Gay marriage column belittles those who disagree
Herald-Leader columnist Merlene Davis may have missed the mark in terms of her thoughts on gay marriage.
When considering a candidate for any public office, it is good to have a clear understanding of your own personal values. These include financial values, such as how to raise and spend money, American values of personal freedom and defending the country, and values related to family and marriage.
Our values have been formed by life experiences, our upbringing and, yes, our faith. It is possible to have personal values on a topic without being judgmental of people who do not share your values.
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When deciding who to vote for, compare each candidate to your values and decide whose character best represents your beliefs. Ultimately, it is the values and character of an individual that will determine the quality of leadership rather than position on a single issue or even a candidate's particular faith.
I do believe her remarks, however unintentionally, belittled those who disagreed with her family values on gay marriage and were very judgmental.
Abercrombie & Fitch, 7-Eleven, American Airlines, American Girl, Blockbuster Video, Burger King, Calvin Klein, Clorox, Comcast, Crest, Ford, Hallmark Cards, IKEA, Kmart, Kraft Foods, Mary Kay, Microsoft, Movie Gallery, MTV, NutriSystem, Old Navy, Pampers, PepsiCo., Procter & Gamble, S.C. Johnson & Son, Sears, Target, Tide and Walt Disney Co.
This is only a partial list of the companies and products boycotted by the American Family Association and the Alliance Defense Fund, both of which appear allied to The Family Foundation of Kentucky, whose Web site displays both logos.
Given these organizations' frequent use of the tactic, I found Family Foundation spokesman Martin Cothran's May 7 commentary condemning the boycott against Hands on Originals disturbingly ironic and perversely hypocritical.
An organization purporting to favor religious liberty compares a boycott to burning women at the stake and drowning them due to their different religious beliefs. This stretches the analogy to the breaking point even without the hypocrisy of the comparison.
Furthermore, as spokesman for an organization claiming to embrace "family-first conservatism," Cothran abandons the typical conservative position of allowing free markets to decide the fate of Hands On Originals. If they refuse to do business with my friends for any reason, I'm certainly within my rights to refuse to do business with them.
To label this decision a witch hunt is hypocrisy of the highest order, particularly coming from any organization with ties to groups using boycotts as favorite tools for promoting political and social policy.
Gay bias in the media
Thank you for the insightful May 18 column by Richard Nelson, "Gay marriage OK? Check ballot results."
Many Americans are deeply troubled by President Barack Obama's evolution to supporting gay marriage. It puts the full weight of the White House in support of a redefinition of our traditional understanding of marriage.
Nelson rightly questions how The New York Times can cite nine surveys saying 50 percent of Americans support gay marriage when voters in 32 states "have approved constitutional amendments defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman." The media can make it appear to be a done deal when it's not.
There is a National Gay and Lesbian Journalists' Association committed to making sure the gay community gets full and fair coverage. When does what's fair evolve into advocacy? I was in Washington, D.C., when Obama announced his new position.
The next day, The Washington Post carried no less than six articles about the issue (three on the front page), four supportive letters and a supportive lead editorial.
The Coalition of African-American Pastors has asked Obama to reconsider. The Rev. William Owens Sr., coalition founder and president, has said, "We are really tired of the homosexual community hijacking the civil rights movement. ... It's not the same thing; there's no comparison."
He's right. Race is an immutable ethnic identity, whereas homosexuality is a behavior based on same-sex attraction.
Will this coalition, seeking 100,000 signatures to send to the president, get full and fair coverage in America's newsrooms?
James V. Heidinger II
Opinions out of place
The next time one of your columnists chooses to take a political stance, as Herald-Leader columnist Merlene Davis did in the May 24 paper, please put it where it belongs: on the editorial page.
There is no way this column is news or reporting; it is expressing a view that is politically bent to the writer's viewpoint.
I am not taking issue with Davis' viewpoint, rather that it belongs where any column belongs that is politically biased in its thinking on such issues: on the editorial page.
Of course I realize that if the Herald-Leader followed correct publishing guidelines in this respect across the board, the editor would be faced with a choice of either putting half of what is written by the paper's in-house columnists on the editorial page or making each writer clean up his or her columns and rid them of their political biases.
We out here in the state are happy and privileged to still have a printed paper available to us (and delivered to my home), but it would be appreciated if you would work just a little bit harder at properly defining and locating your writers' efforts.
David H. Bassett