Constitution should protect freedoms, not restrict them

Posted: Tuesday, March 02, 2004

A response to Mr. Baxter's letter to the editor on Feb. 19th (Constitution Shouldn't Exclude Anyone):

First off, I want to say I applaud your perspective and have to thoroughly agree 100 percent with your comments. I'd also like to add my voice to your growing outrage concerning the injustice and discrimination being forced upon the gay/lesbian community in this country by the archaic thinking of the Bush administration, the state legislatures (including Alaska's) that have enacted laws banning the right to join in civil marriage for this minority, and that of the religious right.

I was under the impression we had a separation of church and state in this nation ... the civil marriage is completely separate from the ceremony before God and should be treated as such. We will never have true equality in our society as long as our elected officials continue to practice separatism and let their personal beliefs influence the issue of what is morally the correct path for all their constituents, including those with values that differ from their own.

Secondly, I want to condemn the representatives, some of whom I admit I foolishly helped elect, for adopting such discriminatory legislation and adding that language to a sacred document that is supposed to guarantee freedoms, not take them away. I respectfully urge you to repeal this black mark on our state constitution and do everything in your power to make sure this type of bigotry doesn't make its way into the U.S. Constitution by calling, writing, faxing, and e-mailing Mr. Stevens, Ms. Murkowski, Mr. Young, President Bush, and whoever else will listen, condemning the reprehensible Federal Marriage Amendment purposed by Rep. Marilyn Musgrave of Colorado.

It's 2004, let's move forward ... not backward.

Derek Williams


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