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Gay marriage on trial

Re “Iowa’s OK of gay marriage could bolster Prop. 8 foes,” April 4

The Times' article regarding the legalization of gay marriage in Iowa is excellent reporting, but it is crucial we remain careful going forward and don't assume that the battle for gay marriage in Iowa has been won.

Although the Iowa Constitution and the courts have made gay marriage possible, I would wager that gay marriage still does not have popular support in Iowa. There is still a risk that gay Iowans could lose their right to gay marriage.

After being legal for six months in California, gay marriage was overturned by the people through Proposition 8.

Gay-marriage activists must remain committed to keeping gay marriage in Iowa and achieving it in other states. This has been a major victory for gay rights, but the battle is far from over.

Branden Lewiston

Indianola, Iowa

So California, which has always prided itself for standing at the forefront of enlightened thinking and the protection of civil rights, now finds itself unable to keep up with Iowa.

Edward Ruttenberg

Rancho Palos Verdes

::

I am a child of Judeo-Christian heritage. However, my brand of religion does not judge a person's merit in the eyes of God based on their sexual orientation. Certainly science has more than adequately proved that sexual orientation is not something we choose.

Separation of church and state is one of the premises on which our nation was founded. Why, then, is there any discussion at all, in any court in our land, over the rights of homosexuals?

Religion is the only reason that I can see for the condemnation of homosexuals in our society, and we need to keep religion out of government.

Barbara Sabo

Hermosa Beach

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The press doesn't get it. Justice doesn't get it. Although the majority of the people like myself are quite sympathetic to the gay cause, we nonetheless voted for Proposition 8.

This is not a moral issue. It is a semantics issue. You cannot change the meaning of words to satisfy your lifestyle.

Two men or two women is not a marriage. It is a pair. So, let's call it a pairage or a union, give them the same rights and get on with our lives.

Chris Bovy

Huntington Beach

::

Why is it that every time the right wing loses a case in court, it invariably blames the defeat on "activist judges"?

The term itself is meaningless. If it is intended to denote jurists who bring their worldviews to their consideration of the issues before them, then by definition every judge who has ever presided is an "activist."

What the right really means is that judges who rule unfavorably to their point of view are "activists."

If you want to read a decision in which the majority unabashedly departed from established legal principles and blatantly ignored the law in order to achieve a desired result, take a look at the most "activist" decision in the history of Supreme Court jurisprudence: Bush vs. Gore.

Jeffrey H. Friedman

Santa Ana

Let the people elect lawmakers

Re “Rod’s Law? Don’t need it,” editorial, April 2

The Times' editorial sidesteps the central issue in the debate over gubernatorial appointments to fill vacant Senate seats -- that these appointments deprive Americans of the right to elect their own senators. Throughout our history, the Constitution has been amended to expand the right to vote. But allowing governors to appoint senators infringes on that right.

Our proposed amendment would ensure that the people of a given state get to choose who will represent them in the U.S. Senate.

This isn't about any one recent appointment, though the circumstances surrounding the recent appointment of senators from Illinois and elsewhere are good examples of why this reform is needed. It's about making sure members of Congress are elected by, and responsive to, the people. Testimony at a recent joint House-Senate hearing on the amendment made clear that leaving a state with one senator for the short period needed to hold a special election would not be a significant problem.

Sen. Russ Feingold

(D-Wis.)

Rep. David Dreier

(R-San Dimas)

Washington

The writers are the leading sponsors of the amendment in the Senate and the House, respectively.

Standing up and saying no

Re “Some gas station owners rebel against state pollution rule,” April 1

Good for James Hosmanek, the San Bernardino Chevron station owner who says he can't and won't obey the Air Resources Board mandate to buy new gas pump nozzles and hoses.

Station owners face the ultimate Catch-22 as they try to comply with new regulations for gas pump nozzles: the equipment is unaffordable. What was wrong with the old vapor-recovery nozzles? Government says "it is so" and regardless of consequence or cost, another rule or regulation becomes law. Faceless bureaucracies trample over individual rights and freedom, and no one bats an eye.

We have all but forgotten that the American Revolution was a rebellion against just this sort of tyranny. Here is a "revolutionary" idea: What if more people like Hosmanek stopped behaving like sheep and just said no?

Richard Deight

Orange

Treatment for anorexia

Re “Starving for medical help,” April 3

Medi-Cal patients aren't the only ones who have difficulty getting appropriate treatment for anorexia nervosa. Privately insured patients are also denied coverage for specialized care on a regular basis. Genes are responsible for much of the disorder, and 75% of patients who begin treatment in adolescence improve or recover fully. Yet, as poignantly described in The Times, family members often blame patients, and patients blame themselves.

Without treatment, anorexia nervosa kills more people than any other psychiatric disorder. We need to do a better job educating patients and their families, the public and insurance companies. This article was a good start.

Linda Schack MD

Torrance

The writer is the team leader for medical stabilization for patients with eating disorders at Torrance Memorial Medical Center.

What would Muhammad say?

Re “Pakistanis shocked by video of Taliban flogging,” April 4

It is unacceptable that atrocities continue to be committed by the Pakistani Taliban. President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yusaf Raza Gillani must take strong actions against the perpetrators.

It is even more shocking that a religious scholar has endorsed such behavior on national television. It is unfortunate that the Taliban and the mullahs have taken Muslims back to an age of ignorance.

The prophet Muhammad was appointed by God to raise the status of mankind, but the extremists refuse to follow in his footsteps.

Shahina Bashir

Germantown, Md.

The world turns

Re “Too steamy for this soap,” April 2

So the "Guiding Light" has finally dimmed. It debuted the summer I spent most days listening to one soap opera after another, despite my mother's efforts to shoo me outside for some fresh air.

How I dreaded going back to school without knowing what happened to Our Gal Sunday or Helen Trent.

By the next summer, I realized there was life beyond soap operas. But I can still hear the theme songs in my mind.

Marilyn Jensen

La Habra

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