Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 19, 2004

Kerry's remarks offered no insult to Mary Cheney

The faux outrage on the part of Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife, Lynne Cheney, over remarks by Sen. John Kerry during Wednesday's presidential debate may set the record for hypocrisy ("Gay activists see uproar after debate as positive," Oct. 16).

In answering a question posed to him, Sen. John Kerry correctly pointed out that homosexuality is not a choice, that Mary Cheney (the vice president's daughter ) "is being who she was born as."

Not only had Mr. and Mrs. Cheney discussed openly their daughter's sexual orientation in the context of a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, Mr. Cheney thanked Sen. John Edwards during the vice presidential debate when he made virtually the same point.

Moreover, fellow Republican Alan Keyes suggested that the Cheneys' daughter was a "selfish hedonist" - a direct insult which went without protest from the parents.

The Cheneys were disingenuous in their politically-driven protests of Mr. Kerry's remarks, and they certainly have not been the vanguard of the fight for equality.

Steve Charing

Clarksville

Sen. John Kerry's comments about Vice President Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter were insulting only if you think homosexuality is something shameful, which I do not. Nor were Mr. Kerry's remarks a violation of Mary Cheney's privacy as she is openly gay, and has even worked as a liaison to the gay and lesbian community for the Coors Corporation.

Furthermore, the Cheneys apparently have a double standard - they said nothing publicly when Alan Keyes, the Republican candidate for an Illinois Senate seat, called Mary Cheney a "selfish hedonist" because she is gay.

By contrast, Kerry's remarks were positive, and his mention of Ms. Cheney, along with his assertion that gays and lesbians were simply being the person they felt God made them effectively countered the two major myths served up by the religious right: that homosexuality is a matter of choice or the result of bad parenting.

President Bush and company have hypocritically pandered to the bigoted wing of their party in an effort to get elected. Finally, someone has called them on it.

Pam Garrettson

Baltimore

Threat of terrorism isn't just `nuisance'

Perhaps The Sun's editors could shed some more light on what it means when they say that Sen. John Kerry's aim is "reducing the risk [of terrorism] to a manageable level" ("A clearer choice," editorial, Oct. 15).

What exactly is a "manageable level" of terrorism? When will we know that terrorism has become merely a "nuisance," as Mr. Kerry has suggested it should become?

Or are we to accept nebulous goals as the new standard that we should expect if Mr. Kerry becomes president? That should work out very nicely for other areas of our society as well, like education.

Never mind measuring progress. We'll just wait until ignorance reaches a manageable level and is nothing more than a nuisance.

Scott Appelbaum

Catonsville

Soldiers refuse to be more cannon fodder

Who can blame those U.S. reservists in Iraq for refusing to drive on dangerous roads in unarmored vehicles with no escorts ("Soldiers refuse `suicide' duty in Iraq; Army investigates," Oct. 16)?

President Bush's road to re-election is paved with dead Americans.

Grenville Whitman

Baltimore

Give juvenile killers their own medicine

It's true that most juveniles do not have the capacity or education to sign contracts. But they know that raping, robbing and killing is against the law. They learn early from homes, schools, churches and relatives that killing is a crime.

Thus I disagree with the editorial "Not one more life" (Oct. 13) and some suggestions in the article "Should a teenage killer have to pay with his life?" (Oct. 13.)

It's time to stop the killing by juveniles - some who are not even afraid of the death penalty.

And why should we decent, taxpaying citizens, pay for the upkeep of juvenile murderers for life in overcrowded institutions where many of them can't be, won't be or do not want to be rehabilitated?

Many of us, particularly seniors, want "an eye for an eye."

Grace Y. Jones

Baltimore

Schaefer's remarks mar achievements

William Donald Schaefer was a highly respected mayor of Baltimore. He helped put Baltimore back on the map by doing things such as swimming with the seals at the National Aquarium in Baltimore and revitalizing the Inner Harbor. And Mr. Schaefer was also highly respected during his first term as Maryland's governor. That is why it is so unfortunate that he has become the way he has ("Schaefer won't step down over AIDS remarks," Oct. 15).

First, Mr. Schaefer insulted our foreign-born citizens by voicing his opinions about multiculturalism, then he insults people who have contracted AIDS.

I frankly question whether Mr. Schaefer has any idea that his remarks are creating a lot of tension, or if he is using this as a ploy to keep his name in the newspaper.

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