Not unexpectedly, the City Council's April 22 vote to repeal benefits for same-sex partners generated a flood of correspondence to the city -- with nearly 2-1 opposing the elected body's first order of business.
As of April 24, about 170 people offered criticism, ranging from the pointed to the poison. Another 100 -- including more than 40 Focus on the Family employees -- weighed in to congratulate the Council for doing the "right thing" in tones that ranged from the righteous to the rabid.
Here's a sampling of the Council's mail:
The Do-As-I-Say, Not-As-I-Do award goes to Chuck Broerman, the vice-chairman of the Republican Party of Colorado, whose 24-word note to Council members the day before they were set to vote contained two misspellings and a grammatical error:
"Just a note of support tommorrow [sic]. At this time, economically we can ill afford another benifit who's [sic] cost will grow exponentially over the years," Broerman wrote.
We were particularly moved by the GOP leader's newfound concern for the city budget. After all, Broerman didn't seem to mind personally ripping off the taxpayers last fall when he fraudulently obtained free meter hoods from the city so he wouldn't have to pay for prime parking spaces in front of Centennial Hall, which he used to park trucks that were decorated with political signs advertising his favorite political candidates.
Among Focus on the Family's many employee responses, Mary Beth Mackey wrote in to note that, "as a Christian, I resent 'society' turning evil into good."
"As a taxpayer, I resent my hard-earned dollars being offered and extended to a moral wrong," Mackey noted. "... I am grateful that there are representatives, for Him, who are willing to stand for Right and Truth."
Speaking of Focus on the Family, state Rep. Dave Schultheis -- a close personal friend of ministry president James Dobson -- dropped a little note to several Council members, advising them not to give a second thought to critics. "This issue will go away," Schultheis wrote. "You did the right thing, for which the citizens are grateful. Bless you as you serve us."
Jean M. Frankie, a Colorado Springs resident of two and a half years, warned that if the city's domestic partner benefits were allowed to continue, it would doubtless lead to "an influx of homosexuals forcing special rights from our city and nation."
"This is not a 'hate' letter but this is the voice of a voter and a concerned citizen that still is able to speak what I firmly believe in -- this wonderful nation of America," Frankie wrote. She included in her letter the classic anti-gay jingle popularized during the 1990s: "Remember, [it's] Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve."
Then there was Denver resident Andrew Kleis, clearly angry, advising Mayor Rivera to "move to Wyoming ... the other square state that deserves hate-filled people."
"It's people like you and the most of Colorado Springs that breeds hate, which ultimately kills other people, through murder, emotional distress and just plain old ignorance," Kleis wrote. Not only does the City Council belong in the Stone Age, Kleis opined, but Colorado Springs is a "hateful" place.
"You are nothing but terrorists, plain and simple," Kleis said.
In the See-You-In-The Unemployment-Line category, Greg Roberts berated Mayor Rivera for his "STUPID stance on the budget and diversity," which according to Roberts was the "wrong thing to do."
"Additionally, your stance is what is wrong with the Republican Party," Roberts wrote. "I hope you have a horribale Term [sic], and I will look forward to helping defeat you next time!!!"
Roberts currently works in the sports office of the city's Parks and Recreation department.
At least Roberts didn't appear to use taxpayers' time and equipment to send his message to the city -- unlike Major Keith N. Bishop, an instructor of biology at the Air Force Academy, who apparently used his taxpayer-owned computer to weigh in with his support for the City Council's decision to cancel benefits.
"This issue is first and foremost a moral issue that should never have been passed in the first place," Bishop wrote.
Gary Savoren, a School District 20 guidance counselor and high school coach also apparently used taxpayer equipment to send Mayor Rivera an e-mail of congratulations.
"It is my belief that kids need a married male and female parent to shape and form their core beliefs," wrote Savoren. "It is obvious to me that students from a traditional family seem to have a better foundation in their values."
Savoren's comment made us pause; he may be onto something. Just think how much more money the city could save if it cancelled all benefits for its divorced employees?