- The Washington Times - Friday, February 13, 2004

Union of confusion

TheMassachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has ruled that homosexual couples have a right to “marry” (“Court approves homosexual “marriage,” Page 1, Feb. 5). This is supposed to remedy discrimination caused by marriage. Examples of unfair marriage discrimination were well-documented by homosexual couples. It permeates our society; it has significant financial implications. The problem is that same-sex couples are fighting only for themselves, but this discrimination clearly doesn’t affect only homosexual couples.

This decision simply ignores that adverse consequences exist and pretends this discrimination is only about sexual preference. This is hardly a remedy to what the court says is a serious discrimination problem. Thus, single for life means discriminated against for life — and the court is favoring homosexual couples over singles.

ANTHONY J. LANNUTTI

Honolulu

In today’s so-called morally pluralistic society, it is a fair question to ask why people are at best somewhat ambivalent about the seemingly imminent prospect of homosexual “marriages.”

It is naive to contend that this is mostly the stance taken by ignorant people who hate homosexuals. It is intellectually dishonest to seek to alienate sincere dissenters by calling them names or branding their point of view offensive and repulsively archaic. This culturally intimidated constituency is composed of honest people who do not hate homosexuals but are opposed to homosexual behavior as a matter of conscience.

Their perspective is rooted in values motivated by both secular and religious considerations, and they are faced with two equally unsavory options: They can continue to believe in their convictions and tolerate homosexuality as one of the many ills with which we have to live in this imperfect society, or they can renounce their long-held moral convictions and be forced to endorse homosexual unions as simply one among several morally acceptable alternatives to marriage.

By seeking the legalization of same-sex “marriage,” however, the homosexual community is not asking people merely to tolerate their personal inclinations while retaining the option to oppose what they believe to be morally abhorrent practice. Rather, it is insisting that they obey the rule of law by recognizing and eventually encouraging homosexuality as an acceptable form of behavior.

In pursuing this venue, the homosexual community is trusting in the erroneous assumption that political action without the consent of the free majority is a fail-safe catalyst to cultural acceptance. When this majority is forced to abide by such laws, without being given the option to choose whether they are beneficial to the common interests of all citizens, their freedom is, in effect, trampled by judicial tyranny.

My question to the homosexual community is: Will the trampling of the conscientious objections of others be the manner in which you choose to extol the virtue of tolerance?

MIGUEL A. GUANIPA

Whitinsville, Mass.

What arrogance drives the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court to shred the most fundamental constitutional rights of its fellow citizens for a half-baked notion of justice that has no basis in law or nature? If Gov. Mitt Romney and the Massachusetts legislature roll over for this outrage, they will soil the memory of thousands of patriots who surrendered everything but their honor to give the people of Massachusetts a voice in the way they are governed.

W.M. GROGAN

Richmond, Va.

Belarus isn’t dreaming

Tod Lindberg’s Op-Ed column “Democratic dreams” (Tuesday) proves that the author’s democratic dreams have been borrowed from the revolutionary past of the 20th century. Also, “good” Sen. John McCain decided to go to Riga, Latvia, to enlighten the world on “bad” Belarus and the advantages of Atlantic democracies. The reader is again intimidated by Belarus’ actions supposedly threatening NATO and the European Union.

A truly independent and objective journalist would never call Belarus an authoritarian state. Mr. Lindberg’s intolerance toward Belarus can be explained by scant knowledge of our country and superficial understanding of events. According to Mr. Lindberg, life in Belarus has been reduced to confrontation between authorities and opposition.

The reality on the ground is different: There are authorities, and there is no opposition. That’s not because authorities do not want opposition, but because the opposition has long been on the margin of all processes, having proudly rejected participation in the parliamentary elections in 2000. Civil-society structures also have been developing without the opposition’s participation. Opposition figures focus their attention on negative attitudes toward the country and authorities, while the people of Belarus understand that black is not the only color in the palette.

Belarus has indisputable achievements in its economy, technology, science, culture and sports, and the international community is aware of these. Belarusian authorities have not tolerated the liberal economic terror spreading crime and stagnation in neighboring states. Belarus is advancing steadily from a planned to a market economy. This period of transition requires strong power and calculated actions.

Mr. Lindberg, unfortunately, fails to explain why formerly communist Eastern and Central European states must build liberal democracy from the ground up while Western European nations enjoy its other manifestations.

We are willing to present alternative views. Belarusian authorities requested participation in the Riga conference and were surprised by the organizers’ rejection.

Belarus is developing its national identity and is building a nation whose ideology will never be hostile toward the outside world. The young Belarusian democracy will be grateful to Mr. McCain, not for discussing the advantages of Atlantic democracies, but for his support to the fundamental principles of nations’ international behavior, including equality, mutual respect and cooperation.

MIKHAIL KHVOSTOV

Ambassador

Embassy of the Republic of Belarus

Washington

The reality of intelligence failures

The grotesque silliness of investigating our intelligence services for failures in Iraq is clearly illustrated by a brief look at history (“Probe to go beyond Iraq war,” Page 1, Feb. 2). All wars are declared on faulty intelligence, period. Every war in which America has been involved has been based at least in part on faulty intelligence, because intelligence, by its very nature, is always faulty. The Spanish-American War, which ended the 500-year-old tyranny of the Spanish Empire, was entered into because of faulty intelligence, and good thing it was.

Intelligence is faulty, in the first place, because it attempts to predict what people and nations will do, and no one can know that. Faulty intelligence is what nations use as public relations to justify doing what they want to do anyway. You can’t hold national policy hostage to any kind of intelligence. That is the tail wagging the dog.

Let Congress and the president go back to what they are supposed to be doing, promoting the national interest, and let our intelligence services continue to be as faulty as the nature of the job makes them. If the president had not had this “faulty Iraqi intelligence” and used it skillfully in the court of public opinion, there is no way Congress or the United Nations ever would have authorized this needed and just Iraq war, and the world and America would have been the worse for it.

All our great presidents have used faulty intelligence to make the public case for doing what needed to be done in the national interest, and thank God they did.

ROBERT SHARP

Executive director

Leadership Forum Coalition

Vienna

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