Weekly reader responses

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Redrawing the map

We received feedback for Tom Perkins' look at how Michigan's gerrymandered voting districts have created an out-of-touch government ("How voters were screwed out of the state they wanted," Nov. 11).

Reader "nobsartist" wrote:

Using census roles and mapping, all districts should be re-created so they have no more than four boundaries. Four simple corners. Is that simple enough? It's stupid trying to convince this to a bunch of flat-world hacks that can't even get the secretary of state computer to work right, and poisoned a city.

Throw all of the bums out and replace them with an "emergency financial manager" that will explain where $42 billion in taxes goes every year while the crumbs that are left are not sufficient to maintain the infrastructure. Education, police, and what we consider essential come out of a $10 billion budget. Where does the other $42 billion go?

This state is bankrupt in more than one way thanks to Republicans.

Equal rights for all

In his Nov. 11 Politics & Prejudices column ("Gearing up for the last battle"), Jack Lessenberry wrote about attorney Dana Nessel and a group called Fair Michigan, who are trying to expand on the Elliott-Larsen act and amend Article I, Section 2 of the state constitution to bar discrimination based on "gender, gender identity, sex, or sexual orientation."

Reader "DougD53 " wrote:

Elliott-Larsen prohibits discrimination on the basis of religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, height, weight, or marital status. When the legislation was written, the concept of sexual orientation did not exist as it does today. Homosexuality or bisexuality was generally believed to be a sexual perversion, fetish, or behavior that was not innate. Society has now accepted that sexual orientation is innate and immutable and therefore Elliott-Larsen needs to be changed to reflect that. However the concept of gender identity or gender fluidity is still a controversial topic not fully understood in our culture or legislature.

So the question becomes "How do we write legislation addressing employment discrimination when our society is still trying to define what gender identity or gender expression means, and what needs to be done in the legislature?" Lumping sexual orientation together with gender identity is a mistake. They are not the same thing. Nessel's approach is therefore all wrong. The voters will overwhelmingly defeat this, and they should. We need to specifically address the legal needs of our trans community and for most, that means addressing the difficulty they have in changing their gender on state and federal identification forms. Amending Elliott-Larsen is not going to make it any easier for them to do that.

Fast-food foul

Last week, a viral video showing a Detroit McDonald's employee promise a homeless man a burger and then threw water in his face made us question our faith in humanity. We shared it on our blog ("The Detroit McDonald's employee who pulled an incredibly cruel trick on a homeless man has been fired," Nov. 9), and many readers shared a similar sentiment. (The employee was eventually fired.)

Reader "cinda" wrote:

It is sad to think that there are people that believe that they are superior to another. We are all close to being homeless. Money does not identify us, caring, sharing and loving does. Not only is the act of throwing water into the face of that homeless man upsetting, but seeing the hate on the face of the young man. Hopefully he has learned that actions have consequences.

Reader "Jeff S" wrote:

In what type of "culture" is taunting the homeless considered to be good fun? The fact that these folks are sitting there laughing at the actions of the jackass in the window is troubling to say the least.

Reader "Sheepleherder" wrote:

He should save his money and try to buy some humanity instead.

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