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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

May 28, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Gay-marriage ban upheld

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Same-sex couple Shawn Higgins, right, and his partner Robert Franco embrace as they stand on Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco following the California Supreme Court’s 6-1 decision to uphold Proposition 8, which makes it illegal for same-sex couples to marry in California.

Ruling is government-sponsored discrimination

Editor, The Times:

Tuesday, for the first time in the history of this country, the justices of the California Supreme Court publicly endorsed discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation as legal and constitutional [“California ruling stings gay-marriage backers,” page one, May 27], and they should be ashamed to look their children in the eyes when they go home.

A founding principle of this country was once that every man and woman had the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, no matter what path, lifestyle or religion they followed toward that goal. The fact that a slim majority of prejudiced voters from the so-called moral majority decide that labeling the LGBT community as “abominations” makes it all right to strip them of their rights does not make it legal or right.

I am a heterosexual 47-year-old man who will proudly stand side-by-side with the LGBT community to fight for its rights, because when one group of people can be devalued and dehumanized, then eventually we can all be.

To President Obama, “agent of change”: Are we all still equal in the eyes of the law or not, and do you intend to tolerate government-sponsored discrimination?

We need change now.

— Skot Pierson, Seattle

Which rights will be stripped next?

On May 15, 2008, the California Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples had a constitutionally protected right to be legally married. One year later, the same court allowed to stand an initiative that stripped same-sex couples of this constitutionally protected right.

Now that the court has decreed that a simple majority can eliminate constitutionally protected rights, who will be next? Should the people of California reverse Loving v. Virginia and declare that marriage may exist only between people of the same race? Or maybe return to the days when Latinos where prohibited from owning property in the state? Might they establish a state religion and make it a criminal action to worship in any fashion other than what is allowed by law?

The door has been opened. Are we prepared for what will inevitably walk through next?

— Gregory Gadow, Seattle

Europe walks America’s talk

Musing over the latest triumph in the apparently endless efforts of Americans to deny equal rights to other Americans, I wonder how it is that Europeans, with centuries of authoritarian rule in their histories, walk the American talk so much more easily than we do.

— John Medlin, Seattle

All families deserve equal rights

I refuse to sign Referendum 71. As a lesbian and a friend to other homosexuals, I believe it is vital that we keep the rights given through the 2009 Domestic Partnership Bill.

My heterosexual parents are against this referendum as well.

They taught me to be accepting of all people long before I came out to myself. My mother’s best friend has a longtime partner and children. I spent a significant time with her family as well as with the families of my parent’s heterosexual friends throughout my childhood. From my experience, there is nothing extremely different between them.

My parents and my homosexual and heterosexual friends have been wonderful examples of families. It is very important to me for all of us to be equal. I grew up knowing no other way.

— Emily McDade, Seattle

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