Marriage must be for all

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On behalf of the Board of Directors of Augusta Pride, I wanted to commend The Augusta Chronicle and especially Staff Writer Steve Crawford for a beautifully written commemorative piece on the tragic death of Aiken Public Safety Officer Master Cpl. Sandy Rogers and the ongoing struggles of her unofficial spouse, Officer Frances Williams.

While their relationship was never recognized in law, and possibly not by some members of their family and community, they were very much a couple, though maybe not one as common as those they served to protect on a daily basis.

While Frances and Sandy chose to live a quiet, unassuming life – be it out of either fear of, or respect for, their community – it is nice to see this community coming together to acknowledge that many people make sacrifices to protect the safety of our families and friends, be they straight or gay, and they deserve our respect. The individual religious choices each of us makes for ourselves should not influence how we treat one another in the public square, where people of many faiths and beliefs come together.

Relationships such as theirs deserve to be protected because they make our community stronger, not weaker. Frances and Sandy would not have weakened the institution of marriage, and they would not have destroyed it – but instead they serve as an example of why marriage is still an important institution for our society.

While we agree with local radio show host Austin Rhodes that “gay folks need the same protection under law that married people have,” we disagree that this legal protection can truly come in a separate but equal institution called legal domestic partnerships. There is nothing religious about the word “marriage” when a straight couple marries at City Hall, two atheists marry at a seaside resort or a convicted felon marries his prison pen pal.

Instead, in Georgia and South Carolina it means they are straight. Marriage is an institution of commitment, born in love and recognized by society. We don’t need two institutions – straight marriage and gay domestic partnerships – to recognize our families. Officer Williams lost her wife; she did not lose a housemate.

(The writer is public relations director for Augusta Pride.)

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Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 01/30/13 - 12:24 pm
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"One of our major parties
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"One of our major parties made "God, guns, and gays" their central platform just a few short years ago."

Can you back that up? Show me that in the platform please.

Bizkit
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Bizkit 01/30/13 - 12:24 pm
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OJP you need to read more

OJP you need to read more carefully. I stated homosexuality is linked to both genetic and environmental cues but so is violent behaviors too. But bottom line we all choose to act out a behavior be it homosexuality or murder. Otherwise we need to let all violent acts go because it is biological and they have no choice. That is absurd. Studies indicate a majority of youths experiment with homosexuality as they are developing their sexuality and morality-most do not become homosexuals. Don't make arguments and I am not making. I support gay unions-well till all the progressives started hating freedom. But marriage has two aspects a legal one and a religious one-(fact most of the planet sees it as a religious convenant too). So you can get married anywhere legally but you can choose to make it relgious and a covenant between man, women, and God. So there is a separation of church and state issue as far as religious freedom too.

GiantsAllDay
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GiantsAllDay 01/30/13 - 12:32 pm
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OJP, you are absolutely

OJP, you are absolutely right. The reason why I phrased my comment in that manner was because Augusta, GA is the newspaper I read. The writer of the LTE is an out of the closet gay man. While I do admire his courage (he is like unto the Apostle Paul "fighting the good fight"), still one thing remains in the back of my head: If I were a gay individual, I seriously doubt that Augusta, GA would be my first choice in places to live. It would kind of be like moving to Texas seeking religious tolerance. The SCOTUS ruling later this summer on prop 8 will only affect California in the short term. But the other ruling on DOMA will have national implications. Sit back and enjoy the show!! Side note: Check out "8: The Mormon Proposition" available on Netflix. The preachers around here could only hope their followers were that devout.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 01/30/13 - 12:35 pm
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" If I were a gay individual,
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" If I were a gay individual, I seriously doubt that Augusta, GA would be my first choice in places to live. It would kind of be like moving to Texas seeking religious tolerance. "

Again....nice generalization/stereotyping of people by where they live.

Bizkit
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Bizkit 01/30/13 - 12:36 pm
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There is a huge gay community

There is a huge gay community here and they fit in quite nicely. Work with many who I love and trust. That's really bigotted. I support a legal contract between two consenting adults for a "union". But marriage is legally between a man and women, biologically evolved to be between a man and woman, and no freedom should be merited because of sexual preference because it can lead to a sleepery slope of other sexual preference. It is a human rights issue not a sexual preference issue. It is all in how you frame it. I would argue a better strategy is for gay unions and leave the "marriage" out of the semantics for obvious reasons.

GiantsAllDay
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GiantsAllDay 01/30/13 - 12:39 pm
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You're right. There is

You're right. There is absolutely no connection to people's thoughts, feelings, beliefs based on the region of the country in which they reside.

