Enough About Gay Marriage Already | Letters | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Enough About Gay Marriage Already 

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Enough About Gay Marriage Already
"Geez," I muttered, as I removed a copy of this week's City Weekly from the rack, "anotherarticle about same-sex marriage?" ["A Match Made in Heaven," Jan. 15].

Listen, my friends, it is getting to be a bit much. It seems that every week, or every other week (it's not like I keep a tally—this is my impression), there is yet another cover story or article discussing the sundry travails of the LGBT community.

Believe me, by now, I get it, and, if I may daresay,weget it.I am as liberal as they come and absolutely support anyone's right to live their life as they desire. Those same-sex marriages have my best wishes; I hope that they have better luck than I have had in my dismal attempts at heterosexual marriage!

The LGBT are a small minority—a very small minority—of the population at large. And I'd wager that most of these LGBT issues are of interest primarily to the LGBT community rather than your readership at large. And, if I am not mistaken, there is at least one (perhaps two) local publications that cater to their interests.

Surely there are any number of other pressing matters to which City Weekly could devote its energies? It seems that lately you are "all LGBT, all the time," and it is becoming tiresome. How about giving it a rest?
Rich Patina
Salt Lake City

Suicide Watch Doesn't Work at Utah State Prison
A 22-year-old mentally ill kid who is on "suicide watch" is allowed to jump off a fixture and crush his skull like a melon ["Mental Lockdown," Dec. 11, 2014, City Weekly]. Isn't "suicide watch" a precaution that takes away the tools that facilitate self-injury, e.g. lights/projections to anchor a noose to, razors to cut oneself, fixtures to jump off of?

The Utah State Prison (USP) has been appropriated money in the past to build cells for this purpose. In fact, there are suicide-prevention cells in the infirmary at the prison. Why wasn't Ryan Allison in one of those cells?

Why didn't Allison's file raise red flags for the past four years? Why didn't the previous article on Allison in the City Weekly ["Lost in the Hole," Sept. 27, 2012] raise that red flag within the prison? Surely, it put the Utah State Prison on notice.

The fact is that the USP punishes mentally ill prisoners. When they are at their lowest, the USP puts them naked in a freezing cell with no mattress, no blanket, no toilet paper—nothing. They are totally isolated from social/caring interaction, with no friendly person to lean on. This physical torture and further isolation only exacerbates their suicidal thoughts, depression and feelings of aloneness. Allison is not the first person at the USP to injure himself while on "suicide watch."

An audit/investigation needs to be done to discover how many USP inmates have injured themselves while on suicide watch, where one would think the goal would be to create humane, effective suicide watch/prevention and accompanying conditions.

It is a cry for help from the grave that echoes across time. I knew Ryan Allison, and he would want his death to bring attention and resolution to other suffering of others.

We are only allowed 300 words: Remember Ryan Allison, No. 198279.
Paul Payne
No. 47248
Southern New Mexico Correctional Facility
Las Cruces, N.M.

Correction: An incorrect website was given for Erica Hammon (5 Spot, Jan. 15, City Weekly). Her website is actually LookListenLearnBooks.com.

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