion. It’s about telling the truth.

If you’ll recall in November this website let readers choose whether the Mormon Church should advertiser on Queerty. More than 1,500 of you voted, and the majority (53%) said we shouldn’t accept the campaign. So we didn’t.

By:          Ryan Tedder
On:           Jul 1, 2010
Tagged: , , , ,
    • Sug Night

      Would they print an ad that clearly stated, “Windex cures cancer?” No? Yet they print this bigot’s false ad?

      The FCC should step in here….there are laws in this country about truth in advertising.

      Jul 1, 2010 at 10:24 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mojojojo

      Just another atrocious example of the rampant homophobia of the black community.

      Jul 1, 2010 at 10:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MikeyM

      Right idea, bad execution.

      Using the a full page opposite the ad, the Editor should have gone point-by-point disputing each false fact, with a closing statement explaining that the ad was accepted, in part, because it demonstrates the lies perpetrated by a so-called Christian minister. Blog post simply isn’t good enough.

      In any event, glad the money went to help young gay kids.

      Jul 1, 2010 at 11:00 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • unclemike

      MikeyM, I like that idea.

      Jul 1, 2010 at 11:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • j

      @mojojojo: For anyone reading and thinking about replying to this idiot, please don’t. Let’s not derail the topic at hand yeah?

      I’d also love to actually see the add queerty refused to publish, it was be interesting, to say the least.

      Jul 1, 2010 at 11:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daryl Presgraves

      In fairness to The Stranger, the blog post also ran in the newspaper next to the ad, with the headline “False Witness” pointing to the ad and the subhed “Why The Stranger Accepted the Ad and What We Did with the Money.”

      While Queety’s critique is fair, it’s important to note that the paper did, in print, point out the lies.

      Photo here: http://www.facebook.com/GLSEN#!/photo.php?pid=4708577&o=all&op=1&view=all&subj=7694286015&aid=-1&id=681392335

      Jul 1, 2010 at 12:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ogre Magi

      I still have to wonder why Elton John preformed at a wedding officiated by this sack of dung

      Jul 1, 2010 at 12:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MikeyM

      Daryl, thanks for passing that info along, it puts The Stranger in a much better light …

      Graphically (particularly for a printed publication), it could’ve been much stronger, but I’m glad to know that anyone reading the page would see the whole story.

      Jul 1, 2010 at 12:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

      As of 2006, there were one million people living with HIV/AIDS,
      up 11% from 2003

      Snapshot of the Epidemic
      • Although Black Americans represent only 12% of the U.S.
      population,10 they account for half of AIDS cases diagnosed in
      2005 (Figure 1).1,9 Blacks also account for a disproportionate
      share of HIV/AIDS diagnoses in states/areas with confidential
      name-based HIV reporting.1,9
      • The AIDS case rate per 100,000 among Black adults/adolescents
      was 10 times that of whites in 2005 (Figure 2).1,11 The AIDS case
      rate for Black men (95.1) was the highest of any group, followed
      by Black women (45.5). By comparison, the rate among white
      men was 12.1.1,11
      • HIV-related deaths and HIV death rates are highest among
      Blacks. Blacks accounted for 55% of deaths due to HIV in
      20034 and their survival time after an AIDS diagnosis is lower
      on average than it is for other racial/ethnic groups.1 In 2004,
      Black men had the highest HIV death rate per 100,000 men
      aged 25–44 at 39.9; it was 5.5 for white men. The HIV death
      rate among Black women aged 25–44 was 23.1 compared to 1.3
      for white women.12
      • HIV was the 4th leading cause of death for Black men and 3rd for
      Black women, aged 25-44, in 2004, ranking higher than for their
      respective counterparts in any other racial/ethnic group.13

      Guess what asshole? Your fellow Blacks are getting hit kinda hard by that…….not so much the Gays

      Homosexual/bisexual individuals are seven times more likely
      to contemplate or commit suicide

      Very true lots of Gay teens are thrown out of their homes, forced to sell their cocks for cash, become addicts, commit sucicde because a lot of their parents take the vile hatefilled garbage that spews out of your vile mouth as gospel

      In the last decade the median age of death of homosexual men and lesbians
      was 42 and 45 respectively

      for some reason a lot of Gays tend to get the shit kicked out of them and many actually die from their beatings because of scumbags influenced by your hatefilled rhetoric….

      Nearly one half of practicing homosexuals admit to 500 or more sex partners and
      nearly one third admit to 1,000 or more sex partners in a lifetime.

      Damm with all that cock, it seems those guys should have progressed beyond “praticing” by now……..

      Individuals who have ever engaged in homosexual sex
      are prohibited from donating blood

      I would rather they infuse drano into your veins than my blood you vile hate filled reprehensive scumbag……..

      Jul 1, 2010 at 3:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jon (yeah, that one)

      The Stranger makes its point, It’s unabashed in it’s views yet allows Ken to waste his dwindling cash on a benign advert.

