Religions always need an enemy to keep themselves relevant.
Religions always need an enemy to keep themselves relevant.
APPROVAL OF S.C. QUESTION 1
Gay members of community deserve rights
By The Rev. L. Groelinger
On Nov. 7, the [S.C.] majority spoke [in approving ballot Question 1, the marriage amendment]. The majority decided to inflict its position on a minority and severely restrict the civil rights of that minority. Not only will gay members of this community be prohibited from marriage; they also will not even be able to have a relationship titled domestic - no civil union, no shared property rights, no ability to make health care decisions for an incapacitated mate, not even a familial right to visit a dying partner in a hospital. Is this truly what we wish to do to our neighbor? Is this what Christ meant when he told us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves? Is there such harm in allowing a gay couple to pay the same tax rate that my wife and I do as a married couple? Is there such harm in allowing a person access to health care coverage so that someone might be moved off the Medicaid role, or worse not be able to pay a medical bill at all so that we the community must absorb it in higher health care costs? By ousting a portion of society from the fold, society limits its ability to deal with the portion it has eliminated. A married couple must heed certain behavioral limits within the marriage contract. If one partner chooses to step outside that contract, certain legal sanctions can apply. Why would society choose to keep a portion of its people outside of that regulatory limit? The marriage amendment effectively says behave as you wish, society cares not. The “great majority” has spoken. Well, Dorothy, it’s time to pick up your slippers and go home. Since there is no domestic relationship, the protections under the domestic violence laws of this state can not apply to a gay partnership. There are still other laws which apply. However, a portion of our community has been denied equal protection under law. I wonder how many of that roughly two-thirds of those who voted are sinless. They have certainly cast the first stone. (source)
To that, all I can say is, “Amen!”
Dear Editor: In her recent guest column, Julaine Appling expertly presented one of the driving arguments of the proponents of the anti homosexual marriage and civil union amendment. That is, if homosexuals are allowed to marry, what’s next? Polygamy? The breakdown of marriage as an institution? Indeed, the question of “what’s next” is a troubling one. I would propose, however, that the question is being asked of the wrong side. If religious fundamentalists are successful in institutionalizing discrimination against homosexuals, who will be the next group they decide to attack? Who else fails to live up to their standards of moral hygiene? [...] If we let them force their views on others in this way, how long before the rest of the Levitical laws start to be codified in our legal system? How long before people are no longer allowed to eat shrimp? How long before people are prohibited from planting vegetable gardens? How long before clothes made from more than one type of fabric are banned? This issue does involve a slippery slope, but it is not the slippery slope the ban advocates would have you believe. It is a slippery slope toward theocracy. It is a slippery slope toward the loss of individual liberty and freedom of conscience. This state must stand against this trend and tell these fundamentalists to mind their own affairs, and leave everyone else alone. Sticking one’s nose into other people’s private lives is not an American value. (source)
I don’t drink; therefore, I think we should have a law that no one be allowed to drink. Because I walk with a cane, I say we need a law saying everyone should walk with some type of aid. I love cats; I am not fond of dogs. Let’s make owning a dog illegal. I really dislike bossy, opinionated people. Let’s make them illegal also. Oh, I hear you say, I’m following the Bible. Okay, let’s stone all those who do not observe the Sabbath, as it says in the Bible. Let us sell our daughters into slavery, as it says in the Bible. Let us allow our daughters to lay with their fathers in order to have children, as Lot did with his two daughters, as it says in the Bible. Oh, that’s the Old Testament, you say? Well then, let’s go the route of the disciples who said it is better to not marry at all. That should take care of the population problem. Seems to me, there are a lot of things that are allowed or disallowed because it is in the Bible. Perhaps we are reading the Bible wrong? Perhaps we are not reading the true message? Perhaps we are putting a newer, modern twist on the readings we do? Perhaps we need to remember that not all people follow the Christian faith, but are still good people. The message in the Bible is one of love - of your partner, of your family, of your fellow man. Why is it that the Bible has instead been used to preach hate, family separation, segregation and racism?
Compare gay stats to heterosexuals’ Autumn Sandeen San Diego Posted December 5 2005 Re the letter, “Facts to add about homosexuals” (Nov. 28): If we’re going to generalize that folks who live a “homosexual lifestyle” face many ills, we’ll need to discuss the ills of the “heterosexual lifestyle.” For example, the U.S. birth rate for teenagers in 1997 was 52.3 live births per 1,000 women age 15 to 19. Teen pregnancy is a heterosexual problem. Also, in America, 54 percent of new HIV/AIDS infections are among heterosexuals. This isn’t even addressing that the incidence rates for sexually transmitted diseases chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhea and human papilloma virus -- within the entire adolescent population in the United States have increased dramatically in the past decade.
