Letters

I'm a little disappointed by the fact that the ban on cockfighting passed so easily in our state. Don't get me wrong. I'm no fan of the sport. I've never been to a cockfight, nor do I ever expect to attend such an event. Simply, it is not a part of my culture, but it is--or at least was--a part of someone else's.

It seems so easy in our society for members of the majority culture to outvote one less popular. As a gay man living in the principal culture of a predominantly white, (anti-gay) Christian, heterosexual society, I, perhaps more than most, see the inherent dangers of pitting one culture against another in a popular vote for some alleged societal superiority.

Cockfighting appears to be a brutal blood sport. As far as I can tell, however, the roosters are treated far more humanely than many people treat other human beings. And why stop at chicken fights? Fishing is a brutal blood sport--certainly from the fish's perspective--which often entails allowing another living creature to either suffocate to death and/or be skinned and filleted alive. But fishing represents a $28 billion American industry; therefore, it hardly seems in danger of being made a felony anytime soon.

What about rodeos? Chicken processing factories? Laboratory testing on bunnies? The list runs on of man's inhumanity to animals, so I see little positive impact of how this new law will benefit society. It only makes outlaws of predominantly poor, rural, farming, non-white people who were raised with cockfighting as an integral part of their culture.

Of course, gay people in this state are subject to the same lunacy. Folks like state Representative Karen Johnson of Mesa have tried diligently to make being gay a felony. Why? To imprison all homosexuals? Take away their voting rights? To make them appear less than the automatically assumed morally superior heterosexuals?

Just as cockfighting is not a part of my culture, being gay is not a part of Karen Johnson's. Does that automatically make one culture better than the other? No, just different. And, lest we forget, this country was founded on the protections of personal freedoms.

Why is it that we have to compete culturally in the first place? If we would just embrace and value the aspects of our lives that make us all unique, instead of trying to destroy each other, the world would be a better place.

Except for all the Chicken Littles.
Jeff Ofstedahl
Phoenix

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