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Wednesday, June 10, 2009 08:04 pm

Letters to the Editor

Lydia Perez, left, consoles her wife, Anita Perez, following the California Supreme Court's decision to uphold Proposition 8.
PHOTO BY Kristopher Skinner/MCT

The decision in California regarding same-sex marriage was indeed historic, but not in a positive light. For the first time in U. S. history, the rights of an entire group of citizens were stripped away in a state constitution. Hate mongers celebrate because the decision upheld the “will of the people.” But then I guess they would have also been against interracial marriages being legalized in the ’60s, considering that a 1968 Gallup poll showed that only 20 percent of Americans approved of them at that time. The majority has also been wrong in regards to slavery, racial segregation and the oppression of women. All of which were also justified by religious fundamentalists, as is the denial of rights for gays and lesbians today.
Those who pick and choose scripture to condemn homosexuality are hiding behind the cloak of “protecting the sanctity of marriage,” even though today a person can still get married after their 20th or so divorce, or even though a heterosexual couple can get married within moments of knowing each other. Why do the proponents of the sanctity of marriage spend millions on attacking gays when they could be using that money to fund counseling services to prevent divorces?
Make no mistake — this is indeed a civil rights movement. In the U.S., gay and lesbian couples are denied more than 1,300 rights regarding taxes, pensions, owning property and more. Despite this oppression, gay liberation is advancing and quickly. A revolution is beginning to step out of the closets and into our streets.
Ryne Poelker

I truly believe in angels and that God sends them to us in time of need [See “High-octane intervention,” by Dusty Rhodes, IT, May 28]. I believe the lady at the gas pump was just that, a miracle sent from God.
The second miracle is the fact that Mr. Hart has no serious injury from being struck by lightning.
God performs miracles every day, we are just too busy and self-absorbed to notice them.
Praise the Lord!
Linda Fulk

Prairie Center Against Sexual Assault (PCASA) operates a 24-hour rape crisis hotline, provides medical and legal advocates, offers free professional counseling services and conducts prevention education in the schools and community. If the Illinois legislature succeeds in the proposed 50 percent budget cut for rape crisis services, vital services for thousands of rape victims and survivors throughout Illinois will be shattered, perhaps beyond repair. PCASA is faced with the possibility of losing a significant portion of our operating budget. This massive cut will reduce our ability to provide essential services to victims of rape and child sexual abuse in eleven central Illinois counties: Cass, Christian, Greene, Logan, Macoupin, Mason, Menard, Montgomery, Morgan, Sangamon and Scott.
Take a moment to imagine your community without rape crisis services. A rape crisis worker willnot respond to a hospital call at 3 a.m. when your daughter/mother/sister has been a victim of sexual assault. Your child, molested on the way home from school, will not receive counseling services. Medical and legal advocates will not accompany your loved one during medical exams, police interviews and court appearances. Your family could end up dealing with the pain of sexual violence on its own with no support services. We know that victims who do not receive recovery services are at increased risk for physical illness, substance abuse, suicide and difficulties in school and on the job. Are you and your family emotionally and financially ready to handle this responsibility?
The message being sent from our state government officials seems to be that the lives of sexual assault survivors and their families are not important. Should our communities abandon those traumatized by sexual violence? If we do not exist, who will do it? Please ask your legislator to oppose this drastic budget cut. Perhaps sexual violence will never touch you, your family or your friends…but a rape happens every six minutes in America. The odds are that someone you know will need us.
Catherine Walters, executive director
Prairie Center Against Sexual Assault

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