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Don't put anti-gay discrimination in state Constitution

Pulpit push: no gay nuptials | Sept. 9, story

Don't vote for discrimination

In response to the article on Amendment 2 — the proposed ban on gay marriage — I am ashamed as a Floridian that state churches, their pastors, ministers and members would actively lobby to add discrimination to our state Constitution. Discrimination, in this form, has no place in the Florida Constitution.

Surely, churches and their members are allowed their opinion on this matter, but their false and misleading arguments that gay marriage is a threat to religious institutions and a slippery slope into other more generally agreed upon immoral behavior, is frankly, unfounded.

Allowing gay couples to obtain marriage licenses merely allows them to obtain a license at the clerk of court's office and be married by a justice of the peace if they so choose or by a religious institution that already allows gay marriage. It would not force or threaten any religion that has established rules and laws against gay marriage.

Since gay marriage is not even a religious issue, but a civil one, the issue is clouded and confused by organizations and their supporters who act under the guise of their religion. Gay marriage is about civil rights and state and federal benefits available only to married couples, not about religious rights or sanctity.

I urge Floridians to vote no on Amendment 2, even if merely on principle.

Stacey Kroto, Pinellas Park

Pulpit push: no gay nuptials | Sept. 9, story

Fear and ignorance drive amendment's proponents

I am appalled by the lack of both compassion and biological knowledge possessed by the pushers of this amendment. Love is the greatest force on earth; it is really the essence of what some people call God, and it really does not matter who loves whom or marries whom.

Some of those pushing against gay nuptials are really quite good people — e.g. Terry Kemple, who is trying very hard to be a good person and make up for past digressions. However, the pushers lack knowledge: Homosexuality is not a choice; it is a biological fact that cannot be changed and must be accepted by those who are narrow of mind.

Both sexual attraction and love are healthy emotions, but no one can say to whom another must be attracted. I happen to have been born totally female and have always adored men, which was a streak of good luck because I have never experienced the prejudice and rudeness that women engaged in lesbian love are often subjected to so wrongly.

It is time we accepted the reality of the sexes and stopped discriminating against those who are different from us and in the minority. Those who protest seem to do so from fear, and truly there is nothing to fear except the ignorance of those who protest.

Adele Ida Walter, Tampa

Pulpit push: no gay nuptials | Sept. 9, story

A wider impact

I was deeply disappointed in this story. First of all, whether Amendment 2 passes or not, Florida already has a ban of same-sex marriages.

However, this evil amendment could take away existing benefits from all unmarried Floridians and could force senior citizens to chose between sharing health care and receiving deserved benefits. Amendment 2 could also take away job benefits from government employees as well as employer benefits from companies like Disney and others.

This Amendment 2 is an extremely bad and discriminatory attempt to change our Florida Constitution and should be soundly defeated.

Glenn A. Paul, Indian Rocks Beach

Pulpit push: no gay nuptials | Sept. 9, story

Many prefer tolerance

I'm afraid your Sept. 9 article may leave the false impression that all religious denominations support Amendment 2, the amendment that will enshrine the ban on same-sex marriage into the Florida Constitution.

In fact, there are religious denominations, as well as many individuals of faith, who oppose this offensive amendment. For many of us, tolerance is a key religious principle.

Moreover, even those who may not support same sex marriages should think twice before voting for this amendment. Florida already has a law that defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman. This constitutional amendment will change nothing of substance, but will set a dangerous precedent of using our state Constitution as a symbolic political punching bag.

Elizabeth Strom, Tampa

Do your homework before going to the polls Sept. 9, letter

Platforms mean little

The letter writer's suggestion that voters study the platforms of both parties would only work if you assume that political candidates tell the truth and that the platforms are an actual program.

In fact the platforms are designed, like the candidates' speeches, to cater to the party faithful and promise the voters as much as possible regardless of the ability to deliver. Those platforms mostly end up as just more smoke and mirrors when it comes to actual executive and legislative action.

On economics, for example, the Democrats are more detailed, and less realistic for that reason. It is absurd to believe that the new programs touted by the rest of the platform can be paid for by raising the marginal tax rate for the self-employed to over 65 percent, or by a counterproductive increase in capital gain rates, or by an illusory savings from ending the Iraq war when the candidate supports a substantial increase in the size of the military and a much greater effort in Afghanistan and Pakistan. And there's also supposed to be a substantial middle class tax cut?

The Republican's economic program is less fanciful only because there's less of it. The notion of substantial tax cuts flies in the face of continuing budget deficit projections. None of it will work without massive spending cuts, something neither the platform nor candidate addresses, except for the relatively small "earmarks" portion of the budget.

If one cannot use the party platforms as a checklist for a decision, then the only basis for choosing is to examine the candidates' records and character. Ignore all but the generalities in what they say they will do, and ask yourself: "What have they done, what is their record of accomplishments, what is their character and do I trust them?"

James Klapper, Oldsmar

Under the radar | Sept. 7

Sexed up security

Thanks for once again piquing our prurience with the three-view pictures from "defense contractor" L-3 Communications' "millimeter-wave body scanner." By my count, this is the fifth (and most exposing) time you've chosen to publish these photos.

We're glad L-3 picked a buffed, well-proportioned babe, with ripe belly and B-cup bosom, to be stripped of dignity to "model" this newest bit of "security" technology. Can't wait for the flood of new (and mostly less flattering) images that underpaid TSA staffers will transport to YouTube and MySpace, for another set of cheap, anonymous thrills for the pornophiles among us. And I'll sure sleep better, knowing that the nation's titillation index, at least, has been ratcheted up another notch in our race to the bottom line.

Like all of L-3's other cash cows, this one feeds deeply at the public trough, under the label "defense."

Oh, well. Like they say, sex even sells "security."

Jon McPhee, St. Petersburg

Don't put anti-gay discrimination in state Constitution 09/10/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 16, 2008 2:12pm]
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