- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 31, 2003

Gays and marriage

Yesterday’s Page One article “Bush vows no ‘compromise’ on gay ‘marriage’” quotes Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, reacting to President Bush’s comments about sinners and that marriage must be defined as between a man and a woman only:

“While we respect President Bush’s religious views, it is unbecoming of the president of the United States to characterize same-sex couples as ‘sinners,’” Mr. Foreman said. (White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan said Mr. Bush’s “we’re all sinners” comment wasn’t singling out homosexuals.) “It’s also sad that, at a moment in history that cries out for leadership and moral courage, Mr. Bush has instead opted for the divisive, anti-gay politics of the past,” Mr. Foreman said.

I find it ironic that Mr. Foreman would consider the actions of Mr. Bush divisive, when the president is doing just what Mr. Foreman says this country needs now — providing leadership and moral courage. The president is taking the lead for what he believes is morally right. What would be the proper response, Mr. Foreman, to agree with homosexuality and same-sex marriage?

I am thankful Mr. Bush is leading our country.

KEN PAULSEN

Forest Lake, Minn.

Can a “wedding” be a ceremony held for the purpose of joining “this man and … this man” together in holy matrimony?

If I’m going to a “funeral,” someone is dead, not just upset, depressed or bored. If my wife attends a baby shower, someone is expecting a baby, not a FedEx package. When I attend a graduation, someone has qualified to receive a diploma or degree, not a badge for enrolling in classes. If I were Jewish and got an invite to a bar mitzvah, the young man being honored would be 13, not 27. Plus, he would be Jewish, not Muslim.

Are we getting this down? Are further instructions really necessary?

“Marriage” involves two people: One is called a bride, and the other is referred to as a groom. They are, respectively, a woman and a man.

They are not two turtles, two boxwoods, two fifth-graders — or two men.

Additionally, we don’t endorse polygamy; we don’t marry brothers to sisters; we don’t marry dads to daughters; nor are family pets given a “marriage.”

President Bush, being the diplomatic sort he is, was overly solicitous of the nation’s homosexual population (all 2 percent or so) in gently explaining his opposition to same-sex “marriage.” A simple roll of the eyes would have sufficed.

JACK WEBB

Springfield

President Bush alluded to homosexuals as “sinners.” This comment is derogatory. I feel sad and angry that a U.S. president would attack a vulnerable group that is disempowered and can defend itself only with great pain.

Adolescents are particularly vulnerable and are in vital need of support from their families. Suicide rates among homosexual teenagers have risen dramatically in recent years. Healthy families accept and support their members.

Mr. Bush sets a poor example. It is up to us as parents, teachers, the media and other community and political leaders to model respect for all members of our families and communities.

ROBERT E. GRIFFIN

Forty Fort, Pa.

President Bush says marriage is between a man and a woman and that we need to “codify” that. The so-called Defense of Marriage Act, signed into law by President Clinton, already does just that.

What more does he want? For government lawyers to come up with an even stronger way to prevent the vice president’s lesbian daughter from ever getting married?

A heterosexual couple who can marry on a whim in Las Vegas the same day they meet will automatically receive all the legal, tax, governmental, insurance and other benefits and rights that marriage grants to them, while a homosexual couple who have lived together for 30 years, lived in the same home for 25 years, cared for each other through illnesses, comforted each other after the loss of loved ones and shared their entire lives together remain strangers in the eyes of the law. Does our “compassionate” president think this is fair?

Society has a compelling interest in encouraging stable, monogamous relationships between adults. If it’s good when straight couples settle down in permanent, legally sanctioned relationships, why is it bad when homosexual couples do likewise?

ALAN L. LIGHT

Iowa City

In defense of Sen. Edwards

I am a great fan of The Washington Times. I look forward to reading it daily. As near to perfection as The Times is, I must say I am disappointed in yesterday’s article “Edwards is 4 months late on taxes,” which appeared on, of all places, your front page.

I am no fan of Sen. John Edwards, North Carolina Democrat, but his being four to five months late on his District property tax bill doesn’t seem to warrant such a high-profile position in an otherwise gleaming publication.

The report doesn’t mention whether Mr. Edwards is carrying a mortgage on his Georgetown home.

If he carries a mortgage, the mortgage company should have paid the tax bill from any money Mr. Edwards put in escrow when he closed on the home. Given my experience in purchasing homes, I think it is very likely that the mortgage company would be at fault in this instance. My mortgage company did that to me twice in two years. The fact that this point is not mentioned makes me wonder if the issue was investigated or if this was designed to embarrass Mr. Edwards.

If he doesn’t carry a mortgage, then you have a point, and I wish it had been mentioned in the article, although I still don’t believe it warrants front-page coverage.

Additionally, the fact that, as you report, he drives 5-year-old cars, and they are not $50,000 cars, says a lot about a man who could drive any car he chooses.

I can’t speak to his tax bills at home, but a man like that has problems with either his mortgage company or his accountant. One or both should both be fired to eliminate the possibility of such embarrassing financial matters appearing on the front page of any newspaper in the future.

DAVID KEELAN

Ellicott City, Md.

Name-calling not effective argument

I found Jack Kelly’s intensely bigoted remarks in “A different picture” (Commentary, yesterday), as well as your paper’s decision to publish those thoughts, appalling.

When Mr. Kelly writes, “The North Vietnamese and their Viet Cong allies were bright, skilled, resourceful, well-led, and very brave. In Iraq, we’re fighting Arabs,” he blatantly implies that, unlike the North Vietnamese, all Arabs (not just Saddam Hussein’s repressive regime) are idiotic, unskilled, lazy, inept and cowardly. To allow space to this type of vile rhetoric serves no purpose other than to further enhance the “us against them” mentality that feeds much of the anti-American sentiment pervading the Arab world.

Although you may defend yourselves by saying that Mr. Kelly’s views don’t necessarily reflect the views of your company, by choosing to print his overtly racist views you have aligned yourselves as part of the problem rather than part of the solution.

ROBERT PETKEWICH

Westminster, Mass.

Yesterday’s Commentary column by Jack Kelly says, “The North Vietnamese and their Viet Cong allies were bright, skilled, resourceful, well-led, and very brave. In Iraq, we’re fighting Arabs.”

While it’s true that the Iraq conflict differs greatly from the Vietnam conflict, the paragraph above is reminiscent of the inaccurate, bigoted comments made about the Viet Cong early in that conflict. September 11 established the human “resourcefulness” of the Arabs as they turned our tools of mass transit into their weapons of mass destruction.

Merely berating the enemy is not effective critical thought.

JOHN KEVIN FABIANI

Alameda, Calif.


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