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Letters to the editor – Thursday (9-8-11)

Liberals get a free pass on inflammatory statements
Sarah Palin used crosshairs on a map to point out districts of Democrats she wanted voted out of office. She was demonized by the left and was actually accused of inciting violence that led to the Tucson shootings. The vitriol intensified, causing President Obama to appear on television instructing Americans to “make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.”
Recently, Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters said that the Tea Party should “go straight to hell.” Left wing columnist Leonard Pitts could hardly contain himself in his column, gushing and showering her with praise. Then, in an opening speech for an appearance by the president, Teamster leader Jimmy Hoffa urged supporters to “take these SOBs out,” referring to Tea Party politicians. He is being adamantly defended by the left, using the excuse that all he meant was to vote them out. Just when I think the hypocrisy on the left can’t get any worse, they take it to a new level.
— Elizabeth Landry
Salisbury
No need for amendment
The Republican majority in the General Assembly is currently pressing the marriage amendment, arguing that this would prevent a future legislature from repealing the current Defense of Marriage statute (Rep. Harry Warren), and protecting that statute from judicial challenges (Rep. Paul Stam, the Republican House majority leader). Their arguments suffer on two points: First of all, in making a hyped-up issue into a constitutional one, and secondly, in believing the amendment would be safe from judicial repeal.
Five of the six states where same-sex marriage is permitted got there through judicial, not legislative or voter, action. Only New York state’s legislature supported same-sex marriage. As a former resident I doubt a majority of New Yorkers favor that, but it will probably stand. Here in North Carolina I have not seen any widespread interest in the issue. Even the homosexual community doesn’t seem very vocal about it. In the unlikely event a state court tries to legalize same-sex marriage, we can always go the amendment route. Until then, let’s leave things alone. We have other problems which are real and current.
Legally, amendments to state constitutions can and have been invalidated by the federal courts. It happens rather rarely, but it does happen. The current conflict of state and federal laws on the subject make it likely that the final decision will be made, one way or the other, by the U.S. Supreme Court. Probably the only thing holding the issue back now is finding the “right” case and enough money to take it to the highest level.
As a side issue, if Republicans really want to defend marriage, what are they doing about the real threats to the institution of marriage: divorce and cohabitation? Nothing. Is there just the smallest bit of hypocrisy here?
— Jack Burke
Salisbury

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