News

Heavy-Handed

Leader of Anti-Gay-Marriage Campaign Has His Own Problems with Marriage

  • comments (34)
  • Print
+ Enlarge this Image
Pam's House Blend
LARRY STICKNEY

Anti-gay crusader Larry Stickney, whose organization, Protect Marriage Washington, filed a referendum on May 4 to repeal Washington State's domestic-partnership bill, wrote on his website that allowing gay marriage "will demolish the historical understanding and definition of marriage as that of uniting a man and a woman for life."

But Stickney himself—married three times and divorced twice—has not been united in marriage "for life." And, during his second marriage, his wife made serious allegations of domestic abuse.

Records from the Kitsap County Superior Court show that in 1994, Stickney's then-wife Cheryl alleged that he "badly injured" her twice, breaking her eardrum by hitting her in the ear. She also accused him of "[stealing] and destroy[ing] things belonging to my son and myself." A superior court judge issued a restraining order against him, granting Cheryl temporary custody of the two children and requiring Stickney to stay away from the family home.

Several months later, Cheryl filed for divorce. In a final divorce decree, a judge required Stickney to pay roughly one-third of his monthly income in child support payments, barred Stickney and Cheryl from entering each other's homes, and gave custody of the two children to Cheryl.

Again according to court documents, Gail Buesnel—a certified marriage, family, and child therapist who held multiple sessions to counsel the children on the divorce—wrote a report on her findings. "They both complained that Mr. Stickney plays too roughly with them," said Buesnel's report, which is included in court documents. On one of his visitations, "Mr. Stickney spanked [his daughter] with a spoon with sufficient force to leave marks on her." She concludes, "Mr. Stickney needs to rethink some of his approaches and behaviors with his children." Soon thereafter, Stickney attended anger-management classes.

Although friends and family members defended Stickney as a caring father in declarations to the court, his discord with his family continued for more than a decade. In 2006, Stickney argued in the Kitsap County Superior Court that he should not be required to help pay his daughter's college tuition. He noted that he has six children living in his home (including three children he had with his current wife, Pollyanna Stickney), $310,000 in mortgage on two homes in Arlington, Washington, and more than $30,000 in credit-card debt. Nonetheless, the court ordered him to help pay for his daughter's education.

Stickney isn't the only Protect Marriage Washington board member whose actions fall short of his family-values rhetoric.

State representative Matt Shea's (R-4) marriage ended in an acrimonious divorce in 2007; his wife, Lisa, alleged physical and domestic abuse, obtaining three temporary restraining orders and a protection order. And the campaign's primary spokesman, Gary Randall, failed to pay more than $30,000 in taxes ["Representation Without Taxation," Dominic Holden, April 30].

Neither Shea nor Stickney returned calls for comment. recommended

 

Comments (34) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
1
Is that one of those chains holding his tie in place? It's a Jersey guido look for the Northwest. What a toolbag..
Posted by floofy on May 20, 2009 at 11:48 AM · Report this
2
It never fails to amaze me that the people who are trying restrict other people's happiness have very little in their own lives.
Posted by fishbassist on May 21, 2009 at 10:25 AM · Report this
3
I am Larry Stickney's son, and I know my father. He has and always will be a caring and loving dad. These allegations are grossly misinterpreted; Gale Buesnel is a scumbag who tried to get me to lie about him- she did lie about him, and put words in my mouth. I was 5 at the time of their separation, but I remember clear as day what was going on- believe what you want, but maybe you should try asking someone who was actually there, instead of digging up files from 15 years ago in the hopes of trashing his image.

An obvious hit piece and shining example of the lows your side stoops too to warp minds with your half rate journalism. We'll see how long this stays up.
Posted by Matt Stickney on May 21, 2009 at 2:37 PM · Report this
Rubykelp 4
@Matt Stickney

Maybe your father needs to focus on the health and longevity of his marriage(s) and not worry so much about same-sex consenting adults getting married.
Posted by Rubykelp on May 21, 2009 at 3:59 PM · Report this
Rubykelp 5
@Matt Stickney

Maybe your caring and loving dad should focus on the health and longevity of his own marriage(s)instead of obsessing about the unions between committed, same-sex couples.
Posted by Rubykelp on May 21, 2009 at 4:11 PM · Report this
6
Matt,

