April 1, 2013 at 6:04 AM
Civil-rights issues should be resolved on federal level
Bruce Ramsey is wrong [“Supreme Court should let each state decide same-sex marriage,” Opinion, March 27]. Marriage equality is very much a civil-rights issue, and one that needs to be resolved at the federal level.
And it is perfectly reasonable to compare its history with that of slavery or voting rights. Limiting one’s rights due to their sexuality, race, gender or anything that can be attributed to a genetic lotto — each reason is equally wrong.
And to deny marriage rights to gay and lesbians who happen to live in slower-evolving states is not acceptable. We will get this done, nationwide, and every state will be forced to accept the new reality. Bigots will be sued, rightfully, and will learn to hide in the very shadows that the LGBT community has occupied all these cold, dark years.
–Andrew Cleary, Seattle
March 30, 2013 at 6:31 AM
Marriage more sacred when not founded on discrimination
Would you buy gas at a gas station with a sign saying “No Gays Allowed!”
Well, if you had no choice, you would. But if you had the choice between two gas stations, one with the sign and one without, you’d go to the one that doesn’t discriminate. You know you would; you might not be comfortable around gays but you’re not a jerk.
So why is marriage different [“Same-sex marriage cases go to high court,” page one, March 24]?
Why would you want to be part of an institution that says, “No Gays Allowed!”
In the past, my (straight) marriage had to be based on inequality. Our great institution was tainted with that sign. But now we have the choice. Aren’t our (straight) marriages more sacred because they are no longer founded on discrimination?
–Randy Winn, Seattle
March 29, 2013 at 7:05 AM
Spousal rights would not be recognized out of state
Bruce Ramsey advocates that each state should decide whether a gay couple is married or not [“Supreme Court should let each state decide same-sex marriage,” Opinion, March 27]. Thus, a legally married couple from Massachusetts visits Hartford, Conn., where one is hospitalized, and the spouse cannot visit or be involved [in medical decisions]. Very critical spousal rights are taken away.
Inheritance, taxes, health care, visitation rights, etc., are seriously affected by the marital status of a couple. Clearly, this issue should not be left to a hodgepodge of local decisions by state legislators anymore than states should decide their own international borders.
–Charles S. Hoff, Redmond
Marriage equality is urgent
As a 61 year-old kid, I am surprised by the euphoria I feel about the upcoming wedding to my partner of 14 years. As our service begins, we will have a moment of silence to remember our parents who did not live long enough to see their daughters get married.
So please, do not suggest there is no urgency to grant marriage equality to all citizens of all 50 States.
–Gayle Brenchley, Mount Vernon
We shouldn’t just let it ‘play out’
While Bruce Ramsey is content to let same-sex marriage “play out,” 37,000 kids in California can’t have their parents get married.
Hundreds of thousands of American citizens across the country aren’t free to marry the person they love, because we should “let it play out.”
In 1967, should the Supreme Court have let interracial marriage “play out?” Where would our society be if they had decided that “expanding marriage [was] up to the states?” Alabama only removed its interracial ban in 2000. Is that really the right way to handle the fundamental rights of human beings?
Who are we to decide whom gets to marry whom? Since when did it become a legitimate right of the states to say who could have fundamental rights and who couldn’t? Are we to abandon same-sex couples in states such as Mississippi, where a same-sex ballot initiative isn’t projected to pass for decades?
These are the questions I have for Mr. Ramsey, who, as far as I know, didn’t have to ask voters for approval of his marriage. I wish he would consider that before declaring that fate for couples with love as real as his.
–Ben Lennon, Seattle
March 27, 2013 at 5:29 PM
Court not moving fast enough
The U.S. Supreme Court justices questioned that the issue of legalizing same-sex marriages may be moving too fast [“Buyer’s remorse on gay-marriage case?” page one, March 27]. Justice Anthony Kennedy expressed that we only have the experience of a handful of years of legal gay marriages in a handful of states to compare to thousands of years of history of traditional marriage.
I am a gay man in my 50s and my partner and I have been together for over 16 years. This issue isn’t moving too fast for us! Are we supposed to wait for another generation until there are fewer people who are uncomfortable with our relationship? Where is the concept of equal justice under the law? Is there an asterisk to this that says “unless the issue is unpopular”? We may not live long enough to see that day — literally.
Justice Elena Kagan finally asked the important question of how does opening marriage to same-sex couples hurt the institution of marriage? “How does this cause-and-effect work?” she asked. We have yet to hear a reasonable answer.
–Travis Penn, Seattle
March 21, 2013 at 3:42 PM
Problem is significant
In theory. the Obama administration is supposed to look out for the welfare of United States citizens. The watchword here is “theory.” It seems the Obama administration is much more concerned with the “rights” of illegal immigrants to vote in U.S. elections than protecting the rights of U.S. citizens [“Arizona’s voter-registration hurdle to get high-court review this week,” page one, March 18].
Could it be that the Democrats assume a voter percentage of around 90 percent in the illegal voting blocks? Rather than fixing the situation, the Obama administration seems bent on promulgating it.
Statistics are quoted where the problem of illegal voting is minuscule. In Colorado, only 141 or Florida only 207 illegal immigrants were found voting. Does anyone remember Rossi vs. Gregoire in 2004? Gregoire “won” by 133 votes after two “recounts.” I wonder how many illegal immigrants voted in that election?
Don’t think this is a small problem and doesn’t matter, people. Because it does.
–Denny Andrews, Bellevue
May 4, 2009 at 4:00 PM
Point of amendment is free expression everywhere
While it is easy to sympathize with Joyce Lashua’s distaste for language she finds offensive, her opinion indicates that she agrees with the concept of free speech so long as it is not distasteful or offensive to her ["Free speech: offensive language," Opinion, Northwest Voices, May 4]. She generously grants that people may speak freely in their homes with their friends and with those who hold the same views.
Freedom of speech as guaranteed in the First Amendment would hardly have warranted passage if the concept was restricted to one’s home or among like-minded people. It is for the very fact that some words and expressions of ideas and speech might be offensive to some — even the majority, and therefore might become a target for restriction — that the amendment exists.
The editorial had it right — the Supreme Court … er, flubbed.
– Lawrence Sciortino, Seattle
May 3, 2009 at 4:49 PM
Offensive language infringes on others’ freedom
I would like to disagree with The Times’ April 30 editorial ["Supreme Court flubs First Amendment case," Opinion]. While I agree with freedom of speech, I see it more as having the freedom to disagree with other people, laws, policies, etc.
In my opinion, freedom implies responsibility. If my freedom impinges on your freedom, there is something wrong with my concept of freedom. In the case of word choice, you are certainly free to use any words you want in your own home, with your group of friends and with those who hold the same views.
However, if your use of vulgar language offends a large block of people who consider it obscene and don’t like to hear such vulgarities, what have you done to their freedom? Where is the basic respect and responsibility that should be inherent in freedom?
– Joyce Lashua, Mukilteo
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