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LTBQ rights, CSU water rates, and voter suppression

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Editor, 235 S. Nevada Ave., CS, CO 80903 • e-mail: letters@csindy.com

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Inspirational pair

Thank you so much for Michael C. Gerbig Jr.'s column about Pam Hartman and Jeanne Kerechanin ("Pride and perspective," Your Turn, July 17). I had the honor of knowing both of these women for a short time as a teen while working at Poor Richard's. They were both such loving and open women, and although I wasn't a close friend as some I knew were, the way that they loved was inspiring and authentic.

Growing up bisexual was not easy, and it is because of brave and openly loving people like them that our quaint little hub is blossoming into a more inclusive and accepting environment for the LGBTQ community. Thanks so much for sharing this, and may all being be free to live and to love without fear of oppression!

— Valentina Kai

Colorado Springs

Mormon or less

With great excitement and hope for the future, I began to read Stephanie Mencimer's article "Changing the stakes" in last week's Indy. My jaw dropped to the floor when I read that Mitch Mayne, an openly gay Mormon, was recently called to serve as an official of his local San Francisco ward after he and other disgruntled members received an apology from a high church official for the damage caused by Proposition 8.

I couldn't believe what I was reading. "Is this really happening?" I thought. First the Episcopalians and now the Mormons? Holy Christ. And then I read that gay Mormon teens have higher suicide rates than non-Mormons, and that the church has published a booklet helping Mormon families parent their gay kids to prevent more suicides. Whoa. Is the future so bright that I should invest in some trifocal prescription shades?

Apparently not. You see, it turns out that Mr. Mayne had to break off his relationship with his longtime partner in order to land his current position, and noncelibate LGBT members are excluded from the church's most sacred spaces and ceremonies.

So, is the Mormon church permanently changed for the better? Absolutely not. The Mormons have only proven that they're just like the Catholic Church — it's OK to be gay, but to be in a relationship is definitely not OK. Sure, it's great that there's finally some dialogue being established, especially regarding teen suicide. But the double standard remains.

Thank God (or maybe just us humans?) that most people are evolving regarding issues of sexuality, even as most religions remain stuck. Maybe one day they'll catch up with the rest of us. Until then, the fight has to continue.

— Christopher Curcio

Colorado Springs

Life or death

Thanks for the great articles and insight regarding the Camp Creek 31st Street ditch (http://www.csindy.com/coloradosprings/new-money-and-leadership-will-affect-stormwater-management-efforts/Content?oid=2663499 News, April 24). A study, an investigation into the Creek's hydrology, proposals, engineering studies for drainage improvements, a Garden of the Gods Master Plan change, finding more funding ... it never ends! Bureaucracy rules here!

It's not a big concern for Pleasant Valley residents like me, it's life or death for us! It's flat-out critical that the city get off its butt and get this project going. How can it possibly take until "after the summer of 2014" to get this long overdue new Camp Creek drainage started? Instead, let's find funding for nonsense projects like a downtown Triple A baseball stadium. I'll be sure to wave at the Sox the Fox as my home floats past the new stadium.

Keep up the great reporting!

— "Sand Bag Steve" Bartley

Colorado Springs

Calling 'shenanigans'

There was an episode of South Park in which Kyle finds a carnival attraction consisting of throwing balls through the mouth of a Jennifer Love Hewitt picture impossible to win because the balls are too big. He tries to draw Officer Barbrady's attention to the scam by calling "shenanigans."

That is a concept we need to more fully embrace.

One would think it would be the obligation of the press or general media to be the ones who, besides enjoying things like access to politicos and everyone's kitchen table or couch, occasionally call shenanigans, or B.S., if the situation dictates. In the days ahead we are going to have to expect more from the press than to simply fill hours and hours with bleeding leads and wildfires.

Now that the Supreme Court has taken the political step of deciding there is no such thing as racism, since we now have a semi-black president, someone is going to have to watch those states and municipalities that have been trying for so long to tilt the rules in their favor.

It's odd that when so many instances of run-of-the-mill voter-suppression actions are happening across the country, especially in the South, that John Roberts can get away with fulfilling the dream he has had since working for Ronald Reagan. The Voting Rights Act is landmark legislation that helped this country begin to address racism. We aren't finished yet, and those who say differently are not just willfully blind, they have an agenda.

B.S. is B.S., but if institutions like the American press continue to be too busy trying to please their shareholders to say it, then citizens will have to.

Where is Kyle when you need him?

— Mike Clow

Colorado Springs

Rate debate

I've been hearing/reading a lot about the water rates in Colorado Springs lately, and have a suggestion. Why don't we treat them like the Bush tax rates?

The individuals with big lawns have a bigger water bill than people with smaller lawns. The only fair way to treat this injustice is to give the people who pay more a lower rate, because they pay more. See how easy it is?

— Jeffery G. Ellegard

Colorado Springs

Triggered again

It always amazes me how all who do not understand the real issue of the Second Amendment have to start out by insulting those of us who do. Yes we can read and understand, so now I must ask, "Can you?" More appropriately however is, "Have you?"

The Second Amendment is not about a militia, it is about the people being able to influence an "out of control" government. Without the Second Amendment, the other amendments would soon disappear (and are now being diminished as we speak by the people sticking their "heads in the sand" and letting the politicians do whatever they want).

If you would study a little history, you would find that all countries that don't allow guns started out with registration, then confiscation. Think of Hitler here for starters.

Other issues: All guns were at one time weapons of war. The biggest confusion I find from people are those that call a standard semi-automatic weapon an "automatic" weapon. The semi-auto does not fire multiple rounds with a single pull of the trigger. It shoots one round per pull of the trigger. To have a "fully" automatic weapon already requires a special federal firearms license that most people will not go to the trouble to obtain.

There are thousands of gun laws on the books now that are not enforced. The laws Colorado just passed cannot be effectively enforced, either. So passing more laws is not the answer. Holding people accountable for their actions who use guns for violence is the answer.

Criminals, by the way, don't abide by the law, thus the definition of "criminal." You can pass all the laws in the world, and you will not stop the criminal or the insane.

— Mark Anthony

Monument

Yeah, it's the cigs

You're sitting in America the Beautifully Polluted Park, where the Interstate meets the coal-burning power plant. Your body is loaded with plastic, pesticides, chemicals and genetically modified prions. Forest fires have put more smoke and ash particles into the air.

But if somebody walks by with a lit cigarette, it will ruin your day. It's a good thing that the Parks Department has decided to put a stop to that!

— Gina Douglas

Colorado Springs

The walking dead

America has compiled libraries of laws aimed at our war on poverty and drugs and our skewed notion of rights. Those laws are nothing but foolish attempts to get around the only workable law, which is: If persons will not work, neither let them eat.

But to put that law into practice, we must have common work for common people. Unfortunately, all that went to China.

Consequently, our nation is the walking dead. We borrow and waste trillions to obey our stupid, self-destructive laws. Common sense is nowhere to be found.

We don't need armies of politicians, lawyers, social workers, prison guards, teachers and drug agents. We need common work and a population hungry enough to do that work. Finding a way to have that again is our only hope.

— Jim Inman

Colorado Springs

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