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A grade school student on the playground last week blurted out “I’m a Christian and my Aunt’s immoral because she married another woman!” My child said to me: That girl’s my friend, but I think she’s just too religious. I mean really dad, who cares?! True story. I don’t pretend to understand swingers or the motivation, just as I don’t pretend to understand gay or being black or Asian. Another true story: In my early twenties with my arm around a stunning and brilliant woman on a first date in a nightclub dancing. We’re drinking wine sitting side by side, when she says: Don’t be scared but my husband’s coming over. Absolutely petrified, I keep my arm around her as I know that I’m innocent as can be. Her six foot three, stud of a great looking husband comes over, shakes my hand, states his name which I never heard and says: “Are you taking my wife home tonight?” And he waits for his answer. I lie: “I hadn’t planned on it”, I feebly replied. By which he said, “I don’t mind if you do. Have fun.” And he walked away, I believe looking for women. They had what I think they called an “open marriage”. I’m not sure that that is a far cry from “swingers”. She did not seem abused or demure at all. I know you want to know how it ends. The truth is… I drove her home and bid her farewell without further ado. Not because it wasn’t damn tempting, more because, she was such and amazing girl that I would have ended up falling in love with a married woman and would have most likely craved her constant companionship which I’m certain was not in her interest. Are they deviant? Immoral? They made a choice. It seemed to work for them. Some people commenting in here are making moral and prejudice judgments on the Ryans for what seems to me to be a perfectly legal life style choice. “Legal” being the keyword. Morality is too subjective to be allowed in the workplace. I do not believe an employer can fire an employee for being gay and anonymously placing an Ad in Craiglist like: Gay Male seeking same for dates and lots of intimate fun. Later they email and exchange background info including place of work with a few photos clothed and nude. To fire that employee for “Lack of judgment, etc. would be a Civil Rights violation I do believe. Refer back to opening paragraph. The little girl and the word immoral as it pertains to gay women.The most important part about the article is the timeline:15th: An email arrives at Civic exposing the Craiglist personal ad regarding Ryans. 15th. J. Ryan and Yvonne discuss and conclude: Ignore this terrible stranger in email. Don’t worry all is well.17th. Ryans terminated after communication with (Muzatko at minimum) board at most.17th. Johnson and Muzatko tell cast of termination and connect it to child abuse as many volunteers witnessed.20th. Fifty or so very intelligent volunteers sign a petition to the board at Civic regarding the matter. Some of these volunteers signed it in hopes that the board would reverse the action and look for a different resolution. One that would not hurt the theater in anyway and would take into account the nature or the means by which the email came to the theater from some mysterious, might as well be anonymous person. I know this because I know many of the signatures.22nd. Johnson presents Ryans with a formal termination document with many related and unrelated reasons for the termination along with an underlying fear of litigation.Now the real problem. The Spokane Civic Theater is indeed hurt by all of this. The reputation is hurt. Some people in Spokane will certainly support the Ryans as others will, for their moral reasons and other judgments, support Johnson and the board. Mistakes have been made on both sides. The Ryan blog is a bad idea. They are wanting money and will probably end up getting some. How will that help the theater? They’ll grab a handful of cash and get out of Dodge. Johnson, whom I like, albeit she is stubborn as all get out, has helped the theater tremendously, but all that help may very well be gone in a flash with the Ryans and the reputation. Had only she listened to the actors, directors and producers in the petition and found an alternative solution. Too late. Is her continued immutable position in this matter helping the theater now? What choice could she make now that will help the theater? If the Ryans get money, how many volunteers will have to fundraise to make up the losses? And for how long?Now the lawyers in Seattle have it. The State of Washington has it. The community of Spokane loses. What needs to be done to stop the insanity of this moment? Everybody involved should start talking to each other for a resolution. But… the lawyers won’t let that happen now.Who loses? Yvonne, Board, Ryans – Get together on this. Put your personal crap aside and find a solution that is best for Spokane and the community.Bowen, stay on it, but be thoughtful of who really loses here.
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