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View Poll Results: Would You Vote in Favor of a Proposed Constitutional Amendment to Ban Same-Sex Marriages and Civil U
I would vote in favor of the amendment as is being proposed. 19 22.89%
I would vote in favor of the amendment, but only for banning same-sex "marriage." 8 9.64%
I would not vote in favor of the amendment no matter how it is being proposed. 52 62.65%
I'm not sure. 3 3.61%
Other (Please Specify Your Views Below) 1 1.20%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 83. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-11-2007, 05:04 AM
Yac
 
6,049 posts, read 7,689,468 times

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Guys, I understand some of you might feel like bringing religion into this discussion and Its fine. However, remember that God is not the topic.
Yac.
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Old 12-11-2007, 09:00 AM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
32,602 posts, read 77,235,199 times
Reputation: 19066
Sorry! I was the one who wanted to keep things calm in the first place, and then I go bringing faith into the equation. I truly am a dork sometimes!
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Old 12-11-2007, 09:04 AM
 
16,087 posts, read 40,998,312 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lehigh Valley Native View Post
I'll keep it brief. Same sex marriage is a no, however, same sex civil unions should be allowed with all the benefits of marriage. If people were rational and willing to compromise, this would be no-brainer.
"with all the benefits of marriage" - just pointing out that unless this means the over 1,000 federal measures such as social security survivorship, etc. it's really not equal rights.
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Old 12-11-2007, 09:08 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
919 posts, read 3,173,518 times
Reputation: 252
over 1,000 federal measures such as social security survivorship, etc. it's really not equal rights.

that is true...and it is discrimination too....now we just have to include all human beings, two of them over the age of 18....its as simple as that, right?
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Old 12-11-2007, 09:21 AM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
32,602 posts, read 77,235,199 times
Reputation: 19066
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaharbour View Post
over 1,000 federal measures such as social security survivorship, etc. it's really not equal rights.

that is true...and it is discrimination too....now we just have to include all human beings, two of them over the age of 18....its as simple as that, right?
You'd think that, wouldn't you? However, socially-progressive issues are always controversial in Pennsylvania. Just look at what a ruckus the short-lived public smoking ban in Scranton caused. While most states would have cheered a decision to promote public health, Scrantonians jeered and threatened litigation so they could continue to infect the lungs of non-smokers in public establishments. Wake up PA! It's not the year 1959 any longer! We've landed on the moon, own iPhones, invented hybrid vehicles, and have discovered...gasp...that gays can't spread AIDS through handshakes. (Cough...Huckabee...cough).
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Old 12-11-2007, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
919 posts, read 3,173,518 times
Reputation: 252
If you think its bad where you are....just try living in a small backward southern town...I am completely surrounded here.

One of the few places to eat here, advertises its a family eatery...so we go and in and ask to be seated in the non smoking area...just about every person stops talking and gives me this look...I was like, you do have a non smoking area, right? Nope, she said to me, she then said its all smoking in here...take it or leave it...i said well I will leave it then and that we did.
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Old 12-30-2007, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
32,602 posts, read 77,235,199 times
Reputation: 19066
Smile Some Recent Newspaper Editorials

Here are a few recent letters submitted to the editor of the Scranton Times-Tribune newspaper regarding this issue. If these three unopposed letters are any indicator, then I think local sentiment in the Northeastern corner of the Commonwealth, which has traditionally been socially-conservative, mirrors these poll results.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Room enough for everyone

Editor: I’m tired of having others tell us who should and shouldn’t be welcome in Scranton. It was bad enough to try to sell a city built on the blood, sweat and tears of immigrants that immigration is somehow evil. But now someone is trying to make me believe that my marriage is under siege and that the only way to save it is to exclude another group of people.

Who’s making this baseless claim? Take a look at a billboard near mile 189 on the northbound portion of I-81, set in between one selling insurance, another with giant horns, and a third encouraging me to gamble on the lottery. At first, this billboard looks quite different. It asks a provocatively worded question: “Should Pennsylvania Abandon Marriage?” and then instructs people to check out a Web site. Even a quick glance at that Web site, however, shows that this billboard is not so different after all. Like those around it, it too is trying to sell something — and doing so with levels of deceit and manipulation that would put most advertisers to shame.

Their Web site makes it clear that their agenda has little-to-nothing to do with the real marriages of real Pennsylvanians. Instead, it tries to whip up hate and fear by claiming that all our marriages are threatened by those seeking some legal recognition of their same-sex partnerships.

Now, you might say that I’m in the marriage business. As a rabbi, I have helped people find their soul-mates; I have performed a few hundred marriages; I have counseled many more. Never once did I ever hear even a hint that they were worried about the effect of same-sex partnerships on their marriage.

Just to be sure that I didn’t somehow have a skewed sample, I asked fellow clergy in town what their experience is. Again — none of them had ever had any couple that they dealt with raise this as an issue. A few did say, however, that some couples had come to them with a renewed commitment to making things work because, after seeing how hard same-sex couples were working to get any sort of recognition, they realized that they had been taking marriage for granted — and now they realized how precious it was.

Now don’t get me wrong — there are plenty of times that I and many others do feel that marriage is under siege. But just like the fear-mongers who use legitimate concerns about an uncertain job market to whip up hate at the false target of immigrants, this billboard only serves to turn our attention from real problems and solutions toward a convenient scapegoat.

