Letters To The Editor


December 08, 2006

Right to marry is a key to happiness

Marylanders of all races should be reminded that it was not long ago that interracial marriage was subject to discrimination ("Gay marriage case in Md. court," Dec. 5).

In 1967, in Loving vs. Virginia, the Supreme Court defined the freedom to marry as an individual right that cannot be infringed upon by the majority.

Chief Justice Earl Warren summarized the court's decision, "Under the Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not to marry, a person of another race, resides with the individual and cannot be infringed upon by the state."

One can only surmise that the intent of the court was to protect that sacred freedom of which Thomas Jefferson spoke so eloquently - the pursuit of happiness.

For most of the population, the core of the pursuit of happiness is the inalienable right to grow up and fall in love with whomever God deems one to fall in love with, and provide economic and loving support to children so that they, too, can enjoy the pursuit of happiness.

Maryland's high court must now issue a ruling consistent with that of the Supreme Court and hold marriage to be an individual right and not the decision of the majority.

Otherwise, if we choose to withhold the basic human right of the pursuit of happiness from a minority on the basis of invidious discrimination, we cannot truthfully call ourselves a democracy.

George Lucien Gregoire


Church not united for gay marriage

A sign visible in the photo accompanying the article "Gay marriage case in Md. court" (Dec. 5) and mentioned in the article itself indicated that Presbyterians supported gay marriage. This is an erroneous generalization.

While the leadership of the local Presbytery of Baltimore supports gay marriage, a vast number of members of the local congregations of the Presbyterian churches does not.

Presbyterians, like most true Christians, think for themselves and let God lead them to their own decisions.

It is unfortunate when the extreme liberal leadership of any group purports to speak for all members.

Jeff Myers

Bel Air

Ruling represents progress on equality

The approval within the Conservative Jewish movement of interpretations of Jewish law that will permit same-sex commitment ceremonies and the ordination of openly gay and lesbian rabbis is encouraging ("Leaders permit gay rabbis, unions," Dec. 7).

The Committee on Jewish Law and Standards should be praised for giving attention to issues of contemporary justice and equality while upholding Biblical law.

In the midst of our heated debate over what has fast become one of the leading issues of our time, I hope that this decisionis indicative of a widespread shift in thought, decision-making and action - in both the religious and secular worlds.

The ball may be rolling slowly where gay and lesbian equality is concerned.

But this decision proves that it is definitely moving.

Caitlin Rettaliata


Mercy must respect anatomy of the city

I have enormous respect for Mercy Medical Center, and I have indeed been a patient at the hospital. However, there is no reason that its expansion and the preservation of the historic homes on St. Paul Place need to be mutually exclusive ("Mercy's permit expected in days," Dec. 7).

There are pragmatic and beautiful examples from all over the world of cities that preserve history and culture while continuing to prosper and grow.

Close to home, just look at the development at the corner of 21st Street and Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington.

Mercy must consider its bottom line, its patients, and also the environment it serves.

There is an anatomy to the city of Baltimore as there is to the human body.

How about showing the city a little mercy?

Jay P. Sherman


Airline right to oust six unruly imams

I take issue with the column "Extremists win when innocent Muslims suffer" (Opinion * Commentary, Nov. 30).

The title makes a true enough statement. But it implies that the six imams who were recently removed from the US Airways flight in Minneapolis were innocent.

However, the Muslim scholars were not removed from the flight because of their "presence" or their prayers but because of their unusual behavior.

Blaming the airline (as well as the fellow passengers who voiced concerns about their behavior) for making such a judgment call only diverts attention from the true problem of how best to protect ourselves against the extremists' continued threats of more airline attacks.

Everyone is under greater scrutiny after the 9/11 attacks.

We're all inconvenienced when we fly. It's the nature of the current conflict; part of the world we live in.

Our homeland has been attacked, and the attackers have promised more violence, so it is in our collective best interest to keep our guard up.

Will we always be right? Probably not. But we cannot afford to let our guard down, even once.

And those whose public actions invite attention should get attention, especially when public safety is at issue.

US Airways made the right decision given the circumstances.

Steve Timmons

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