Letters to the Editor

Proposed bills wouldn't legalize same-sex marriage

In response to “It Infringes on Our Religious Freedom,” by Debbie McGarr (March 6)

Ms. McGarr,

I wanted to respond to your letter because I think you’re confused about what SB-5688 and HB-1727 are really saying.

SB-5688 states, “It is the intent of the Legislature that for all purposes under state law, state registered domestic partners shall be treated the same as married spouses.”

Then later, “Where necessary to implement this act, gender-specific terms such as husband and wife used in any statute, rule, or other law shall be construed to be gender neutral, and applicable to individuals in state registered domestic partnerships.”

This language refers to civil law, first of all, not religious law, so it has no impact whatsoever on your religious freedom.

Churches have their own governing boards and will decide for themselves whether or not they will perform a religious marriage ceremony.

If your church decides to marry gay men or lesbians, then you would need to take it up with your church leaders.

This bill has no jurisdiction over religious matters.

No one is forcing any behavior on you. This bill does not have any impact on your marriage, your family or your taxes.

It is addressing a segment of the population of which you are not a member. Just as laws passed regarding the weight regulations of tractor-trailers don’t affect you, this one doesn’t either.

This bill says nothing about “homosexual behavior” being taught in schools. It’s unclear to me how granting domestic partners legal rights translates into some vague notion of “homosexual behavior” entering the curriculum.

Since the curriculum is controlled by the school board and varies district to district, this is a non sequitur.

I agree that morals are the parents’ job. My children are learning tolerance, acceptance and the importance of standing up against hatred and hate-mongering.

What are your children learning from your behavior and letter writing?

Parents’ should absolutely have a choice about what is taught their children. This is why, in Bremerton High School, for example, alternate curriculum was offered for students whose religion dictated they could not watch the R rated movies part of the standard curriculum.

My children are home-schooled, so that they aren’t exposed to the children of families like yours.

You say that “having someone else’s behavior dictating what I can do, say or believe about what I know to be reprehensible behavior ... is in direct violation of my First Amendment rights, such as the hate crime bill that takes my freedom of speech and thought away.”

Neither of these two bills say anything about circumscribing your freedom of speech or your “unalienable rights.”

These aren’t “hate crime bills,” they’re about domestic partnerships.

The truth of the matter is that extending civil benefits to domestic partners — and this includes heterosexual couples as well — has absolutely nothing to do with every single one of the issues you raise.

In fact, not extending these civil rights to all couples, one could argue, is taking away their unalienable rights guaranteed Declaration of Independence.

The fact that you didn’t even bother to actually look at these two bills, which are available to the public, before writing your letter is stunning to me.

It’s unfortunate that you allow a bigot like Larry Stickney decide what you should think and say because he doesn’t know what he’s talking about either.

CRIS DiMARCO

Port Orchard

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