- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 17, 2005

Defending voting rights and marriage

I seem to be the poster lady for the rally events that took place in Annapolis Jan. 27 and March 10. For the second time, a picture of me, with my hands in the air, praising God, was part of the Metropolitan section (” ‘Marriage’ foes demonstrate,” March 11).

We are not ” ‘marriage’ foes.” We are defenders of marriage as it is traditionally known between one man and one woman. Marriage does not need to be redefined in order for homosexual couples to have civil rights. Rather than let the courts redefine marriage against the will of Maryland voters, we are asking the General Assembly to pass an amendment that gives Marylanders the opportunity to vote and decide this issue. After such a vote, marriage will either be defined, as it is currently, in Maryland law as between one man and one woman, or the definition of marriage in Maryland law will be reconfigured to include same-sex unions.

Elected officials who say “Let the courts decide” are denying all of us, regardless of our sexual orientation, the right to vote. What do homosexuals fear? They should want to vote also.

The civil rights march of 40 years ago was led by Martin Luther King from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., to excercise the civil right to vote for the black citizens of this country. A few days later, the law was signed. Now we are being asked to “let the judges decide.” That’s not what the law says. It says qualified citizens have the right to vote.

Friday’s story quoted a same-sex couple inside the House of Delegates as saying, “Once again, they are out there attacking who we are fundamentally, and here we are asking again politely for these rights.”

Quoting this individual, who probably did not hear one word that was spoken at this rally, misrepresented the spirit and intention of the entire rally. I must ask that the Associated Press reporter who wrote this story talk to me and the other participants seen in the photo.

CAROL PINTO

Baltimore

Got ‘organic’ milk?

If industrial factory farms have their way, the organic label might become obsolete (“Dispute over organic milk rages,” Web site, Tuesday).

These mega-farms are attempting to sidestep regulations and label their items “organic” while maintaining their inhumane production methods.

When consumers purchase organic foods, they presume they are financially backing farms where animals are allowed outdoor access, which isn’t the case if the organic regulations have been ignored.

If these factory farms are successful, they not only will codify their already atrocious treatment of animals under the guise of an organic label, but they also will mislead humane-minded customers into buying their products.

JOSH BALK

Outreach coordinator

Factory farming campaign

Humane Society of the United States

Washington

Sherman no terrorist

Wesley Pruden’s column “Playing Ping-pong with Condi Rice” (Pruden on Politics, Tuesday) included the following: “Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, the infamous terrorist dispatched by Lincoln to burn Georgia.”

Mr. Pruden is an excellent editor and runs what is arguably the best newspaper in the United States; however, he should apologize to his readers for besmirching the honor of a fine American officer and hero who carried out the directives of his commander with both efficiency and dignity.

I would invite Mr. Pruden to read more about Sherman and the Civil War at his local library. Especially today, using the term “terrorist” to describe one of our nation’s greatest generals is obscene.

PHILIP FORSBERG

Kennesaw, Ga.

Turkey, Cyprus and recognition

Arnaud de Borchgrave’s column “Cold Turkey” (Commentary, March 8) misses the point on Cyprus when it claims that “Turkey’s bid to join the European Union has also lost momentum over Ankara’s reluctance to recognize Cyprus.”

Turkey, while committing itself to signing the Additional Protocol to the Ankara Agreement to cover the 10 new members of the European Union, which includes “Cyprus,” at the summit of Dec. 17, in Brussels, made it clear that this does not constitute recognition of the “Republic of Cyprus.” Similar statements were made on that occasion by the EU president, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Jan Peter Balkenende and other officials.

The Greek Cypriot side, whichhasundermined prospects for an early solution of the Cyprus question by decisively rejecting the U.N. settlement plan in the referenda of April 2004, is trying to use the issue of recognition as a means of securing political concessions from the Turkish side.

Recognizing the Greek Cypriot side under the title of the Republic of Cyprus would not only amount to rewarding Greek Cypriot intransigence, but also would leave the Turkish Cypriots without the security guarantee of Turkey — a guarantor under the 1960 agreements — both of which are vital for our existence. Under those agreements, Turkey is treaty-bound to protect the physical security as well as equal political status of the Turkish Cypriots, which is what she is doing (not “occupying” Cyprus, as claimed).

Notwithstanding the above, Turkey has stated at the highest level that it is prepared to recognize a united Cyprus once such unity is achieved through a negotiated settlement. The onus is on the Greek Cypriot side to show the necessary good will by returning to the negotiating table so such a settlement can be achieved.

OSMAN ERTUG

Representative

Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus

Washington

Pushing for more research

Reading Michael Fumento’s column “Diabetes lobby astray” (Commentary, Sunday), one might think scientists are opposed to making progress against humankind’s worst diseases.

Mr. Fumento attempts to discredit the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research (CAMR) by saying that it ignores evidence and blindly promotes embryonic stem cell research.

The fact is that CAMR is made up of some of the nation’s very best universities and research organizations. The researchers who work for our member organizations have dedicated their lives to uncovering the mysteries of biology and disease. We recognize the potential of adult stem cells but are certain there is much to be gained from embryonic stem cell research as well.

It is true, as Mr. Fumento writes, that we have many treatments from adult stem cells and none yet from embryonic stem cells. However, adult stem cells have been studied for decades, whereas human embryonic stem cells were discovered just in 1998.

This area of research is only beginning, and we believe it deserves our nation’s committed support. Mr. Fumento is welcome to oppose embryonic stem cell research, but it seems unfair for him to misrepresent this research and malign its supporters.

DANIEL PERRY

President

Coalition for the Advancement

of Medical Research (CAMR)

Washington

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide