KERSTEN ON MARRIAGE

Seems like the pot calling the kettle black

 

Katherine Kersten's latest column against gay marriage could have been written 50 years ago to support a constitutional amendment to exclude interracial marriages ("Gay marriage supporters opt to intimidate," May 22).

If you believe that gays are entitled to equal treatment and that all committed monogamous relationships should be recognized and supported by the state, then opposing that position is discriminatory (often called bigotry).

It's pure and simple. In the United States, we do not vote to allow unequal treatment but guarantee "equal protection" to all.

BILL DRAKE, MINNETONKA

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One argument Kersten uses against same-sex marriage is that a child needs both a mother and father. If that's the case, is banning divorce next on the agenda?

How about criminalizing things like adultery that threaten and destroy more marriages than same-sex unions ever will? If we're going to defend marriage, let's go to the mat, or it will seem discriminatory.

JEFF ZIMMERMAN, MINNETONKA

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Quite understandably, Kersten resents being called a bigot. No one wants to be called negative names -- not those in the majority, not those in any kind of minority, though it is the latter who have always suffered the broadest barrage when it comes to hurtful name-calling.

Kersten is apparently part of the heterosexual majority and thinks it's better for the voting public to decide who should enjoy the benefits of marriage. Of course, had this same logic been allowed to determine whether African-Americans should enjoy equal rights in this country, such rights may never have come about.

The Equal Rights Act of 1964, rather than being put to a nationwide vote, was passed by those who had the greatest opportunity to study the needs and implications of it. Fortunately, it was not determined by those who, quite predictably, would have voted on the bases of tradition, emotion, prejudice, religious bias and, yes, bigotry.

Let's hope that by 2012 such characteristics will not outweigh concerns for equal rights when we decide if "only a union of one man one woman shall be valid or recognized as marriage in Minnesota."

GERALD T. NORDSTROM, MINNEAPOLIS

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Well, I guess I've read everything now! According to Kersten, poor, tiny, defenseless Target Corp. was the victim of bullying by some huge, nameless, well-funded gay organization that opposed Target's contribution to antigay Republican Tom Emmer's gubernatorial campaign. And a similar huge, unnamed organization of bullies in California intimidated antigay supporters in that state.

It must be a new addition to the Republican Handbook to brand the victims of bullying as being the bullies themselves. It reminds me that back in the 1960s, segregationists blamed "outside agitators" for causing the civil-rights problems in the United States.

By Kersten's lopsided logic, George Washington was a bully, too, as well as Gandhi, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and even Jesus. Shame on you, Katherine.

D. KINGSLEY HAHN, ARDEN HILLS

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NEWSPAPER COVERAGE 

Too much coverage of stadium reflects bias

 

Star Tribune Editor Nancy Barnes stressed the care the newspaper takes in order to present unbiased information on a possible new Vikings stadium ("Newsroom's stadium coverage: Just the facts," May 22).

She also stated that the stadium issue had garnered 30 stories in 2010 and 48 articles already in 2011, many of which appeared on the front page.

Having that many articles in less than five months (averaging more than two each week) reflects a bias for the stadium.

The media plays into the hands of a small minority who are vitally, perhaps fanatically, interested in this topic and glory in this free publicity. The majority of us have only a casual interest, no interest, or are totally opposed to a new stadium and would rather see real news on the front page.

KATHY KASTEN, FARIBAULT, MINN.

EDUCATION COMMISSIONER 

Where seldom is heard an encouraging word

 

In the article about Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment test results, Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius bemoans the obvious "gap" between black and white students, rather than acknowledging progress ("Gaps overshadow test scores," May 25).

Wake up. In all the comparisons I saw, almost every category experienced an increase or held steady over previous years. Shouldn't the commissioner be celebrating success rather than growling about an issue that's been addressed for years?

I imagine that educators would love a little positive notice from the commissioner's office. I'm sure that any rational person will recognize that a huge gap still exists between groups. This won't be forgotten.

Most educators recognize that this year is simply one successful step in a long journey to closing the gap. Let's give them our continued support in getting to the results they desire.

KEN BARR, ELK RIVER

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OUT TO THE BALLGAME 

Don't overcharge for stadium street parking

 

I'm happy to see that Minneapolis is capitalizing on the free parking that was available around Target Field. However, there's a difference between capturing that revenue and greed.

I went to a recent Twins game and was dismayed to find that my "free" spot was now $12. That's too much money to pay to leave my car on a city street for event parking.

The public seems to agree with me; very few of the newly metered spots were taken. Why not make the fee more reasonable, say $8? I bet the city could actually generate revenue at that rate.

J. MARK PILROSE, GOLDEN VALLEY