Letters

Letters from the week of September 4, 2003

In the Doghouse

Dogs are people, too: Let's put aside the fact that the Weimaraner pictured with Jessica Florez looks like it would rather be having its nails extracted from its paw ("Vote For Me or I'll Shoot This Dog," Susy Buchanan, August 28).

Last time I checked, almost any firearm would stop a dog in its tracks.

Dogs are a responsibility. If you treat a dog as something other than a possession, respect it and let it become a member of your family, then most dogs would protect your family out of instinct. If you train them incorrectly or train them to be vicious, you contribute to the problem of dogs attacking people and dogs being abused.

As a reminder: Dogs need attention, and most people can't afford doggie day care such as Jessica Florez; hell, most of us can't afford child day care. Dogs require vet visits, room to run, walks, medical care, food and toys . . . you might as well adopt a child.

In other words, invest in a damned security system. They'll cost less, don't chew the furniture and don't care if you get one for completely selfish reasons and don't plan to spend time with them.

Amanda Blum
Phoenix

Homo Sapients

King for a day: As I read Michael Lacey's column on Terry Goddard and Janet Napolitano ("Grooms on the Cupcake," August 28), I was reminded of Martin Luther King Jr.'s letter from a Birmingham jail:

"I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen's Councilor or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to order' than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action'; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a more convenient season.' Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection."

Joey O'Donnell
Paradise Valley

Sins of the father: Your article on gay marriage raised my hackles to the point that I am going to risk a public response. The Arizona Republic wouldn't print the following letter, but perhaps you might, since you are challenging everyone and his dog to show some guts.

I do not think that gay marriage should be legal, because legal marriage is one of the only real weapons a woman can use to force a man to support his children whether he wants to or not. I can foresee other ghastly consequences. Since some women are married to bisexuals, gay marriage would give hope and encouragement and many more advantages to the gays who compete with wives for their husbands.

My father was a bisexual. I suspected he was having an affair with a male neighbor when I was 5 years old. My father later brought the man to work for him. The man became extremely angry at my father because he refused to take him on his weekend drinking parties with younger men. He made him stay home and do the chores. Partly as an act of revenge, I believe, the man molested me on three different occasions. I consider that my father's sexual orientation plus his drinking put me at grave risk.

My mother stayed with my father so he would support her five children. She thought he would not give her support money if she divorced him because he drank up so much money while she was with him. She didn't divorce him until we were grown.

Had she left him, and if my father had been able to marry a gay man, his new "wife" would have immediately been in contention for his assets. When my father died, his new wife could have inherited most of his money. As it was, when my father died, the children he had so grievously abused during his drinking years inherited his money. Another of his disgruntled ex-sexual partners had stalked and sexually harassed me from the ages of 10 to 13. I was crippled and disabled as a result of all that had happened to me during childhood. I was able to live for 12 years on the $100,000 I received from my father's estate before I had to go on welfare.

So I think gays are off their trees to push gay marriage. I hope nobody listens to them, because their reasons are frivolous as far as I am concerned. Yes, some gays may wish to adopt and will not have the advantages heterosexuals enjoy, but a great many more women are wondering each month how they will feed their children because the father is not paying. You may trust gays, but I don't. I loved my father, but I didn't trust him.

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