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Thursday, June 07, 2012

Letter decrying gay marriage long on dogma, short on facts

Response Published in the Howard County Times-6/7/12

Free speech is what all of us cherish, but it’s a newspaper’s responsibility to ensure that even letters to the editor should be vetted for factual accuracy and should not allow opinions to be represented as facts.  Julian Bauer’s letter, (“Restricting religious opinions to churches limits free speech,” May 31) was long on religious dogma but short on facts.

Mr. Bauer used his letter to denounce same-sex marriage and referred to homosexuality as a “living style” and that it is somehow responsible for the collapse of empires and potentially society as a whole.  Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage has been legal the longest, continues to maintain the lowest divorce rate in the U.S.  It doesn’t appear that society in the Bay State has collapsed.

Yes, we hear all the time how marriage is intended for procreation; never mind it was once a business arrangement by the couples’ families until relatively recently.  I take it that those couples or cannot or do not want procreate should have their marriage licenses invalidated?

One particular comment merits scrutiny: “Religious people who practice their faith are, with some exceptions, happier, wealthier and have more stable families than the general public.”  In response I can offer real facts.  Of the 9 states with the highest percentage white evangelicals (source:beliefnet.com), 7 have the highest poverty rate (source: U.S. Census). 

The inconvenience of facts.

Steve Charing

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