LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Rep. Walsh right to take stand for civil rights

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I am relatively new to the state and to Walla Walla, having arrived in early September. As a homeowner and established resident I am trying to learn more about the political issues that are being debated during the current legislative session.

Learning that Reps. Walsh and Nealey were going to conduct a community meeting on Feb. 18 I decided to attend.

I am a Democrat so decided to sit toward the rear of the room and listen to the proceedings. During the first hour and 25 minutes the discussion was centered on the budget, education, health care and taxes. Both Reps. Walsh and Nealey were attentive to the comments and questions from the audience and provided information or promises of follow up if the information was not readily available.

Just as the meeting was about to close someone asked Rep. Walsh about her vote in favor of gay marriage. She offered her explanation and said as part of her answer that it was an issue of civil rights. Rep. Nealey offered his explanation for his vote in the negative. Sitting at the back my question, to myself, was why do you care?

I have heard the argument that it will endanger the sanctity of marriage. The sanctity of marriage is already in danger and there are more divorces in the so called "Christian South" than in any other part of the country. The divorce rate was rising well before the advent of people's advocacy for gay marriage.

I have also heard that marriage is for procreation. If that is the case then should people who are beyond the age of procreating not be allowed to marry? If procreation is a goal should all heterosexual couples be required to sign a statement that they will have children even if they do not want to?

Another argument against gay marriage is that it's in the Bible. The Bible was written by men, transcribed from Latin to Greek to English by men and meanings lost or added to by men.

I applaud Rep. Walsh's vote, and her belief in the civil rights of all Americans.

Fred Smokoski

Walla Walla

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