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LETTERS IN THE EDITOR'S MAILBAG.

Byline: The Register-Guard

Why do we restrict gay rights?

I'm a student at Churchill High School, and I believe this is a free country and people should be allowed to be who they are.

The passage of Measure 36 banning gay marriage doesn't mean that you won't see gays showing affection for each other in public. If we banned that right, what is our country coming to?

Most people who think homosexuality is wrong think so because the Bible says it is wrong. I do believe in the Bible, but I still believe that people should have rights. It doesn't matter what your sexual orientation is, you still have rights.

There is a book called "Conversations with God for Teens," and in it a girl asked God why she is a lesbian. His response was that she was born that way. Even though that book really isn't God answering the questions, the author had a good point. You are born gay and no matter how you try to change it, you can't. You can try to deny it but sooner or later you will realize who you are.

Why does the rest of society care, anyway? Gays have been around since the beginning of time. Why is it such an issue to people now?

We live in America, land of the free. If that is true, why can't gays have the rights that everyone else has?

BRITTANY HOLTZ

Eugene

Progressives aren't going away

Robert Boyer (letters, Dec. 24) wants progressives to desert the United States so that "we can move forward with the values that made the United States the wonderful country that it is."

Given the depredations of the Bush administration, if this is the direction Boyer is seeking, "wonderful" is truly a loaded word. But if he thinks that progressive Americans are going to stand for such a nation, he can dream on.

We refuse to stand by while President Bush and company trash the environment, even reversing policies of the Reagan administration. We refuse to stand by while Bush and company trash our constitutional protections, including habeas corpus, in the name of some fuzzyheaded concept of homeland security. We refuse to stand by while Bush and company try to hand over Social Security to Wall Street barracudas. And we particularly refuse to stand by while Bush and company continue to dribble away our soldiers' lives in an ill-conceived and unwinnable war.

No, we are not going away. We already know that criminal offenses occurred in this regime - the illegal disclosure of a covert CIA agent and diversion of congressionally appropriated funds from Afghanistan to Iraq.

We'll be watching, and we'll do our best to impeach these creeps.

MICHAEL E. PETERSON

Eugene

U.S. still world's best country

In response to the Dec. 22 letter by Steve Kale: It is the irrational and unreasonable thinking and statements by people like Kale and his wife that are going to make the election map of 2008 awash with red.

The fact that he labels people who voted for President George Bush as dumb, just as the Democrats did shortly after the election, tells me that the further left you go, the further you are from your right mind.

The United States of America is not perfect and neither are its leaders, but it is still by far the best country in this world we live in. Kale says that Ukraine has taught the world a lesson in democracy. I don't ever recall a democratic election in this country when one party poisoned and nearly killed the opposing candidate. The left should consider making some major changes in its thinking or get used to feeling like Kale does right now for a long time.

As for moving to Canada, Switzerland or Ukraine, if Kale is still serious, I will make one-way travel arrangements for him as long as he promises not to come back.

CORY MATTHEWS

Springfield

Abstinence isn't only answer

Abstinence-only sex education advocates like Jacqueline McDonald (letters, Dec. 23) just don't see the big picture.

McDonald proclaims that "the total number of teens abstaining from sex before marriage nearly achieves 2010 projections ... 90 percent for teens under age 15 and 75 percent for teens ages 15 to 17." Those teenagers are safe from the scourges of teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS. That's good.

However, we can't dismiss the other group of teenagers. It is the remaining 10 percent (under 15) and 25 percent (15 to 17) that fall through the cracks of abstinence-only sex education. A discriminatory program that preaches only abstinence fails to teach them about other methods of contraception and protection.

The reality is that some teens are going to have sex. Period. If teenagers are taught only to abstain, then those teens who don't abstain won't know how to protect themselves against the aforementioned complications.

Comprehensive sex education is the answer to this problem. Teach teens that abstention is the best method for contraception, but also teach them about other contraceptives. That way each person is receiving the right message. Teens disposed to abstain will abstain, and those teens who are going to have sex regardless of the content of their sex education class will know about other ways to protect themselves.

Kudos to Planned Parenthood and its comprehensive sex education program, because it is the only way to protect everyone.

CHRIS KEADY, Junior

Sheldon High School

Eugene

Where do human beings fit in?

Sally Collins (Register-Guard, Dec. 23) tells us that federal officials will focus on the overall health of the forests rather than on individual species. Can't she see the forest for the trees?

Where in the new world is the health and fate of the species Homo sapiens being considered? Or will we, too, be re-invented in this dynamic plan?

Someone has lost an important part of the puzzle.

BETTE BERGREN

Florence

Mourning misguided patriots

It is difficult to write this about a Eugene man of courage whose interview with reporter Jeff Wright appeared Dec. 23.

Michael Oreskovic is a decent, caring man who deserves to be whole, with the arm he lost while in the Army in Iraq. He said he wishes he could return to his infantry assignment in Iraq because he feels an obligation to "the person next to me" in his unit. That's an understandable attitude essential for the effective operation of the military. It also reveals brainwashing that results in some soldiers who never question the lie that our presence in Iraq is something honorable instead of illegal.

Another Eugene man, a Marine back home from Iraq for Christmas, had a different response in talking with me. He said: "I go back soon to try to train Iraqi men to serve in an Iraqi army. Most of those I train to kill other Iraqis will instead eventually turn their guns on us. Because of what we have done to their country, I can't blame them."

I mourn the misguided patriot who said, "I tell my dad `I love you' every night now," yet wants to go back. It's as if he is unaware of the many Iraqi fathers and children who no longer can express that love because U.S. soldiers follow orders and kill them to fulfill their country's tragic, illegal purposes in Iraq.

GEORGE BERES

Eugene

DeFazio is a national leader

On Nov. 2, voters in Oregon's 4th District returned Rep. Peter DeFazio to Congress by an overwhelming majority, with more than 60 percent of the vote.

Because of his years of service and experience, DeFazio is becoming a national leader. He already has important positions on the Transportation Committee, the Resources Committee and is the ranking Democrat on the water and power subcommittee.

DeFazio is a consistent fighter for the rights of the people, especially those who don't have big money lobbyists working for them in Washington, D.C.

DeFazio makes it a point to stay connected with the people he serves. He has held more town hall meetings with constituents over the last 10 years than any other Oregon congressman. Working closely with local officials, he has also been instrumental in fighting for and securing funding for all the ports in his district. He has fought for and secured funding for Oregon's transportation needs and for higher education, bringing federal funds to the University of Oregon.

One of DeFazio's most significant accomplishments was sponsoring and fighting for a law that reimbursed Lane County for the federal forest land resources in our midst. Because of his important role in this success, DeFazio was present along with me in the White House Oval Office when this bill was signed into law.

We are privileged to have Peter DeFazio as our congressman. He is a fighter for common people who isn't afraid to say what he thinks.

PETER SORENSON

Lane County commissioner

Eugene
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Dec 30, 2004
Words:1479
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