March 20, 2009

Courageous stand for gay marriage

I was very pleased to read of former Rep. Wayne T. Gilchrest's testimony in Annapolis in support of same-sex civil marriage ("Support for gay marriage," March 13).

Mr. Gilchrest, unlike most in his party, "gets it" when it comes to the injustice inherent in denying one group of citizens access to rights accorded other citizens. He understands that the issue of same-sex civil marriage has nothing to do with religion, that no church can be, or would be, compelled to sanctify a marriage that violates that congregation's tenets. He understands that what same-sex couples seek is equal access to the courthouse - not equal access to the altar. He understands that denying them that access demeans and dehumanizes them.

Mr. Gilchrest is a brave man. He has suffered for speaking truth to power. I salute him for that.

Hugh Silcox, Baltimore

Smuggling freeze more basic to peace

The writer of the letter "Settlement freeze is key to peace" (March 10) advocates that Israel cease all construction of settlements and argues that freezing such settlements is more important to long-term peace in the region than Hamas recognizing Israel is.

I disagree. I think freezing all suicide training camps that exploit Palestinian women and children should be a higher priority. I also think that the construction of underground tunnels that those in Gaza use to smuggle in weapons and terrorists with the help of Syria, Iran and other dictatorships is much more dangerous and harmful to any efforts toward peace than Israelis living in the disputed territories are.

Barbara Bloom, Owings Mills

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