OJP
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OJP 01/30/13 - 12:40 pm
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@Bizkit

For clarity's sake, I'll try to take everything one by one:

(1) You stated: "My argument is that it isn't an argument with merit to hinge a freedom on a sexual preference." I understood your use of "sexual preference" to imply it is a choice. If not, then please clarify (and also clarify the larger argument - why wouldn't it be an argument with merit if it isn't a choice)?

(2) Murder is illegal. Homosexuality is not. It is not valid to argue that because homosexuality is genetic and therefore "ok", then murder/violent acts are "ok" because they are genetic. It's simply not a valid form of argument (one does not follow from the other).

(3) Please cite these studies. Until you do, that which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.

(4) "Marriage" is two things (which are not necessarily mixed but can be): civil and religious. Non-Christians get valid marriages every day in this country. So do atheists. Religion in general and Christianity in particular have never been requirements of civil marriage. That's simply a legal fact. And as far as I know, no one wants to force any church to perform a gay marriage (just as I doubt there are any Hindus suing to have their marriage in a Christian church).

harley_52
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harley_52 01/30/13 - 12:41 pm
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" Just 2 days ago I was called a "thug"....

.... for calling people "people."

That's funny. Same thing happened to me.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 01/30/13 - 12:43 pm
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"You're right. There is
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"You're right. There is absolutely no connection to people's thoughts, feelings, beliefs based on the region of the country in which they reside."

I suppose you are being sarcastic? Otherwise you are telling me that police can start profiling based on where people live now.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 01/30/13 - 12:46 pm
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"Please cite these studies.
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"Please cite these studies. Until you do, that which is asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence."

So OJP is asking for proof, yet ignores similar requests. I suppose we should just consider his/her "evidence" as dismissed as well.

GiantsAllDay
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GiantsAllDay 01/30/13 - 12:46 pm
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I've searched the bible for

I've searched the bible for the 11th commandment, it HAS to be there-stating, THOU SHALT CARE WITH ALL THY HEART MIGHT MIND AND STRENGTH ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE DO.

carcraft
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carcraft 01/30/13 - 12:47 pm
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OJP You have not told me on

OJP You have not told me on what grounds you would exclude other marital arrangements if homosexual marriage is allowed. You act like the law of unintended consequences does not exist! Need I remind you that in the early part of the twentieth century the internal combustion engine was hailed as the solution to pollution? Now explain to me why we change the American understanding of marriage for gays but not Muslims or Mormans!

OJP
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OJP 01/30/13 - 12:49 pm
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@GiantsAllDay

The people who comment on this board don't represent the area as a whole; it is very gay friendly (and becoming more so very rapidly).

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 01/30/13 - 12:50 pm
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GiantsAllDay.....
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"I've searched the bible for the 11th commandment, it HAS to be there-stating, THOU SHALT CARE WITH ALL THY HEART MIGHT MIND AND STRENGTH ABOUT WHAT OTHER PEOPLE DO."

GiantsAllDay.....You will get similar results searching the Constitution for all the exceptions to when one has the right to bear arms.

OJP
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OJP 01/30/13 - 12:53 pm
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@carcraft

Perhaps you have me confused with someone else; you haven't asked me that question. The only question you asked me was where in the Constitution the right to marry is. I responded by asking you if you accept Supreme Court precedent as constitutional law - and I haven't received a response.

I'll gladly answer your question but let's try to do one thing at a time.

Bizkit
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Bizkit 01/30/13 - 12:55 pm
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You don't understand the term

You don't understand the term preference. From Wikipedia:"Preference" may also refer to non-choices, such as genetic and biological explanations for one's preference.
You were arguing that because homosexualilty is biological that a person has no choice but my argument then if that is true then violent behaviors which are similary biological would have no choice. But there is is no single cause and genetics and environment are inferred but it could also be epigenetic whereas it isn't a gene but environment turning genes on and off). The evidence proves nothing but basically evidence indicates that genetics, environment, hormones, and development are all likely involved.
Here is an article about the gay parent thingy: http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/2012/09/17/31127/
But your argument to dismiss can be equally applied to your lack of substantiating a single posit of your own.
The last argument you missed the point again. That historically marriage has a huge religious component so a church and state issue isn't ridiculous.

GiantsAllDay
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GiantsAllDay 01/30/13 - 12:55 pm
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Harley, did you just call

Harley, did you just call homosexuals "sexually deviant"? I'm trying to be polite as possible here, but may I ask your age? Thanks.

carcraft
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carcraft 01/30/13 - 12:56 pm
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We are told, as the guard on

We are told, as the guard on the watch tower, to tell people of impending danger! Well you have been warned! Messing with marriage as we understand it is going to have unintended consequences and those issues aren't being addressed! According to the Bible God doesn't approve of homosexual activity. Marriage is a corner stone of society and folks pushing to change it haven't thought through the consequences such as the sperm donor for two lesbians being drug into court for child support!

