When I grew up in Rifle in the 1950s and 1960s, we had absolute tolerance for gays and lesbians because to us, they were our friends and neighbors. In those days, no one railed against gay rights in church.
In my early 20s, I lived in Englewood, near the Craig Rehabilitation Center, in a basement apartment next to a young man whose girlfriend was injured in a car accident and could no longer talk. They had planned to marry, but since she was injured, he had no say in her medical care. Her parents planned to move her to another state and he dreaded that day, because he'd never get to see her again.
When I first heard about gay marriage in the 1990s, I wondered, briefly, why it was necessary. But I soon made the connection to the young man and his girlfriend, separated by legalities for the rest of her life. As the topic became a mainstream discussion, I also saw tolerance disappear from many institutions.
I wasn't raised to be mean or selfish. I was raised to be accepting of differences, and to believe that all people are equal, male or female, black or Caucasian or mutt (like me), gay or straight. I was raised to believe that tolerance of difference is best, that the people who are my neighbors who love each other have a right to be together and to be left to live life the way they choose.
I learned through my experiences that whether you call it, marriage or a civil union, giving that equality of opportunity to gay and lesbian couples is the right thing to do. To me, equality is the fundamental family value.
I've just been watching, reading and waiting to see what will happen with the city council's decision regarding the water plant. And now I have an opinion.
They want to spend $25.5 million for this new treatment plant, claiming all the great heath benefits. What with the great filtration system, reverse osmosis and what ever else they claim would be good for us.
But doesn't the water run though 30-, 40-, 50- maybe 60-year-old pipes to get to your house? What then? You got to buy a filtration system for your home?
At $25.5 million for the new plant, that would be approximately $2,800 per citizen. So if you have a family of four, that's $11.20 per family to pay for this system.
Check the Internet. You can get a home filtration system for anywhere from $399 to $1,400, depending on your needs. And the city wouldn't need to replace anything. It would be up to the home owners needs. And most water usage is lawns, gardens, car washing and general usage around the house that has no need to be purified to such levels.
And as council member (Mayor Jay) Miller says: "To vote on everything the city does would take forever and isn't what our founding fathers had in mind," Miller said. "We are a representative republic, where the citizens choose their leaders to make these types of decisions."
Then maybe we need to reconsider who represents us. These idiots spent $12,000 on a public relations company to get us to agree with their bad decisions.