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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Critics of ban on gay marriage miss the point

The arguments made by some U.S. senators (and often seen in the media) against an amendment banning same-sex marriage seem disingenuous at best and deceitful or naive in reality ("Same-sex marriage ban loses in Senate," July 15).

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First, the senators know that without a federal marriage amendment, same-sex marriage will eventually become the law of the land, either through activist judiciaries (such as the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court) or at the Supreme Court level.

Second, they know President Bush was forced to respond to the Massachusetts ruling by the actions of the homosexual community, yet continually cite his reaction as an election-year "get out the right-wing vote" issue.

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Third, they know that the problems with same-sex marriage are the long-term cumulative effects on society, yet they continue to trot out the tired, irrelevant argument that current homosexual relationships haven't negatively affected heterosexual marriages.

Finally, they know sexual choices and the right to marry are two very different issues. Yet some senators continue to suggest that a marriage amendment would involve "writing discrimination" into the Constitution.

Ed Reese

Baltimore

Bush's priorities seem out of step

President Bush needs to get a grip. If the amendment banning gay marriage is a "top priority" for him, he is further out of step with the American public than I thought ("Same-sex marriage ban loses in Senate," July 15).

With the relatively unpopular war in Iraq, a worldwide energy crisis, a rocky domestic economy and homeland insecurity, one would think Mr. Bush would look for something positive to redirect public attention. But instead, he has taken a firm and highly visible position on this divisive issue.

The majority of Americans may not approve of gay marriage, but that is a far cry from supporting an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to prevent such marriages.

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This is a state issue, and trying to circumvent state authority by amending the Constitution is un-American.

Sonny Church

Fallston

Support marriage; don't redefine it

Barbara Ehrenreich's recent column was witty yet inane, reflecting the growing clue-lessness regarding the meaning and value of marriage ("Let them eat wedding cake," Opinion * Commentary, July 13). The reason to promote marriage is because healthy marriages help society.

Studies show married people are healthier, happier, more responsible and better off financially. Children raised by a father and a mother in a stable marriage are emotionally better adjusted, do better in school, are less likely to engage in drugs and crime and more likely to grow into responsible citizens.

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Thus promoting marriage helps the poor economically and helps everyone in other, just as important, ways.

Gay marriage would further erode marriage (already undermined by no-fault divorce laws and a less moral culture) by redefining it, further weakening commitment and further glamorizing "alternative" relationships.

Marriage in our society needs support, not redefinition.

Jeanette Amestoy Flood

Baltimore

'Marriage education' still a waste of funds

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I fail to see how the marriages of gays and lesbians could threaten the institution of marriage - which is already eroding as is proved by our divorce rate of about 50 percent ("Let them eat wedding cake," Opinion * Commentary, July 13).

And I do not see the relevance of President Bush's idea of promoting marriage among poor women by putting money into "marriage education."

That money would be better spent on child care.

Sibylle Ehrlich

Towson

Kicking Stewart when she's down?

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The Sun has now topped itself in the realm of bad taste. It's true that Martha Stewart broke the law, went to trial, was found guilty and should be punished. But when I saw the item on the front page of Saturday's Today section about the new issue of her magazine titled "Martha Stewart Living in Prison" (July 17), I was amazed. How insensitive.

I guess you could call that hitting a person when she's down.

June Sacks

Baltimore

Promoting denial of global warming

I'm puzzled. The Sun's article "Heavy rains don't prove warming, scientists say" (July 14) quotes one meteorologist (not several, as the headline implies) who says that "you can't link individual weather events to global warming" and that they must be seen in terms of "long-range patterns and weather trends."

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But aren't long-range patterns and trends made up of individual weather events? And haven't we had a significant number of unusually intense weather events over a period of years? Doesn't the global warming theory predict these kinds of events?

The headline was really irresponsible, because it helps the public to continue in a state of denial about global warming. If The Sun had tried, it certainly could have found another meteorologist - probably several - with a contrary opinion.

Skeptics of global warming say that it would be too expensive and disruptive of our lifestyles to take action to combat climate change. But aren't hurricanes, floods and storms fairly expensive and disruptive of our lifestyles?

Elizabeth Fixsen

Savage

Carter blessed world of music

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Like so many people, I am mourning the death of Nathan Carter, who truly blessed Baltimore and the world with his musical genius. I was fortunate enough to have the inspiring and uplifting experience of being in the Villa Julie College choir when Mr. Carter was our director.

Somehow, Mr. Carter took my voice that sounded like "Francis Scott Off-key" and through his intense guidance gave me the chance to be part of the college choral experience and to feel like I belonged.

As Sun critic Tim Smith wrote in his column "Carter unlocked inner voices" (July 17), a choir's "voices have to be trained, molded, coaxed, finessed, blended. Carter fulfilled these technical duties with unusual skill."

Mr. Carter took those gifted with incredible voices and made their voices angelic; he took those of us who were not so gifted and made us feel important in making a "joyful noise unto the Lord."

As Mr. Smith so beautifully expressed, Mr. Carter inspired his students by encouraging us to allow our inner light to shine through our voices.

Jayne Feldman

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