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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 17, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Referendum 71

Rights for gays needn’t go to public vote

I have read most of the letters to the editor regarding Referendum 71 on your Web site. They absolutely show why unpopular laws must be passed by legislatures that have respectful discussion, hear testimony from people whose daily lives will be affected and listen to differing opinions showing at least two sides to an argument. As most of us remember, the Civil Rights Bill would never have been passed if it had gone to the voters. I believe it was a law that is right and correct and takes into account real people’s lives.

It’s very interesting– and scary as hell — that so many people think there is something to be feared and hated about granting not-quite-equal rights to 10 percent of the U.S. population who are currently not allowed to marry. I am simply unable to understand why there is any concern or question about adults’ abilities to decide if they are ready to marry someone they love and to commit to all the rights and responsibilities represented by that decision.

Please find me someone who can have a civil conversation about what fears are dredged up by the idea of my niece marrying the woman she loves. What on earth difference does it make to John or Jane Q. Public up the street or across town? If it makes a difference, why is that? If it makes some kind of difference, someone needs to find more to keep busy — how about volunteering in a homeless shelter or a food bank?

I don’t really expect to get any positive response from those who have written the hateful and wrongheaded comments online. They have been deluded into thinking this is something on which to expend their energy and attention.

— Barbara Clark-Elliott, Renton

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