News Nuggets: 11 August 2009

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CLEAN GOVERNMENT MUDDLE: Amendment 54, the so-called clean government amendment passed as a ballot initiative in the fall and enjoined by a Denver judge in June, continues nevertheless to reach chillingly into public dealings across the state. For the people involved, government laws and purpose could not be murkier. Garfield County officials fear losing their jobs. Various county attorneys offices are exchanging advice. The Mountain Valley Developmental Services nonprofit, which cares for disabled adults, is caught in a legal limbo. It doesn’t want to sign a new contract with Garfield County because the contract contains Amendment 54 language. The nonprofit fears the rights of its workers will be violated. But without signing, it can’t receive its county grant money. Garfield owes the nonprofit $32,000. No one is sure what to do. The amendment was appealed to the Supreme Court Monday. (Thanks to the tipster with the appeal update!)

HARD-PRESSED GAY THERAPY: Focus on the Family is facing a $6 million budget shortfall and as a cost-cutting measure has accelerated a plan to give control of its annual ex-gay-therapy conference, Love Won Out, to Exodus International, an organization that has been in the curing gayness business for years and has worked closely with Focus on The Family to put on the annual conference. Gay activist organization Truth Won Out says the move makes perfect sense because interest in the “cure” is dwindling. “If they are downsizing, it is because the market for such misinformation has continued to shrink.”

Exodus founder Alan Chambers* said he is convinced that unwanted sexual attractions can be overcome. Look at me, he said. “I have experienced real and significant change.” Love Won Out Director Melissa Fryrear* said Focus on the Family remains committed to the mission and that Christian gays looking for help are in good hands. “No one is better equipped than Alan.”

* Not porn names.

TOUCHING: Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains is beginning a series on the need for comprehensive sex education in the Colorado Schools. The group seeks to battle the Abstinence Only reign of the Bush-era, coming to an end only now as federal money for the program has not been renewed. Planned Parenthood previews the series with a brief satirical but haunting YouTube. “At your age, you’re going to be experiencing a lot of urges…”

BE GONE BRUINS: Someone relay to “Orchid Thief” author Susan Orlean that her bear likely won’t be troubling her or anyone else again. Aspen is wrestling back a wave of snack-hungry bruins drawn by wafting scents of dog food and chocolate and cheese. The lucky ones get the air horn. The less lucky get relocated. The much less lucky get… well, you know. (Don’t say euthanized!)

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