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The Knights and the lesbians: Exhibit A in same-sex uproar
Globe and Mail ^ | February 2, 2005 | Michael Valpy

Posted on 02/02/2005 12:17:07 PM PST by NYer

Deborah Chymyshyn and Tracey Smith found just the hall they wanted to rent for their wedding reception. It was located behind a church in the Vancouver suburb of Port Coquitlam and managed by the Knights of Columbus, an organization they thought was the same as the Elks.

That mistake -- confusing the Elks with the Knights -- has taken them into the epicentre of the national debate on same-sex marriage, with Stephen Harper and the federal Conservatives citing the couple as Exhibit A in the Tories' declaration that government legislation unveiled yesterday permitting homosexuals to marry will result in severe assaults on Canadians' freedom of religion.

Prime Minister Paul Martin defended the bill, insisting that no religious organization will be forced to perform homosexual marriages if their teaching is opposed to them. But he also said that "Canada is a country where minorities are protected" -- a claim the Tories sought to turn against him by saying the debate on same-sex marriage will be all about protecting Canadians' religious freedoms.

The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal has just finished hearing Ms. Chymyshyn and Ms. Smith's claim that the Knights, a Roman Catholic men's fraternal and philanthropic society, discriminated against the couple by refusing to rent the hall to them after learning it was for a same-sex wedding reception.

The Knights, adhering to church teaching, which is against homosexual marriage, cancelled a rental contract that had been signed, returned the couple's deposit and paid for both the rental of a new hall and the reprinting of wedding invitations after Ms. Chymyshyn and Ms. Smith complained that invitations listing the hall's address for their reception had been mailed.

That was in September, 2003. In October, the couple complained to the Human Rights Tribunal, which heard the case last week. A decision is not expected for months.

Their case points to what many legal scholars and religious leaders say is a murky area between protection of freedom of religion and protection against discrimination. They say it could lead to religious organizations and individuals by the phalanx heading to courts and rights tribunals once the same-sex marriage legislation becomes law.

"It's going to be endless," said University of Toronto law professor Brenda Cossman, a specialist in freedom of expression and legal regulation of adult relationships.

The B.C. Knights of Columbus case focuses on whether a church-related organization is the same as a church and whether freedom of religion extends beyond refusing to perform a same-sex marriage to refusing to celebrate one.

Provincial governments, which license civil commissioners to perform marriages, are wrestling with allowing them to follow their conscience and religious belief when it comes to same-sex marriages or, as Manitoba has done, ordering them to surrender their licences and find another line of work.

Yesterday, the Tories produced a list of seven cases to illustrate the freedom of religion and anti-discrimination protections. All the cases had previously received considerable publicity -- such as the gay student in a Catholic high school in Oshawa, Ont., who secured a Superior Court injunction against the school board's order that he not bring a male date to the school prom -- and none touched directly on same-sex marriage.

In contrast, the case of the Knights and Ms. Chymyshyn and Ms. Smith is destined to become a textbook model.

The hall has a sign outside saying simply that it was for rent and listing a telephone number.

B.C.'s Human Rights Code says "a person must not, without a bona fide and reasonable justification, discriminate against a person or class of persons regarding any accommodation, service or facility customarily available to the public."

Both sides agreed that freedom of religion could be a "bona fide and reasonable justification to discriminate" but lawyer barbara findlay, representing Ms. Chymyshyn and Ms. Smith, says it wasn't operable in this case.

Ms. findlay, who does not use capital letters in the spelling of her name, said the religious freedom of the Roman Catholic Church to refuse to marry same-sex couples could not be equated to religious freedom for a lay organization of Catholics to refuse to rent premises for the celebration of a same-sex marriage -- not if the premises were generally offered to the public.

She also likened the Knights' refusal to rent their hall to Ms. Chymyshyn and Ms. Smith as being comparable to a hypothetical case in which, if the Knights ran a daycare, they refused to accept the children of a lesbian couple.

Knights' lawyer George Macintosh said the Catholic Church owns the hall, and membership in the Knights is limited to practising Catholics.