      Take the dumasses money & let the commenters rant. . .it’s not like the publication hasn’t engaged hutch in this conversation before.

      Jul 1, 2010 at 3:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jon (yeah, that one)

      @PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS: That’s a very scattered analogy that could be applied to nearly any other post. Why this one? or are you just doing a copy/paste thing all over this web thingy?

      That has no relevance to Hutch unless you make a connection. . .all I see from your comment is a long rant about AIDS and race.

      Unless you can add documentation to these not-quoted comments, it’s just a long rant of crap.

      Trust me, I live in the land of Hutch. There’s a difference between giving the man credibility and attributing crap to a person who never said it.

      He’s said much worse, why make it up?

      Jul 1, 2010 at 3:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

      @Jon (yeah, that one): WTF? did you even bother to read my comments?

      Jul 1, 2010 at 4:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

      @PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS: The “copy/paste thing ” was copied and pasted directley from the ad placed by him. I inserted my response to his wild accusations.

      If you had bothered to read the actual thread and maybe clicked a link (those are part of this web thingy also) you would have seen his whole ad and known what the post was about………

      Jul 1, 2010 at 4:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jon (yeah, that one)

      I’m writing about this thread, not others, and what you wrote didn’t connect with the subject. . .On this thread, You posted a long diatribe with psuedo quotes that can’t be attributed to the subject.

      I can’t see anything in your post that I don’t know or have heard however, if you’re going to attribute quotes by proxy of bolding text it attribues that text to the subject of the article. And that’s just not right.

      As much as I dissagree with Hutcherson, I won’t put words in his mouth, and if I was to post anything like the above, I’d at least provide some links to back it up.

      I think Your post was a combination of knee-jerk (that none of us are immune to) and queerty posting text image of someting irrelevant to the actual intent of the article in order to create more page views.

      Jul 1, 2010 at 4:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

      @Jon (yeah, that one):
      “You posted a long diatribe with psuedo quotes that can’t be attributed to the subject”

      Jon, are we really having this discussion? Those bold quotes were my quotes………

      Jul 1, 2010 at 5:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jon (yeah, that one)

      @PLAYS WELL WITH OTHERS: You should make that clear, and also make it clear what the response is toward. Perhaps that’s the fault of Queerty for trying to tie in and make more out of an article than it was worth by adding a text image that was completely unrelated to the original subject.

      Jul 1, 2010 at 5:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B

      No. 1 · Sug Night asked “Would they print an ad that clearly stated, ‘Windex cures cancer?'” … they probably would. If it might be confused with news, the paper will usually label
      it “paid advertisement” or something similar.

      Jul 1, 2010 at 8:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B

      In case anyone is interested, http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/basic.htm has some of the data for 2007 (the latest available). According to this URL, “At the end of 2007, the estimated number of persons living with HIV/AIDS in the 34 states and 5 dependent areas with confidential name-based HIV/AIDS infection reporting was 571,378.” so, it is not clear where the religious nut got his “one million” cumulative cases up to 2006. It doesn’t seem to be from the CDC. His “42 year” average lifespan was probably due to Paul Cameron (who got that figure by some dubious means such as looking at obituaries in gay publications. http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_cameron_obit.html has an analysis of the flaws.

      Jul 1, 2010 at 10:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brutus

      You are way, way, way, off base. Truth is irrelevant to prior restraint. It’s only relevant to after-the-fact remedies like defamation or libel.

      Free speech DOES include the freedom to lie. (Although it doesn’t mean you can’t be punished for it in certain circumstances, like perjury — or false advertising, although that doesn’t apply here because this isn’t selling a product.)

      Of course, that doesn’t mean this guy has any sort of right whatsoever to be printed in The Stranger. They made a business decision. If you strongly disagree, the answer is to let the Stranger know that you’re upset with their decision to accept and publish this piece. Or, to publish your own counterpiece with evidence. The answer to speech is more speech, not using government to silence your opponents.

      Jul 1, 2010 at 10:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason

      Ken Hutcherson is revolting. However, it is true that the CDC has made some very homophobic statements about gays being a “high risk group”. It’s linguistic attention-seeking designed to stir up publicity which ultimately demonizes the gay sexual orientation.

      My point to the people at the CDC is that you cannot, and must not, refer to a sexual orientation as being “high risk”. Sexual orientations don’t pose risks. Risks come from behavior, especially promiscuous behavior.

      By referring to gay men as a “high risk group”, the CDC has effectively deferred to orientation demonization. It’s hugely damaging to us as people and serves to reinforce prejudices against us. The CDC needs to be told that we won’t tolerate its current use of misleading language.

      Jul 2, 2010 at 8:53 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Tackle

      Anyone quoting stats from the CDC should be very aware that stats are just estimates and much of it is bogas. It’s amazing how people just run with stats and don’t question ANYTHING. And have NO idea how the CDC even collects stats. The CDC collects data on HIV/AIDS from 34 states. Many with large Black populations. Out of these 34 states data is collected from “government” funded clinics,with a large minority populations. But not every clinic in the 34 states.

