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July 26, 2013 at 11:10 AM

Candidate’s views on homosexuality surface in Seattle School Board race

LaCrese Green

A candidate’s views on homosexuality have surfaced in her race for the Seattle School Board, based on a letter she wrote last year to the late Cheryl Chow, a longtime educator who served on the board and the Seattle City Council.

The candidate, LaCrese Green, is running for the open seat in District 5, which covers Central Seattle and Capitol Hill.  Green, 70, wrote to Chow last October, not long after Chow, who was suffering from central-nervous-system lymphoma, publicly announced she was gay.

Green, a private tutor,  started out by saying she was sorry to hear Chow was ill, and apologized for attacking her in the past.

“It is true we had opposing views, especially when you were on the school board,” she wrote, adding that she never considered Chow a personal enemy even though “perhaps you’ll say I had a strange way of showing it.”

But then Green wrote that she was troubled to hear Chow was a lesbian,  because “my personal belief is that it won’t go well for you in the hereafter.”

“We may have had our differences,” Green wrote, “but not to the point that I’d wish for you to miss Heaven.”

She urged Chow to lay aside her “bullheaded stubbornness” and ask for God’s forgiveness.

Chow’s partner, Sarah Morningstar, sent the letter to The Seattle Times, saying she thought the public should know Green’s views, since she is a candidate for public office.

In a written statement, Morningstar said that “as a mother who has a daughter entering Seattle Public Schools and as Cheryl’s widow I believe we need board members who see value in all of our families.”

“Sending Cheryl such an upsetting letter to our home while she was dying is not the act of someone I want making decisions for anyone’s child.”

Green said Thursday that the letter was a personal one, not meant to be public.  She said that gay rights are a federal issue, not one for the school board.  But she acknowledged that she wrote the letter and that it reflected her personal beliefs.

“I was honest with her,” Green said.  “I tried to be as kind to her as I could.”

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