The USA, lately. #politics #uspoli

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Monday, 23 June 2003

Today, in my local newspaper there was response to my recent letter to the editor on the subject of same sex marriages. Lo and behold, it was written by somebody who goes to the same church as I! Here is the text of Dawn's letter as published:

Do not call it marriage

This is in response to the June 14 letter written by Cory Albrecht: Welcome Gay Marriages.

I don't hate gay people; I know some and they are people just like the rest of us. They deserve happiness just like we do and if they find it in this lifestyle, then that's their choice.

But I can make choices, too. My choices are to not choose that as my lifestyle and please do not call it a marriage. What the judges say and what the marriage licence says is up to them. But what I believe in and how I live my life according to the morals I was taught is up to me.

I don't care how society changes. I don't have to change and neither do the gay people. But please don't expect me and many others to live and believe as they do. I accept this. The same-sex marriage issue is getting far too much publicity and who is benefiting from it?

I accept any race, colour and person for who they are. But when Albrecht asks what is the difference between an interracial marriage and a same-sex marriage, there are lots. But the main one is that interracial marriages are between a male and a female. Same-sex marriages are not. Please call it a union, not a marriage.

Dawn Rees, Kitchener

Dawn talks about homosexuality as a "lifestyle choice", but I don't see it that way. I know that as a heterosexual man I did not chose to be attracted most to certain types of women — it is simply whom I am naturally, normally attracted to. From that I can easily generalize to a gay person not having chosen to be homosexual. After all, who would willingly chose to have so much prejudice and bigotry heaped upon them?

Sunday, 15 June 2003

Yesterday my local newspaper, The Record, printed another of my letters to the editor. This one wasn't in response to somebody else's letter, but my comments on the recent court ruling on same sex marriages. The letter as printed follows:

Welcome gay marriages

With the debate on homosexual marriage about to ratchet up a notch, I would like to offer an analogy.

If we were to look at common opinions on interracial marriages a few generations ago, what would we see? Most people would have disapproved of a white person marrying a black person, with some people engaging in slander and violence. Many white parents would have been shocked at their daughter for wanting to engage in miscegenation and some priests and ministers refused to perform the ceremonies. Nor was the use of scientific arguments against interracial marriage limited to Germany in the 1930s. While race was not as big an issue here in Canada as in the United States, these attitudes still existed.

If somebody were to speak out against interracial marriage today, we would call them bigoted. "Love is colour-blind," we would say.

So what is the difference between interracial marriage and same sex marriage? None that I can see, and if I ever know a homosexual couple who get married I will be just as delighted for them as I would be for any other couple. Shouldn't we all?

Me, I just can't understand why somebody would want to prevent twp people who love each other from getting married. I don't see how same sex marriage harms anybody, not even those nitwits who think that gay people are out to "convert" (pfft!) them or their children.

Sometimes, when my intolerance for intolerance (yes, ironic, I know) overwhelms my compassion I wish that every person who is against same sex marriage would have a close friend or family member come out of the closet. Perhaps then the anti-gay people, as they see directly the effects of intolerance, would realize that homosexual people are just that – people. Hopefully they would develop some true compassion. The thing is, even though I am pro-gay rights and do not feel that it is sinful at all (I apply the same standards re sexual fidelity, etc.. to straights & gays), I would never wish it up on a person to have to endure the intolerance and abuse that openly homosexual people suffer.Thus my wish will be for naught.

Friday, 13 June 2003

Well, I have got to remember not to take too long a break in the middle of biking. :-)

Common Poppy

During my usual Iron Horse Trail bike ride today I saw some poppies growing in the bush alongside the trail. At least I thought they were poppies but I wasn't sure. They were growing in the bush that surrounds the trail at some spots, far enough in that I was sure they weren't in one of the many yards that back on to the trail.

I stopped and picked a flower and on the way home I stopped at the school where my Mother works, since she's a gardener-type person and would be able to confirm that it was a poppy. But unfortunately I stopped too long at the school, and if you start up again when your body thinks it is winding down from excersising, it can be even harder to go. Bleh.

Sunday, 8 June 2003

Got some more plants (again) today. Some Hungarian wax hot peppers and a nice tall foxglove to put beside the butterfly bush to help attract even more butterflys. But what I'm really hoping (almost against hope) is that some hummingbirds will show up. When I was children's camp counsellor for my summer job as a teenager, I remember seeing the hummingbirds feed on the flowers of the the taller plants. But I have never seen them here in the city. :-(

Well, today (Saturday) I got some more plants for my container gardening.

In the vegetable category I got jalapeño peppers, hot cherry peppers and one purple bell (sweet) pepper. Hopefully the hot cherry peppers wont look too much like the cherry tomatoes I got a few weeks earlier! :-) Last summer the peppers I grew almost produced more than I could use, and I just noticed on the tag that the hot cherry peppers are "heavy producers"!

In the herbs and spices category I got Virginia mint, German chamomile, bloody sorrel, ginger, licorice, bergamot and orange mint (a peppermint cultivar). These will go along with the peppermint, catnip, and fennel I got a few weeks ago. Bergamot and bee balm are both Monarda spp., but last summer when I tried adding a few bee balm leaves to my home-grown teas for an Earl Grey-like taste it wasn't overly yummy. The Virginia mint is described as being "well behaved", so I guess that means it won't take over like spearmint or peppermint. Perhaps I will be able to put it in a flowerbed for next year.

To go int the new flower bed around the bird feeder pole I got some marjoram, creeping oregano and some french thyme. Depending on how well they grow (getting trampled on by the mourning doves and other birds chasing fallen birdseed) I might harvest these for spices later on.

And the bee balm which got planted from its pot to a flower bed last fall is doing wonderfully, but the butterfly bush which also got planted out did not survive the winter. :-( But I got another one a few weeks ago, and hopefully it will survive the winter better if it is in the flowerbed all summer.