Letters for March 10, 2005

Shut up about sex

Re “New sex rules” (SN&R Bites, March 3):

One need not necessarily expect any appreciable degree of sophistication, or even basic maturity, out of Assemblyman Dennis Mountjoy to nonetheless become disappointed with his lack of a sense of proportion. However, Mountjoy’s legendary intellect may have finally, at long last, terminated the seemingly boundless ability to disappoint.

His proclivity to reveal personal fixations, such as the explicitly named “bestiality, bisexuality, cunnilingus, domestic partnerships, fellatio, homosexuality, lesbianism, masochism, masturbation, necrophilia, orgies, pederasty, pedophilia, sadism, sodomy, transsexuality, transgenderism, or transvestism,” indicates complete ineptitude in the understanding of which parameters of human sexuality are appropriate for inclusion within public health classes.

Two scenarios are possible: Either he fears that many rarified subtopics of sexuality are being discussed without anybody thinking of Dennis Mountjoy, or he feels a need to ensure that these subtopics are explicitly included, even if by negation, within public curricula.

One hopes, of course, that Mountjoy is not so shallow a creature as to get defensive about this public exposure of feeble reasoning. While the appropriate maturity for a primate of such advanced years is certainly too much to hope for, one can still pray for Mountjoy to hold one final shred of dignity apropos of this matter: As the proverb says, never miss an opportunity to shut up.

Flombaye K. Ellison

Charge for the car, not the space

Re “Confessions of an ex-meter maid” by Kel Munger (SN&R Essay, February 24):

Instead of charging those of us who don’t own cars for a visitor parking permit (which I need for my handyman), why not charge those who do own cars?

First permit per structure: a reasonable $15 a year, which is what I’m being asked to pay for the two or three days a year that my visitor permit is used. Second permit: $50 a year. Third permit: $150. Four or more: $250 a pop. If you have four or more cars because you have tenants, build the cost into their rent.

One free guest permit per structure, not—as currently seems to be the case—one free guest permit per tenant. If the tenants all want to use the guest permit at the same time, they can go downtown and buy a short-term (say, for one week) guest permit, with a limit on how many weeks per year they can have one. Translation: No more live-in boyfriends.

I counted one day, and even though there’s not one single car for this house, with the number of apartments on this block, there are more cars than spaces. As a result, when a friend with a car drives me to buy something too heavy to carry on the bus, we often end up carrying it almost a block from the nearest parking spot, or illegally double-parking while we get it inside.

Meanwhile, those who are making big bucks by renting out their basements or attics pay nothing for causing me inconveniences with their profit-making.

Karen M. Campbell

Contortions of hate

Re “A gay ole time in ‘Old Hangtown’” by Jason Probst (SN&R News, February 24):

Luke Otterstad and his band of religious bigots’ so-called truth trucks display oversized signs that read “Jesus hates gays.” Jesus doesn’t hate gays; this group of stunted hypocrites hates gays and is using and contorting Jesus’ teachings to spread its poison.

Ron Lowe
Nevada City

How ethical are the practitioners?

Re “Gays won’t be alone in hell,” “Sad, sad Leon,” and “No deal breakers for God” (SN&R Letters, February 24):

I had read the original story, “Get straight or get thee to hell” by Harmon Leon (SN&R Cover, February 10), and now I have read some of the readers’ letters in response to that article.

I can understand how some people would want to be critical of the reporter and the methods employed. I can understand how some people can get defensive and angry when their beliefs are challenged. I can understand how some people choose to take a more proactive approach to asserting the generous side of their beliefs.

I am sure that there are many more opinions out there, but what struck me the most about the letters that were printed was that not one of them refuted the practices employed by the faith-based organizations. Where do these practices rank in the ethical and moral code of standards?

Theresa Moreno
via e-mail

Stop bashing Christians …

Re “Queer lie” by Tom Walsh (SN&R Editor’s note, February 10):

In one more repetition of its ongoing, tiresome formula of “Christianity = Bad” and “Anything Christianity considers a sin = Good,” SN&R once again offers its closed-minded viewpoint in this editor’s note and cover story. While this one-sided journalism is standard fare for SN&R readers, it’s interesting that the editorial and Harmon Leon’s cover story were factually premised on the argument that one should “forget about trying to change” homosexuals’ sexual orientation. Tom Walsh posits that the “complex set of attractions and beliefs [of homosexuality] is innate and instinctive, and no lecturing by a preacher will change that.”

This statement is patently untrue in light of science and everyday reality. It is an everyday occurrence to hear of people like Hollywood celeb Anne Heche changing “orientations.” Then there are bisexuals. How in the world do they fit under your “innate and unchangeable” model? Are they in a transition phase between “orientations”? Do they change “orientations” with each gender partner switch?

Science has irrefutably proven that sexual “orientation” is behaviorally, not genetically, controlled. There are varying degrees of genetic masculinity in men and femininity in women, but as volitional beings we actively choose what sexual behaviors result. It is also a medical fact that there is a genetic predisposition toward alcoholism in many individuals. However, a substantial majority of these individuals exercise their volition and never become alcoholics. Some become alcoholics but later in life undergo radical change to become “clean and sober.” Any genetic predisposition can be volitionally overcome.

While appearing to promote “unconditional love,” you write off every human being in that group of people claiming conversion from homosexuality through a religious experience as a fraud. What bigotry!

Tim Swickard

… but what if they’re wackos?

Re “Get straight or get thee to hell” by Harmon Leon (SN&R Cover, February 10):

When I finished reading this story, my first response was simply “What a crock o’ shit this ex-gay movement is.”

I am a 43-year-old gay man who, since coming out at age 18, has seen my fair share of the anti-gay “must cure those sick homos” campaigns that the Christians try to inflict on us. History is full of these wackos.

It’s been done many times before, all claiming that the path to “true salvation” can be accomplished if only us “sick queers” would just desire the comfort (and genitals) of the opposite sex. Then, with plenty of prayer and a holy abracadabra, we’re instantly straight! Yeah, right.

Let me make this perfectly queer (oops, don’t I mean “clear”?): Being gay is not a “lifestyle.” Moving to a Sun City retirement community and playing golf is a “lifestyle.” Being gay is a life, and its particular style is as different as the individual who lives it.

Let’s take note of the millions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender human beings out there in our everyday society that lead happy, fulfilled, loving and productive lives.

Of course, these “Christians” don’t want to see us as the real people that we actually are. This would only confuse them with the truth! I only hope that this movement within the Christian community soon becomes an “ex” itself, and then perhaps we can stop the spread of hatred and homophobia that it’s actually causing.

Name withheld by request

We could afford to educate legal residents

Re “It’s dumb to cut education” (SN&R Guest comment, February 24):

What the lieutenant governor will not say is that California spends more money than the rest of the states on education. Unfortunately, the money per student is diluted by 1.5 million illegal students—the children of illegal immigrants—attending our schools. Statewide, 25 percent of the students attending K-12 schools are illegal aliens and have no right to a free education at citizen expense. In some Southern California school districts, the figure rises to 50 percent of the students being illegal.

Factoring in the $10,000 per student that we spend, that amounts to $15 billion a year spent on illegal (criminal) immigrants getting a free ride in California schools at the expense of legal California students.

This is what is bankrupting the state education system! Yet, this man wants to expand the free ride to illegals attending state colleges, while military children (legal residents) are forced to pay out-of-state tuition.

Just think what a gift of this $15 billion could do for the California education system, not to mention the state budget.

Lou Meyer