Sunday, February 8, 2004

Let's Talk: Defense of Marriage Act

We received many comments from our readers this week regarding the Ohio General Assembly's Defense of Marriage Act, which Gov. Bob Taft signed on Friday.

Frank Neumann, left, and John Angelo were against Ohio Governor Bob Taft banning same-sex marriage in Ohio. The couple, seen here at a home they are rehabbing in Avondale, was married in Germany in 2002.
(Leigh Patton/Cin Weekly photo)
Accept people for who they are

How can Ohio say that they it won't recognize unmarried partners or offer them benefits? That seems unconstitutional.

Discrimination is bad enough here in Cincinnati with past events that have rocked our city and torn it apart.

By banning same-sex unions, Gov. Taft is only driving more of a wedge between people.

People are who they are, and if the Ohio and the city of Cincinnati can't recognize that, then I'm not sure why I even live here.

Erin Schmutte, Colerain Township


Open your minds, repeal Article XII

In the book, The Rise of the Creative Class, the acclaimed analysis of what makes successful cities tick, author Richard Florida makes a special point of crediting cultural mixes that include a thriving gay community. National reports have indicated that many city revitalization efforts are using Florida's overall conclusions as part of their model.

When the Article XII repeal hits the ballot in Cincinnati in November, voters will have an opportunity to join this trend and move forward as a community. If we instead cling fearfully to Article XII, we will signal ever more our stubborn desire to stand alone as the United States of America's poster-model for civic repression and small-mindedness.

John C. Brennan, Clifton


Offer sound reasons to repeal Article XII

Mayor Charlie Luken should give specifics of the ways in which Article XII injures Cincinnati. For 11 years, we've heard only about reputation or image or other such claims incapable of proof or refutation. Or the assertions are about convention business lost. But what amusements will be sought while in town by those offended by Article XII? Are those things Cincinnatians would prefer not to have in our community, even if temporary visitors miss them?

Don't be hustled. If there are sound reasons to repeal Title XII, Mayor Luken can cite them, and do so specifically and with numbers. Then we can talk concretely about whether we want to try to be San Francisco without the bay and cable cars.

Patrick Nesbitt, West Chester


Marriage is between a man and a woman

The term "gay (or same-sex) marriage" is such an obvious oxymoron that one wonders why there should be any discussion at all. By definition marriage is a covenant of love between a man and a woman. Therefore, there is not the slightest possibility of a marriage between two people of the same sex. No matter what ceremony a clergyperson may perform, no matter what decision a judge may make, no matter what law a legislature may enact, the union of two men or two women is still just a lesbian union and in no way, shape, or form, is it a marriage. Some may wish to call it a marriage; but as the saying goes, "Slice it thick or slice it thin, it's still baloney."

Rev. Warren Zeisler, O.F.M., Sharonville


Make civil ceremony mandatory for couples

In order to be legal a license must be purchased from the state before a marriage is performed. Why not make it mandatory for all couples to have a civil ceremony performed? The union would then be legal and would allow the committed couple to enjoy the state mandated privileges as concern property, survivorship, health care, etc.

Our legal system preaches the separation of church and state. A minister could make this legal union valid, in the eyes of the religious community, by performing a ceremony as outlined by church doctrine.

Not all committed couples are religiously inspired; but all religious folk are commanded to love and respect one another. However, all couples are legal citizens of the state and should be allowed to enjoy all that the state has to offer.

Paul J. Jansak, Mount Washington


Luken's call for tolerance appreciated

In response to "Luken makes call for tolerance" (Feb. 2), I believe that Mayor Charlie Luken is on the right track to overcoming the prejudice and marginalizing of minorities that have been plaguing our city for many years. We have been placing so much emphasis on racial unity and equality, while ignoring the deeper issue completely. We strive for an end to racial boundaries, yet in Article XII we continue to fail to protect the gays and lesbian population of our city from discrimination.

In order for Cincinnati to be acknowledged as a tolerant place to live, we must recognize all of the minority groups that have been marginalized in our community and work to offer all of our citizens the equality that they deserve.

