Yet another marriage equality letter to the editor

Proponents of equality:  IV

Bigots: III

Scott Bell of Ross writes in response to a reader's complaint that the PG had not delved deeply into the religious history of marriage.  Scott puts that complaint in context:

Ms. Evans is correct that marriage under the umbrella of religion has a long history. She left out the part that marriage among pagans and the nonreligious also enjoys a long and deep past.

The truth is, in our country, the Christians, Jews, the nonreligious, first marriages, seventh marriages, the young, the elderly … everyone is legally able to enter the institution of marriage. Well, everyone but gay people. The reaction from many of those opposing same-sex marriages in this debate would make some kind of sense if Sen. John Eichelberger's law was outlawing heterosexual Christian marriage. You can spin it all you like, but rights of people of faith are in no way under attack here. The rights of gay people to enjoy full citizenship are.

Being Americans all, we know that part of living in a country that values freedom means that we have to share our space with people who live and believe differently than ourselves. I would wager there isn't a gay person anywhere who would question Ms. Evans' right to marry and live her life with her marriage protected under the law. I'm sorry she can't find it in her heart to return the favor.

Scott, I'm not sure people quite realize that America = sharing your space with “others.”  Given the full court press of the past 8 years to convert American into a conservative Christian nation, I'd definitely say that some of us know that while others haven't throw in the towel. 

You do make a good point:  I don't care if. Ms Evans is or plans to get married.  Marry away.  Reap the tax benefits.  Enjoy the rights.  Savor the love, etc.  And I definitely do not care if her church — or any other church — marries me.  Discriminate away (and I mean that with love). 

This is a pretty reasonable letter.  Please consider your own.  Pride month is the perfect time to pen something. 

Speaking of religion, Tony Norman has a column about Newt Gingrich's attempt to replace the word liberal with pagan.

What, exactly is Newt Gingrich talking about when he insists “we are surrounded by paganism”? He's not using the original definition. It's not like there are millions of druids, shamans and followers of Zeus attempting to overthrow America's Judeo-Christian consensus. If his use of paganism is, as I suspect, shorthand for “liberal ungodliness,” is this definition limited to one side of political disputes?

Is Scott Roeder, the man charged with the first-degree murder of late-term abortion provider Dr. George Tiller, a “pagan” in Newt's eyes? Scott Roeder is accused of shooting Dr. Tiller to death in the sanctuary of his church in front of loved ones. If the person responsible for vandalizing a statue of the Virgin Mary in Mt. Lebanon over the weekend is suspected of being hostile to Christianity, what does that make a man who murders another man handing out programs in his own church?

Another fine point.  When I heard about the vandalization, a reporter used the word “tragedy.”  No, it is not a tragedy when a statue is vandalized. It is a shame and certainly a crime.  It is disrespectful and worth investigating the motives.  But the tragedy of yesterday is the death of a state trooper who saved the life of a child.  That's a tragedy which has absolutely nothing to do with politics.  A statue can be replaced, right?  It could even be reconsecrated. Not so much with a human.

This is another fine column.  I can't help but think it a call for gay persons of faith and allies to step forward to ward off the notion that your faith belongs to heterosexuals.


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  • “A local point of view can be had courtesy of Pittsburgh Lesbian Correspondents. Sue and Ledcat keep tabs on all things social and political affecting yinzer gays and beyond. As they say, just being “out' n proud in the Burghosphere.” Their greatest ability is keeping track of the legislation that matters and tallying how votes fall. Reading PLC is a great motivation to get politically active. I never really had the urge to reach out to my elected officials. Who really wants them to touch you back? After reading Sue's work for a few days I actually went out and bought stamps!” page 73 by Christopher Boscy.
    This speaks for itself.

  • “We are firmly convinced that the exclusion of gay and lesbian people from the institution of civil marriage does not substantially further any important governmental objective. The legislature has excluded a historically disfavored class of persons from a supremely important civil institution with out a constitutionally sufficient justification. The is no material fact, genuinely in dispute, that can affect this determination.” ~ the Iowa Supreme Court April 3 , 2009
    Would a ban or refuse to recognize same sex marriages protect anyone?
    A ban on gay marriage would mean:
    • Refusal for visiting spouses in a hospital intensive care unit or restricted visiting hours
    • Refused to make medical decisions for the spouse in emergency situations
    • Refusal of obtaining insurance benefits through spouses employer
    • Refused family leave to care for the spouse during an illness
    • Refused workers compensation or retirement benefits if spouse dies
    • Refused bereavement leave for the death of a spouse.
    • Refused consent to after death examinations for the death of a spouse
    • Refused burial arrangements for the death of a spouse
    • Refusal of inheriting a share of spouse’s estate
    • Refusal of social Security, Medicare and disability for spouse
    • Refused veterans’ and military benefits for spouse
    • Refusal of suing a third person in the event of a wrongful death of spouse
    • Refused stepparent or joint adoptions
    • Refused joint foster care rights
    • Refused equitable division of property in case of divorce
    • Refused spousal or child support
    • Housing discrimination for “families only” zones
    • Refused marital communications privilege
    • Refused crime victims recovery benefits
    How does the rest of society benefit from treating “certain people” in this manner?
    They don’t
    Are marriages of the majority protected by harming and hindering our gay neighbors in this manner?
    They are not.
    Not only does this belittle all of us as individuals but also it insults the very foundations of LIBERTY and JUSTICE that America was founded on.
    I created a PDF hand out that can be downloaded, printed and distributed at will.
    Feel free to redistribute:

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