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Mailbag: Columnist took my position on gay marriage out of context

Columnist took my position on gay marriage out of context

In response to Barbara Venezia's column suggesting that I'm homophobic: Her statement is unfounded and false. I have never met Venezia or Steven Pawliczek, but I guess from my op-ed piece three years ago they feel qualified to label me at their will.

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My article in April 2013 was in response to Jim Gray's column on gay marriage. I stated that every person, including LGBT, is entitled to cohabitate as they choose, receive medical benefits, receive equal pay and all other rights, including inheritance benefits.

However, I did state my support of the word "marriage," which I believe defines the historical union between a man and a woman. In the summer of 2015 the Supreme Court ruled that marriage will include unions for the LGBT citizens. That is the law of the land. Still there are many Americans, despite the ruling, who believe in the historic definition of marriage. Contrary to Venezia's remarks, that does not make us homophobic.

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My sister is a lesbian, and we have a loving and close relationship. She is not offended by my stance on marriage as we mutually respect each other's opinion. It's unfortunate in this politically-charged environment that differing opinions lead to name-calling.

Venezia and Pawliczek must have been asleep at the City Council meeting last summer regarding the "Peotter scandal" when I spoke at the podium (the video is online). I asked for both sides to stop the name-calling and consider reconciliation. I was even commended for my comments by my gay neighbor, who attended the meeting.

Differing opinions should not cause one side to attack the other, branding them with hateful names and linking them to current events like the tragedy in Orlando. That is a shameful and scurrilous attempt at journalism.

We all grieve at the loss of life of any human being. As I recall, the civil exchange of ideas and opinions is called freedom of expression, which resides in the 1st Amendment.

I'm hopeful Venezia and Pawliczek will consider meeting the person they accuse before framing erroneous opinions. Relationship before accusation makes for good form. The scenario of judging the book by the cover prior to reading it would be worth considering.

Bill Dunlap
Newport Beach

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Shopping Center is a modern town square

I love Fashion Island. Not necessarily for the stores, although you can get anything from a T-shirt to a Tesla.

It's for the ambiance. Maybe it has something to do with the palm trees and beach views, but it's a happy place. Especially on sunny days and balmy nights. People smile. They hold hands. Children play on fountains. Dogs mingle.

In fact, people are happy enough to leave with empty wallets. Even I've left more than a few bucks there over the years.

Take a break, and sit by the koi pond for a few minutes. First, you have the parents who encourage their kids to observe the fish. Then, you have the seniors who watch the kids observing the fish. Finally, you have the pet owners, who couldn't care less about the fish. They are looking for a doggie playdate, which they can find almost immediately. A few friendly sniffs, and these fickle furballs are on to the next cute canine.

Restaurants are bustling, especially during happy hour. I am particularly partial to dog-friendly cafes, where I sit on the patio with my puppy. He gets treated to a bowl of water and a biscuit, while I leisurely sip my wine and people-watch. Doesn't get much better than this!

As people pass by, I notice that their dress is very casual. Simple jeans and sweat pants. Flip flops and sneakers. Baseball caps and pony tails. They could be from could be Anywhere, USA. Makes me wonder who's buying couture. The giveaway to the patronage is in the parking areas. There's enough money out there to almost settle the national debt.

I love the diversity of the shoppers. Different cultures. Different languages. Toddlers and seniors. Visitors and locals. But we all want the same thing: a fun day out in a beautiful outdoor mall.

Within a day, and without ever leaving the mall, you can meet all your needs. Start with a venti-size latte at Starbucks, to fuel up for your shopping spree. You can choose from the lower end Express to Neiman Marcus, and everything in between.

Need a haircut, skin laser treatment, prescription glasses? No problem, only steps away. Learn something new at Barnes and Noble, or take a fitness class at Nike.

Feeling lonely? Buy a dog at the pet store. If you haven't already maxed out your credit cards, you can redecorate your home from large pieces of furniture to great accessories.

End your evening with a cocktail and meal to celebrate your successful day.

So many choices. So little money.

Teri Goldstein
Newport Coast

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