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Gazette Premium Content LETTERS: Seems like a contradiction; trampling on civil rights

Letters Published: April 14, 2014

Seems like a contradiction

Barry Fagin suggests that making birth control pills available over the counter would eliminate controversies like that of Hobby Lobby wishing to be exempt from providing birth control to its female employees. He states he discovered that, in his ZIP code, a month's supply would cost only around $50. I would suggest to Barry that $50 a month can be a big expense for some families. It's very possible, since I doubt Hobby Lobby pays extraordinarily high wages, that its very own employees might be among those least able to afford that expenditure which, by law, should be covered under its insurance benefits. Some religions are against vaccinations and cancer treatment. Should an employee of a company owned by someone with these beliefs be expected to pay for these medications and treatments out of pocket? It's not really such a far-fetched comparison.

That being said, Hobby Lobby would like to deny its female employees the insurance benefit of birth control but has allowed itself the option of purchasing mutual funds which include investing in companies that manufacture devices and oral contraceptives that cause termination of pregnancy, which, in their opinion is taking a human life. Seems like a contradiction to me - and a very hypocritical one at that. I guess in matters of morals versus money, money wins.

Fortunately, those of us who are appalled by Hobby Lobby forcing its religion on its employees can choose to do business elsewhere. That is what I intend to do.

Sharon Beaman, Colorado Springs

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Can't move beyond the 'number'

I'm 34 years old, sold marijuana (a controlled substance; dangerous drug) in 2001, at 20 years old. Working for the Department of Defense for 21/2 years, I am now faced with loss of my career because of past convictions and recently received a letter from the District Attorney's Office denying me my $500 request to seal 13-year-old records.

Ironically, funding from cannabis feeds the pockets of local government agencies and communities. Amendment 64 grants amnesty for marijuana procession but the Colorado Statute of Limitations still punishes for marijuana distribution.

What kind of society justifies that a child can watch an adult legally smoke a joint and grow weed yet, when he comes home, his mom is a Class 4 felon? DUI risks child endangerment and death, but is equivalent to a misdemeanor?

I am a single mom desperately trying to make a good life for my son, punished by the Colorado legal system.

Limited in educational choices, jobs, and still indigent as of 13 years ago, I can't move beyond the "number" that haunts every attempt at a step forward. This life saving "dangerous drug" is only dangerous to people who suffer the political side effects. It's legal, set me free.

Kelly Lovett, Colorado Springs

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It is constantly in our face

Can we please stop with the current media coverage, overexposure and glorification of homosexuality and the homosexual agenda? Every week it seems there is another celebrity or athlete coming out of the closet or marrying their partner. And no one is allowed to say anything against homosexuality or you get vilified as a bigot or religious fanatic. It is constantly in our face and thrown at us to gain acceptance.

Not even talking from a religious standpoint, but scientifically and biologically homosexuality is not natural. You don't see homosexuality in the animal kingdom. Why don't we start glorifying and making normal alcoholism, substance abuse, bestiality, pedophilia, or any other deviant and aberrant behavior? Why don't we make anti-discrimination laws against all these behaviors, too? It should be all or nothing. Why are we so focused on homosexuality if for no other reason than to excuse hedonistic predilections?

I for one am tired of having to explain to my children why having two dads is OK or normal and yet smoking is bad, drugs are bad (don't get me started on recreational pot being approved), alcohol is bad, teen pregnancy is wrong, etc.

Please help us out here!

Scott Martin, Colorado Springs

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Trampling on civil rights

Last summer I attended a meeting of the task force that was mandated by the Colorado Legislature to study and make recommendations regarding involuntary commitment of persons deemed a danger to themselves or others because of substance abuse and or mental illness.

Persons who had been patients in locked facilities described the horrors of their confinement and the damage it has done to their health and well being. The audience of family members, advocates, law enforcement personnel and legislators listened politely, but expressed no empathy toward the consumer (i.e. ex-patient) point of view.

The committee that has been working on this, led by Rep. Beth McCann, a Democrat and co-chair of the above mentioned task force has put something in the bill that should make all Coloradans angry. According to the online summary of legislation for the current year you find the following words: "the option for a jury trial for either a mental health or substance misuse hold is removed."

Put yourself in the position of anyone who has received inpatient or outpatient treatment for mental health or substance abuse. To put someone in a locked ward on the suspicion that they might be dangerous, but with no option to contest their imprisonment by medical professionals and with no right to a jury trial tramples on our civil rights.

This bill is being revised and is scheduled to come up for a reading and vote Tuesday. Please read the bill and tell your legislator that no one should be deprived of liberty without a jury trial. I urge a no vote on HB1253.

Steve Bell, Colorado Springs

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