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Everybody needs a role model

To the Editor:

I enjoyed reading Melissa Dinger's article on gay role models ("Gay role models can espouse -- and teach -- traditional values," May 4). I stand by everything you said. If there were more gay role models, in Boy Scouts or elsewhere, it would definitely cut down on teenage suicide, drinking and drugs.

I am 28 and could have really used a role model when I was in my teenage years. For the last ten years I have come to my own realization that being gay is indeed OK. I guess the "Gay '90s" helped some of us. Anyway I really enjoyed Ms. Dinger's views on the subject. If you know of any ways I can get involved in the Colorado Springs community to help young people, please let me know. I have wanted to make a difference for years. I am just unsure how.

-- Corbett Farley

Over the Internet

Setting gays straight

To the Editor:

I just wanted to thank Jim Winchester for his highly enlightening and intelligent letter, which appeared in the the May 11 issue of the Indy ("Committed gay relations do not equal family"). Mr. Winchester asserts that a committed gay relationship is not a real family relationship, and that no such relationship represents actual family values.

And here I've been laboring under the belief that love and fidelity were the very core of family values. Thank heavens there are open-minded, thoughtful people like Mr. Winchester and his ilk to shatter such wild misconceptions.

Thank heavens, too, he and those who follow his reasoning (and I use the term in its loosest possible sense) are still capable of ignoring the facts in making their assertions of how dangerous gay people are. Never mind that the overwhelming majority of people who molest children are heterosexual -- Mr. Winchester assures us that organizations like the Boy Scouts will protect themselves from molestation-inspired lawsuits by banning gays from participation.

He also suggests that were such an organization interested in knowing that a gay relationship is a committed one, the couple in question would have to be put under surveillance. How true. Certainly we cannot trust gay people to be honest about such things. Only heterosexuals can actually be trusted.


Gee it's a good thing there are folks like J.W. around to set ignorant fools like me straight. So to speak.

-- R. Michael Burns

Colorado Springs

Stereotyping doesn't work

To the Editor:

I have a few things to say in response to W. Dean Morgan's letter regarding the defacing of the Athiests of Colorado's Adopt-A-Highway signs on I-25 ("Defaced signs signal ignorance," May 4). First, the most obvious comment is that W. is jumping to conclusions in assuming that "loving, caring, do unto others, evangelical Christians" were the culprits. Was the perpetrator ever found?

Then W. assumes that all Christians are intolerant, arrogant, petty and small-minded, which would cause us all to deface a sign that had the word "atheist" on it. Some of us Christians do believe that everyone has a right to believe what they want (and don't ridicule them when those beliefs are different).

Then W. goes on to say that churches don't do anything worthwhile that benefits mankind. Apparently, W. hasn't been inside a church lately to see that many churches have programs to help support single moms, children in abusive families, people trying to overcome harmful addictions, etc.

W.'s letter was ironic in that as he used inflammatory rhetoric with no factual information to paint all Christians as ignorant, closed-minded and intolerant, he seemed to get more paint on himself than on his canvas.

-- Michael Reed

Colorado Springs

Dogged details

To the Editor:

El Paso County's new Humane Society animal shelter is now open! I can only wish that my recent experience there had been a pleasant one.

Did you know that you can no longer roam freely through the animal areas? All cats and dogs are kept in kennels behind virtually soundproof glass walls.

As you tour the viewing areas, I suggest that you make a list of the animals that appeal to you. Kennels are not marked with much information, i.e., the date that the animal will be available for adoption, is good with children, etc.

Assuming that you can ascertain any information regarding the pet's personality, disposition or reaction to you through these prison-like barriers, you may then proceed to the reception area to find out more information about any of the animals that you liked. The potential pet that you were interested in may not be available for adoption for a number of reasons.

A full-page application form is required for each animal that you wish to view. Unfortunately, the day that I visited the shelter, I was informed by the director that they were short-handed and that I would be restricted to only two dogs that day. I don't know if this limitation is always in effect, but I did get the feeling that since a staff member must always accompany you to one of their isolated visiting rooms with each animal visit, that they may be reluctant to accommodate additional animal visitations.

When I expressed to the director my disappointments and concerns regarding these new procedures, he stated to me that his new way is "less stressful" on the animals. However, I feel that these restrictions and the inability for families to interact freely with as many animals as they wish to, might result in hasty, uneducated and poorly thought out adoptions.

This may remind you, in a strange sort of way, of dating and marriage; however, I feel that adoption of a pet is a life-changing and long-term commitment that should not be entered into lightly.

While I can respect the director's concern not to stress the animals, I can only wonder, if I were that animal, would I not be more stressed by the isolated environment I was living in and the threat of euthanasia?

I have since adopted a wonderful dog through Dreampower. Dreampower, its volunteers and foster families are deserving of nothing less than sainthood. Please contact them at 390-7838.

-- Sassy Sally

Fountain Valley

Soybeans, soybeans, good for the heart

To the Editor:

Soon, the most exciting thing in movie theaters won't be on the big screen, but at the concession stand. Tropicana recently announced that it will start selling soy smoothies -- made with juice, fruit puree, soy milk, and soy protein -- at Regal Theaters in Florida, as well as at selected restaurants and Kroger supermarkets.

Soy is going mainstream: Supermarket sales of soy milk increased by 60 percent for the year ended in February, and most grocery stores now offer a selection of soy-based mock meats, soy cheese and yogurt, and even chocolate made with tofu instead of cow's milk. Why should you try it? Soy milk, tofu, tempeh, and other soy foods can reduce harmful cholesterol levels and help ward off cancer and heart disease. Soy foods are also rich in protein, B vitamins, iron, and zinc, and tofu made with calcium sulfate or calcium chloride, has more of this bone-building nutrient than cow's milk.

Soy milk is also cow-friendly. Many people don't know that today's cows have been genetically engineered to produce thousands of pounds of milk every year, and most are given growth hormones -- which have been banned in other countries -- to even further boost output. But in order to produce any milk at all, cows must be kept pregnant. Their female babies are added to the dairy herd or are slaughtered for the rennet in their stomachs (which is used to make cheese). The males are sold to the notoriously cruel veal industry. That's enough to make any caring person lactose intolerant!

If you're ready to discover the joys of soy, call PETA at 1-888-VEG- FOOD for a free copy of our Dairy-Free and Delicious recipe booklet.

-- Paula Moore

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

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