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Anti-Gay Phone Calls Turn Into a Windfall for Mass. LGBT Non-Profit

Friday Jul 18, 2014

Sorry, Glenn Beck. Or should we say "thank you?"

Kimberley Driscoll, the mayor of Salem, Mass., turned a torrent of angry out of state phone calls and responses from "right-leaning blogs and websites" over her decision to sever ties with an anti-LGBT discriminatory college, into a potential fundraising windfall for a local charity for LGBT youth.

The story began last week, when upon learning that Michael Lindsay, president of Christian affiliated Gordon College signed on to a letter urging President Obama to include religious exemption in an upcoming executive order banning federal contractors from LGBT discrimination.

Citing Salem's anti-discriminatory ordinance, Driscoll terminated a city contract with Gordon College that allowed them to use the city-owned Old Town Hall. Driscoll referenced the college's longstanding policies prohibiting gay activities among students, stating that such policies were in violation of a city ordinance prohibiting Salem from contracting with entities that discriminate.

Predictably, Lindsay responded that "an explicitly Christian institution," which on the grounds of "religious liberty" should be able to fire or refuse to hire individuals based upon their sexual orientation.

News of Driscoll's actions against Gordon College hit the religious right-wing media, including former Fox News personality, Glenn Beck's website TheBlaze, which resulted in a flood of anti-gay phone calls to the mayor's office from out of state.

Turning proverbial lemons into lemonade, Driscoll pledged to donate $5 for each angry out of state call her office receives to a local non-profit for LGBT youth.

In a letter to the beneficiary of the mayor's generosity, the North Shore Alliance of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Youth (NAGLY), Driscoll wrote "We are keeping a tally of these telephone calls and for each one we receive, I will be making a donation of five dollars to NAGLY."


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