No More BiasYour Jan. 27 editorial on lesbians and gays in...

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

February 05, 1993

No More Bias

Your Jan. 27 editorial on lesbians and gays in the military agrees with the premise of ending discrimination against gays but suggests that President Clinton's stubborn refusal to bow to pressure to procrastinate is improper.

To support your position, you state that the majority of Americans don't agree with him. Quite simply, that depends on which poll you cite.

A recent ABC News poll showed that the nation is squarely divided on the issue, with 50 percent expressing the belief that the discriminatory policy should change and 44 percent taking the opposing view.

Since when, however, have we as a nation started protecting civil rights based upon the popular support of such measures? Should the Civil Rights Act of 1964 be subject to repeal by referendum?

Our country has become great by protecting the rights of minorities, not by walking all over them merely because a majority of citizens have decided that they wish to do so.

The president obviously is also committed to this belief, and, as commander-in-chief of the military, is telling his subordinates that their discriminatory policies have already existed far too long.

I applaud him for his courage and wholeheartedly support him.

James R. Moody

Catonsville

No Due Process

Although your editorial entitled "PLO vs. Hamas" (Jan. 24) makes several valid points, it fails to address the blatant flaws in the Israeli deportation policy.

The editorial is correct in urging Israel to comply with the U.N. resolutions calling for a return of the detainees; promoting the continuation of the peace process; and calling on Israel to adhere to universal humanitarian standards.

However, the editorial implies that because some of the deportees were members of a given organization, this justifies their expulsion in order to protect the security of Israeli citizens.

The argument which gives credence to the concept of guilt by association violates a fundamental tenant of democracy: the right to assemble and partake in political organizations.

All citizens in democratic societies would be endangered if they were assumed guilty based solely on their political views or involvement in political organizations, however radical they may appear.

Clearly due process under the law, including appropriate court hearings, was denied to the Palestinian detainees. To attempt to legitimize Israel's actions based on the fact that other dictatorships like Egypt and Algeria have committed similar or worse actions is a weak contention.

Every nation should be accountable to international laws and universal human rights, not to the behavior of other repressive, undemocratic regimes.

It is time for Israel to recognize that killing, incarcerating or deporting is not the solution: rather a serious commitment to the peace process, resulting in a two-state solution, is the most sensible and perhaps safest route to take.

Camille Thamer

Baltimore

Fashion Passion

The brains of hat makers and fashion critics and millions of American citizens are bulging to the bursting point in an effort to decide whether Hillary Clinton should have worn the cadet blue velour hat with her dress, or perhaps worn another dress with her hat, or maybe worn another hat with her dress, or whether she should have worn a hat at all.

Without exerting many of our brain cells, is it any wonder why President Bill Clinton is now confronted with a social and economic minefield?

eon Peace Ried

Baltimore

Health Insurance Headache

In response to Barbara Hill's letter of Jan. 29, I couldn't disagree more.

A Health Insurance Purchasing Commission (HIPC) is not the answer to helping small businesses provide affordable insurance for their employees.

The bill addressing the issue in the Maryland General Assembly (HB 150) does not at all address the issue of cost containment in health care, which is the primary reason why health insurance is so expensive.

What it does do, and the obvious reason that a company such as Prudential Health Care Plan of the Mid-Atlantic would support this legislation, is create a government monopoly which will be the exclusive agent for the sale of health insurance.

It would completely eliminate the role of free enterprise in the health insurance business, and in so doing remove the small businessperson's leading insurance advocate -- his or her agent.

Small-and medium-size insurance carriers will be unable to compete in the HIPC environment, because they lack the advertising clout of huge health insurers and because they will be unable to comply with certain requirements imposed by the HIPC on participating insurers.

Fewer insurers will result in fewer choices for consumers, and less competition inevitably will mean higher rates.

Employers will be precluded from getting competitive bids for billing and customer services. What if service through the HIPC is poor? To whom do we turn . . . the governor? The legislature?

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