"If it's lawful to say no to [performing] a same-sex marriage, it's lawful to say no to celebrating the event. To celebrate an event against your religious belief is the same as conducting the event yourself."

Mr. Macintosh said the sign in front of the Knights' hall did not have to state that it would not be rented to people who acted against Catholic teachings because that was covered by the "bona fide and reasonable justification to discriminate" provision of the Human Rights Code.

Ms. findlay said the sign has since been taken down and the Knights now rent the hall only to members of the adjacent Catholic church.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Canada; Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: canada; gaymarriage; gayunions; homosexualagenda; homosexuallist; homosexualmarriage; knights; knightsofcolumbus; kofc; lesbians
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"Homosexual unions are totally lacking in the biological and anthropological elements of marriage and family which would be the basis, on the level of reason, for granting them legal recognition. Such unions are not able to contribute in a proper way to the procreation and survival of the human race. The possibility of using recently discovered methods of artificial reproduction, beyond involving a grave lack of respect for human dignity,(15) does nothing to alter this inadequacy."
CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING PROPOSALS TO GIVE LEGAL RECOGNITION TO UNIONS BETWEEN HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS
1 posted on 02/02/2005 12:17:09 PM PST by NYer
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To: NYer
The Knights and the lesbians

Sounds like a revision to the Arthurian Legend.

2 posted on 02/02/2005 12:18:13 PM PST by Semper Paratus
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To: american colleen; Lady In Blue; Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; ...
The Knights, adhering to church teaching, which is against homosexual marriage, cancelled a rental contract that had been signed, returned the couple's deposit and paid for both the rental of a new hall and the reprinting of wedding invitations after Ms. Chymyshyn and Ms. Smith complained that invitations listing the hall's address for their reception had been mailed.

Catholic Ping - please freepmail me if you want on/off this list


3 posted on 02/02/2005 12:19:01 PM PST by NYer ("The Eastern Churches are the Treasures of the Catholic Church" - Pope John XXIII)
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To: NYer

""Homosexual unions are totally lacking in the biological and anthropological elements of marriage and family which would be the basis, on the level of reason, for granting them legal recognition. Such unions are not able to contribute in a proper way to the procreation and survival of the human race. The possibility of using recently discovered methods of artificial reproduction, beyond involving a grave lack of respect for human dignity,(15) does nothing to alter this inadequacy.""

BINGO!


4 posted on 02/02/2005 12:21:03 PM PST by international american (Tagline melting.............................................)
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To: NYer
Ms. findlay, who does not use capital letters in the spelling of her name,

Pretentious twit alert.

5 posted on 02/02/2005 12:21:14 PM PST by atomicpossum (I am the Cat that walks by himself, and all places are alike to me.)
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To: atomicpossum

my feelings exactly

i dont use punctuation either

sometimes my name is e e cummings


6 posted on 02/02/2005 12:23:00 PM PST by livius
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To: NYer
Asking the K of C to reant a hall for a Dyke marriage is like asking the NAACP to host a KKK ralley.,P.What the ^%#& were these "women" thinking??

Oh, I get it. They weren't thinking!

7 posted on 02/02/2005 12:25:21 PM PST by FixitGuy
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To: NYer

VIVAT JESU!


8 posted on 02/02/2005 12:27:38 PM PST by Dominick ("Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought." - JP II)
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To: NYer

Knights of Columbus ~ private organization ~ members only.

Knights of Columbus Hall ~ private property - no dykes.


9 posted on 02/02/2005 12:27:45 PM PST by Beckwith (Barbara Boxer is the Wicked Witch of the West . . .)
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To: NYer
The real problem is the whole concept of laws against discrimination.

A free people doesn't need the some government bureaucrat to decide for them what is a "bona fide and justifiable reason" to discriminate. The should be able to buy, sell, rent, hire from whomever for whatever reason they wish.
10 posted on 02/02/2005 12:29:25 PM PST by Truthsearcher
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To: FixitGuy

Sorrry for the horrrible spelling..


