We could use more humilityBy all means we must preserve and strengthen the family. Yet, I’m curious about the vehemence with which some of our leaders, religious and political, rush to condemn same-sex marriages as a threat to the “family.” Is family about sex or about a cohesive, loving unit of society where persons care about each other and for each other?

I’m a “straight” married man, married to the same woman for 48 years. Together we have raised three fine children and consider ourselves a close family. I have friends who are homosexual, equally committed to family values and family nurture, raising children, praying in the church alongside their heterosexual brothers and sisters, holding down jobs, paying taxes and volunteering in civic groups to make our society better for all. Why discourage any expression of “family” that contributes so much to society?

Now, please don’t go to quoting the Bible on me. I’m an ordained minister with a long history of observing how people of faith interpret the Scriptures in quite different ways. We probably won’t all agree on “what the Bible says” about this or that. Each of us, in good faith, can witness to the truth, as we understand it. But can we presume the right, in a free and open society, to have the one and only correct interpretation and seek to impose it on everybody else as the law of the land?

Likewise, I wonder if it’s wise to play the “tradition” card on this subject. Lots of traditions that have served us well in the past are changing. Change is not automatically good or bad. Each change deserves carefully scrutiny to assess its short- and long-term merit. This requires careful testing and objective evaluation like we give to medical, educational and technical innovations. Highly publicized worries about how same-sex unions/marriages will destroy the family unit may well be premature. What is the evidence for this assertion? Without sound evidence, dogma and tradition ring hollow.

Each of us could use a little more humility when it comes to knowing exactly what is right or wrong. Jesus is reported to have said, “Ye shall know them by their fruits.” My observation is that these “fruits” are blooming in both heterosexual and homosexual families. Let them grow.

John Gibson


Separate but equal doesn’t workThe president supports a constitutional amendment declaring an entire group to be second-class citizens. Marriage must be reserved for straight men and women, in the United States of America that is. In a time when counties around the world, including Canada, are acknowledging the right of gays and lesbians to marry, we here in this country are taking a page from the history of Nazi Germany, where we change the Constitution of the country to legalize discrimination and hated.

The arguments against gay marriage seem to all be religiously based, so in a not so surprising move we will ignore the separation of church and state, to legalize the Christian-based thought that gays and lesbians are unworthy of marriage, reducing them to at best a separate but equal status. However, we have learned, historically, that separate is not equal.

We have under the flag of freedom overthrown oppressive fundamentalist governments, yet we think nothing of persecuting our own citizens. Who will protect our new second-class citizens? Who will stand against changing our Constitution to allow the segregation and discrimination of people who only ask for the right to love and live as others in this country do?

In his oath of office President Bush pledged to defend the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic. My question now is who will protect it from him?

John D Schmitt


Stick with civil unionsI would be all for gay marriage if the concept did not imply consent for other, dramatically more troubling marriages between two loving people. For example, same-sex marriages would apparently include a member of the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) marrying a legally emancipated minor child. Also included would be gay brothers or sisters marrying each other, opening the way for the myriad other incestuous marriages, including emancipated children marrying their parents.

It is difficult to call “progressive” practices that have been ridiculed in jokes about Appalachian and Ozark familial folklore for centuries. Stick with civil unions that can be better controlled by government rather than marriages that can be performed by irresponsible bozos with mail-order divinity.

Parker King


Love, commitment and braveryI can’t thank you enough for your article in support of same-sex marriage (Public Interest, “Confessions of a Conservative,” Feb. 25-March 3). I am 21, straight and an ally of the GLBT community. At this point in my life, I cannot imagine getting married. It requires a lot of love, commitment and bravery to promise one’s life to another person, and then to raise kids! I’m not sure I will ever be prepared for the task. I just think that anyone who wants to accept that challenge should be granted equal rights under the law. I only hope that supporters of same-sex marriage protest loudly enough to prevent writing a discriminatory amendment into the U.S. Constitution.

Amanda Sewell


Remember what history has taught usComments to the American People: I am pleading with you ... I am down on my knees ... please see what is happening before your eyes. Please remember what history has taught us about fear and discrimination. This country, your country, allows you to be who you are. No matter what your race, your history, your social standing ... this country was founded on the very ground that all men are created equal. We have come so very far in this young nation’s growth and now is not the time to turn tail and run back scared into the thicket. It is of no consequence to myself what you think of the differences between people. Your views on race, religion or sexuality are not the issue.

The fact of the matter is that gay marriage is on the debate forefront. The fact of the matter is it could be anything. The fact is simply that the Constitution is not a document intended on limiting freedoms but rather for outlining them. Freedom to vote, freedom to speak, freedom to be.

Imagine yourself facing the same limitations. Imagine it because if this ban is passed, your rights are within arm’s reach of being the next to go. Are you an author? You may soon see limitations on your First Amendment rights. Are you a woman? You may soon see limits set on your salaries, voting rights ... even your marriage. Are you black, white, Hispanic, gay, straight, single, married, Jewish, Catholic ... the list goes on and on. Where does it stop?

History has played this out before and never has a good come from such evil. Go ahead, disapprove of gay marriage. That is your right. But what happens when someone takes that right away ... then what will you do? Think about it, America. Think about it while you are still allowed to.

Katherine Livengood


Gore LOSTI just wanted to take this opportunity to correct Ellen Crosby of Indianapolis (“S-elected,” Mail, Feb. 25-March 3). She is still under the mistaken belief that, somehow, Al Gore was cheated out of being elected president in 2000.

The FACT is that every independent recount STILL showed that Gore LOST. Just because she keeps saying that he was cheated does not make it so. Even Gore himself admitted that he lost.

The rogue Florida Supreme Court attempted to ILLEGALLY change the election laws regarding recounts several times in favor of Gore and the U.S. Supreme Court correctly and legally stopped them. Only the Florida Legislature has the authority to change election law in Florida.

This same old whine of “we were cheated” has grown very tired. If you don’t like the current administration, then I strongly encourage you to VOTE. And, just a reminder: In the United States, the popular vote is only relevant as it pertains to the Electoral College. Nothing more, nothing less.

PUHLEEZE, Ellen, face the facts. They will set you free.

Jon K. Colip



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