>Letters in the Western Tribune

>Here are 2 of the 24 letters received by the Western Tribune regarding Aubrey “Snuffy” Garrett’s letter.

Reader’s Opinions

Outraged by the odious comments about gays

As a citizen of Jefferson County, I am outraged by the comments from Snuffy Garrett comparing loving, same sex relationships to having sex with animals! What? Really?

Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are responsible, productive, taxpaying, caring members of our community. Everyone has free speech in our society, protected by our Constitution, so I challenge you to print this rebuttal to Mr. Garrett’s odious comments. An apology to the gay community is also necessary. We look to the media to expand our horizons and open our minds to diverse ideas. You have done just the opposite. See if you can do better.

Mary McGlaughlin
Birmingham

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I find the hateful comments made by Aubrey “Snuffy” Garrett unconscionable. I am certain this writer must be closeted as are the most vocal opponents of homosexuality.*

Why does it bother him so much?

My husband and I have many gay friends. Love IS a Christian value. You should be ashamed of printing such filth.

Mia Fiterman
Birmingham

Editor’s note: Twenty-four letters critical of Snuffy Garrett’s Feb 24 letter to the editor were sent to the Tribune. The above two letters were most representative of the others.

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The first letter writer demands an apology from the paper to the gay community. There has been none. None!

Let me clear up one thing. The Western Tribune believes in free speech. They do print a diversity of opinions. The fact that my columns appear each week is evidence enough for that. In my opinion, and that of many in the gay community, it is not so much a free speech issue as it is a matter of decency.

A letter (Snuffy’s) was printed that allowed the writer to insult an entire group of people by using a biblical reference to compare our love for one another to beastiality.

Would the newspaper therefore allow a racist letter writer to promote a return to slavery based on biblical references (“Slaves are to be submissive to their masters in everything, and to be well-pleasing, not talking back .” – Titus 2:9 “Slaves, submit yourselves to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the cruel. ” – 1 Peter 2:18)?

This is not too far-fetched, as the book I have been referring to, Slavery by Another Name, documents how African-Americans were enslaved, bought and sold, in Alabama well after the end of the Civil War, and I’m sure these Bible verses played a role in that. And we do still live under the 1901 Constitution.

This 1930’s picture shows an enslaved Georgia man being punished under the inhumane system that allowed blacks to become forced laborers in the not so distant past in the south. Picture credit Slavery by Another Name website (go there to see more and read about the book).

Freedom of speech does not mean that a newspaper has to print every vile and hurtful letter it receives. I know for a fact that the Western Tribune receives letters that are not fit for printing. Why then, did it feel that it was OK to print this one?

The second letter writer may be referring to this University of Georgia study which showed sexual arousal in homophobic men when shown adult male pornography. The study is interesting, if somewhat flawed, and the results not conclusive. Or she may be referring to anecdotal examples of clearly closeted homosexual men who are vocally anti-homosexual . Ted Haggard comes to mind.

OK, gay and fair minded straight folks. Has the Western Tribune done enough by printing these two letters?

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