Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 1/1

Repeal DOMA

Currently, five states and Washington, D.C., allow same sex marriage and other states have varying degrees of civil unions and domestic partnerships, which makes for a conflicting mess of statutes across America. But even in the states that allow gay marriage, the Defense of Marriage Act prevents gays from attaining full equality and the 1,100-plus federal benefits we heterosexual married couples have. Repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” indicates our country’s attitude is evolving. The sad part is full equality is still just a hope for many of our fellow Americans, family and friends.

So I ask those of you who are opposed to same sex marriage to think of a few things for the new year. Wouldn’t you think we as a society would be encouraging people to enter long-term relationships instead of not to?

Imagine if you were born gay, how would you like your love for another respected? Who or what is damaged if a gay couple gets married? Why can’t you live and let live?

If you believe in equality for all Americans, please contact your senators and congressmen and ask them to support the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act.

Ron Belben

Paso Robles

Three lives lost

I am writing in regard to the double homicides in Santa Margarita. There are three tragedies in this event. The two women whose lives were cut short, the sorrow of their family and friends and the tragedy of Andrew Wesley Downs who is accused of this crime. 

Downs, his sibling and his parents are members of my church. Downs and his sibling grew up in the Sunday school and youth group. Both of them participated in the Sierra Service Project, a summer program where youth go and repair homes on Indian reservations in California and Arizona. 

Downs was a sweet, smart boy everyone enjoyed knowing. Then, in his early high school years, mental illness took hold and life became very different and very difficult for him and his family. 

His parents gave him all the love, support and professional help they possibly could, but in the end, it wasn’t enough. 

So three lives have been lost. The women who were killed and the once happy, sweet young man. I hope everyone will pray for these two families who have lost so much and for whom there is so much sorrow. 

Margaret Fertschneider

Atascadero

Same areas flood

Isn’t it strange that year after year, when we have a strong rain, the same areas in the county flood?

It seems that our county would take care of these areas after all these years.

Why not use some tax dollars and fix the problem? It certainly would save the county money in the future if we didn’t “patch it” each time it rains.

Bob Edmonds

Atascadero

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