Regarding your Nov. 19 article "Landmark ruling on gay marriage": There is simply no evidence that the primary purpose of marriage has evolved to include gays and lesbians. What has evolved is the desire of some same-sex partners to change the definition of marriage to have access to the institution. Herein lies the real discrimination.
The recent ruling represents a regressive ethic. The fact that many people have been drawn away from Judeo-Christian values today does not invalidate the family as the fundamental cell of society. The family - and all human society - has its origin in marriage. Marriage is designed for the procreation and education of offspring, even if this has eluded the minds and hearts of contemporary man. Marriage can be understood only as the lawful union of one man and one woman.
Let us hope that the US Supreme Court has greater foresight and fortitude; that its members will work to uphold the institution of marriage and not deconstruct it to appear as merely an expression of free love.
Marriage between two people who love each other is a laudable and traditional notion, so why do some people hate and fear the idea of same-sex marriage? In most cases, it's a simple misunderstanding. Many people think of marriage as a religious institution, but it's also a legal contract. Religious institutions will remain free to decide whether or not to perform a particular marriage ceremony. But any same-sex couple must be free to say "I do" in city hall.
Others oppose - on religious grounds - even civil marriages for gay couples. The irony is that these people have their religious freedom because they are protected by the Constitution from having someone else's religion being forced upon them. They ought to return the favor. The single most important principle in our country is that all of us are equal under the law.
Alan L. Light
Iowa City, Iowa
Regarding your Nov. 17 article "In Sri Lankan crisis, rebels lie low": You say, "There have been no cease-fire violations, even during the current crisis in Sri Lanka's capital." As far as I can tell, this is simply not true, as there have been numerous incidents since the cease-fire. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has used its rogue navy to provoke clashes with the Sri Lankan Navy over the LTTE's gun-running. Additionally, human-rights organizations have voiced concerns over the LTTE's continued recruitment and use of child soldiers.
Other violations include the recent attempts at ethnic cleansing with respect to the Muslim minority population around Trincomalee. While life may be well-ordered for Hindu Tamils under the LTTE, other groups live in constant terror of the race riots the LTTE drums up.
Furthermore, the author did not mention the Tigers' history of using cease-fires and peace negotiations as breathing space to regroup themselves in the northeastern part of the island - which casts a dubious light over the current images of swords turning to plowshares. Also of significance is the god-like status enjoyed by LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran to promote the image of LTTE infallibility and prevent the formation of rival groups within the northeast, as well as to strip legitimacy away from Tamils who have opted into the democratic mainstream.
The LTTE is a terror-based organization doing little to reform itself internally. While negotiations are necessary to end the conflict, and while it's true that a military solution has failed thus far, it's irresponsible to whitewash the behavior of a group whose serial aggression is so well documented.
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