      15 clinics can be chosen from one state. 10 from another.5 from another.Whats surprising and shocking is the LOW number of people used at these clinics to speak to the actions, lifestyle and health of their so-called group which can number in the millions. 800 blacks here. 250 there. 80 there.
      The clinic racial breakdown can vary depending on the area: exm:
      60% Black- 20% Hispanic- 10%White- 10%other: Get the picture?
      With government funded clinics,you are bound to have a larger number of minorities seeking services.The numbers are put into a computer where a cumulative so-called total is gathered from when the CDC first decided HIV/AIDS was an epidemic. Over 25 yrs ago.And estimations from human minds are added, which can be a big problem. Many of the people counted in the CUMULATIVE total are long dead and gone. And the CDC does not recognize false positives. If you have a positive test, and test negitive again and again, the CDC will still count you as positive. And that will bar you from giving blood regardless of how many neg: you test after having one positive test. It’s obvious they want the highest number possible.

      Jul 2, 2010 at 8:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B

      No. 20 · jason wrote, “Ken Hutcherson is revolting. However, it is true that the CDC has made some very homophobic statements about gays being a “high risk group”. It’s linguistic attention-seeking designed to stir up publicity which ultimately demonizes the gay sexual orientation.”

      … except the CDC did no such thing! The terminology the CDC uses is “male-male sexual contact”. It may sound awkward, but the phrase is meant to include prison rape, straight guys “experimenting”, etc., not just gays having sex, and the CDC wanted the terminology to suggest what was actually meant.

      Hutcherson or someone he quoted paraphrased the CDC report and turned “male-male sexual contact” into “homosexual sex”.

      http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/basic.htm#exposure has an example of CDC usage. The bottom line is that when a homophobe quotes a government report, check the original source to see what it really says.

      Jul 2, 2010 at 8:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jason


      The phrase “male-male sexual contact” still demonizes the male homosexual orientation. Make no mistake, it’s hugely demonizing. The CDC’s use of this phrase has been unhelpful to us and helpful to the far Right.

      I can only stress that male-male sexual contact is no more high risk than male-female or female-female sexual contact. The contact itself is not risky. Rather, it’s the sexual history of the persons involved that determines risk. It’s a fine distinction but it’s a distinction nonetheless, and a very important one.

      Perhaps the CDC needs to use the adjective “promiscuous” in order to make its statements more valid. I have no problem with this word being used.

      Jul 3, 2010 at 8:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B

      No. 23 · jason wrote, “B, The phrase ‘male-male sexual contact’ still demonizes the male homosexual orientation.” … nope. It’s simply the most technically accurate term anyone’s come up with to label the data, which was the number of cases where the cause could be attributed to “male-male sexual contact”, regardless of sexual orientation. I’ll refer you to http://www.gayline.gen.nz/und_orientation.htm which points out that “Sexual behavior is not always congruent with sexual orientation. That is, persons who are primarily heterosexual may engage in sexual experimentation with someone of the same gender (for example, during adolescence), or may engage in repeated activity when no other outlet is available (e.g., in prison). Similarly, homosexually oriented persons may engage in heterosexual acts, marry, become parents. In neither case does the behavior define the person’s enduring emotional, affectional and sexual attraction.”

      You also wrote, “Perhaps the CDC needs to use the adjective ‘promiscuous’ in order to make its statements more valid.” The statistics were not for people who were promiscuous, so calling it that would be inaccurate. But aside from that, you can get HIV even if completely monogamous. Example: a couple meet, fall in love, and start a monogamous relationship. One of them had sex a few times previously, was unlucky, and became HIV+. They both got tested, but it was within the window period (the time between infection and when a test can detect the infection). Since they are monogamous and both tested negative, they erroneously think they are safe having unprotected sex.

      Basically, you are overreacting to innocuous terminology.

      Jul 5, 2010 at 8:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jevon

      The dude isn’t a bigot. I guess the medical industry are bigots too! Well if telling the truth and not shying away from the truth like a little kid, and understanding real life and taking responsibility for all my actions or in-actions makes ME a bigot, well I am a Proud BIGOT!

      Jul 5, 2010 at 9:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B

      No. 25 · Jevon wrote, “The dude isn’t a bigot.” … if you mean Hutchinson, he may or may not be a bigot, but he is definitely an idiot. The guy is quoting discredited statements from a dubious source (Paul Cameron, who came up with the low lifespan for gays).

      What Cameron did some years ago was to look at the obituary sections of gay magazines and use those to determine the lifespan of gays. At the time, many gays, particularly older ones, were closeted – the gay-rights movement was still in its infancy – so it was only politically active gays (who were generally younger gays) who would get an obituary. As mentioned previously, see http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/facts_cameron_obit.html for the full details.

      Jul 5, 2010 at 10:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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