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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 12, 2008 at 3:38 PM

California’s Proposition 8

Thomas James Hurst / The Seattle Times

George Durham, left, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the University District, talks with protesters Sunday in front of his church. The Mormon church backed California’s successful Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriages.

Separate but equal is not equal

Editor, The Times:

The passage of Proposition 8 in California is just a reminder that gays in America are treated as second-class citizens. Bans on gay marriage and gay adoption were passed this election along with all of the other great things that happened. I am just glad there was not a measure on the ballot to round us all up and throw us into camps, because I am sure that would have passed as well.

I am deeply saddened by all of the conservative voters quoting Scripture and using the Bible in defense of marriage. I am of the understanding that we live with a policy based on the separation of church and state. I wonder if they know how ignorant and scared they sound.

I tuned into “The View” on Wednesday morning, and watched an emotional, teary-eyed Sherri Shepherd explain the sheer joy she felt being able to tell her young son, “anything is possible.” I was disappointed only a few days later to see the same woman say, “I am a Christian, and I think marriage is between a man and woman.”

I guess anything is possible, as long it doesn’t involve gays.

I cannot fathom how people dispute the fact that this is a civil-rights issue. Separate but equal is not equal and segregating and separating a group of people from the same rights that everyone has because of the way they were born is wrong.

I keep hearing the phrase “gay agenda” being lobbed about. The only gay agenda there is, if there is one, is to be accepted for who we are and treated equally.

The large preponderance of ethnic and young voters supporting Proposition 8 is even more maddening, because that is the last group I thought would support discrimination. I thought this country was founded on the belief that “all men are created equal,” but maybe it is just the straight ones.

— Steve Jones, Seattle

They deserve it

Does the union between two loving same-sex people equate in nature and benefit to society as that of heterosexual couples? If it does, then opponents of Proposition 8 failed to make that point.

I suppose it comes down to gays wanting to be accepted for who they are. I can understand that.

Time and science have demonstrated the benefits of a traditional marriage.

Doesn’t the diversity of male and female perspectives positively affect how the new generation learns to interact with society? Even in widowhood, the specter of a loving father can be invoked as a model for children to look to.

So why not give heterosexual unions the special status they deserve? If other unions can demonstrate equivalence in nature and benefit to society, they can make the same case for equivalent designation.

Transracial marriage certainly has, although to be fair, no one ever questioned the equivalent nature of this union, only the phony eugenic benefit.

— Mark Richardson, Issaquah

Oh, the irony

The Times’ Monday, Nov. 10, story about a 40-strong mob protesting in front of a Mormon church in the University District left me shocked [“Mormon church targeted for Prop. 8 support,” News].

Here we have a bunch of hate-filled protesters targeting a community of innocent people who couldn’t even vote on California’s Proposition 8, with no clear objective except to harass and intimidate them.

Matthew Wilson, a protest organizer said, “We want to make it very clear to this church that Washington will not accept divisive or discriminatory actions.”

I have a message for Wilson, who organized this “protest.” You are the one acting in a divisive and hurtful manner. Clearly the irony of you harassing innocent people in the name of tolerance is lost on you.

— Christopher Flaat, Redmond

None of us are free

Gregory Turner, thank you for your insight and clear leadership on the issue of same-sex unions from within the faith community [“Gay marriage: Fear and oppression also won at the ballot box,” guest commentary, Nov. 7].

I am a gay white male who has spent a lifetime working to promote diversity. I feel redeemed by the election of President-elect Barack Obama to the highest office in the land. But more work remains. None of us are free until all of us are free.

— Stephen Guy, Seattle

Tax the churches

With the massive entry of churches into politics, it seems time to remove churches from the tax-exempt list.

The Mormon church in Utah sent massive moneys to California to support Proposition 8. The senior bishop in this country is urging pressure on President-elect Obama to change his position on abortion rights.

Better the tax moneys the church escapes go to legitimate government functions instead of support to political arguments.

— C. Wight Reade, Seattle

Comments | More in Politics, State initiatives

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