11 posted on 02/02/2005 12:29:46 PM PST by FixitGuy
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To: Semper Paratus
Why do I have the Image of Monty Python Right now????
12 posted on 02/02/2005 12:30:54 PM PST by reagandemo (The battle is near are you ready for the sacrifice?)
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To: NYer
Calling people a 'minority group' because they do evil deeds while the vast majority of people do not do evil deeds is a slap in the face of legitimate minorities.
13 posted on 02/02/2005 12:31:02 PM PST by Cultural Jihad
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To: reagandemo
Why do I have the Image of Monty Python Right now????

And having a knight spank some lesbians.

14 posted on 02/02/2005 12:32:14 PM PST by Semper Paratus
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To: FixitGuy

Apparently the K of C weren't thinking either....they signed a rental agreement without knowing the particulars.
A simple "Who's is the lucky couple" might have saved some of this....


15 posted on 02/02/2005 12:32:37 PM PST by Adder (Can we bring back stoning again? Please?)
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To: St. Johann Tetzel
G'day, Bruce!

Shall we read the rules again?

16 posted on 02/02/2005 12:33:05 PM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: NYer
Ms. Smith as being comparable to a hypothetical case in which, if the Knights ran a daycare, they refused to accept the children of a lesbian couple.

Maybe this could be solved by just informing the lesbian couple that the children will be taught Judeo/Christian moral values. As for rental of the hall, they shouldn't lose but I bet they do. Part of the coalition to legalize gay marriage are people who see it as an opportunity to suppress religion and morality. Many liberals view religion as the greatest evil (people who otherwise believe there is no such thing as good and evil -- figure that one out).

17 posted on 02/02/2005 12:33:14 PM PST by The Ghost of FReepers Past (Legislatures are so outdated. If you want real politcal victory, take your issue to court.)
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To: NYer

I think they knew exactly what they were doing. They wanted to make a big show and sue. They arent really stupid enough to not know what the Knights of Columbus was.


18 posted on 02/02/2005 12:34:23 PM PST by sgtbono2002
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To: little jeremiah; EdReform

Ping!


19 posted on 02/02/2005 12:34:37 PM PST by NYer ("The Eastern Churches are the Treasures of the Catholic Church" - Pope John XXIII)
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To: Semper Paratus

It's only a flesh wound!


20 posted on 02/02/2005 12:35:03 PM PST by reagandemo (The battle is near are you ready for the sacrifice?)
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To: ArrogantBustard

Fourth Bruce: Rule Six, there is NO ... Rule Six. Rule Seven,

Everybruce: No Poofters!!


21 posted on 02/02/2005 12:36:01 PM PST by St. Johann Tetzel (Rule One! No Poofters!)
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To: FixitGuy

If the Knights of Columbus lose this, then they may eventually be forced to open up their membership to Gays and Lesbians.

People who push for "gay rights" only further alienate gay people from mainstream society. Especially when no actual "rights" are denied to gay people, and what "gay rights" activists are really pushing for is an invasion of privileges, not civil rights.


22 posted on 02/02/2005 12:36:14 PM PST by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
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To: NYer
The Knights, adhering to church teaching, which is against homosexual marriage, cancelled a rental contract that had been signed, returned the couple's deposit and paid for both the rental of a new hall and the reprinting of wedding invitations after Ms. Chymyshyn and Ms. Smith complained that invitations listing the hall's address for their reception had been mailed.

That was in September, 2003. In October, the couple complained to the Human Rights Tribunal, which heard the case last week. A decision is not expected for months.

The K of C went out of their way to help these 'womyn' out after they cancelled the contract and they run to the government?? They are just pushing their agenda on the K of C.

23 posted on 02/02/2005 12:37:12 PM PST by retrokitten
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To: Truthsearcher
I wouldn't call some redneck who hates people and refuses to do business with them based upon some immutable characteristic or creed as being really "free," but a slave to his bigotry.
24 posted on 02/02/2005 12:37:21 PM PST by Cultural Jihad
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To: Semper Paratus

If they get a settlement they're going to build their own reception spot, the Nights of Clamidia Hall.


