Court overstepping its role or following its mandate?

Regarding your Feb. 6 article "Gay marriage divide roils states": I do believe we will be going down a slippery slope on the issue of same-sex marriage, which will be as divisive an issue as abortion. I am appalled by the most radical redefinition of marriage in centuries by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision. Surely it will have unintended consequences.

The timeless definition of marriage should be changed only by lawmakers, as judges have no mandate to legislate from the bench. The order from the four activist high court justices to the legislature in Massachusetts effectively prevents the lawmakers from coming up with civil unions as an alternative to their divisive definition of marriage. These judges, in overreaching, have usurped the duties of the legislature and could be impeached. It now appears that a constitutional amendment may be necessary to ban gay unions entirely.
Josh Basson

The job of the judicial branch is to interpret the laws, not make laws. So why are legislators suggesting that the Massachusetts court's decision is a kind of a power grab? The court is not trying to dictate culture. Our culture is bound in national and state laws. If we are all created equal and none should be denied unalienable, human rights, then gay marriage stands. If not, legislators need to address their real duty, creating laws, and take those lines out of the Constitution.
Milos Novotny
Boulder, Colo.

Pakistan not only nuclear 'proliferator'

Regarding your Feb. 6 editorial "A Pardoned Proliferator": Why single out Pakistan? Many other small countries have, and are still developing, nuclear weapons. Israel for one. But how can the United States insist on anything regarding the development and spread of nuclear arms? The US created the world of nuclear arms. And the US doesn't make any "amends" for that "global tragedy." The US appears to still be on a collision course with its own creations.
Joseph Schwartz

Misplaced moral outrage

Regarding your Feb. 5 article "Expect more 'oops' on live TV": Yes, Americans should be morally outraged by the gratuitous sex and violence to which our children are exposed across TV, video games, movies, and the Internet. We also should be morally outraged by corporate and political graft, tobacco subsides, polluted rivers and air; by our excessive consumption of natural resources; by superfluous wealth and unnecessary poverty; by fast foods and neglect of children; the cost of college and the cost of getting our teeth cleaned; by advertisers who lie, insurance companies that do not insure, and by leaders who mislead. But we are not.

We live with each of these in varying degrees of comfort and discomfort, and we choose to become mobilized and morally outraged by a breast flashed on national TV, and, my goodness, I missed it and would not have seen it had it not been replayed and magnified some 20 times. And by this we are not outraged but, rather, transfixed.
Philip C. Currier
Bedford, N.H.

A right like any other

Regarding your Feb. 4 article "Is having a home a right?": It's interesting that this subject is debatable, especially when one considers our other inalienable rights. Freedom of speech and religion and the right to bear arms mean next to nothing if one is starving on the streets. Shelter, like food and water, is a basic human need and should be a priority of any government. In a country that has guaranteed its citizens life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, having a roof over your head should be a given.
Amanda Ward
Elsah, Ill.

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