Editor defends front page after ND discrimination vote

Fargo Forum editor Matt Von Pinnon is defending Friday’s front page, which featured the photos of North Dakota House members and their vote on a measure that would have extended discrimination protection to gays.

The editor said people are reading more into the display than exists.

Some people accused us of or congratulated us for “shaming” lawmakers who voted against the bills.

That was not our intent.

In fact, a good chunk of Friday’s front page also features the faces, names, cities and political parties of lawmakers who voted in favor of the bills.

Many readers with strong views on both sides of this political debate called or emailed us to thank us for this information. They said they will keep it and use it during the next election to help them cast their legislative vote.

Many also said they have a tough time finding lawmaker voting records on the Legislative website, so they wished we did this kind of roll-call treatment more routinely on matters of high public interest.

In one Fargo coffee shop, the front page was posted on the wall to visually identify lawmakers who were mockingly “banned” from the shop.

“We’re just making a satirical, political statement,” Joe Curry said.

  • MrE85

    I’m not sure what the Red Raven coffee shop did quite rises to the level of “outrage,” but their point was made.

  • jon

    state reps tend to congregate at the capital… that’s just shy of 200 miles away from Fargo…
    Scenario presented seems as likely a wedding ceremony asking for pizza delivery. (seriously send the best man to pick the pizza’s up… the pizza shop will be none the wiser…)

    The LGBT stories are starting to wear thin on me…
    What with competing headlines like “Polio Cures cancer!” and “World war three averted!”
    The crazy hypotheticals; It’s just turning into a circus…

    • BJ

      >will be none the wiser

      In other words shut up, be ashamed of yourself, and don’t tell anyone about the happiest day of your life so far?

      Yeah. Nope.

      • jon

        Really it’s that important to you that you tell the PIZZA place that you are getting married?

        Friends, family, I totally get that… but the PIZZA PLACE?

        I guess I did my wedding wrong by not notifying all the local PIZZA places that we were getting married… My poor wife… if she were to find out that I didn’t tell the PIZZA place that we were getting married then she might think that it was because I was ashamed of her, or my feelings for her.

        This is the level of absurdity that I was complaining about.
        A coffee shop, that has few if any customers that are in the state legislature, banning legislatures who voted against protected class statue. A pizza place that would likely never be asked to cater to a wedding saying they wouldn’t do it if it was a same sex couple…

        Some how it feels like we’ve left the real issues behind some where, I’m not sure exactly where, but I’m guessing it was some where back in reality, as the controversy seems to have drifted off into the land of fantasy and commercial advertising long ago.

        • BJ


          How about all business do business with everyone disregarding oh say the rights that ND just voted against codifying. Then those darn LGBT people wouldn’t have anything to push to the liberal media. And you will not have to read about gay rights anymore, they will just have the rights everyone else already have.

    • Postal Customer

      “The LGBT stories are starting to wear thin on me”

      I can only imagine that discrimination is wearing thin on LGBT folks.