Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Unpublished Letters

I am a long-time letter-writer to the San Jose Mercury News. Over the years, I have averaged about 1 letter published for every 8 submitted. Since May 15, I have sent 25 letters opposing same-sex marriage and have had only 1 published. During that same period there has been only one opinion piece critical of same-sex marriage published (and it focused only on the Supreme Court decision, not on same-sex marriage itself). Needless to say, many letters, news stories, and at least one editorial have been published casting same-sex marriage in a favorable light. I am posting several of my recent unpublished letters below in the hope that they will give some ideas to other letter-writers. I will post the rest later if anyone is interested.

Leonard Sax, an M.D. and an expert on sex differences, points out that boys and girls are really different, contrary to what "political correctness" has taught for several decades (Other Views, p. 13A, Aug. 20). I would add that men and women really are different as well. California voters should keep these facts in mind when they go to the polls this November to approve or disapprove the concept of gender-neutral marriage. Moms and dads bring complementary strengths and weaknesses to the parenting project, and we should establish in law that the normal and best child-raising team is two married biological parents.

Once again the Editorial Board has erroneously stated that our State Constitution now confers the right to marry on same-sex couples (August 17). Actually, the Constitution says nothing about same-sex marriage, and the Family Code still states that only marriage between a woman and a man is valid or recognized in California. What has changed is that last May a narrow majority of the Supreme Court, using convoluted reasoning, created the right in defiance of the will of the voters as expressed in 2000. In Justice Baxter's dissenting opinion at, he refers to the majority's move as "legal jujitsu."

In opposing Prop. 9, a reader (Letters, Aug. 12) states that "legislating social policy is always a bad idea." If this statement were prefaced by the word "Courts," I would agree. The May 15 decision ordering a change in the definition of marriage was a prime example of the Supreme illegitimately legislating social policy, in violation of the separation of powers as mandated in Article 3, Section 3 of the State Constitution. As Justice Baxter said in his dissent, "But a bare majority of the court, not satisfied with the pace of democratic change, now abruptly forestalls that process and substitutes, by judicial fiat, its own social policy views for those expressed by the People themselves."

A reader lists some threats to the institution of marriage, such as substance abuse, lack of commitment, and emotional immaturity (Letters, Aug. 9). An even bigger threat has been the spreading belief that marriage exists primarily for the personal fulfillment of the individual spouses. If it ceases to perform this function, either spouse may end the marriage unilaterally. This arrangement hurts children who must endure the long-lasting pain of a broken home. A little over one hundred years ago, the U. S. Supreme Court referred to marriage as a "holy estate" and a "sacred obligation." For the sake of the children who depend on solid marriages for a good upbringing, we need to work to restore marriage to a privileged place amount society's institutions.

According to Barbara Langworthy (Letters, Aug. 1), proponents of Prop. 8 claim that its language is inflammatory. This strange statement confuses the actual text of the proposition ("Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California") with the heading that has been assigned to the proposition by the Attorney General's office ("Eliminates the right of same-sex couples to marry"). I think that the Attorney General's phrasing is poor and is not likely to help the electorate to think clearly about the issue. The fight that is speaks of does not appear explicitly in any California state. Instead, the right was recently declared in a controversial 4-3 decision of the California Supreme Court. It is up to the electorate to decide in November whether that decision was correct.

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