Love Thy Neighbor (Conditionally, Of Course)

Love thy neighbor.

A simple enough phrase, but apparently it is more complex than it seems. In the early hours of July 2nd a group of five friends, two of whom are Fort Carson soldiers, were brutally assaulted right outside of a local restaurant. Why, you may ask? Because four of the five were gay.

Discrimination against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community in Colorado Springs is nothing new, but the ramifications of intolerance reach new heights when two of your friends have to be rushed to the hospital, one with an eye swollen shut, and another to emergency oral surgery for a shattered jaw. Can you say excessive?!

Fortunately, police have already taken suspects into custody and are filing charges. But what has the city done about this demonstrable hate crime? Nothing, absolutely nothing. Mayor Bach citied that anything further than a cursory comment about intolerance would be “unnecessary”. So its necessary for the two soldiers to risk their lives fighting for this country, to make sure that people are able to live safe and secure lives here, yet it is apparently “unnecessary” to protect our citizens when back home? They should be shown the respect of  heroes and not scorned like second class citizens. (Here is a link to a news report with video showing exactly how violent this hate crime was.)

Now as police work to file hate crime charges here is my question: what should be done at the municipal level to ensure nothing like this happens again? Should the city promote LGBT acceptance? Should they make a more publicized denouncement of hate crimes? What should be done to protect ALL of our citizens regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, ability, social class, age, religion, political affiliation, gender identity, and especially sexual orientation?

Written by Ian Adams, Citizens Project Intern and UCCS undergraduate student

1 Reply to "Love Thy Neighbor (Conditionally, Of Course)"

  • Dave
    August 6, 2011 (1:08 pm)

    It’s hard to make an unwilling mayor do the right thing, and if we did, his stand would likely be very obviously half-hearted and unenthusiastic. I’m not sure that we’d be pleased with the resulting delivery.

    While it’s very important to keep standing up for human rights, it is equally important to keep fighting the battles of ideas as well.

    Ever since the tremendous gains in social freedom since the 1970s, the opposition to social tolerance has been driving, and driving, and driving continuously against them ever since, like a Broncos offensive line that never fatigues.

    The opposition has truly made their grudges eternal. And the news media pretty much let them run the table unanswered.

    The opposition is shameless and fearless in stating, with an air of certitude, what sorts of things that they consider to be sins.

    We who disagree with them need to exercise the same tirelessness and fight the battle of ideas just as fiercely. Those of us who believe that there is nothing wrong with same-sex orientation or any other related topic need to express our views with the same confidence and certitude, and be prepared to back them up when challenged.

    There is nothing wrong with homosexuality, or heterosexuality, whatsoever. Period. Case closed. Done deal.

    Confidence and certitude.

    WHen we do that, then the millions who know, deep down, that we’re right, will begin to shed their own fears and inhibitions about expressing their like-minded views.

    *That* is when the mayors will speak forcefully against these evil crimes — when our ideas gain force and predominance.

Got something to say?

Some html is OK