Aug. 6: Letters to the editor

August 6, 2013 

Kentuckians should overturn state ban on gay marriage

Fayette Circuit Judge Tim Philpot wrote that if the recent Supreme Court ruling were "a football game," supporters of gay marriage "would have been tearing down the goalposts." That is odd imagery. These are real families, many with children, who are positively affected by these historic events.

I was happy to read about Gregory Bourke and Michael Deleon, the gay couple from Louisville who filed a lawsuit to challenge section 233A of the Kentucky constitution.

In 2004, just one in four Kentucky voters objected to the text, "Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Kentucky."

In the past decade, many Kentuckians have come around to recognize the marriages of gays and lesbians. To be sure, this is the direction our country is moving. By Kentucky court or Kentucky vote, we should overturn the amendment ourselves and be one of the first 25 states on the "right side of history" rather than among the last 25.

Consider Section 187 of our Kentucky constitution, which previously stated, "separate schools for white and colored children shall be maintained." We kept that dishonorable text in our constitution from 1891 until 1996, despite the 1954 U.S. Supreme Court decision Brown vs. Board of Education that invalidated it.

Will it really require a U.S. Supreme Court decision to invalidate Section 233A? Overturning it beforehand would make a difference to thousands of gay families like mine who make their homes in Kentucky.

Jamie McDaniel

Lexington


Praise for Barr

Andy Barr may be the most accessible elected official of all time. In keeping with his campaign promise of staying in touch with the good folks of Central Kentucky and points slightly east, I have seen Barr at event after event. He even managed to attend two July 4 parades this year, in the rain.

That's a far cry from his Democratic predecessor, who was notorious for never returning calls or emails, let alone being out there in the community.

So far three Democrats have thrown their hats in the ring against Barr next year, but I don't see how any of them can match his energy, honesty and good character. He and his wife Carol are good folks, and their growing family, now with two baby girls, is the picture of Kentucky. I saw Barr recently at an event with the little ones and I think they really like joining their dad when he has a microphone. I think Barr likes that too.

There's no way to know what issues will come down the pike or what the future holds, so the best we can do is to elect folks with good character, who we know will make the right decisions. Barr is one of the folks. He has engaged quickly in his role as congressman, and I hope he will continue to represent the good folks of Kentucky for some time. Let's keep Barr in Congress.

Bill Marshall

Midway


Wake up, GOP

Pssst, Republicans.

The secret everyone else knows, but you so stubbornly ignore is that you must start cooperating with the Democrats. Get into some real debates. Start saying "yes" to proposals that move in the direction you think is correct. Get the government working again and stop all these sideshow gimmicks.

If you would do that, Republican support would start pouring out of the shadows in numbers far exceeding anything the Tea Party could ever promise. It would truly be a Grand Old Party and you would be heartily welcomed back.

Exclusion tends not to lead to successful policies. Emotion without substance is loud, brash and unyielding as well as temporary.

The grand traditions of the Republican Party and our country deserve better than what you are now doing in state legislatures and what you are not doing in Washington, D.C.

You can shoot yourself in the foot only so many times before you lose all standing.

Wake up. Call a Democrat and schedule a meeting.

Joseph P. Fox

Lexington


No simple solution

There is nothing "simple" about the Kentucky constitutional definition of marriage as one man and one woman. For many families, defining marriage in this manner threatens the legal safety of their children and costs thousands of dollars to create the safe haven of marriage in legal documents and court hearings.

The definition of marriage is traditional, but society is moving forward. Must the families affected by traditional laws be forced to comply with societal discrimination while we wait for tradition to die? America is a melting pot. Let us be carried into the new age of tradition, where all kinds of families are accepted and recognized as equal.

Mary Edmonds

Lexington


Check mirror, Mitch

When I read Sen. Mitch McConnell's pronouncement of Sen. Harry Reid as the "worst leader in Senate history," I was reminded of the old saying about the pot calling the kettle black.

Shortly after the 2008 election McConnell proclaimed his main political objective was to see that Barack Obama was a one-term president. Ever since he has remained true to his word and sought to delay and undermine one presidential initiative after another. The result is that the democratic process has been brought to a halt.

It's time the Senate returned to days when we knew who and why one or more members objected to a presidential appointment.

Leadership has to mean more than calling "halt" at every opportunity.

William Stolte

Berea


Tell truth about fracking

Did you see the charming natural gas company commercial in prime time Sunday morning on NBC?

A lovely woman shills the benefits natural gas will bring our nation: energy independence, jobs and great financial rewards, showing a school bus going down a verdant, tree-lined road as proof of their promise.

The commercial ends with her putting her pretty finger to her lips and saying "Shush!"

Perfect! "Shush" means there was no mention of truth.

"Shush" means never having to say "fracking" — using toxic, carcinogenic chemicals, flow-back wells, leaking spill ponds, methane gas, earthquakes or the daily business of taking millions of gallons of fresh water for thousands of fracking wells from the drinking water aquifers of communities.

"Shush!" No pictures of the NGL cartels building refineries five stories tall on Louisiana's coast to process our gas and then put it on tankers for global markets. No pictures from Western Pennsylvania's Allegheny National Forest where there are 4,000 oil and gas wells. No mention of those landowners whose tap water is flammable. No pictures of fracking drilling sites' surrounding property owners who can't sell and live in fear of being blown up. These are real pictures that have little resemblance to that pretty world in NGL's Sunday commercial.

If you love horror movies you must see the Josh Fox documentary Gasland and the new, terrifying sequel Gasland II.

It's true, "What you don't know will kill you."

Judy Rembacki

Georgetown

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