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.