OBIT­U­ARY James Mun­roe State rep­re­sen­ta­tive can­di­date fights back against claims she is anti-LGBTQ

The Hazleton Standard-Speaker - - LOCAL - BY STEVE MOCARSKY STAFF WRITER Stan­dard-Speaker 21 N. Wy­oming St., P.O. Box 578, Ha­zle­ton, PA 18201; Cir­cu­la­tion (pa­per de­liv­ery): Sports: Con­tact the writer:

Aug. 4, 2018

James Mun­roe of Stevensville, Mont., passed away Aug. 4 at his home fol­low­ing his bat­tle with can­cer. He was 91.

He was born James Reese Mun­roe on Nov. 10, 1926, in Ha­zle­ton to Robert John and Mary Rose Win­kle­specht Mun­roe.

Jim grew up in Ha­zle­ton, grad­u­at­ing from Ha­zle­ton High School, where he played bas­ket­ball on a mem­o­rable team in the cham­pi­onship fi­nals. Jim grad­u­ated with the Class of 1944. Fol­low­ing high school, Jim went on to study at Penn State Univer­sity earn­ing his AA de­gree.

Jim then joined the Navy where he served as a radar­man, third class, in World War II on the USS Dyess, a de­stroyer.

Grow­ing up in a du­plex, the Mun­roe fam­ily was neigh­bors to the De­mop­u­los fam­ily. The De­mop­u­los fam­ily had a daugh­ter, Sylvia, who was close to the same age as James and they at­tended school to­gether. They kept cor­re­spon­dence dur­ing the war and their relationship be­gan to grow on his re­turn home. They were mar­ried Nov. 30, 1952.

Dur­ing that time he worked for Cen­tral Penn­syl­va­nia do­ing road con­struc­tion from 1944 to 1982. He started work­ing for them in the sum­mers dur­ing school which later turned into a full­time ca­reer. Jim then went to work for Stabler Con­struc­tion in 1982 un­til his re­tire­ment. Dur­ing his work­ing years, Jim and his fam­ily moved 20 times across Penn­syl­va­nia, Mary­land and West Vir­ginia.

Jim re­tired to Pine­hurst, N.C., in 1994, where he en­joyed play­ing golf five days a week. When Jim was not play­ing golf, he vol­un­teered at the Givens Li­brary in Pine­hurst, at the U.S. Open, and at The Club for scram­bles and other var­sity mem­ber events. He also en­joyed gar­den­ing and the sunny weather in Pine­hurst.

Jim’s daugh­ter, son-in-law and grand­daugh­ter moved to Mon­tana from Raleigh, N.C., as an early re­tire­ment gift. In 2015, Jim de­cided it was time to join them. Mon­tana was the per­fect fit for him be­cause he loved be­ing out­doors.

Jim in pre­ceded in death by his par­ents; sib­lings, Robert Mun­roe Jr., Thomas Mun­roe, Joan (Mun­roe) Schn­ably; and son, James Jr.

He is sur­vived by his wife, Sylvia; daugh­ter, Janet We­ber; son-in-law, War­ren We­ber, all of Stevensville, Mont. He is also sur­vived by his grand­daugh­ter, Amanda, who is cur­rently serv­ing in the U.S. Navy.

The fam­ily sug­gests that memo­ri­als be to Marcus Daly Hos­pice in Hamil­ton, Mont., Givens Li­brary in Pine­hurst, N.C., or the Com­mu­nity Pres­by­te­rian Church in Pine­hurst, N.C.

At a later date, ser­vices will be held in Pine­hurst, N.C., and Seattle, Wash., for East Coast and West Coast fam­ily and friends.

Please ex­press con­do­lences to the fam­ily by vis­it­ing www.da­lyleachchapel.com un­der the obit­u­ary sec­tion.

WILKES-BARRE — A con­ser­va­tive can­di­date for state rep­re­sen­ta­tive main­tains she sup­ports the LGBTQ com­mu­nity de­spite her past pub­lic state­ments against gay mar­riage.

Sue Henry, who is run­ning as a Repub­li­can for state Rep. Ed­die Day Pashin­ski’s seat in the 121st Leg­isla­tive Dis­trict, re­cently iden­ti­fied Wilkes-Barre Coun­cil Chair­man Tony Brooks as her cam­paign chair­man in a post on her cam­paign’s Face­book page.

A reader ques­tioned how Brooks, who is openly gay and mar­ried, could sup­port Henry, whom the reader al­leged has spo­ken out against gay mar­riage on her former talk ra­dio show on WILK.