If these people really wanted to help us in Scranton with our marriages, they’d work on providing safe, low-cost child care or help bring good, secure jobs that would relieve the economic anxiety that tears so many marriages apart. They’d encourage frank discussions about how the reality of marriage differs from the various fantasies that surround us in pop culture — from those that depict a good relationship as one that never has any problems at all to those that depict adultery as an adventure without serious consequences. And they’d support all those social services that help real families cope with real problems.

Whatever your views on same-sex relationships, I hope you see how ridiculous it is to claim that Pennsylvania is abandoning marriage. And I hope you agree with me that this sort of blind hatred and fear should have no place in Scranton. Especially at this time of year, let’s turn to each other with warmth and welcome. There’s plenty of room here for everyone who wants to help make Scranton better and better with each year.

RABBI DANIEL J. SWARTZ

TEMPLE HESED

SCRANTON
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Inclusive message


Editor: One of the finest letters to the editor ever written appeared on Dec. 17 in your newspaper. Rabbi Daniel Swartz of Temple Hesed, Scranton, wrote to protest the billboard posted on Interstate 81 which seeks to pit more Pennsylvanians against one another with the misleading query, “Should Pennsylvania Abandon Marriage?”

Rabbi Swartz deftly compares this campaign of prejudice and homophobia to the one waged in Hazleton against immigrants:

“It was bad enough to try to sell a city built on the blood, sweat and tears of immigrants that immigration is somehow evil. But now someone is trying to make me believe that my marriage is under siege and that the only way to save it is to exclude another group of people.” He then proposes goals for strengthening our families and our economy in simple language that our presidential candidates would do well to adopt, among them “safe, low-cost child care” and “good, secure jobs that would relieve the anxiety that tears so many marriages apart.”

Prejudice against homosexuals cloaked in smug self-righteousness is no way to strengthen marriage — or workplaces, schools, communities, or countries. Unlike the country of Iran, which claims to have no homosexuals, I am proud to employ the descendants of coal miners and factory workers — gay and straight — who, like their forbears, are without question the hardest working people in the world.

The caption on Rabbi Swartz’s letter says it best: there’s “Room for everyone.” Leaders in the public and private sector, including local employers, should scrap the demeaning practices of excluding homosexuals from employment or advancement, or promoting “don’t ask, don’t tell” policies that encourage people to hide or be ashamed of their sexual orientation. Either exclusionist approach diminishes each of us.

In religion class as children we were taught that God made each of us in his image and likeness. Thank you, Rabbi Swartz, for reminding us. Especially in this season, your wise and healing words are a source of “warmth and welcome” for us all.

MARGI CASEY McGRATH

DUNMORE

OWNER, UNIVERSAL PRINTING COMPANY
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Stop the hate in ’08

Editor: This month, a community religious leader and a community business leader each wrote letters to the editor, which I hope will lead the way to a new and better region, country and world for 2008.

For whatever reason, Northeastern Pennsylvania spent 2007 as a hotbed of national division. The good news is that the forces of freedom and common sense seem to be defeating the forces of division and hate. The influx of many “strange” immigrants divides the region along all kinds of lines. Santorum money and Barletta opportunism only started the fires of intolerance against immigrants. Make no mistake, it now burns all over America. The immigrant issue is disguised as against illegals, but attend any anti-immigrant rally and you will see that the real issue is immigrants, all immigrants.

Then there is the tired, old defense-of-marriage crowd whose real agenda is to attack homosexuals. After thousands of years, marriage now needs defending? What they really mean is that they are attacking those “strange” gays. I don’t know if their reason is fear or a need to feel superior. But degree of hate is the only difference between the assorted defense-of-marriage people and the extreme views of Westboro Baptist Church “Christians” led by the Rev. Fred Phelps, which protests at the funerals of our soldiers killed in combat.

Walk across any military base. Walk the halls of Walter Reed, as I do. You will see the “real” America. We are all there in the military: gay and straight, soldiers and generals, fundamentalist conservatives and atheists, children of illegal immigrants and, I suspect, illegal immigrants. The military has the brilliant and the challenged along with every color and racial mix under the sun.

This is America at its absolute best. Like a great stew, every flavor is identifiable and not easily blended into a wonderful creation. The real America is not the haters’ “America” of black and white, of obey and pay, or of every “man” for themselves.

The real America is much more like the military, especially at the unit level: a sometimes bruising mixture of all Americans nonetheless watching each other’s back to the death and totally committed to defending and building America. Join me in 2008 and renounce fear and hate. It is time to come back together as a people and address our very real challenges.

HAL DONAHUE

SCRANTON
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Old 12-31-2007, 01:07 PM
 
75 posts, read 350,428 times
Reputation: 23
I would vote for it. If 2 people love eachother and want to make it "official" who are we to stop it?
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Old 12-31-2007, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Marshall-Shadeland, Pittsburgh, PA
32,602 posts, read 77,235,199 times
Reputation: 19066
Quote:
Originally Posted by braylee View Post
I would vote for it. If 2 people love eachother and want to make it "official" who are we to stop it?
Thanks for the support, but actually voting "for it" (the amendment) means that you don't approve of same-sex civil unions and/or same-sex marriage. I realize the poll was a bit lengthy and somewhat confusing, so I can see where the mistake could happen. Happy New Year!
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Old 01-03-2008, 06:49 AM
 
Location: Northern Wayne Co, PA
620 posts, read 2,047,169 times
Reputation: 341
Wonderful letters from the Times. The rabbi's voice is so refreshing.
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