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A founder of Watchmen on the Walls, an international organization that is ferociously anti-gay, isn’t who Hatewatch would choose to speak at an MLK day event. But that’s what happened on Jan. 17, when the Rev. Ken Hutcherson spoke at Mt. Si High School in Snoqualmie, Wash.
At the student-planned assembly, Hutcherson, founder of a Seattle-area megachurch, was booed by English teacher George Potratz. Kit McCormick, an adviser for the school’s Gay/Straight Alliance club, asked Hutcherson how he could admire Dr. King but fight against civil rights for homosexuals. “I think her deal was that I don’t believe in equal rights for everybody,” Hutcherson told a reporter later. During his speech, Hutcherson talked about growing up as a black man in the South.
Last week, school principal Randy Taylor disciplined the teachers for their actions with a letter that will be included in their personnel files. But for Hutcherson, that’s not enough. He told the American Family Association that he wants the teachers fired.
The reverend, who refers to the school’s Gay/Straight Alliance as “a sex club,” wrote, “It’s time we wake up and realize we are in a culture WAR!” He claims the questions and boos from the two teachers embarrassed him; Hutcherson’s daughter is a student in one of Potratz’s classes.
Declarations of war are nothing new for Watchmen members. In one of the group’s videos, a Watchman activist puts it like this: “Your generation beat the Nazis, and our country beat the Communists. Together we will defeat the homosexuals!”
Both teachers say they are working with their union to contest the disciplinary letters. They’ve also been offered pro bono legal support from the Human Rights Commission and the National Organization for Women. A parent-run group is organizing in support of the two teachers and posts daily updates about the Hutcherson situation on its blog.