What Texans are saying about the new marriage amendment
House Blender Joel, a Texas native currently in Brooklyn, had thoughts about the recent wingnuttery in his home state as it voted to enshrine discrimination into its state constitution on Tuesday. He decided to write the Ft. Worth Star Telegram.
He also passed along some of the other letters to the editor after the election, to give you a peek at the state of things in the Lone Star State. Joel: “As a native of Texas, I felt I had a duty to speak to the ‘phobes down there. My comments are the very last ones printed – ‘best for last’ kind of thing, right?”
With the vote count finished, it’s time for the Star-Telegram Editorial Board to take a long step back and take a hard, critical look at itself.
With its support of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance in the attempt to defeat Proposition 2, it has clearly shown that it’s an integral part of the radical, immoral left. Its extreme-left positions show conclusively that it lives in an echo chamber that resonates only within the gay and lesbian cheerleader group.
Any claim to being in the political “mainstream” has been removed, as the people of Texas overwhelmingly supported Prop 2 and repudiated the vitriol of the left with pure common sense. Even the lowly Ku Klux Klan, which you demeaned, showed more historical appreciation of essential societal institutions than the Editorial Board.
You should hang your collective heads in shame and clean house of those with such bankrupt, truncated views of what is beneficial to society.
Gerald C. Lutton, Hurst
The only heartening piece in Wednesday’s Star-Telegram was the concise, fair appraisal of the passage of Proposition 2 in the editorial “What happened?”
It’s clear that the Star-Telegram Editorial Board can see beyond the rhetoric of the religious right and address the real issue of institutionalizing discrimination.
It particularly hit home with me as I stood in line for well more than an hour Tuesday night at my neighborhood polling place. I was disturbed and angered by the many whispers and low conversations that I heard about how Christians needed to address the “gay issue” and that the large turnout was a sign that this was happening.
A woman near me was on her cellphone, telling a friend to be sure to come down to vote — to visibly take a stand on family values. It reminded me of the time in my youth when the first black family attended our church and of the whisperings of righteous indignation done “in the name of God.”
I’m convinced that history will correctly judge the direction of our government being taken by the fundamentalist Christian element, and perhaps that’s already happening. Jimmy Carter’s new book, Our Endangered Values, does a good job of analyzing the long-term harm of using religious fundamentalism as a cornerstone of policy.
I’m equally convinced that our younger generation will not accept this attempt to legitimize discrimination of any group, including gays. Let’s just hope that it doesn’t take as long for this to occur as it did for Rosa Parks’ actions to be validated.
Daniel Heath, Trophy Club
The Editorial Board, which recommended voting against Prop 2, is out of touch with the newspaper’s readers. Texans voted 3-to-1 for traditional, biblically-based marriage. Are the editors clueless as to why fewer people are reading their newspaper?
Tom Pryor, Pantego
Kudos to the Star-Telegram for its thoughtful Wednesday editorial on the gay marriage amendment. The heterosexual community needs to clean up its own back yard before legislating the rights of the gay community.
How many women and children in this state have been abandoned by their husbands and fathers to live in poverty? How many wives are beaten and abused by these so-called Christians?
Chapter 7 of Matthew is one part of the Bible that some Christians would rather forget when they’re on one of their “crusades” to clean up America. When they stop acting like bigots and start acting like the person whose name they claim, maybe America will have more respect for them.
Shirley Bumbalough, Watauga
I’m surprised that you don’t understand what Proposition 2 said and, equally important, what it did not say.
It confirms only what is already state law: “Marriage” can only be a union between one man and one women.
Your Wednesday editorial asked: “How does this amendment improve or correct a deficiency in state government when it was already against state law to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple?”
I’m confident that you know the answer, but apparently you preferred not to acknowledge that the purpose of Prop 2 is to prevent the courts from changing what Webster’s defines as “the social institution under which a man and a woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife.” And husband is defined as a man being married to a woman and wife as a woman being married to a man.
You incorrectly stated that this amendment “deprives one group of rights that the other, dominant group is able to take for granted.” All that needs to be done for those who wish to have a same-sex legal union is to do so — but define it as something other than “marriage.”
Arthur McIlwain, North Richland Hills
There’s a little-known feature of Proposition 2, resoundingly approved by Texas voters. It is clause (b), which states: “This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage.” Marriage between a man and woman is identical to marriage and is very similar to marriage.
Congratulations to all voting Texans, who have just voted to annul the marriages of every married person residing in Texas and to prevent all future marriages performed within the state. Now we’re all treated alike.
Our new license plate motto can become “The Lone Singles State,” “The Freedom from Marriage State” or “The National Laughingstock State.”
Jim Cornehls, Arlington
Texans should be proud today. They’ve followed the Ku Klux Klan in lock step. Passage of Prop 2 has made me embarrassed to be Texan.
No, I’m not gay. I just don’t believe in sticking my nose into other people’s business. If the bigots of Texas want to preserve the so-called sanctity of marriage, maybe y’all should outlaw divorce.
Charles Flanders, Fort Worth
“We just should never have given them the right to vote. They’re just getting too uppity. They just don’t know their place.”
My mother was funny like that. She really didn’t realize she was a bigot.
