October 25, 2010
Mayor Hickenlooper, in late 2009 you stated the following in a radio interview:
“I think a couple things, I mean, you know, the tragic death of Matthew Shepard occurred in Wyoming. Colorado and Wyoming are very similar. We have some of the same, you know, backwards thinking in the kind of rural Western areas you see in, you know, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico.” **
Mayor Hickenlooper, I am currently sitting in my home office in rural Colorado. When we’re not at our flat land abode, we’re at our cabin in the Southern Colorado mountains. We are the redneck, hillbillies of which you speak. We own farm animals. We shoot firearms. We attend rodeos. We drive pickup trucks.
I personally Mr. Mayor, am a fiscal conservative, pro-choice, pro- gay marriage Christian. Many of the people I associate with in our rural community, have similar beliefs to my own. I do not claim to be indicative of rural people, but having spent so many years in it, I have a grasp on my surroundings. We are ethnically, religiously and financially diverse as well.
This past summer we attended our annual property owner’s association meeting for the land we have in Southern Colorado. The county in which the ranch is, is 90% Caucasian. They are simple people. Not the most educated, but hard working and kind. We met a lesbian couple at this meeting. They are who my husband and I chose to sit by. Before and after the meeting, they received multiple greetings and plenty of “Oh my goodness, it’s so nice to see you two. I hear you finished your house, that’s great, now you get to be here full time.”
If I were to ever attempt to classify a group of people who I believed were homophobic, it would have been them. But they weren’t. They were gracious and genuine.
So essentially Mr. Mayor, you have stereotyped my people. You have stereotyped us into homophobes, and perhaps even equated us to the murderous monsters of Matthew Shepard. My people Mr. Mayor? They are honest. They live their lives by the Golden Rule.
We don’t vote for tax increases to fund social programs, we give of ourselves physically to help those in need. Perhaps it’s mending a fence for a handicapped neighbor. Or picking up some extra groceries for an elderly couple, or keeping your neighbor’s children after school, until their single mother gets home from work.
We don’t rely on taxpayer funded after school programs to teach our children right from wrong. We instill values in our children with home based after school doings. We believe in pulling our own weight, and extending our hand to help those in need. We volunteer, we tithe, we care about our fellow man.
So Mr. Mayor, in the future, please do not stereotype a segment of the population. It’s my understanding that those of you with that *D* behind your name, disapprove of such actions. It’s offensive and insensitive, and I’m shocked that YOU didn’t know better.