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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 18, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Gays’ privacy

Double standard evident in gay-privacy, public-record debate

I want to applaud Philip Irvin [“Showdown over gays’ privacy vs. public rights,” NWWednesday, June 17] for his pursuit of doing the right thing in this era of politically correct agendas.

There are probably many individuals who are taking exception to his endeavors, but I am not one of them. For weeks, all we have been hearing or reading about is the gay and lesbian communities’ tactics to “out” those individuals who sign the Referendum 71 petition [“Group wants to name names,” NWTuesday, June 2], but now it’s offensive to them and an invasion of their privacy when the shoe happens to fit on the other foot.

Is there some type of one-sided argument in this equation, or is the reciprocity factor now appearing to level the playing field and the gay and lesbian community may be uncomfortable because Irvin has exercised his legitimate right for equal treatment?

Seattle City Attorney Tom Carr is absolutely correct that use of public funds, facilities and resources constitutes the requirement and necessity for public disclosure of those who use or benefit from public assets. As the story stated, Carr “would prefer not to disclose the names of meeting attendees,” but state law is very clear.

I must also agree that multiculturalism is not an adverse issue. I promote cultural diversity, to a point, when it’s clearly a cultural issue. Cultural diversity and “lifestyle” choices are entirely detached from one another. One is part of your lineage and heritage, the other is a personal choice. But it would seem that certain groups and individuals would equate one with the other and that with enough rhetoric, the distinction between cultural diversity and lifestyle diversity would somehow magically disappear.

— Ric Thomas, East Snohomish County

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