Back in March, Minneapolis attorney Leigh Frost was getting fed up with postcards that kept showing up at her office. They were from a group called the Christian Action League of Minnesota, featuring black and white photos of blindfolded teens, with dire warnings about “blindly support[ing] sexual exploitation.”
The League wanted Frost to stop advertising in City Pages, warning her that “fellow advertisers” included “strip clubs, porn stores, and phone sex ads.” One inlcuded a personal note from League President Anne Redding, asking Frost if, “as a woman,” she was “ok with that.”
Frost says she wasn’t intimidated. She was far from the only City Pages advertiser getting these missives. There was an entire letter writing campaign described on the League’s website, the point of which was to “cause City Pages to lose vital advertising revenue resulting in the tabloid going out of business.” They’d been at it for seven years.
But Frost was annoyed. She didn’t like these maudlin postcards and evocations of “exploitation,” and she didn’t like strangers making broad assumptions about her morality.
“I represent victims of domestic abuse, dissolution of marriage… often with children involved,” she says. She’s in this business to protect people from situations that can lead to exploitation and trafficking.
She told Redding and the League to stop several times. When that didn’t work, she took out a restraining order against them. The League contested it, saying Frost was stamping on its right to political speech.
On Thursday, the two parties settled in court. The restraining order was dismissed, but only after the League agreed not to contact Frost, her firm, or any potential employers for two years.
The League also suspended its years-long campaign against City Pages’ advertisers. Redding declined to comment on this story, but she told the Star Tribune that the campaign was “too dangerous,” and that she didn’t want to end up in court again.
That won’t be the end for the League. Its attorney, Erick Kardaal, told the Tribune he plans on filing a federal suit against Minnesota’s statutes on harassment. As written, he said, they present a “severe restriction on First Amendment activity.”
Frost, meanwhile, feels “great.”
“I’m happy to go my way and for them to go their way,” she says. If the League really wants to make a difference and stop trafficking and sexual exploitation, she says, there are better ways to do it – “like-minded people” can work to help people out of bad situations.
This kind of “rude, crude, and bullying discourse,” she says, isn’t one of them.