I am one mother who is tired of hearing about the Boy Scouts’ plight to retain their government-funding golden goose [“Scouts may lose funding,” July 9]. It seems that in our haste to shout “separation of church and state,” we have completely neglected the greater picture. Frankly, I feel it is deplorable for an organization that has repeatedly discriminated against homosexuals be given any assistance from our government. It seems as if giving the money is another way of endorsing its discriminating behavior. In all my years, I have not witnessed the same support and funding for the Girl Scouts. Is this also a quiet nod that perhaps girls/women are still viewed as the lesser-valued sex? It may be 2005, but rest assured the Good Ol’ Boy network is alive, well, and taking care of its own. Leslie Jordan Spotsylvania
Subject: from dr. ben powell for dr. frisk
From: dr. ben powell (email address omitted from this posting)
To: firstname.lastname@example.org Dr. Frisk, Please don't give in to those moderates. They are controlling the senate you are not, if you give in. Go for an up and down vote anyway. Thanks Dr. Ben Powell (home address omitted from this posting) South Carolina
Subject: Stop All Filibusters and Vote YES or NO!!!! Be BOLD and do what is Right!!! From: Terry Vogel (email address omitted from this posting) To: email@example.com As your constituent, I ask you to vote to stop all filibusters of President Bush’s nominees to the federal courts. I ask specifically that you support the nominations of Janice Rogers Brown and Priscilla Owen. These two women deserve to serve on the federal bench. Terry Vogel
Subject: THE RENEGADE SENATORS From: Phyllis Stuart (email address omitted from this posting) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Dear Senator Frist, Thank you for your solid support of President Bush. I have been a frustrated Republican for about 40 years, and thought that finally we had an opportunity to see our values represented. So, now, I have to say that I feel extremely disappointed and even somewhat betrayed. Please continue to do everything in your power to thwart those renegade, self-serving so-called "moderate" Republicans. I hope desperately that I have misunderstood the actions of these senators, but if my understanding is correct, I can only ask you: PLEASE DO NOT GIVE UP. PLEASE CONTINUE TO FIGHT FOR THE PRESIDENT, AND FOR THOSE OF US WHO BELIEVE THIS COUNTRY'S BEST DAYS COULD STILL BE AHEAD, IF THE RIGHT CHOICES ARE MADE NOW. Sincerely, Phyllis Stuart
The Honorable Governor Jodi Rell
210 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106-1535
Dear Governor Rell: My partner and I have been together nearly 16 years. Whether we actually do marry, or not, is not as important as being in a class of people considered worthy, acceptable for who we are, recognized eye to eye with nothing held back from us. Please try to understand our very real sense of being underclass so long as the civil right to marry the one person we love is denied. Making “civil unions” available, even if attempts are made to extend all the marriage rights heterosexual couples enjoy, is not acceptable. Being required to eat in the kitchen rather than the dining room establishes two classes. Besides that, having access to civil unions would amount to a virtual dead end so far as legislation is concerned. Legislators and the public would be of the mind: “We’ve taken care of them, now let’s get on with our work,” and it would take years to get equal marriage rights on the calendar again. I am aware that you have spoken out against equal rights for same-sex couples. When you pledge allegiance to the US flag and uphold the US Constitution remember that quite a group of law-abiding and country-loving citizens are waiting--albeit impatiently--for a new day. It’s time to put away your fears and do what you can in the name of “liberty and justice for all.” Sincerely, and with hope, Dorothy J. Many Windsor, CT Thank you.
Gay-marriage foes are defending a long-held notion: Intolerance Allowing gay unions will strengthen society, not weaken it - Date published: 2/15/2005 VIRGINIA’S proposed marriage amendment is an attempt to short-circuit the debate about marriage equality and America’s growing acceptance and understanding of gays and lesbians. This amendment affects the lives of real human beings. The 2000 census found gay couples in every county of every state in this country. They are your family members, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and fellow Americans. Most of them are fine, decent, hard-working citizens who are trying to make the American dream work for them. They deserve to be treated with dignity and respect, and their relationships deserve the same support as heterosexuals’. The need for love and companionship is common to all humanity, including gays. This amendment will not stop gays from forming long-term relationships. Denying marriage equality will prevent them only from protecting and caring for their families. What kind of moral value is that?
This From Indiana
V-Day marriages won’t occur for everyone Date published: 2/10/2005 It’s almost Valentine's Day, and the news is carrying stories of love and marriage proposals among heterosexual couples. But let’s not forget the large number of marginalized people who are not able to marry although they are very much in love. And these are very good people, I might add. Why do we single out a group of people to hate? (And I think “hate” is the correct word to use.) I am ashamed of our legislators in Richmond who have spent so much time this session trying to find more and more ways to hurt homosexual people. Why? Shame on this state, where individual freedom is part of our heritage. But then hate is also a part of our heritage, isn’t it? Jane Ellen Kravetz
Stonewalling gay couples Thu, Feb. 10, 2005 Defenders of the marriage amendment to the Indiana Constitution should end the rhetorical charade that their campaign is about protecting marriage. The first section of Senate Joint Resolution 7 defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman. The second section, however, reads: “Indiana law may not be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents of marriage be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups.” It is time now for the resolution’s backers to cease delivering twaddle that this crusade isn’t about gay bashing. Truly, it is now apparent more than ever. The second section attacks homosexual couples by voiding the possibility of civil unions, an acceptable compromise for both sides to consider. Furthermore, the language unreasonably constrains a future, possibly more progressive General Assembly from offering civil unions or legal rights to gay couples, thus clearing the air that is now polluted by the current crop of Hoosier lawmakers. Supporters of the marriage amendment, please delete the second section. This amendment tells gay couples to hide or find a new home because they are not welcome.