Love Our Neighbors
On election night, I was moved by the unprecedented show of support for the lesbian and gay community. Voters in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington affirmed the relationships of their lesbian and gay family, friends and neighbors by voting in favor of the freedom to marry for all couples—showing that they respect and support others’ loving, committed relationships.
By casting their ballots, these voters demonstrated beliefs that in the eyes of God, we are all created equal, and we are called to love our neighbors. In our work with Rising Sun Ministries, my partner and I have celebrated many happy couples making a lifetime promise of love, commitment and responsibility to one another in the presence of family, friends and God, yet their commitment is not recognized simply because of who they love.
Like so many people of faith across this country, we believe that no one should be treated differently because of who they are or who they love. Our ministry has been blessed with an extraordinary amount of the compassion and support that is so characteristic of New Mexicans: We take care of one another and look out for our family, friends and neighbors. We deeply believe in treating others as we would want to be treated.
More than anything, this election opened an important dialogue for our community. Each and every one of us must remember that every gay or lesbian person is a part of someone’s family—someone’s son or daughter, brother or sister, cousin, uncle or aunt. No one ever wants a member of their family to be treated differently, and we must always remember to treat one another with dignity and respect, just as Jesus did.
Rev. Vangie Chavez, Rising Sun Ministries
Marisa Demarco is very concerned that our elected members of City Council may overturn the voter-passed minimum wage increase [“A Simple Majority,” Opinion, Nov. 22-28]. She goes so far as to encourage readers to call the Councilors who might support such a measure and voice their opposition. This is all fine, but democracy is more complex than mere majority rule at the ballot box.
For starters, I don’t recall the Alibi running any articles expressing outrage that City Council subsequently voted to increase the minimum wage after voters rejected a ballot measure on the issue mere months before. The fact that there are several facets to the recently passed ballot measure and faulty language only strengthen the case for repeal.
Lastly, we do live in a republic, not a democracy. This is per the vision of the founding fathers. If we lived in a true democracy, President Obama’s health care law would have been repealed long ago, as the law has been opposed by a plurality (and often a majority) of Americans since it was passed.
City Council is faced with declining tax revenues and a foundering state economy, and it should carefully consider its options before going along with an economically harmful hike in the minimum wage.
A Beef With Beef
A recent letter [“Coyotes Are Predators,” Nov. 22-28] regarding the coyote as either the hunter or the hunted really got me riled up. It started with the arrogant reminder to us city folk “of how little some urban residents understand about wildlife and the livestock industry,” and then when I got to the end and realized it was from the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association, I nearly blew a gasket. I purchased some land about five years ago—a little piece of paradise in northern New Mexico in a valley on the edge of a national forest. I’ve seen coyotes on the property singularly and in small packs, as well as deer and elk. But mostly, I see cattle, up to 30 at a time crowded onto my small 2-acre pasture, which they quickly reduce to bare ground other than the sagebrush and chamisa. They damage the ditch banks and destroy the riparian area within the spring-fed arroyo. These livestock are grazed for a pittance on our public lands all summer. Since New Mexico has free- or open-range laws, when the cattle descend to the valleys each fall, they graze for free on private land unless landowners completely fence them out. Even then, they’ll push through any weak spots. Despite NMCGA’s fantasy, I haven’t seen any ranchers spend time caring for these livestock, except for when they send their hired hands out to round them up. To you cattle growers and your “cheap and abundant food”: You can keep it. I haven’t eaten beef in 40 years, and I don’t intend to start anytime soon. Oh yeah, and “grow” your cattle on your own dime.
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