The president's evolution | May 11, editorial
On the side of love and justice
I applaud President Obama's bold decision to come out openly in support of same-gender marriage. In a society where religious and political forces are consistently allied against the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, our president has affirmed the inherent worth and dignity of every person by standing on the side of love, justice and equality.
We live in a country that is dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal; that all people have certain inalienable rights that cannot be taken away from them, including the pursuit of happiness; and that in the eyes of the law all are equal. We should continue our proud national tradition of expanding equality and fairness through our laws, not creating second-class citizenship.
We'd all be better off if our society just encouraged loving relationships, whether between male and female, male and male, or female and female. It shouldn't matter whom we love or how we love, but that we love.
The Rev. Abhi Janamanchi, Unitarian Universalists of Clearwater
Let the states decide
I couldn't care less if President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden or Education Secretary Arne Duncan endorse homosexuals living together. Notice I didn't say marry. The dictionary describes marriage to be between a male and female. The Bible, both New and Old Testament, do the same.
I wasn't surprised that your paper endorsed Obama's statement. You endorse most everything he or the left say. This matter is a matter for all states to decide.
Bill Moudy, Temple Terrace
Move on to pressing issues
My marriage is none of your business. Your marriage is none of my business. It's high time that we move on and deal with the really important issues facing our state and our country. Two people in love who are committed to each other should be able to get married. Period. Next question.
Gary Gibbons, Tampa
What about polygamy?
In regard to the paper's obsession about gay marriage, I have no problem with your opinion. After all I have relatives who are gay, and they are very good people. The problem I have is the consequence. So gays can get married; what about the other lifestyles? You have members of Islam and even some Mormons and other religions who are allowed to have more than one spouse. I don't hear the media defending their rights.
That is, of course, the big problem of liberals. They think mostly with passion rather than reason, which leads me to think of the cliche "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."
Peter Stathis, Spring Hill
Force it? A bunch of rubbish | May 10, letter
Facts support recycling
Joe Baker is right to suggest we get the facts before rushing to judgment about curbside recycling in St. Petersburg. Unfortunately, his own claims are shallow, dated and misleading. How does calling those who desire better collection service "tree huggers" move us forward?
Ironically, it was former Mayor Rick Baker who suggested planting trees to offset the carbon impact should curbside recycling be implemented. Trouble is, both Rick Baker and Joe Baker fail to understand that the global ecological benefits of such programs far outweigh their ecological costs (regardless of tree planting). Similarly, Joe Baker mentions only the worst of single-stream recycling performance, ignoring nearby facilities that fare much better as well as current standards in the industry.
How long can St. Petersburg officials hang on to the belief that their outdated program is best while the vast majority of professionals, scientists and policymakers show otherwise?
Andy Fairbanks, Tampa
Mr. Romney's 'prank'
Look past the smile
I do not believe anyone in the current political tide can dissemble like Mr. Romney. Laughing as he admits that he engaged in some "school pranks" while having no recall of leading a mob (described as like The Lord of Flies by one fellow student) in the attack on a young man who did not fit his standard of worthiness I find to be frightening. He was 18 years old, not a child playing in a sandbox. Everyone present at the event has said it is burned into their memory, it was so violent. (It could result in a felony prosecution today, ala the Florida A&M hazing case.) This is a person who wants to be the most powerful human being on our planet yet wants us to believe there are just a few unimportant gaps in his memory. If elected, will he forget Putin's telephone number? Wake up, people! Get around the smile pasted to his face and view the real being that exists there.
Arthur N. Eggers, Tampa
Trop rant misfires on facts | May 11
Back at ya, Bosox
What a surprise. Another Boston Red Sox fan trying to talk about the Rays stadium and fan base. If the Rays were not continually beating them and knocking them out of the playoffs, would those chowderheads care? I think Fenway, if you take out the historical factor, is the biggest dump in baseball. It's not even a full-sized field. The weather sucks there and that primer green wall — who would paint anything that color? The Bosox have the most expensive, least productive talent of any team, and I wouldn't let Bobby Valentine cut our grass at our field, let alone manage our team.
Hal Batey, St. Petersburg
Annan warns of civil war in Syria | May 9
Massacre before our eyes
I have a particular interest in Syria, having lived and worked there. I have many dear friends, former co-workers and students there. I realize that Kofi Annan must choose his words carefully; he is the broker of the so-called peace plan that is supposedly in effect. I believe the massacre in Syria became a civil war long ago, though much of the world is afraid to use this term.
When I see the numbers of lives that have been taken, including 23 people whom I called friends, when I see the devastation of the city I called home, Homs, it is more than apparent that there is a civil war taking place, yet the world sits back and allows this to happen. I appreciate all of the work that Mr. Annan and the U.N. peace team has done. Is it enough? No! I urge many to pray and to contact their leaders in Washington. We cannot allow this war to go on another day.
Mark L. Grantham, Gulfport