Of course your father loves you. But less-than-five year olds are not capable of objective, rational examination of the emotional states of their family members, and memories evolve with age; parents also usually do their best to shield their kids from the unpleasant realities of their own difficulties. That's what objective professionals and documentation are for. Glad to hear you are well. I wish your dad would live his own life rather than trying to dammage mine (living happily with my partner for 12 years, but wishing we could be truly on par with all the other imperfect couples out there).
Best wishes,
Tom
Posted by Tom Tom on May 21, 2009 at 5:30 PM · Report this
7
I appreciate your not attacking me, but you must understand; my father was never abusive of my mother or any of his children, ever. It pains me to say that my mom has unattended psychologocial problems. Everything "documented" was a complete sham. Do you honestly think I would call my mother a liar if it were not true? For 5 years my Dad tried to save the marriage. He loved her, and never wanted divorce- in fact he did everything he could, including going to said counseling sessions, no less than 50. I WAS THERE.

This was the most painful period of my life, and, without apology, I will never forgive this woman, Gale, for the hardship and agony she put upon my family by playing a role in their separation. She and her other gargoyles wanted nothing less than to destroy my father and everything he stood for- but I guess I'm at the wrong place for sympathy, aren't I?

Nevermind the politics- this information is false.
Posted by Matt Stickney on May 22, 2009 at 1:45 AM · Report this
8
So this guy was married and divorced 3 times???
He loses credibility right there. What a tool.

If he doesnt like gay marriage, he should not marry a gay person, and mind his own business.

They hypocracy of the anti-gay equal rights crusaders is astounding.
Posted by drewinsf1 on May 22, 2009 at 6:01 AM · Report this
9
@Matt: Sham or no sham, your father is ruining *our* lives. I hope these issues from this Gale woman have given you a taste, however small, for the hardship and agony your father is placing upon our lives, our community and our livelihood.
Posted by el on May 22, 2009 at 7:45 AM · Report this
10
In the modern American world - a couple of marriages is not a big deal. VERY VERY common. Oh, the stigma is a stupid rant.

Some of these posters have reverted to some 1850ies model of life, love and families. Don't work in this century.

Really hate this guy based on his shit politics. His family troubles are of no great interest. And who is perfect here at SLOG, let them - "cast the first stone."

Son Matt - your dad is a lucky guy with you at his side.

But Ref. 71 is a BAD idea, talk him out of it.
Posted by Roman Vasnich on May 22, 2009 at 3:26 PM · Report this
11
ugh....coming from the small town (poulsbo) which bred and fostered the hate in larry stickney I can attest to the horrible reputation he has. Its no secret he is a hypocritical asshole who has made a career of fucking with other peoples lives rather than attending to his own. And believe you me, what is printed here is quite tame compared to some of the shit this guy is famous for. small town= no secrets. And matt, im sorry you have been drug into this. thats not really fair...but it is ok to admit your father is a straight up asshole. it might even come as some relief? i think a good point was made that the big issue here is what Mr. stickneys political aims are rather than his personal history. But we can rest assured that he wont ever get far in the charade that is local politics because his closet is literally overflowing with skeletons. It puzzles me still as to why those contaminated with the most hate are the most driven to force their narrow world views on others. If you don't like gay marriage than dont marry someone of the same sex INDEED.
Posted by wicked lester on May 22, 2009 at 8:46 PM · Report this
12
ugh....coming from the small town (poulsbo) which bred and fostered the hate in larry stickney I can attest to the horrible reputation he has. Its no secret he is a hypocritical asshole who has made a career of fucking with other peoples lives rather than attending to his own. And believe you me, what is printed here is quite tame compared to some of the shit this guy is famous for. small town= no secrets. And matt, im sorry you have been drug into this. thats not really fair...but it is ok to admit your father is a straight up asshole. it might even come as some relief? i think a good point was made that the big issue here is what Mr. stickneys political aims are rather than his personal history. But we can rest assured that he wont ever get far in the charade that is local politics because his closet is literally overflowing with skeletons. It puzzles me still as to why those contaminated with the most hate are the most driven to force their narrow world views on others. If you don't like gay marriage than dont marry someone of the same sex INDEED.
Posted by wicked lester on May 22, 2009 at 8:52 PM · Report this
13
ugh....coming from the small town (poulsbo) which bred and fostered the hate in larry stickney I can attest to the horrible reputation he has. Its no secret he is a hypocritical asshole who has made a career of fucking with other peoples lives rather than attending to his own. And believe you me, what is printed here is quite tame compared to some of the shit this guy is famous for. small town= no secrets. And matt, im sorry you have been drug into this. thats not really fair...but it is ok to admit your father is a straight up asshole. it might even come as some relief? i think a good point was made that the big issue here is what Mr. stickneys political aims are rather than his personal history. But we can rest assured that he wont ever get far in the charade that is local politics because his closet is literally overflowing with skeletons. It puzzles me still as to why those contaminated with the most hate are the most driven to force their narrow world views on others. If you don't like gay marriage than dont marry someone of the same sex INDEED.
Posted by wicked lester on May 22, 2009 at 8:54 PM · Report this
Lurleen 14
Matt, your dad made his divorce history relevant when he decided to run a public campaign telling other people who they could and couldn't form a domestic partnership with. He holds up "1 man + 1 woman up for life" as the measuring stick for acceptability, even though he himself doesn't measure up. It's a "people in glass houses" thing.

