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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 13, 2008 at 3:48 PM

Tolerance

Practice what you preach

I chuckled at the hypocrisy of your “Election 2008: Tolerance comes slowly” editorial [Nov. 10]. On one hand, you praise increasing tolerance in America, but on the other hand, you show great intolerance of views that differ from your own.

Do you really want a more tolerant society? Then maybe you need to start modeling it yourself.

— James Woollard, Redmond

People are people

I believe those who spend time attempting to take away our freedom of choice would be better off spending time helping those already walking the Earth who need assistance with living. I am sure they would be very grateful.

The abstinence-only birth-control idea needs to be shelved too. People are animals, supposedly advanced over the ones we go see in the zoo. Unfortunately, not all think before doing or exercise self-control when needed. We are not perfect and never will be.

How would you like your right to practice your religion taken away?

— Daniel Schitkovitz, Kirkland

Where’s the gene?

The difference in our viewpoints lies in the belief of whether homosexuality comes from nature or nurture [“Scar of intolerance mars historic election,” Leonard Pitts Jr., syndicated columnist, Nov. 12]. Pitts says it comes from nature. I believe the truth is somewhere in-between, but more toward nurture. Science has not found a gay gene.

The American Psychological Association (APA) has, over the past 10 years, shifted its viewpoint for explaining homosexuality from mostly biological to one that includes psychological, emotional and social factors.

In 1998, the APA brochure “Answers to Your Questions about Sexual Orientation and Homosexuality” states, “There is considerable recent evidence to suggest that biology, including genetic or inborn hormonal factors, play a significant role in a person’s sexuality.”

The current APA brochure “Answers to Your Questions for a Better Understanding of Sexual Orientation and Homosexuality” states, “There is no consensus among scientists about the exact reasons that an individual develops a heterosexual, bisexual, gay or lesbian orientation. Although much research has examined the possible genetic, hormonal, developmental, social, and cultural influences on sexual orientation, no findings have emerged that permit scientists to conclude that sexual orientation is determined by any particular factor or factors. Many think that nature and nurture both play complex roles.”

Therefore, unless there is conclusive scientific evidence that homosexuality is entirely biological, treating it similar to racial arguments are invalid.

True, prejudice and bigotry are wrong for any reason.

Although I do not condone the behavior, I don’t condemn the person.

— Stephen Brown, Renton

What’s it going to be?

Explain to your daughters why it’s OK to discriminate against gays in America.

That’s a conversation that I hope President-elect Barack Obama never has to have. And he won’t if he’s fighting to end the church-sanctioned hate that once again is spreading across the land. But he can’t have it both ways; either he uses his power to eradicate the toxic mentality that says gays are inferior, or he joins with those who perpetuate it.

How do we rationalize giving a large segment of our society only a second-class citizenship? If I couldn’t explain that to a kid, how could I justify it to myself?

— Marty Zupan, Seattle

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