Laura Twilling, Green Township


Ohio needed to pass marriage defense act

I am extremely disappointed that Enquirer has taken the position against the defense of marriage act (Ban hurts retention, recruiting," Feb. 5), that we need a defense of marriage act is a sad commentary on the decline of our culture. However, we do need a defense of marriage act, because gays are desperately trying to redefine marriage.

Until recently, all cultures and places have defined marriage as between a man and a woman. Marriage of a man and a woman has been the foundation of society throughout the ages. Even the most decadent of cultures have never defined marriage to include homosexual relationships. To redefine marriage is to change the fabric of society. It would open a Pandora's box with far-reaching consequences, some of which won't be realized for years.

If two men have the right to marry why not three men have the right? It won't stop there. Far fetched? Twenty or 30 years ago who would have dreamed that we'd consider the idea of gay marriage?

Ohio needs a defense of marriage act..

Scherry Eshom, Northside


Governor, lawmakers are right on DOMA

How could we have come so far? Now we have an editorial in a respected newspaper ("Ban hurts retention, recruiting," Feb. 5) promoting what most people consider disgusting, and what most Bible readers accept as an abomination to God. This is totally insane. Now we care more about the faculties of our universities than we do about the God our founders, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and most others, honored above all else.

The most recent report that I consider credible puts homosexuals at 4 percent of our population. You would think the number was closer to 20 percent based upon the support of the media.

Remember the movie The Mouse that Roared? A tiny country decided to attack the United States with bows and arrows in hopes that, upon losing the war, it would receive money from compassionate USA. Our founders are turning over in their graves.

I am glad our Ohio legislature and our governor are drawing upon their wisdom in not honoring homosexual marriages. Keep up the good fight.

Robert M. Farr, Symmes Township


Traditional marriage has been undermined

It is terrible that some people seem to be dedicated to undermining all that is truly sacred about marriage. The values of marriage are love, respect, trust, sharing of joy and sorrow, fidelity, commitment, and peace. These are the values that should be celebrated in this degenerating society; yet, there are people out there who would try and prevent others from expressing and living those very values because of a ridiculous and ignorant prejudice. Worst of all, the prevention is done in the name of traditional marriage.

How fragile an institution can traditional marriage be if it can be toppled by the addition of more people who love each other enough to commit themselves publicly to a life together?

Misty Wilger, Fairfield Township


Luken right to call for repeal of Article XII

I'm writing to thank Mayor Charlie Luken for calling for the repeal of Article XII. We're the only city in the county that has such an ordinance. Discrimination in any way, shape or form is wrong and our mayor has the guts to say so. Article XII has caused blight on our city since it was passed. Look how much convention money we've lost. When I'm out of town, I get criticized about our town.

Article XII has got to go. Cincinnati needs to be a world-class city. Discrimination is wrong, mean and outdated.

John Freie, Green Township


Gay marriage should be legal in all states

In regard to the article, "Mass. court says gay marriage legal" (Feb. 5), I think that gay marriages should be legal in each and every state. Telling people whom they can or cannot marry is nothing that the government should be involved in. I feel that as long as they are not doing anything to harm other citizens then they should pursue their dreams. Who am I to tell someone not to marry just because it may make some people uncomfortable?

Eileen Walsh, Green Township


America needs to turn back to God

As I read letters on this whole issue of the marriage law that was just passed, I hear only about how it is going to cost our city, or our state money. True this law may cause some groups, who have the agenda of special rights for gay people, to look elsewhere for their meeting places; but I say, "Oh well."

The issue here is not about money but rather it should be about the moral issue it presents. This country founded its moral laws on the holy word of God, and I think that is where we need to look again for this law. If we do so, I think we will find that this law fits in very well with what God says about homosexuality.

Open your Bible and see what it says about this gross and immoral sin. It ranks it right up there with murder, adultery and lying. In fact it says in Romans 1 that God gives such people over to a reprobate mind, which means that they don't care if it is right or wrong. I think this just goes to show us how far America has drifted away from its biblical moorings. America must turn back to God.

Nathan Weaver, Mount Auburn

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