Henry and Brooks agreed to meet with The Cit­i­zens’ Voice, a Times-Sham­rock news­pa­per, to dis­cuss gay mar­riage, other LGBTQ is­sues and their de­ci­sion to work to­gether to get Henry elected this Novem­ber.

Asked about her past and cur­rent views, Henry con­firmed she did speak against gay mar­riage sev­eral years ago.

“I was on the ra­dio for 16 years. Of course I said a lot of things in pub­lic and, be­cause of my Catholic up­bring­ing, I fol­lowed the lead­er­shipof thechurch,as did other peo­ple in pub­lic life,” Henry said, point­ing to sev­eral elected of­fi­cials who at one time op­posed same-sex mar­riage but no longer do.

Henry specif­i­cally named former pres­i­dents Barack Obama and Bill Clin­ton, the lat­ter of whom she noted signed the De­fense of Mar­riage Act in 1996; Obama’s vice pres­i­dent, Joe Biden; former U.S. Sen. and Sec­re­tary of State Hil­lary Clin­ton; and Dick Cheney, vice pres­i­dent un­der Ge­orge W. Bush.

“When the Supreme Court made their de­ci­sion in 2015 (declar­ing same-sex mar­riage a con­sti­tu­tional right), that be­came the law of the land, and I am not about to go against the law of the land,” Henry said.

“I re­spect the opin­ion of the Catholic Church, of course, and I will do noth­ing to in­ter­fere with what they have to say, and I will do noth­ing to in­ter­fere with what the Supreme Court had to say,” she con­tin­ued.

Asked if she agrees with the opin­ions of the Catholic Church on gay mar­riage, Henry replied: “It would be some­thing that some­one who is a prac­tic­ing Catholic, they ob­vi­ously should fol­low the teach­ings of the church in the Catholic Church for Catholics. Out­side the Catholic ❒

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Henry said she has at­tended mar­riage cel­e­bra­tions of same-sex in­di­vid­u­als, “so it’s not like I’ve avoided them. I missed Tony’s wed­ding, sadly, be­cause I had an­other com­mit­ment,” she said.

“This to me looks like it was some­body who was pretty se­lec­tive in what they said,” Henry said of the reader who sug­gested Brooks was be­ing hyp­o­crit­i­cal in sup­port­ing her.

Henry added she’s “fully sup­port­ive” of the gay com­mu­nity.

“I have at­tended many events in North­east Penn­syl­va­nia that the Rain­bow Al­liance spon­sors. And the pic­nic in Kirby Park, I was there last year. In fact, I saw Tony there with his dog,” Henry said.

Henry also weighed in on pend­ing leg­is­la­tion that would af­fect the LGBTQ com­mu­nity, in­clud­ing the Penn­syl­va­nia Fair­ness Act, which would ban dis­crim­i­na­tion in em­ploy­ment, hous­ing and pub­lic ac­com­mo­da­tion against any­one based on their sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion, gen­der iden­tity or ex­pres­sion.

Henry said she’s aware sev­eral Penn­syl­va­nia cities

in­clud­ing Wilkes-Barre and Scran­ton have passed lo­cal ver­sions of the act, and the act has bi­par­ti­san sup­port in the Leg­is­la­ture, “in­clud­ing sup­port from Scott Wag­ner, who is the Repub­li­can can­di­date for gov­er­nor.”

“I did look at it and there’s noth­ing in it that would seem to pre­clude it from pass­ing. I know there are some peo­ple who are ob­vi­ously hold­ing it up, but I did take a look at it and it seems rea­son­able,” she said.

Op­po­nents of the bill have com­plained it would al­low trans­gen­der peo­ple to use bath­rooms or locker rooms for peo­ple of the op­po­site sex.

“Wher­ever it’s been passed Wilkes-Barre, Scran­ton I haven’t seen a news story where that’s been an is­sue,” Henry said. “So it seems to me, it doesn’t seem to bring that kind of heat with it.”

She said she would cospon­sor the bill if asked.

Henry said she would “ab­so­lutely” sup­port House Bill 505, which would add LGBTQ peo­ple as a pro­tected class un­der the Penn­syl­va­nia Hate Crimes statute.

Henry said she doesn’t know enough about House Bill 1177 to speak on it at this time. The bill would ban the use of so-called “con­ver­sion ther­apy” on mi­nors to try to change their sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion.