He is also deliberately misleading the public by calling domestic partnerships "marriage". By lying about what really happened with the Domestic Partnership Expansion Bill of 2009 (SB 5688), he again demonstrates that he has no moral authority whatsoever.

It's great that your dad finally found marital happiness with Pollyanna. But it is a tragedy that he feels compelled to strip others of the same happiness.
Posted by Lurleen on May 23, 2009 at 5:10 PM · Report this
15
Matt, I'm glad things have been hard for you and your family.

Hahaha.
Posted by Mr. Poe on May 24, 2009 at 1:33 AM · Report this
16
Clearly, this man has serious mental issues. One divorce? Fine, maybe it's a fluke, maybe he married someone who had something wrong with her and they had to divorce... but two divorces? It's obviously him.

What the hell is wrong with this guy, that he is standing up saying that marriage is one man and a woman, when he cannot have a stable and long-term relationship himself.

It makes me feel so guilty when I pray that people get hit by buses. God loves everyone, even the jerks who are doing the work of Satan and spreading hate. But seriously, why do bad people happen to good things?
Posted by KatieKateKatie on May 24, 2009 at 10:39 PM · Report this
17
I'm very glad Matt Stickney stood up for his dad.
This piece by Dominic Holden is a SHAMELESS HIT PIECE, digging up unsubstantiated claims by an ex-wife.
Of course the ex-wife claimed abuse (and coached her kids to) -- that's standard practice in the divorce extortion racket.

Dredging up his objection to paying college tuition for a *seventh* child that sided with the extortionist ex-wife ?? Shameless, Dominic.

Remember that most of the population sides with Mr. Stickney on this issue. Raising his ex-wife's abuse of marriage/divorce law does not strengthen your argument for discarding traditional marriage. We are all losers from the legal establishment's manipulation and distortion of marriage.
Posted by lint on May 24, 2009 at 11:44 PM · Report this
18
unsubstantiated claims my ass! I bore witness to the physical abuse this closet fag bore on cheryl. I saw the bruises. So matt, your willful ignorance is endearing, but, you are full of shit. Why dont larrys beat up boyfriends come forward is my question? fuck this guy. he would like it.
Posted by lions park on May 25, 2009 at 10:48 AM · Report this
19
Fine, let's not focus on the ex-wife of questionable credibility (and let's assume her credibility is questionable, and that court records are totally misleading).

This guy married ANOTHER TIME and COULDN'T MAKE THAT ONE WORK EITHER.

If you're going to speak for an organization that promotes life-long relationships (unless teh creepy gays want them), then try to have only ONE "I tried so hard but it just didn't work" stories... not 2.

