Del Norte Triplicate Readers

Gay history is a part of who we are and should be taught

What is it about having gay history taught in schools that bothers people so much? ("Time to stand up against requiring teaching about gays in history, Sept. 17.")

This is not some conspiracy to try to turn all of our children and grandchildren into homosexuals. That's not how it works!

Are people concerned that if we take "a look back" at gay history we will become pillars of salt? How can people point a finger at someone and say that they will face fire and brimstone?

I do not see a point in trying to hide truths by sending kids to

private schools. Doesn't the Bible command people to be "in the world"

and also not to judge?

Gay history is something that should be taught and is a part of who

we are. I am ashamed of the fact that there is still so much hatred and

intolerance even in the year 2011!

I hope that by the time my kids are in high school the history books

will have been rewritten to say that gay marriage has been made legal

and accepted in all 50 states.

Selena Algis

Crescent City

Students need to learn about the contributions of gays and lesbians

Thanks to Muriel Kaye for her timely letter last Saturday ("Time to

stand up against requiring teaching about gays in history"), and thanks

to The Triplicate for violating its policy of not publishing religious


In her letter, she explains perfectly why students need to learn

about the contributions of gays and lesbians to our society. It's so

their minds won't be poisoned by rhetoric. Yes, maybe some parents will

feel obligated to home-school their children. Then the kids won't have

to hear about gays, or science, or mix with liberals or students of

different races and backgrounds.

They can grow up wondering why their test scores are so low they

can't get into college.

Teachers do talk about the risk of sexually transmitted diseases to

most of the students. Unfortunately, parents can opt out of some sex ed

lessons. If you don't tell the kids about sex, they won't think about

it. And gay kids won't think about that if they have no information.

Works every time.

I would have high school kids read about Freddie Mercury, Michael

Bennett and my junior high classmate Howard Ashman, all three dead from

AIDS, and ask if these men had worthwhile lives. I might also ask if it

is better for religious people to talk about Sodom and Gomorrah than it

is to try to help people who are ill, or work to find a cure.

Here's my more inclusive list of people to read about: James Baldwin,

Richard Rodriguez, Harvey Milk, Rosie O'Donnell, Wanda Sykes, Troy

Perry, Leonard Bernstein, Lily Tomlin, Martina Navratilova, Rita Mae

Brown. That should get everyone's education started.

Barry Wendell

Crescent City

Feels that the newspaper is leaning too far toward the political right

I feel the paper, as our one and only such publication for this

county, should serve all the people, not just the most vocal few.

Something that I think needs to be said, is that this county is not

nearly as right-leaning as the casual reader of our paper would surmise.

There is not much difference between Republican and Democratic voters

in this area, plus independents. We just had a large front-page article

about the sheriff and his affiliation with the Tea Party.

I actually wish there was such an article in the paper last year

before people sent in their mail-in ballots. A lot of people told me

that, if they had known that much about him, they wouldn't have voted

for him. As to the survey done at the fair, I noticed five answers

("what is your biggest concern?") were obvious right-wing views. Nine

could be interpreted as either right, left or middle.

Before, I felt that the paper did a decent job of covering all sides

fairly. Now it is further to the right. It is considered by many a joke

now, I'm sorry to say. Many people I know have canceled their

subscription. I haven't yet because I want to keep up on happenings.

This country has always had groups with basic fundamental differences

and beliefs. It seems to me that the far right seems to think they have

a monopoly on patriotism and virtue, that only they truly love this

country. Nationally, support for the Tea Party has dwindled. Fifty Tea

Party people show up somewhere and it gets national coverage; 50,000

union, left or middle voters show up for something and it's not

mentioned on most stations.

The loudest and most persistent get the megaphone, which is much

larger than they deserve. There's a dynamic here that isn't being

recognized. Democrats are generally more tolerant and more laid back

than, say, diehard Republicans and their far right wing. The latter seem

more willing to get "in your face"? and confrontational about


Most voters won't be inclined to get into a debate about who gets to

decide what we believe in as a country. But these people still vote and

are engaged. As Desiderata so elegantly put it, "Avoid loud and

aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit."

Linda Ehrisman