Saving marriage

Rick Santorum believes we must move quickly to make same-sex marriage illegal or else face "the end of marriage, a decline of the family, more children being raised without dads, and a deep erosion of our freedom of religion" ("A wake-up call on gay marriage after '03 alarm went unheeded," May 22).

Haven't others demanded that Catholics not marry Protestants, Christians not marry Jews and vice versa, and blacks and whites not be permitted to marry each other? Despite these calls, marriages involving these diverse groups have expanded in number, and none has in any way adversely affected my marriage to a woman of my own faith.

Just how and why would the marriage of two people of the same sex who love each other and who want to declare their intention to spend their lives together as a married couple adversely affect me or the lives of my children? And does such a broadside against homosexuals not seem extremely similar to those broadsides that in earlier years railed against interracial marriages?

Ian Wachstein

Collingswood

Distract voters

The real reason for urging anti-gay-marriage amendments to state constitutions is obvious: politics (Inquirer, May 22). It's pretty much the only "wedge" issue left to the right wing now that President Bush has bankrupted all of the others. Getting such proposals on ballots in "blue" states will probably boost conservative turnout in November. It's a great way to distract voters from Iraq, Iran, nukes, crippling oil prices, the precipitous fall of the dollar, the economy, and the deficit.

Joseph W. McGuire

Mt. Laurel

Age and promises

It's hard when your words come back to haunt you, isn't it, Mr. Andrews?

U.S. Senate candidate Rob Andrews is running an ad referencing Frank Lautenberg's 1982 campaign, in which he argued that Millicent Fenwick, then 72, was too old to be in the Senate ("Foe launches age-old attack on Lautenberg," May 22). The Andrews ad concludes: "It's hard when your words come back to haunt you, isn't it, Mr. Lautenberg?"

Andrews had to go back 26 years to find words to use against Lautenberg, but we need only go back several months in the case of Andrews. He promised to support Lautenberg's reelection. Before announcing his own candidacy, Andrews openly supported Lautenberg, only to attack him from behind at the last minute. We need politicians we can trust.

It's hard when your words come back to haunt you, isn't it, Mr. Andrews?

John Leon

Haddon Township

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Tickets for students

I admire Todd B. Hilsee's suggestion to have Mayor Nutter reward a student with box tickets for sporting events (Letters, May 22), but take exception to two parts of his idea.

One, why only public school students? Why not include home-schooled, parochial and private school students?

Two, why only students who make the honor roll? Isn't there value in rewarding a student whose behavior has improved, whose community service makes a difference, whose leadership skills inspire others?

Rewards should be received not just for achieving certain academic goals, but for working equally hard with the abilities and skills you are given.

Hannah Dougherty Campbell

Havertown

Tasteless gun joke

It is unbelievable that a potential vice presidential candidate would joke that someone had aimed a gun at Barack Obama ("Huckabee remark at NRA misfires," May 17). A significant number of African Americans already express fears for Obama's safety on the campaign trail, given our country's history of violence against high-profile African American men.

The irony of all this is how some Republican sympathizers intend to use Michelle Obama's comment about not being proud of her country in the fall campaign, should Obama win the nomination. But how can any American be proud of her country when a political elite such as former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee tells such a tasteless and stupid joke?

Junius Solomon

Willingboro