You know what the biggest threat to marriage is? DIVORCES BETWEEN STRAIGHT PEOPLE. Ask any kid of divorced parents what's worse - straight people getting divorced or gay people getting married?
Posted by nullbull on May 25, 2009 at 11:55 PM · Report this
20
i find it hard to believe that an actual child of larry's would take the time to comment multiple times on this article.

also, while i don't think people's personal lives are any of my business, it is a view i only hold under normal circumstances (which this is not). when a someone like larry actively pursues eliminating the rights of a group of people i believe he opens the door for his personal life to be examined. the principles he touts as the pillars of marriage are the ones himself has shown the inability to adhere to, regardless of perception.

i think dominic did something that most people criticize the stranger for not doing, investigative journalism, which further gives credence to the message i believe dominic is trying to convey: the very thing these people are trying to protect is something they have themselves defiled.
Posted by jona on May 26, 2009 at 12:52 AM · Report this
aaryn 21
Thanks for the info Dominic!! Thanks to this article, Im making a sign dedicated for Larry! It will be debuted at the rally today!
Posted by aaryn on May 26, 2009 at 1:54 AM · Report this
22
Not a single person on our side, Yes on 71, the pro gay side, will be more active because of this guy having several divorces.

Need to get on OUR message and start REAL organizing. By the way, I reject the morality police who are gay as badly as those who are nutcase churchies. Same stupid stuff.

Bitter divorces? God what giant news that is not.

And, the public will vote on Ref. 71, if that happens, as a prelude to gay marriage. Fact. And it is. Our gay legislators have been open on that issue.

Is the public ready for gay marriage using secret balloting in a low turnout off year election? I fear the answer.

Get to work and quit all the smug crap cause this guy is a bum. We all knew that. He is not on the ballot,
Ref. 71 might be.

Posted by Ronny - gay marriage advocate on May 26, 2009 at 6:22 AM · Report this
23
Matt your dad is a thrice married piece of shit. It runs in families so expect to have at least two marriages yourself. live with it.

hmmm I think there a few things in the bible about divorce. naah only homosexuality.
Posted by afsaf on May 26, 2009 at 1:15 PM · Report this
24
Of course it isn't news that a guy had a couple of divorces. What's newsworthy about this story is that the guy in question is the same guy who's trying to tell us all who we can and can't marry in the name of "defending" marriage. It's pretty obvious that this hypocrite piece of shit doesn't give a rat's ass about the sanctity of marriage, given how he's treated his own marriages (life long bond my fat ass). No, what bothers him is the fact that the gays want in.

If this douche was actually a loving, caring husband who managed to stay in one marriage his whole life, I could maybe extend him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he might possibly be genuinely worried about the institution of marriage (misguided though that worry may be). Since he obviously doesn't think of marriage as that big a deal though, there's only one possible reason to deny it to gays: bigotry. This guy just plain hates gay people. Fuck him.
Posted by Gabe on May 26, 2009 at 2:59 PM · Report this
25
I am the person who gave Dominic the copies of court documents upon which he based much of his article. He was not able to go into all of the details. The second wife did have her faults. Larry Stickney, in his response to Cheryl's request for a protection order, listed some of those faults:
"what she doesn't tell you is that she was born with a silver spoon and is very feminist in her outlook and has been depressed for years with her lot in life (raising children, married to a working class man, etc) and subsequently lacks respect and is very rebellious towards me and refuses to give me the authority and support I, as the father of our two small children need to run a functional household..." Kitsap County Superior Court No. 94-2-00995-0. The court granted the protection order. I think it's fair to say that Larry has a very "traditional" take on family values.

As for the complaints about Gail Buesnell's objectivity, she was not the only professional who submitted a report to the court. If you wish to look at Kitsap County Superior Court No. 94-3-00760-8, you will also find reports from Kathleen Shedd and Edward Rosenbaum.
Posted by lost in thought on May 26, 2009 at 3:33 PM · Report this
26
For those of you criticizing this as a "hit piece," Larry Stickney's personal marriage life is entirely relevant as long as he seeks to ban marriage or anything approaching it for others.

And the claims here are obviously not unsubstantiated. The reporter dug through court documents to get this information, and it's all public record. He also called Stickney and Shea to give them a chance to respond, but they didn't. That's sort of like declining to testify against yourself in court: It's an option, but if you're unwilling to take the stand, then it indicates you have something to hide.

Also, Matt Stickey, if this stuff is all false, then can you provide documentation to demonstrate that it is?
Posted by A on May 27, 2009 at 8:19 AM · Report this
27
I am a happily married male, with no religous ties to any one denomination. I honestly do not understand why straight people have such an aversion to gay people wanting to marry. Is there something in the straight persons mentality that suggests that Gay people are so desperate to marry that if they cannot they will revert to being straight?