25 posted on 02/02/2005 12:38:20 PM PST by WestTexasWend
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To: Semper Paratus
Sounds like a revision to the Arthurian Legend.

I suppose I could stay a bit longer...

26 posted on 02/02/2005 12:38:41 PM PST by Sloth (Al Franken is a racist.)
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To: ArrogantBustard
Oops, almost forgot Bruce's Philosopher's song.
27 posted on 02/02/2005 12:38:45 PM PST by St. Johann Tetzel (Rule One! No Poofters!)
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To: St. Johann Tetzel

Do lesbians qualify as "poofters"?


28 posted on 02/02/2005 12:41:06 PM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: FixitGuy
Asking the K of C to reant a hall for a Dyke marriage is like asking the NAACP to host a KKK ralley.,P.What the ^%#& were these "women" thinking??

They were looking for a good lawsuit, & they found one. They already got a free reception out of the deal.

29 posted on 02/02/2005 12:41:35 PM PST by nina0113
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To: Cultural Jihad
I wouldn't call some redneck who hates people and refuses to do business with them based upon some immutable characteristic or creed as being really "free," but a slave to his bigotry.

Who is the redneck in this story?

30 posted on 02/02/2005 12:43:33 PM PST by frogjerk
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To: The Ghost of FReepers Past
Ms. Smith as being comparable to a hypothetical case in which, if the Knights ran a daycare, they refused to accept the children of a lesbian couple.

This is a false comparison, since the children would presumably be doing nothing at the daycare offensive to the Knights' religious beliefs.

31 posted on 02/02/2005 12:45:30 PM PST by rightwingcrazy
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To: Cultural Jihad

Yeah, but all you're doing is offering to be his new master.

He's is answerable to god for his prejudices and other failings.


32 posted on 02/02/2005 12:46:54 PM PST by Truthsearcher
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To: ArrogantBustard
Hmmmm...hafta consult the TTGC?


33 posted on 02/02/2005 12:47:34 PM PST by St. Johann Tetzel (Rule One! No Poofters!)
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To: NYer

"The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal has just finished hearing Ms. Chymyshyn and Ms. Smith's claim that the Knights, a Roman Catholic men's fraternal and philanthropic society, discriminated against the couple by refusing to rent the hall to them after learning it was for a same-sex wedding reception."

"Ms. Chymyshyn and Ms. Smith complained that invitations listing the hall's address for their reception had been mailed."

Question: How did this lesbian couple present themselves to the Knights when the first meeting occurred to rent the hall? Did they tell the Knight's that they were a lesbian couple? Or did they just say it was for a wedding reception and allowed the Knights' to assume it was for a heterosexual couple?


34 posted on 02/02/2005 12:51:34 PM PST by OpusatFR (All Your Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches are belong to us.)
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To: NYer
Human Rights Tribunal

Is that a real Court in Canada, or one of these pseudo-Courts like you find in the Hague or in a back-room at the Kennedy Center?

35 posted on 02/02/2005 12:53:33 PM PST by theDentist (Jerry Springer: PBS for White Trash)
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To: NYer
Not to take away from the actual meat of the article but:
"Ms. findlay, who does not use capital letters in the spelling of her name..."

What is that about?

36 posted on 02/02/2005 12:54:28 PM PST by arizonarachel
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To: Truthsearcher

Jim!

Hey Jim!!!!

Jim Crow, is that you?


37 posted on 02/02/2005 12:59:05 PM PST by dmz
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To: Cultural Jihad

Calling people a 'minority group' because they do evil deeds while the vast majority of people do not do evil deeds is a slap in the face of legitimate minorities.


BINGO!! Behavior does not a "minority group" make!! Not smokers, not drinkers, not hunters, not HOMOSEXUALS!! What do you say we lobby for it to be removed!! (fat chance it might be reversed!)


38 posted on 02/02/2005 12:59:51 PM PST by gidget7
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To: arizonarachel
"Ms. findlay, who does not use capital letters in the spelling of her name..."
What is that about?