“It seems ridicu­lous on its face that you wouldn’t have pro­tec­tions like that, but the devil is al­ways in the de­tails. I would have to know more about the leg­is­la­tion and the way it’s writ­ten,” Henry said.

Pashin­ski said his po­si­tion on all LGBTQ is­sues can be summed up as “live and let live.”

He is a co-spon­sor of the Penn­syl­va­nia Fair­ness Act, and he in­di­cated he would sup­port leg­is­la­tion that pro­tected the rights of LGBTQ in­di­vid­u­als.

Henry said she came to know Brooks through his work with his­toric preser­va­tion and pro­mo­tion of the im­por­tance of the his­tory of the Wy­oming Val­ley.

“Then, I did fol­low his po­lit­i­cal as­pi­ra­tions very closely be­cause Repub­li­cans in this area don’t usu­ally have much to cheer about dur­ing the elec­tion season. Though when Tony an­nounced he would like to try to be­come a city coun­cil­man, he pulled off some­thing that hadn’t been pulled off in 32 years,” Henry said, not­ing that city coun­cil had a solid Demo­crat con­tin­gency for decades.

Af­ter Brooks was elected to coun­cil in 2015, Henry said heasked­her­to­helpget­the word out about form­ing neigh­bor­hood or­ga­ni­za­tions in Wilkes-Barre.

“So I have been fol­low­ing his ca­reer for a long time, and I re­spect and ad­mire what he’s done for the city,” Henry said. “It’s some­times thank­less work that he does, but he does it while re­main­ing pos­i­tive about the city and it’s re­fresh­ing and it’s some­thing I would ac­tu­ally like to em­u­late in this cam­paign to try to fo­cus on things that are pos­i­tive.”

Henry noted Wilkes-Barre is fac­ing fi­nan­cially dis- tressed sta­tus.

“What has been done by state of­fi­cials who are in of­fice about that? What’s been done? We don’t know.

“So I think work­ing closely with the pres­i­dent of Wilkes­Barre city coun­cil is a won­der­ful op­por­tu­nity for some­body who as­pires to state of­fice and might be able to be a voice in Harrisburg for Wilkes-Barre, which des­per­ately needs a voice in Harrisburg. It needs some­body to cham­pion it and to work on the struc­tural deficit that the city has,” she said.

Brooks said he and Henry “forged a friend­ship over a com­mon cause of his­toric preser­va­tion over the last 10 years.”

He said Henry asked him to be her cam­paign chair­man be­cause her top three is­sues as a state rep­re­sen­ta­tive are the same as his top three is­sues as a coun­cil­man

prop­erty taxes, the opi­oid epi­demic and neigh­bor­hood qual­ity-of-life is­sues.

As for sup­port­ing a con­ser­va­tive for the state Leg­is­la­ture?

“The gene that makes you gay is not the same gene that makes you a tax-and-spend lib­eral Demo­crat,” Brooks said.

He added he was not fa­mil­iar with Henry’s state­ments on gay is­sues when she had her show be­cause he wasn’t a reg­u­lar lis­tener, and those views are in the past.

“It’s who I know now,” said Brooks.

“Why do you let an ide­ol­ogy think for you? Peo­ple should think for them­selves on how they come to their view of an is­sue. And to let an ide­ol­ogy think for you, to let a church think for you, to let the gov­ern­ment think for you is ab­hor­rent to the crit­i­cal think­ing skills that we learned in col­lege,” Brooks said.

“I think for my­self, and I know by far the ma­jor­ity — 60 per­cent or more of Amer­i­cans — think for them­selves.”

smo­carsky@cit­i­zensvoice.com; 570-821-2110; @Mo­carskyCV One ticket won a $300,000 jack­pot. Four num­bers paid $403.50; three paid $13.50. To­day’s es­ti­mated jack­pot is $890,000.

County Detective James D. Bach­man, of this city, staged an­other se­ries of raids Satur­day night in which two es­tab­lish­ments raided about ten days ago were again in­vaded and slot ma­chines were found in op­er­a­tion. One of th­ese was in Free­land and the other in West Ha­zle­ton.

— From Ha­zle­ton’s news­pa­per, The Plain Speaker.

MARK MO­RAN / STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Sue Henry and Tony Brooks meet with The Cit­i­zens’ Voice, a Times-Sham­rock news­pa­per, Thurs­day. Henry is run­ning against state Rep. Ed­die Day Pashin­ski and Brooks is her cam­paign man­ager.

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