News Following the Money, and Hutcherson, in Latvia
posted by March 27 at 8:58 AMon
On his blog, Postman is continuing to dig into the details of Pastor Ken Hutcherson’s recent visit to Latvia (and into Hutcherson’s claims that he had backing from the White House for his activities there).
Until now, it hasn’t been clear what, exactly, Hutcherson was referring to when he complained that the U.S. Embassy in Riga, the Latvian capital, was funding gay right groups. Postman seems to have found the answer:
The Latvian newspaper Ritdena reported last week that the Embassy gave Mozaika [a Latvian gay rights group] $956 in July 2006 to help organize events in Riga, and $7,179 in September to publish pamphlets and produce an amateur theater performance designed to fight discrimination against gays and lesbians.
He also notes:
By joining in an alliance with the New Generation church and conservative politicians in Latvia, Hutcherson is working against U.S. policy. The Embassy has helped organize events with Mozaika to promote tolerance of lesbians and gays — as has the embassies of the UK and Sweden — and the ambassador and Embassy staff have worked to protect gay rights activists when violent anti-gay protests broke out in Riga last year.
Those anti-gay protests grew out of a controversy over Riga’s gay pride parade, which was canceled last year after threats of violence. An alternative event was held, but that, too, drew threats of violence, particularly from a group called “No Pride.” It also led to some heated confrontations on the streets of Riga. Postman has details, including accounts of the U.S. Embassy getting involved to protect U.S. citizens, eggs and excrement being thrown at gay rights supporters, and “black jeeps, with tinted windows and No-Pride signs on them, patrolling the old city, driving slowly, as if looking for something.”
In this clash, Hutcherson, apparently, sided against the U.S. Embassy and with the anti-gay protesters. From Hutcherson’s account of his recent visit:
It went extermely well with American embassy… they aren’t very happy right now, because I had to lay it out, they are not representing American values well.