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We live in a nation of laws, not of theology

July 13, 2013 · Updated 1:02 PM
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Imagine a headline that reads: “Americans Stand for Equality — Laws Based on Rational Science.” The context of Mr. Wiens’s letter to the editor, “Can’t change the meaning of the word,” (July 3 Herald, page A4) confuses the rights of individuals with the naming of fruit, then blames the Legislature and “group of judges” for changing their definitions — in an effort to escape being labeled bigoted or hateful.

The premise of the letter is flawed and misses the connection in how attributing the rights of non-heterosexual people to the definition of fruit might be considered offensive. Those who equate civil liberties and human rights to the naming of apples and bananas are deserving of harsh criticism.

The reality is that marriage equality is based in one of our nation’s founding principles: equality. It is the duty of lawmakers to ensure that U.S. citizens are not disenfranchised, and for the judicial branch to deliberate issues of constitutionality. The definition of “marriage” has not been changed, it has simply been more broadly applied to include those who have suffered at the hands of prejudice, and an ignorance of the nature of human sexuality.

The letter also misses a very important fact: 53.7 percent of our state’s voters approved Washington Referendum 74. So, not only are the actions of lawmakers and judges consistent with the will of the people on the issue of same-sex marriage, but those who wish to continue their prejudice cling to a diminishing opinion.

Mr. Wiens may think it is “silly” for those who follow his logic to be called bigots. However, those who feel compelled to dictate the rights of others, simply because it challenges their version of morality, need to be held to account and understand that we live in a nation of laws, not one of theology.

Troy Barber
Poulsbo

 

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