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Welcome to The Seattle Times' online letters to the editor, a sampling of readers' opinions. Join the conversation by commenting on these letters or send your own letter of up to 200 words

May 14, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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Same-sex marriage

Rep. Reichert

Editor, The Times:

The Times reported that Rep. Dave Reichert said “ . . . we all deserve to be treated equally, but my beliefs . . . do not allow me to endorse marriage other than a marriage that exists between a man and a woman.” [“All 6 Wash. congressional Democrats favor repeal of gay-marriage ban,”, May 9.]

This prompts two questions:

1. Did the people who voted for Reichert elect him because he favors equal treatment for everybody or because he puts his religious beliefs above equality?

2. Accepting that he feels unable to endorse same-sex marriage, why does he support a constitutional ban on gay marriage — which would impose his beliefs on others — rather than simply abstaining on the matter?

— Lester Goldstein, Seattle

Rise above politics

Thank you Rev. Reggie Witherspoon for pointing out President Obama “was compromising his own convictions for the sake of politics.” [“Obama’s bold, risky shift backing gay marriage,” page one, May 10.]

By not openly supporting gay marriage until now, President Obama was holding politics above his conviction of equal rights for every person. His recent support shows that he does and can rise above politics.

— Pat Palmer, Issaquah

Civil unions, not marriage

Pease explain to me why something that everyone recognizes is not the same as traditional marriage should be called “marriage?” Why not call it what it is — a civil union? (Which I support, by the way.)

Why is denying same-sex marriage somehow denying certain people their “rights”? Since when did homosexual “marriage” become a right?

If same-sex marriage is a “right,” why shouldn’t polygamy be a “right,” so long as all parties consent? Or incestual marriage? If someone demands something loudly enough, does it become their “right”?

Why not use civil unions to achieve the same thing? They give the same legal rights as married couples have.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t favor discrimination against homosexuals. That’s why I voted for Washington state’s everything-but-marriage bill a couple years ago. But in my view, calling homosexual unions “marriages” is wrong.

— John Darrow, Fall City

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