In mid-March, Minneapolis family law attorney Leigh Frost received a peculiar postcard at her downtown office.
Instead of a lighthouse or some soothing nature scene, it displayed a photograph of what appeared to be a young man with a scarf tied around his head. The caption read, “Don’t Blindly Support Sexual Exploitation.”
On the back, the card got a little more specific.
“As a concerned citizen, I asked that you please stop advertising in City Pages,” a neatly typed message read. It went on to ask if Frost knew her “fellow advertisers” were “strip clubs, porn store, and phone sex ads.” Beside it was a more personal, handwritten note.
“Porn tears families apart. City Pages promotes strip clubs and porn. As a woman, are you ok with that?” It was signed “Anne Redding.”
Frost was caught off guard. She had been occasionally advertising her law firm in City Pages since 2013. About three months after she’d taken out her first ad, she’d gotten a similar message asking her if she knew she was advertising in a “pornographic magazine.” She asked them not to contact her again, and until that day in March, they hadn’t.
The previous message had come from the same source: a group called Christian Action League of Minnesota. Its mission, according to its website, is to “educate citizens” on the “destructive nature of pornography” on children. The website also includes a section under the subhead “Exposing City Pages,” describing a letter writing campaign discouraging businesses from taking out ads and distributing the paper.
“City Pages began as an alternative tabloid but has morphed into the porn industry's best friend,” the site says. “It is our goal to cause City Pages to lose vital advertising revenue resulting in the tabloid going out of business.”
The latest postcard got on Frost’s nerves. It’s every woman’s right to decide what to do with her body, she says, and that includes stripping, porn, and other sex work. But she didn’t like a stranger insinuating that she was a traitor to her gender, or sending maudlin pictures of blindfolded teens. She sent Redding a prompt letter in response.
“The postcard is misinformed and offensive,” she wrote. “Do not contact me again by any means, whether via so-called Christian Action League of Minnesota, U.S. Mail, email, text, social media, phone, or via third parties.”
If Redding or the rest of the League contacted her again, she said, she’d consider it harassment.
But that wasn’t the last postcard. She got a few more that month after repeated requests to leave her alone. So, she filed for a restraining order. By the end of March, she got it.
That still wasn’t the last she heard from the League. Redding requested a hearing contesting the restraining order. They’re due in court on July 11. A spokesperson for the League declined to comment, but its website claims that the group “respect[s] the requests of all who ask… to discontinue future awareness efforts.”
Frost’s attorney, Jerry Burg, says it’s pretty clear that what the League has been doing constitutes harassment. “Just shut up and stay out of her day,” he says.
Frost, meanwhile, has some mixed feelings about her day in court. On one hand, the stakes are almost certainly higher. If she loses, she says, the League may be able to send her as many postcards as it wants. And she's loath to give it any more attention than necessary.
But on the other, she wants the League to know it can’t push her – or any other advertiser – around.
“They don’t know who I am,” she says.