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 01/30/13 - 12:58 pm
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de·vi·ant (dv-nt) adj.
Unpublished

de·vi·ant (dv-nt) adj. Differing from a norm or from the accepted standards of a society.

Sounds like harley was technically accurate.

GiantsAllDay
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GiantsAllDay 01/30/13 - 12:59 pm
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Angela, did you just tie god

Angela, did you just tie god with guns, while discussing a LTE on gays?? You just hit the trifecta. However, no stereotypes. Nope. None at all.

Bizkit
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Bizkit 01/30/13 - 01:03 pm
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Giant I'd say he (Harley) is

Giant I'd say he (Harley) is over 50, and you must be young. I remember till 1973 when I was a grown man that homosexuality was classified as a perversion. So much of my early life homosexuals were considered "deviants", but fortunately all the myths were dispelled that they were a threat to youngsters. I remember watching videos in grade school warning to watch out for homosexual molesters (course we watched Marijuana Madness too-which was just as ridiculous.

carcraft
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carcraft 01/30/13 - 01:03 pm
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The supreme court does not

The supreme court does not allow racial discrimination in contracts but it does allow discrimination based on sec! Courts have ruled more ports lets on construction sites with women. Sleeping and bathroom have to segregated by sex etc. So there is sexual preference in contracts
Can't do it for race!

OJP
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OJP 01/30/13 - 01:04 pm
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@Bizkit

(1) Words can change their meanings when used together. You don't think a lazy susan is an actual lazy person named "Susan" do you? "Sexual preference" is used as a phrase distinct from "sexual orientation" to imply a choice (by the American Psychological Association): http://www.colby.edu/psychology/APA/Gender.pdf

(2) I've already addressed the "murder" argument and why it is flawed. Care to respond to my response?

(3) That article is about the problems identified with the study questioning the success of gay parent households. You might want to try again...

(4) Which facts of mine need substantiating? I will do my best.

(5) Why should the history of marriage dictate what it is today, particularly when it has changed so much already? Marriage is undeniably a civil concept (as well as a religious one). Do you oppose all non-Christians using the term "marriage"?

GiantsAllDay
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GiantsAllDay 01/30/13 - 01:05 pm
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Question for a CSRA licensed

Question for a CSRA licensed psychiatrist (MD) only: Have you ever called one of your homosexual patients or diagnosed one of your homosexual patients as "deviant", based on their sexual orientation alone?

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 01/30/13 - 01:06 pm
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"Do you oppose all
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"Do you oppose all non-Christians using the term "marriage"?"

No more than I would oppose non-Christians using the term God. non sequitur

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 01/30/13 - 01:09 pm
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Just in case there is no MD
Unpublished

Just in case there is no MD reading, I'll try to help. (since I'm sure someone was counting on not getting an answer, then trying to use that as some sort of evidence.)

http://behaviorismandmentalhealth.com/2011/10/08/homosexuality-the-menta...

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 01/30/13 - 01:09 pm
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I'll ask again. What rights
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I'll ask again. What rights are Gay's denied that anyone else enjoys?

OJP
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OJP 01/30/13 - 01:15 pm
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@harley_52

Actually, your age gives you less credibility. If there is one truism in the gay marriage debate, it's that time and the natural aging process are doing much of the heavy lifting.

Bizkit
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Bizkit 01/30/13 - 01:22 pm
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But in context with my other

But in context with my other comments it is clear I wasn't using the term "sexual preference" as a choice-nor was that my intent. It is a popular term. The argument you made was illogical about homosexuality that it isn't a "choice" so I retorted with another illogical posit to demonstrate your fallacy and flawed argument. I just Googled the article so I'll go on PubMed and get the peer-reviewed journals (when I have time). History is important in law-correct?- legal precedence. So is Anne Heche a homosexual or not-she chose to be one then chose not. Seems pretty accurate. Fact is even if they discovered "genes" related to homosexuality-environment still plays a role-monozygotic twins can both inherit a gene for a trait and only one express it due to environmental cues. Many cancers are now identified as epigenetic rather than mutations in oncogenes or tumor suppressor genes. What makes someone "gay" isn't a simple biological answer, and you can't ignore cognitive abilities (choice) in the equation. But even if gay's don't choose then saying it is biological is an argument for acceptance either-like we don't choose to get cancer or Alzheimers or Schizophrenia but usually they aren't accepted as really good biological phenomena. Not that I'm comparing them.

LillyfromtheMills
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LillyfromtheMills 01/30/13 - 01:17 pm
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Question

Why do gays even care about marrying - financial gain/approval of their parents (or the rest of us) - the gays I know have commitment ceremonies and they break up and don't have to get a divorce :)

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