Topic: gay rights
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July 3, 2013 at 4:30 PM
Florist’s right to choose should be protected
I am writing this letter in regards to the story about the gay couple who was turned away from their favorite florist due to religious beliefs. [“Florist seeks fourth recusal,” NW Friday, June 28.]
What is this country turning into? Yes, what this business has chosen as its morals is not the popular ideals of our ever-changing country, but it is their freedom of choice to do so.
Limitations on choice seems to be the answer for the people of today, people who think it’s their business to find what is wrong with society and pass laws to “fix” the problems. We pay Superior Court judges $148,832 each year in the state of Washington. That is how much we are paying each of these government employees to tell us if what this florist has chosen to do was legally right or wrong.
What would have been a better choice? Perhaps what the couple did do: tell their family and friends, maybe write a review of the business. From reading the story, you can see a huge show of support for the couple. I’m sure one of the many other florists in the area would welcome the couple’s business.
Choice is what defines a person; choosing right or wrong, good or bad, soda or water. What will we become as a country when we take choice out of the equation, if we reach a fork and continue down the path chosen for us by those long dead and gone?
Mickey Myers, Anacortes
July 1, 2013 at 8:00 PM
Pride Parade was a chance to celebrate
On the heels of the historic Supreme Court rulings on the Defense Of Marriage Act and today’s re-institution of marriage equality and licenses for same-sex couples in California, Seattle had its Pride Parade and Festival on Sunday.
This is normally a rather local event, the “overshadowed” end-of-June West Coast Pride occurrence after San Francisco and Los Angeles. It’s also an event that, given my age of 57, I might otherwise say, “Been there, done that.” But not this year.
Though I may not be marching, I’ll definitely be there cheering, screaming and even weeping along with the 750,000 supporters (or more).
I never dreamed that I’d see in my lifetime the day when gay men and women could marry, let alone receive the benefits straight couples receive, at least in this state.
This has been absolutely stunning. The parade will be a party — my party, our party, a party celebrating equality and justice for millions of men and women who otherwise were cast aside and left in the margins because of who they love.
I’m proud to be who I am, a man of many qualities and facets, one which happens to be that I am gay. I’m also more proud to be an American than I have been in years.
Rusty Myers, Seattle
June 29, 2013 at 8:00 AM
Supreme Court must defend equality
In his dissenting opinion in United States v. Windsor, Justice Antonin Scalia laments that, in invalidating the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the Supreme Court has pawned the gift of democracy that the Founding Fathers left us. [“Victories for gay marriage, but still not law of land,” page one, June 27.]
Indeed, Scalia writes so glowingly about the merits of democratic decision-making, and so derisively of the institution in which he sits, one might be tempted to ask him if he doesn’t wonder at times why the Founding Fathers didn’t merely write that the will of the majority will out.
Justice Scalia is well aware that majorities can be capricious, tyrannical and wrong. He just doesn’t think that DOMA is any of these things. He writes, “to defend traditional marriage is not to condemn, demean, or humiliate those that would prefer other arrangements.”
DOMA denied legally married homosexual couples tangible federal monetary and statutory benefits that it granted to legally married heterosexual couples. How can this be anything other than blatant discrimination?
The Founding Fathers left us other gifts in addition to our democracy. They left us a Constitution within which can be found a guarantee for equal protection under the law, and they left us another gift in the Supreme Court’s power to tell us that, no, sometimes the will of the majority does not will out.
Stephen Crotts, Edmonds
Tuesday’s five to four
of race and hate.
it’s a case of
love and marriage
as well as
Five to four
Five to four
At least one side
What a strange elite
decided just by
Kerry Ruffler, Seattle
May 31, 2013 at 6:02 AM
Don’t discriminate based on sexuality or religion
As a heterosexual Cub Scout who never quite made it to a Boy Scout, I congratulate the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) on its vote to allow gay boys to join this commendable organization [“Scouts’ vote on gays met with celebration, sadness,” page one, May 24].
As the proud father of a homosexual woman who recently married her female partner of over 20 years, I look forward to the BSA moving forward to allow responsible homosexual adults to become Scout leaders.
As an unapologetic and ethical atheist, I urge the BSA to allow nonbelievers into their ranks as well. As a private organization, the BSA can do as they please, but discrimination against secular people is just as unjustified as prejudice based on ethnicity, color, or other arbitrary characteristics. We are all human beings.
Stephen Kahn, Langley
May 28, 2013 at 7:39 AM
Allow gay leaders
At the young age of 12, I proudly earned my Eagle Scout medal [“Scouts’ vote on gays met with celebration, sadness,” page one, May 24]. Scouting taught me that even a skinny Asian kid from Moses Lake can reach the highest rank through hard work, public service and merit, and it inspired me to pursue a rewarding career in government and community service.When the Boy Scouts of America first approved its discriminatory policy banning gay Scouts, my first reaction was to return my Eagle Scout medal in protest. However, that would have broken the hearts of my parents, who lovingly supported my dream.