She is obviously a "buck the system in every way possible!" type feminist.
39 posted on 02/02/2005 1:04:47 PM PST by gidget7
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To: arizonarachel
Reader beware: here is the explanation from barbara findlay's website.

My name is spelled without capital letters. People make many assumptions about why that is. Here is the story. I have always signed my name without capital letters. When I was taking a graduate studies program in law in 1990, I had letterhead designed and my name was in lower case. I liked it, so I continued it when I went back into private practice. What an uproar! Lawyers called me up to say that they had a vote in their firm about why I chose that spelling; a court once rejected an Order because ‘my name was not properly spelled’ the local queer newspaper refused for years to spell my name without capitals; etc. etc. I realized that I had a perfect illustration of how we react when someone moves even a tiny bit away from the norm, and even with respect to something that impacts no one else at all. So I have kept that spelling, and I tell this story in unlearning oppression workshops.

40 posted on 02/02/2005 1:04:51 PM PST by Loyalist (Please visit this fine lady's blog: fiatmihi.blogspot.com)
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To: rightwingcrazy

Yes you're right. And I would care for a lesbian couple's children with no problem. But I would not hide my beliefs from the kids, so I doubt they would find ME acceptable. I'm not saying I would set out to insult the children's legal guardians, but when I care for children, I see it as my responsibility to teach them about right and wrong. I also read books and provide other Christian based material for them. I suppose it would be easier to avoid if they were the only children I cared for (still it would come up), but I certainly wouldn't sacrifice the proper training of other children for the sake of the immoral "moms." They wouldn't want me as a babysitter, but I wouldn't mind doing it.


41 posted on 02/02/2005 1:06:21 PM PST by The Ghost of FReepers Past (Legislatures are so outdated. If you want real politcal victory, take your issue to court.)
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To: NYer
From barbara findlay's website:

Most recently, I have been honoured by being granted an Award of Merit by the new Sexual Diversity Studies Department at the University of Toronto, in recognition of my advocacy on behalf of queer communities in Canada.

Surprise, surprise ...

42 posted on 02/02/2005 1:06:52 PM PST by catpuppy
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To: dmz

As hard as it might be for your to get your mind around this, I'm not white.

This is about the freedom of people to associate with anyone they choose, I don't want to tell anyone else who they can and cannot assoicate with, and I would appreciate the same from them.


43 posted on 02/02/2005 1:07:40 PM PST by Truthsearcher
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To: Loyalist

Oh, and I thought I didn't capitalize my name most of the time because I was lazy. Instead I'm making a statement. Cool!
sundero


44 posted on 02/02/2005 1:07:46 PM PST by brytlea
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To: rightwingcrazy

Likewise I certainly wouldn't want them to babysit my child.


45 posted on 02/02/2005 1:10:22 PM PST by The Ghost of FReepers Past (Legislatures are so outdated. If you want real politcal victory, take your issue to court.)
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To: sgtbono2002

exactly, the article said it was a hall behind a church-"what is the name of the church?"
I'm sure it was obvious it was a Catholic Church.


46 posted on 02/02/2005 1:11:28 PM PST by okokie (Laura Bush is a REAL WOMAN, a lady with manners and grace)
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To: St. Johann Tetzel
That's pretty definitive ...

They're not Bruces (although some of them want to be).

They're sure no Sheilas (I've seen some of them).

That leaves Poofters.

47 posted on 02/02/2005 1:13:50 PM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: NYer

funny how the rights of homos are becoming more important that the rights of straight people* it is like our rights are a lesser right*
i do not like using periods*


48 posted on 02/02/2005 1:16:04 PM PST by rawhide
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To: Loyalist
I thought about looking her up, and then realized she may have some goofy explaination.

It's so "I'm a rebel, look at me!!" ish it's not even funny.

49 posted on 02/02/2005 1:18:23 PM PST by arizonarachel
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To: rawhide
nice..i have a reason to justify my horrendous spelling and grammar. I'm moving away from the norm to do a social experiment on people's reactions to it. yes that's it.
50 posted on 02/02/2005 1:26:02 PM PST by tfecw (dolphins are the spawn of evil)
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