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For five general assemblies--1990-1994--the Colorado Coalition of Concerned Families has waged a battle against the power of the state lobby in order to bring about change in and implementation of laws that would correct and protect families from wrongdoing by the department. From the Interim Committee of 1990 through the Legislative Task Force on Family Issues of 1992-1993 through the Governor's Task Force to Establish Grievance Procedures of 1993, families have struggled to bring about a correction of the injustices perpetrated against families through abuse of power by the Department of Social Services.

Today we are grateful to Senator Blickensderfer, Senator Rizzuto and Representative Pankey for their sponsorship of SB 205 and the unanimous Senate vote that put the bill on the governor's desk. We encourage families who have been falsely accused of child abuse, suffered injustices at the hand of the Department of Social Services or are discouraged of ever being reunited with their children to call the governor's office and request that he quickly sign the bill into law. Families working together truly can make it better for children.

Norma Hill, Barbara Uhland,
Allorah Jo Byrnes
Colorado Coalition of Concerned Families

Sexual Healing
While I found Steve Jackson's April 6 article, "The End of the Line," on the life and times of Ric Games very interesting, it told me nothing new. However, the letters you printed in the following issues were absolutely amazing!

The most infuriating, uninformed and biased statement ties into many of the ignorant statements in those letters. The charge that "the largest HIV-positive and AIDS-infected population [is] gay men" is incorrect and goes to the heart of our problem.

The largest HIV-positive and AIDS-infected population is, in fact, heterosexual Africans. This is constantly ignored by Americans--maybe because if straight America confronts this fact it will see that it is right around the corner from the same physical and emotional pain that Ric is now experiencing.

The fact is that HIV/AIDS is most frequently sexually transmitted. Not just gay sex, not just anal sex, but just plain sex between an HIV-positive person and an HIV-negative person. I am always amazed at how many straight people condemn gay men for having sex, assume it is always anal sex, and then go out and pick up a babe at a bar and go screw without a condom. And believe me, straight people engage in anal sex. It never crosses their minds that this is exactly what causes and spreads AIDS. Or if they think about it, they ignore it. I know that most of these people have never had an HIV test and probably never will unless they go through what so many AIDS victims have gone through. Wake up, straight America: This is not a gay disease and you are next.

S. Bruce Harthoorn

Regarding the letter comparing lack of sympathy for AIDS victims to lack of sympathy for rape victims:

Everybody keeps saying that no woman deserves to be raped no matter what she does. And I guess that is true, but nobody except maybe Camille Paglia seems to feel that women should have any responsibility or sensitivity about what they are wearing. It seems a form of assault to me to have women dress provocatively with no intention but teasing in mind--this, too, is a form of anger. I'm a woman and I don't think anyone should ever be raped, but I also think women should be aware of the effects of their dress and behavior and try to be considerate as well as aware that when a guy invites you up to his room late at night for a "drink," he has other things in mind, etc., etc. Well, I just thought I'd get that off my chest--men deserve consideration too.

I don't think anyone deserves disease, though. That can strike anyone anywhere.

Sherry Winter

This is in response to the letter blaming the rampant spread of AIDS on Christians like myself. Get a life! When radical right-wing conservatives like Rush Limbaugh and Ken Hamblin talk about people like you who avoid any form of personal responsibility by preaching the Nineties "gospel of victimology" and blaming all of society's ills on Christians and other social conservatives, I'd like to believe they're simply making up stereotypes of the left to further their own cause (read: bankroll). However, there evidently really are people like you who don't believe that it was Ric Games's fault that he got AIDS, in spite of his confession he has had sex with thousands of men. Sorry, but AIDS in almost all cases is solely the fault of irresponsible activity. And when the bullet hits the bone, on Sunday mornings it wasn't Christians in church who were having anal intercourse with several different men in the local bathhouse, it was Ric Games. So next time, don't go blaming the spread of AIDS on me. It's offensive.

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