My friend says: “I don’t mind them, really. Can’t they just keep to themselves? I just don’t want to see it in my face, you know? They really are just out of place.”
Well, no worries now. They have been put in their place. There will be no civil unions, no chance for gays to have equal rights with us now.
All is well with the world.
Surely we will never again have to hear that hypocritical balderdash about “hating the sin but loving the sinner.” There was no love in the passage of this amendment. There’s no longer any doubt about how we feel about them.
Garry Sisco, Carrollton
“What happened?” you asked in your Wednesday editorial. I’ll tell you what happened.
Most Americans are sick and tired of the deceitful and arrogant gay agenda. The institution of marriage involves one man and one woman — period! There will be no compromise.
Gay partners or couples currently have available all the civil rights afforded to all citizens, and that’s as it should be.
l gay agenda is deceitful and is hidden under a facade of “civil rights.” The real gay agenda is to tear apart the fabric of the institution of marriage and force society to formally recognize and identify gay partners or couples as “married.”
They are not married — they are partners or couples.
I have family members who are gay, and I love them. I don’t want their civil rights violated. Equal civil treatment under the law is the only obligation that society owes to gays — period! We don’t owe them the recognition of marriage.
So the next time that you (the writer of the editorial) go to the “reading room,” take your Wednesday editorial with you and put it to good use.
David Neal Phillips, Weatherford
Congratulations, Texas Republicans. You scared the people of the great state of Texas into buying your version of the same-sex amendment.
Now that you’ve achieved mandating the Pledge of Allegiance, the Texas Pledge and a moment of silence (prayer in disguise), you can add your mean-spirited amendment to your list. Now that you’ve succeeded, what will you do to divert attention from the real issue of this state — education?
Oh, yes, I forgot. You’ll now work on curbing and eventually taking away a woman’s right to choose.
Thomas G. Haase, Fort Worth
Did I wake up Wednesday to a Texas that was meaner and more ignorant than it was when I went to sleep Tuesday, or did the voters for Proposition 2 just shine a light on what was already there — a profound pettiness so immoral and illegal that a constitution had to be changed to make room for it?
Well, those who would deny the vote to women, imprison Japanese-Americans in internment camps and try to keep African-Americans out of public schools need to make room for a new soul mate: the typical modern Texan.
And we all might want to think about whom the religious right might put in its crosshairs next. Maybe you.
Roger M. Bunch, Fort Worth
I received eight phone calls on Monday from various religious and political organizations, including one from Gov. Rick Perry, urging me to help protect marriages by voting for Proposition 2.
Now that marriage is safe from destruction by civil unions and other forms of perceived evil, I’m sure that the ministers, politicians and our governor who helped this flawed amendment pass will focus their energy on real threats.
I look forward to receiving calls about their plans for dealing with poverty, the homeless, the hungry, affordable healthcare, education reform, deficit reduction, political corruption, domestic violence, child abuse, teen pregnancy, drug abuse, immigration, disaster relief and divorce rates, just to name a few.
I’m sure that my phone will be ringing at any moment.
Mark Hudson, Arlington
Thank God that Texans don’t have to fear gays and lesbians trying to taint the sanctity of marriage. Thank God that our political representatives in Austin had the resolve to protect the morally superior from the morally destitute. Thank God that we’ve toppled the gay agenda, which, according to Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, is “the greatest threat to our freedom that we face today.”
OK, now that I have your attention, may I point out some things that Texans really should be afraid of?
The Legislature continues to fail at passing any legislation that might directly benefit the children and adults of Texas. It inexplicably neglects to address the following:
The Texas unemployment rate is 5.7 percent.
22.9 percent of Texas children under age 18 live below the poverty level.
12.5 percent of people 65 and over in Texas live below the poverty level.
21.3 percent of Texans never completed high school.
24.6 percent, or about 5 million Texans, don’t have any form of health insurance.
Yet even more frightening than these horrifying statistics is the fact that we’re governed by the most racist, bigoted, narcissistic, egotistical and morally corrupt politicians this country has seen in a long time.
Giving gays and lesbians the same rights under the law (not religious law — state law) that all heterosexual citizens have would not threaten anyone’s freedom or interfere in their lives. What does threaten America is a government that spreads fear, ignorance and hatred and allows legal discrimination against its own citizens. Now that’s something to be afraid of.
Melinda Tanos, Keller
As much as I was taught to respect other folks’ opinions, Tuesday’s overwhelming vote in favor of Prop 2 made for a dark and embarrassing day for the human race, especially in Texas.
Book burnings are sure to follow.
Bob Kline, Granbury
As a Texan living among Yankees, I had assured people here that Texas would vote right on Proposition 2 in my home state. I haven’t been let down. Y’all passed it under great duress and with steely fortitude, standing tall for the majority and rejecting the minority in a resounding triumph.
Now, I know that every Texan will go forward and prove me right on what comes next. I’ve promised my neighbors that we will, very soon, see the divorce rate there plummet to a point of almost nonexistence. And then, along with this saving of matrimony, we’ll be thrilled to see domestic abuse and child neglect become a thing of the past.
Yes, I’m so proud of Texas for showing these Yankees how to protect traditional marriage and save society. The Lone Star State’s true colors are shining for the nation to see.
Joel Howard, Brooklyn, NY