Unclear on whether letter was satire

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, January 19, 2007

I would like to submit a comment concerning Tuesday's letter to the editor titled "A few thoughts on gay marriage" by Josh Carter.

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It is unclear to me whether or not this letter was intended to be an attempt at satire directed at the recent letters condemning gay marriage. While it is at times appropriate to publish satirical letters, a balance must be struck concerning how these comments may be viewed by the public. This particular letter characterizes prejudice and discrimination in such a way that those members of the community who are not as sophisticated or educated as others may interpret them to mean that discrimination and prejudice is justified and accepted.

If this letter was not an attempt at satire, then I feel that the Juneau Empire has been irresponsible in publishing a letter that is only meant to spread hate and intolerance. I am an avid believer in First Amendment rights of free speech as articulated by the U.S. Constitution but those rights are not absolute. There is a level of responsibility that accompanies the rights we as Americans are afforded.

I also felt that Mr. Carter's comments directed at Jessica Rocco Humphrys were out of line and should not have been printed. I have reread Jessica's letter from Jan. 12 and am impressed at her maturity and grasp of the issue. In this country, we constantly complain that our youth are not engaged and that they are too busy playing video games to take any social responsibility. Jessica's attempt at participating in the system was ridiculed by Mr. Carter in his statements that she is too young to understand how the real world works and also that her opinion does not matter simply because she is not an adult. We have a responsibility to our youth, not only to engage them, but also to support their attempts to maturely articulate their views.

This letter could have terrible repercussions on this young woman. We should be applauding her, not printing letters that make her feel as if her opinions are worthless.

Kathy DiLorenzo


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