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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 17, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Same-sex unions

An infringement on marriage tradition

I do not wholeheartedly support the Democratic or Republican parties. Not just Republicans have an issue with the cause of homosexual marriage [“Why would the GOP rail against a law that fosters stable families?” Opinion, Lance Dickie column, May 15].

This whole issue is aggravating to me, and not because I am a Christian, a Jew or a Muslim. To me, marriage is a tradition of heterosexual human beings. Why is it OK to forcibly alter someone’s tradition?

I do not think it would be right to impinge on a Chinese tradition, a Muslim tradition or an African-American tradition just because the tradition does not fit my wants and needs but is attractive to me. That would be ludicrous!

Marriage is a tradition that just happens to be supported by legal rights. Traditions are sometimes ancient, and important to those who establish them.

Traditions are not discriminatory in the fashion that some people are trying to pervert the stance of those who want to preserve them. To call people who value an important tradition “haters” or “bigots” is a bullying tactic and they should be ashamed of themselves for it. Granted there definitely are haters and bigots who oppose gay marriage. I am not one of them no matter how you try to twist it.

I know my own heart and my heart says I couldn’t care less what legal rights gay couples or anyone else strive to obtain, but I do care that because someone covets one of my extremely valuable traditions, they think they should have the right to forcibly alter it.

Establish your own traditions and with them, the laws to support them if need be. However, it would really be nice if you would keep your hands off mine.

— Becky Balch, Arlington

Crumbling foundations of family and society

Marriage is the open commitment of spouses to one another, to their society and, for many, to their creator. What they commit to is the care and protection of each other and the care, protection, guidance, good behavior and education of their offspring.

The family is the basic building-block of society. In contrast, cohabitation mentioned in The Times [“Out-of-wedlock births near 40%,” News, May 14] as the growing norm is written on the wind. Gays and lesbians understand this and are fighting for the right to marry.

It is no accident that those suffering the misfortune out-of-wedlock birth are greatly overrepresented in prisons and as dependents on need-based welfare programs. They are disproportionately underachievers in our educational systems. We and our politicians delude ourselves in pretending the welfare state can replace the family as the foundation of society. In recent decades, as the family has eroded, we have poured fortunes into schools, all manner of welfare programs and prisons. We have and will continue to have nothing to show for it.

As the foundation of family crumbles, so must the society upon which it rests.

— Bruce Hand, Medina

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