The Humane Society of the United States is extremely disappointed in the recent Maryland Court of Appeals decision designating all pit bull-type dogs as categorically dangerous, and holding owners, landlords, and anyone in custody of the dog automatically liable regardless of whether the dog posed a threat (“For Pit Bulls, No More Freebies,” Newshole, April 27). This is a backwards step for Maryland, and puts both dogs and people at risk.

A dog’s propensity to bite is a product of several factors, including early socialization, living conditions, and the owner’s behavior, not breed alone. For example, chained and non-neutered dogs are much more likely to bite.

This decision will force law-abiding citizens to choose between moving out of Maryland or giving up their beloved dogs. There are already reports of pit bulls being abandoned since this ruling. Rather than protect public safety, the ruling may force pit bulls who could live safely as beloved family pets to roam Maryland neighborhoods in packs, and force shelters to euthanize them—turning back decades of progress by animal shelters and rescue groups.

Public safety policies shouldn’t be made by the courts, but by the legislature after conducting hearings and considering the available science.

We encourage Marylanders to call their state legislators to urge them to pass legislation to overturn this ruling.

To show your support, please submit photos to the “We Love Maryland Pit Bulls” campaign at facebook.com/HSUSMaryland. Or post them with the hash tag #LoveMDpitbulls on Twitter.

Tami Santelli

Maryland State Director, The Humane Society of the United States

I was very disappointed with the photo that ran with your story titled “For Pit Bulls, No More Freebies.” I am a wife, mother, educator, and pit bull owner. The photo you presented with the article does more harm to the most abused and neglected breed of dog in America. I have a photo that shows my 3-year-old hugging my pit bull that shows the affect that this ruling is going to have on MY family. Your article is adding fuel to the fire of pit bull hysteria. I have always been a fan of the City Paper but have changed my support.

Amanda Fitzgerald

Baltimore

Savage Bully?

I can hardly consider a sex columnist in an alt-weekly to be inoffensive, especially when he pursues anti-homophobia activism as well.

But recently Dan Savage decided to pursue an “anti-bullying” agenda with school tours. It has come to my attention that last week he openly berated the Bible and Christians in a speech to a high school journalism conference, and then undertook to insult those who chose to walk out on his profanity-laden tirade.

For the record, I know full well the Bible is full of self-contradictions and utter poppycock, mixed in with some half-decent stuff, and that it’s used wrongly as justification for a warped, pathological version of “Christianity” as practiced by the sanctimonious likes of the Westboro Baptist “Church” and other pathological idiots. But Savage could have called out such balderdash in a manner that was NOT ITSELF BULLYING. Instead, he chose his typical anger, spite, and malice—which he demonstrates all too often in his column, much to his detriment (and those of his ideological allies).

He claims he’s “pushing back” against such bullying. As I well know from my school experiences, when you swing back at the bully that’s been picking on you, you not only stoop to his level, but you get punished too. If he had done it tactfully, I might have cheered him. But you don’t say this stuff to high school students.

I urge your editors to reconsider carrying his column, and replacing it with a less antagonistic and hypocritical, and more useful, sex columnist.

Yes, I am literally chopping out and discarding that column from any City Paper I pick up from now on.

Alexander D. Mitchell IV

Baltimore

Sign Off

I know the Goucher Three are doing what they think is important (“Rainbow Warriors,” Mobtown Beat, May 2). But is it even necessary? Every business today, to be successful, caters to any and all that enter it. To exclude any portion of the public is to lose revenue. So to suggest that an owner should place a sign in his window to show passersby his personal thoughts on sexual orientation discrimination seems a bit presumptuous to say the least. If the Baltimore LGBT Family truly wants to be accepted like they say, I would think they would find the sign offensive.

Curtis Kidwell

Baltimore

Christ All-Whitey

No disrespect to Ms. Larnell Custis Butler, but in being Afrocentric, which she so notably reminds us, I am wondering why she seems to be portraying a Eurocentric image of Jesus in her art (“Your Art Here,” May 2)? In discussions about this issue among diverse individuals, many have expressed that Jesus’ image does not matter, and that it is up to the individual to portray Jesus as he or she feels in accordance with their own beliefs, faith, spirituality, etc. And I usually respond by saying if image does not matter, does the historic truth matter? And if image does not matter, why should we have any acceptable dominant image of Jesus the Christ? What is the problem with a truly “black” Christ, when in fact it can be proven through certain historical, archaeological, and biblical evidence? I feel that she could have portrayed Jesus as Trayvon Martin himself. The actor Blair Underwood once directed and starred in a movie titled The Second Coming, in which he portrayed Jesus. The movie was immediately crucified and buried, no pun intended, by the mainstream media and everyone else! It seems that the image of a “black” Jesus, which I personally believe is more authentic, is ever met with an endless crucifixion.

Eric James aka JahHannibal Abba-Ra

Baltimore

Correction: A Stage piece in our April 25 issue about the art collective Whoop Dee Doo incorrectly referred to 901 Arts as a Greenmount West community arts organization. It is, in fact, a Better Waverly organization. City Paper regrets the error.