First Amendment violated | Letter

Editors note: The San Juan Island Pride Foundation has stated it did not organize and was not affiliated with the protest at the event.

Hello fellow islanders. Welcome to the new face of hate on San Juan Island. Our local Pride Foundation has morphed from the hated to the haters, the bullied to the town bullies. They stampeded both the Grange and the Mullis Center into canceling an appearance by a young man named Nicolas Blooms who was invited to the island to talk about his personal journey in and out of transgenderism. Not political, not polemical, not hostile or antagonistic and certainly not hateful. Merely his own story about identity suffering and ultimately healing his soul.

This is what we are not allowed to hear.

The fracas outside the Grange when Nicolas was speaking on the sidewalk outside the Grange (since he and we the audience were locked out of the building) was a disgrace to the Pride Foundation and to anyone on the island who supports their tactics. Are people here so insular and intolerant that only one point of view is allowed?

People – we are running up against serious First Amendment Freedom of Speech issues.

The Pride Foundation pressured the Grange and the Mullis center by claiming that Nicolas was associated with a hate group named Gays Against Groomers whose mission is to protect children of all sexual orientations from age-inappropriate indoctrination and therapies in our schools, our institutions, and certainly in the medical field. There is nothing hateful about protecting vulnerable children from exploitation by the trans industry. GAG is on the list of so-called hate groups published annually by the Southern Poverty Law Center and that was the cudgel used by the Pride Foundation to keep Nicolas from being heard by people who want to hear all perspectives.

Anyone who follows the news knows that the Southern Poverty Law Center has been beset by scandal and is roundly criticized by leftie publications including the New Yorker, the Washington Post, and the Atlantic Monthly. They rile up liberals by listing more and more, typically conservative, organizations as hate groups, rake in the donations, and merrily go their way. Their endowment is over $450 million – way beyond anything the American Civil Liberties Union could ever dream of.

For the Grange and the Mullis Center to blithely roll over and cancel Nicolas on the basis of SPLC pronouncements shows lack of due diligence and failure to do their homework. You don’t just cancel people based on third party fund raising propaganda. Shame on everyone involved in making this mess, most especially the angry horn honking music blaring sign waving protesters outside the Grange who refused to talk to us, refused to engage and blatantly declared they didn’t want to talk with us; their stated goal was to disrupt us. Pure hate.

Kathy Schwartz

Cape San Juan