As long as there are no finanical benefit to homosexual couples that straight couples cannot realize, then who cares! And if the system does have some potential benefit for gays that straight people cannot enjoy then fix the system.

The gays marry, let them adopt, they certainly cannot be any worse at it than straight people have demonstrated.

On a side note:

I personally vote for gays as being the only people who should be allowed to be married. Then maybe us straight folk can have care-free sex in movie theatres and restrooms, the way it was meant to be.
Posted by HowardHuge on May 27, 2009 at 11:03 AM · Report this
28
Ok. Marriage is a bond between two people in love. It doesn't matter what sex you are, just that you love each other. Divorce shows that break in the sanctuary of it. Doesn't the bible say something about adulty being a sin and forbidden?! How many straight people have had divorces?!! And a lot of uneducated christians automatically go to marrying an animal if gay marriage is accepted. There is no comparison. Give me a break
Posted by nolollygagging on May 27, 2009 at 11:44 AM · Report this
29
Hey Matt Stickney:

Married and divorced three times?!?!?
Oh, yeah--that's real credibility.
And WHAT's with the Guido tie??
You are a hypocritical PIG, and have NO BUSINESS WHATSOFUCKINGEVER in blocking anyone's path---straight or gay----in the pursuit of marriage!

Do us fellow Washingtonians a favor: get rip roaring drunk and replace the Chooga Chooga Chooga Chooga CHOO-CHOO! guy passed out on the tracks!
Posted by livedtotell... on May 29, 2009 at 6:49 AM · Report this
trisckit 30
Hey Matt stickney,

Your dad is a douchebag.
Posted by trisckit on June 4, 2009 at 12:43 PM · Report this
31
Members of the “Anti-Gay-Marriage Campaign” present a vivid example of the wide-spread intolerance against everything perceived as different. When we compare their views on homosexuals with other actions against minorities, a common motive becomes obvious: People are very likely to attack what they fear, envy or simply don’t understand. L. Stickney probably feels threatened by homosexual marriage, because he knows that his own definition of marriage “as that of uniting a man and a woman for life” is unstable. (He divorced twice and was accused of domestic abuse at court.) If gay people were allowed to marry, “marriage” would receive a new level of justification, replacing traditional religious reason and the wish to have children.
Unfortunately, the article is considerably one-sided and it would have been interesting to hear more objective voices. There have been doubts mentioned about Gail Buesnel’s reports on L. Stickney’s supposed child abuse, after all.
Posted by Robin-no-ouji on June 6, 2009 at 2:57 AM · Report this
32
Not really a surprise here. I grew up with Larry Stickney in Lake Hills, Bellevue. Larry was an unrestrained bully even back then. With some training in boxing he relished humiliating and beating the crap out of those smaller or weaker. I received some of this attention myself when Larry felt compelled one day to sucker-punch me in the lobby of the Samena swim club. Seven stitches in my lip latter I too knew Larry's love. So, not really a surprise that Larry is still a bully, still beating the crap out of those weaker than himself. The twisted part of Larry's story is he's making a living at it when he should be honing his skills in prison.

Posted by J. Shaw on February 20, 2012 at 4:58 PM · Report this
33
Not really a surprise here. I grew up with Larry Stickney in Lake Hills, Bellevue. Larry was an unrestrained bully even back then. With some training in boxing he relished humiliating and beating the crap out of those smaller or weaker. I received some of this attention myself when Larry felt compelled one day to sucker-punch me in the lobby of the Samena swim club. Seven stitches in my lip latter I too knew Larry's love. So, not really a surprise that Larry is still a bully, still beating the crap out of those weaker than himself. The twisted part of Larry's story is he's making a living at it when he should be honing his skills in prison.

Posted by J. Shaw on February 20, 2012 at 5:02 PM · Report this
Theodore Gorath 34
"Matt Stickney" is either Larry himself, or someone who works for the same group I would wager. Either that or he has been so abused or brainwashed by his father that he refuses to believe what kind of man he actually is: a hypocritical coward.

@17: "dredging up his objection" to pay for his own child's future is not out of bounds. It is called "journalism," and relevant to a piece about a man who rallies around "family values."
Posted by Theodore Gorath on February 23, 2012 at 10:49 AM · Report this

Add a comment