Readers Write (March 28): Same-sex marriage, gambling, voter fraud

  • Updated: March 27, 2013 - 6:58 PM
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SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

Now is the time for favorable ruling

Are the Supremes copping out? To hear Justice Samuel Alito sound uncomfortable making a decision about same-sex marriage because he believes this notion to be something newer than the Internet and cellphones sounds like a cop-out to me.

My partner and I have enjoyed a monogamous relationship for 28 years. We have owned a lovely home in south Minneapolis for more than 20 years.

Cellphones weren’t readily available when we got together, and we got online only after we moved into our house. We have foregone the far-longer-standing benefits available to married couples who have lived a similar lifestyle, all this while.

Human rights cannot be relegated to the popular vote. It is beyond time for this decision to handed down that will ensure equal rights for all citizens.

Jim Maurer, Minneapolis

• • •

As the high court contemplates same-sex marriage issues, Minnesota’s own elected officials feel that they, too, have been empowered to redefine marriage; hence, rendering it arbitrary. I have an idea — let’s bus our elementary and preschool children to see a “Gay Pride” parade. All you elected officials in favor, raise your hand — I dare you.

Dan Murray, Eden Prairie

• • •

There are more than 1,100 federal laws that give economic benefits to married couples but deny these benefits to same-sex couples. Yet, the government never fails to deduct taxes from everyone’s paycheck regardless of sexual orientation.

Jim Dahlgren, Crystal

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GAMBLING

For public funding, a sordid addiction

If revenue from sin taxes were going down because of fewer smokers or less alcohol consumption, no one would support a campaign to grow consumption up to earlier levels. Yet, when gambling revenues needed to support the stadium are down from forecasts, we are in a panic.

Seriously, are we really going to redouble our efforts to increase gambling in this state? Are these the actions of a government that is promoting the general welfare consistent with its establishment under either the U.S. or Minnesota constitutions?

It appears to me that the people in power are promoting the demise of Minnesotans. I am not questioning our tolerance for gambling. I am just wondering if we constituted this government for our own detriment.

If drug use were legal, would these people promote its use to raise money for the government? Which of the seven deadly sins should we expect the government to support in the interest of raising money?

Ben Riechers, Coon Rapids

• • •

“He who lives by the crystal ball soon learns to eat ground glass,” said Edgar R. Fiedler in “The Three Rs of Economic Forecasting — Irrational, Irrelevant and Irreverent,” June 1977.

I was reminded of this quote after reading about the pulltab revenue shortfall. I’m sure legislators are not enjoying their unexpected meal.

I wonder if the forecasts justifying the St. Paul Saints ballpark will deliver similar disappointment? Will the city realize a $10 million economic benefit annually? Will the ballpark host 200 events per year? Will 400,000 people visit the Lowertown neighborhood each year? From what I’ve read, there is little if any substantiation of these crystal ball forecasts.

I believe Mayor Chris Coleman and the City Council should exercise prudence and evaluate proposals to make the project multipurpose and generate revenue year-round. Why the rush? There’s still time to do this right. They won’t enjoy the ground glass.

Robert Grenier, St. Paul

• • •

The recent headline “Gambling firms drove flawed Minnesota e-pulltab funding plan” made me laugh. Any Vikings stadium revenue plan was doomed when Mystic Lake Casino paid off Canterbury Park to end any chance of Minnesota sharing a fraction of hundreds of millions in annual gaming revenue (“Old foes, Canterbury Park and Mystic Lake join forces to block nontribal racino and boost purses,” June 4, 2012).

Ironically, the Mystic Lake/Canterbury deal seems likely to keep 90 percent of Native Americans below national poverty levels in perpetuity, despite one of the most generous tribal-state compacts in the nation. Where was the outcry?

It’s never been politically correct or “Minnesota nice” to suggest that “one of the state’s wealthiest tribes” (as the 2012 article stated) has kept the Legislature in its pocket through generous political donations.

Like most Minnesotans, I feel shame about the historic mistreatment of Native Americans in the United States. The fact is, the current situation in this state is grossly unfair to the majority of our Native American residents and to all Minnesotans as well.

Kevin Welsh, St. Anthony

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VOTER FRAUD

Forgetfulness is not, by law, forgivable

Is voting twice a terrible crime? Probably not in the larger scheme of things (“So an older person doubles up on patriotic duty. It happens,” Letter of the Day, March 27). However, that is why society has laws and rules in place. Without them, there would be utter chaos.

Think about it — what if you “forgot” to pay for that Easter ham? What if you “forgot” to stop at the intersection and pressed the gas instead and hit the car in front of you? We are all getting older. Forgetfulness should not be accepted as an excuse for breaking any laws.

Sharron Ebert, Brooklyn Park

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