No ‘separate but equal’ marriage

To the editor:

I’m so tired of the people who live in this capital of quickie marriages at fast food chains and ersatz “chapels,” pontificating about the “sanctity” of marriage. Marriage may at one time have been “sacred,” but that definition doesn’t hold any more, with the advent of no-fault divorce, pre- nuptial agreements and easy annulments.

The current definition of marriage is a social and legal contract between two consenting adults, registered with the government for the purpose of receiving rights and benefits and formalizing responsibilities. No clergy need be involved.

No blessing of a religious organization is required and no religious organization or person is required to perform marriages that go against their doctrine. Indeed, there are still orthodox rabbis who won’t perform or recognize interfaith marriages and they’re perfectly within their rights to do so.

Marriage has been “re-defined” many times, even since the birth of this nation

Mr. Kessel (“Redefining marriage is not equality,”) inflating a balloon doesn’t re-define the balloon, it expands it. Likewise, allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry doesn’t re-define marriage, it expands it. Civil unions, domestic partnerships or any other label you would attach to such unions is simply not acceptable, given the social cachet that’s attached to the word “marriage.”

Imagine going to a doctor’s office or checking into a hotel and having to explain your relationship with your spouse to the front office; there’s no word equal to or as understood as “marriage.” What you’re advocating is no less restrictive and invidious than the “separate, but equal” policies that divided our country in the early ’60s.

I’m not willing to accept what a Supreme Court justice recently termed a “skim milk” marriage.

My commitment to and love for my spouse is just as great as I assume yours is, and that love and commitment should be afforded exactly the same respect and recognition. Those who aren’t willing to afford that respect and recognition to my husband and me are just as guilty of bigotry as those in the ’50s and ’60s who refused seats in the front of the bus to African-American citizens.

JOEL STRAUS

LAS VEGAS

Shooting hostages

To the editor:

In “What are we going to do when the real pain starts?” columnist Steve Sebelius says, “Congress … immediately restored the funds cut from the Federal Aviation Administration.”

No. Congress called Obama out by publicly confirming the flexibility the Obama administration already had to fully fund TSA inspectors. The sequester cut the rate of government growth, not the FAA budget. Obama can’t abide that because Democrats get votes the old fashioned way, they buy them with taxpayer cash. The sequester threatens their main source of campaign funding.

The government took airline passengers prisoner back when it put unionized Transportation Security Administration bunglers in airports. The phony sequester slowdown was Obama’s version of negotiating a political difference with Congress by shooting the hostages.

LYNN MUZZY

MINDEN

Dumping mental patients

To the editor:

News this week of a Nevada psychiatric hospital giving released mentally ill patients bus tickets to California doesn’t come as a surprise, (“Patient dumping leads to firings at state hospital,” April 29.)

They probably got the idea from California, where about a decade ago the Beverly Hills Police Department provided mentally ill and homeless people rides to shelters in the Peoples Republic of Santa Monica. The problem with this practice is that many of the mentally ill dumped in California get elected to public office.

JAMES MAGNUSON

LAS VEGAS

Marijuana dispensary bill

To the editor:

As you may know, we may soon have marijuana dispensaries here in Nevada.

That’s all fine and well, but what you may not know is that the bill allows the licensing of some who have records of drug and violent crime felonies. Why? Are we going to have convicted criminals owning, growing and operating dispensaries? Since the growers, bud tenders, trimmers, owners, etc. aren’t required to be medical marijuana patients, are they going to be drug tested to ensure they aren’t using what they’re selling? If a bud tender can’t use it legally, how are they going to be able to tell a licensed patient what the effects, both good and bad, will be for them?

Also, here at the last minute, someone added an amendment to the bill that says that once a dispensary opens in your area, a patient will no longer be able to grow their own. This was added way after any public comment on the bill so that no one would raise a stink about it. No matter how you look at it, this is dirty politics. This will leave patients at the mercy of whatever the dispensaries will be selling and it’s not fair to those that have been growing their own.

To whatever the dispensary charges for, say, an eighth ounce of marijuana (that’s 3.5 grams) add in state tax and the new $10 transaction fee the state gets, and that eighth will cost upwards of $65-70 dollars. Add another $50 dollars to that and a patient can grow all they need for the month. This is forcible and state-approved financial rape.

Many patients are in serious shape, on Social Security or very limited income and the prices that for-profit dispensaries will be charging, along with the dues for the state will force patients back to the street where they are now. It will be cheaper.

It’s really sad when those that are duty bound to protect the interests of Nevadans look for and allow profit from the sickest of the sick in this state. Shame on you.

DANIEL JOHNSTON

LAS VEGAS

Killer dog

To the editor:

Concerning the letter from Anita Kase about Onion, I am in agreement 100 percent. Has this poor dog been forgotten? Maybe they hope he will die due to neglect and a broken heart. C’mon animal lovers, let’s put some pressure where it’s due to solve Onion’s case. What kind of animal shelter would let this go on?

SANDRA COBB

HENDERSON

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