Instead, I challenged the Boy Scouts of America to reverse their policy, and I’m both pleasantly surprised and disappointed by their decision to allow gay Scouts.
While a clear 60 percent of voting members did the right thing to overturn the ban on gays, it’s strategically shortsighted to ban gay Scout leaders. Instead, they should be nurturing and building leadership from within.
It’s a bizarre message that you’re welcome as a young, gay Scout, but you’re not welcome when you become an adult.
Clarence Moriwaki, Bainbridge Island
May 28, 2013 at 7:04 AM
The two should not be separated
I truly believe Thanh Tan in her online blog is trying to be helpful [“Do not exploit gay rights issue to stop immigration reform,” seattletimes.com, May 22]. But this statement undermines her good intentions: “ … now is not the time for any special interest groups to exploit an emotional issue that risks killing the entire legislation.”
This plays into a false separation of the immigrant and gay-rights movements, and ignores the existence of people like me: gay immigrants who have a real stake in being included in immigration reform. I’m not a special-interest group, nor am I trying to exploit issues that the myopic Senate dinosaurs are too craven to factor into their political calculus.
The Seattle Times covered my story here. Characterizing same-sex couples’ inclusion in immigration reform as a special interest diminishes me and my family. To be dismissed by the Senate is one thing, but to read something like this — when we’re still reeling from what this means for our future — makes it worse.
This was a chance for the Gang of Eight to be bold, to not write discrimination into our laws and pass truly comprehensive reform. Now we must rely on Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell to champion LGBT families in the coming weeks.
Otts Bolisay, Seattle
May 23, 2013 at 11:47 AM
Lift the ban
I became an Eagle Scout in 1976. The lessons I learned in scouting about leadership, citizenship and respect for others helped shaped who I am as an adult [“Boy Scout leaders to vote on lifting gay ban, seattletimes.com, May 22].It has been with great dismay that I have seen this contentious issue emerge in scouting. When my son asked me about joining, sadly I could not show genuine enthusiasm for the organization. Explicit policies banning gay scouts and leaders are discriminatory and not something I could endorse as a father, citizen or Eagle Scout.
I sincerely hope that the Boy Scouts will listen and learn from others’ voices. I hope they open their doors to our friends, family members and neighbors who are gay.
An overhaul of the membership policy so that openly gay boys and gay leaders could participate would reaffirm for me that respect for one another remains a core principle of scouting.
Richard Goss, Seattle
May 22, 2013 at 7:31 AM
May 2, 2013 at 7:06 AM
Leave behind those who are unsupportive and move on
I live in Victoria now but I lived for years in Seattle. I legally married my same-sex sweetheart of 34 years 10 years ago in Vancouver, B. C.
I have this thought about florists, churches, businesses, etc., that say they support the person but not the lifestyle: Thank you! Now I know where I will not be spending my gay dollars [“Awful bill re-legalizes anti-gay bias,” NWSunday, April 28].
The issue with flowers or wedding cakes or whatever should not become an angry wedge to self-respecting gay people. We should take our money and our respect and go where we are wanted. Our wedding was one of the sweetest moments of our lives together. I would never want to spoil this beautiful moment by trying to patronize anyone who thought their way of life, their love for each other, or their religious beliefs were superior to ours. Nor would I waste our precious time fighting religious or social bigots.
Leave that church and shake the dust from your boots. To the gay couple, I say, go on and enjoy your wedding with those who want to support you. To the florist, I say, have a good life, without me.
Stephen Robards, Victoria, B.C.
April 30, 2013 at 7:37 AM
Legislation goes against majority opinion
Senate Bill 5927 is a blatant attempt by Republicans to circumvent the will of a majority of Washington state voters and pander to their right-wing base in an attempt to garner more extremist voters for the upcoming midterm elections [“Awful bill re-legalizes anti-gay bias,” NWSunday, April 28].
Having said that, Republicans have a damning track record of ramming through deleterious legislation with little concern for those they hurt in the process.
The proposed bill is asinine and insulting in the extreme and if passed will inflict untold damage on the reputation of the Washington and its people. It would be state-sanctioned discrimination, plain and simple.
I suspect SB 5927 will die this time around due to other pressing concerns, but Republican audacity knows no bounds. It will likely be resurrected next year. Should that happen, I trust more sane and compassionate legislators will do everything in their power to kill this affront to common decency before it sees any more daylight.
The undeniable trend is toward equality. There’s no turning back now.
Ronald Van de Kruvf, Everett
Bible makes no mention of same-sex marriage
It is impossible to quote “Jesus’ teachings” on the issue of same-sex marriage, which is apparently what the florist in Richland believes she is doing [“Awful bill re-legalizes anti-gay bias,” NWSunday, April 28].
I am a Christian who takes his faith very seriously, but anyone familiar with the biblical text can tell you that Jesus never addresses homosexuality at all, and the Bible itself never addresses same-sex marriage. One can find promulgations about homosexuality in the Law of Moses and the writings of the Apostle Paul, but not Jesus. I wish someone would mention this to other Christians, especially my fellow believer in Richland.
Corbin Lambeth, Seattle
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