LETTERS 11.5.13

14. 19LETTERSPecks on the Chook’s cheek
I FELT moved to write after reading last week’s letters that followed your front page picture of two men kissing (Herald, April 27, 2013).
Sorry that one correspondent almost threw up her cornflakes after seeing it and the other writers were not happy with seeing such a picture on their front page. I appreciate there are people who do not want to see nor recognise there can be couples who are not one man and one woman.
I have been happily married for 20 years: The picture and its subject did not disrespect me, my husband nor our marriage.
I feel there are greater issues out there in the big wide world that are a threat to marriages, children, religion and harmony than the sight of a same-sex couple kissing or having a happy healthy and lasting relationship.
The only thing I take the paper to task for is—where was the balance? Surely you should also have had two women kissing! (Tongue firmly in cheek for that last remark).
Sarah Whittaker
Jarvis St, O’Connor

I WAS reading this week’s Herald letters and was getting really steamed up with one that supposedly provided “an analysis” of the situation.  Then I read your response which ended with the word “balderdash”. Well done, Ed, what a brilliant reply. You said it all!
George Finch
Philip St, East Fremantle

AS a gay guy who grew up in Fremantle I thought the front page picture was beautiful and have in fact made a point of keeping it!
Reading letters last week from disgruntled readers like “I’m not homophobic, but” and, “I don’t care what people do in private,” and “I don’t want my children to be exposed to such,” blah blah blah.
WTF! Can you hear yourselves? Think about it: “I consider myself broad-minded—I don’t really care what straight people do in the privacy of their own homes, I just wish they’d have the decency to act gay in public.” Sound familliar?
Tyler St James
Mosman Park

FIRST I’d like to say I am an atheist, neither proud nor ashamed of the fact, I just don’t have any religious belief. Despite that, or maybe because of it, I would never, ever intentionally hurt any other living creature, human or otherwise.
It seems as though Teresa van Lieshout not only confusedly defines atheism as evilness (ok, a common Christian viewpoint) but also Satanism with atheism—very, very different Teresa.
Notre Dame would be justified in enforcing its Christian values if it was a truly independent institution, but as it receives substantial funding from our secular government it should abide by secular values (which, incidentally Teresa, don’t include “widespread homelessness, suicide and destruction of morals and values).
Finally, I’m a bit confused as to why two blokes kissing is disrespectful to women?
Yours, happily godless,
Mary Irwin
Wheeler Rd, Hamilton Hill

THANK you for your taboo-breaking cover photo of two men kissing.
Gays and lesbians vote, pay tax, are part of our families, and deserve exactly the same civil rights as anyone else. If you are able to publish a photo of a man and a woman kissing without any public outrage, then the same should apply for same sex couples.
Victoria Martin
Third Ave, Mount Lawley

I AM just reading Herald letters of last week, May 4, 2013.
I’m interested in the range of emotions expressed regarding your front page photo of two men kissing. I just wanted to let you know I thought it was beautiful.
Danielle Joynt
Emerald Ave, Mt Pleasant

HAVING just read Herald letters (May 4, 2013) expressing moral outrage and indignation at the audacity of the image of two men kissing, I’m astonished.
Declarations such as, “… having two hairy men sucking each other’s lips on the front page is enough to turn my stomach” and “that almost made me throw up in my cornflakes”, indicate many in our community are just not ready to have a mature and critical debate regarding some social issues.
Certainly the image was intended to challenge opinions and ideas; my goodness, imagine a newspaper doing that! Society’s ability to grow, develop and mature depends upon its capacity to deconstruct dominant discourse. Without it we would not be enjoying the benefits brought by the enlightenment, the abolition of slavery, medical advances, the introduction of a set of universal human rights, amongst others.
This does not mean individual notions of morality, faith and belief must be thrown out; rather, open, well-informed and balanced discussion must be encouraged that includes all views.
Sandra & Leila Nasr
North Fremantle

DEAR Dymocks staff, thank you so much for helping me and my family find great books. Your shop was my favourite book shop ever! I hope you find another place in Fremantle and make that another Dymocks bookshop. Go well!
Sacha Bluntschli (11) and family
Livingstone St, Beaconsfield
The Ed says: Unfortunately, the owners have no plans to re-open elsewhere in Fremantle, Sacha.

Too rad for bad
I DON’T understand the link between the youth plaza and anti-social behaviour. From my understanding anti-social behaviour is more likely to occur due to boredom and social exclusion. The planned youth plaza will tackle both these problems. So to all you naysayers maybe it is you who is anti-social?
Ben Lovmark
Marine Tce, South Fremantle

Purrrfectly fine
I READ with interest the opinions of so called experts regarding the Luna the vegan cat (Herald, May 4, 2013). It’s only their theory and has never been proven. Have any of these people raised a vegan cat to complete their theory? I bet no is the answer.
We are not bringing up our pets in wild Africa where they act in a way that’s natural, we are in a real world and must protect what’s around us.  I have a few cats who are vegan from birth and are 10 years young with the energy of young kittens.
I give them the best attention and feed them with Sandy’s vegan pet food which is well-balanced. I also take them to the vet to have check ups and not because they have a health problem as most people do—prevention is the key.
Your cartoon (April 27, 2013) was not funny and how do you know what a cat thinks? You would be better off showing the real thing. Why not show some real vegan cats so others would see it’s possible to have vegan cats?
Also, the comment from David Neck that a vegan cat would crave meat is subjective.
How on earth would he know what a cat thinks or craves? A cat would certainly not crave something it has never had nor had for a long time.
I myself am a vegan and at 65 years young turn heads as most people see me as a 52-year-old. I do put it down to my diet—eat well and live longer!
My cats are part of my family and I treat them as I would treat my own kids with good, healthy food so they can have a better and fulfilled life.
Dermot Dennis
Camberwell Rd, Camberwell, VIC

Zeal stuck in concrete shoes
HAVING decided to concrete 9.5 per cent of the Esplanade parkland without seeking the views of existing park-users and residents, Fremantle council is now heralding a ‘’community visioning’’ for what Fremantle will look like in 2029.
Ordinarily, I’d be intrigued but right now I feel utterly jaded—why ask people what their values are when you have just ignored them?
In October, councillors voted for a skate park of modest size to be built on the southern section of the Esplanade, overruling the Esplanade master plan, developed in 2009 through community consultation, which proposed a skate park should be built immediately to the south of the Esplanade.
In November, councillors voted to give a skate park construction specialist company, Convic, a tender to run both community consultation on the skate park plan and to build it. Anyone else feel that decision was naive?
Convic’s “community” consultation process, endorsed by the council and outlined in Convic’s concept report, focused on asking what skateboarders wanted above all else. Fifty-nine per cent of “community” workshop attendees identified as skaters; 44 per cent as non-Fremantle residents. Less than a quarter were female.
The workshops developed two skate park design options that both greatly exceeded the size of the skate park approved by the council in October.
The next stage of “community consultation” was truly the pits. A council online “community survey” on the proposal could only be completed if you indicated at the outset that you supported either skate park design option 1 or 2, both of which take 9.5 per cent of the Esplanade.
I received a sympathetic ear when I contacted the mayor and a councillor about the flawed survey but within a fortnight both had voted, along with most of the council, for option 2. Chillingly, both have since referred to the “extensive community consultation” that went into the skate park decision.
I’ll skip the visioning love-in, and say here what I want for Freo—not by 2029, but now: I want councillors to abide by the local government act and to “represent the interests of electors, ratepayers and residents”. And I also want councillors to abide by their own code of conduct and “adequately and fairly represent the views of the community in council’s decision-making process”.
Eloise Dortch

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