Opinion L.A.

Observations and provocations
from The Times' Opinion staff

« Previous Post | Opinion L.A. Home | Next Post »

Mailbag: Gay marriage, nukes, delusions and and more

June 8, 2008 |  6:41 am

Readers sound off:

Jasmyne Cannick's Blowback on the California Supreme Court ruling got Darian Aaron into an expansive mood:

Why Black Gays & Marriage Is Not An Oxymoron

Lately there has been a lively debate concerning the importance of marriage equality for black gays and lesbians and whether or not we're actually interested in legalizing our relationships. I have to point to a recent post by Jasmyne Cannick where she does an incredibly good job of explaining why she didn't write about the major Supreme Court ruling last week that granted marriage rights to same sex-couples and why she has refused to participate in the fight for marriage equality.

There is this belief that as a gay person of color if you're interested in benefiting from marriage equality or participating in an effort that is clearly spearheaded by white gay organizations then you're somehow out of touch with the black gay community and the "real issues".

I simply reject the idea that as black gay men and women we cannot be concerned or pour our efforts into more than one cause at a time or that gay marriage is simply of interest to only white people. Maybe my position on this issue is a little bias because I'm in a committed relationship and I look forward to the day when my relationship is recognized legally and my family is extended all of the legal protections that are afforded in marriage, versus all of the legal red tape most gay families have to go through in order to protect themselves that in many cases in the end are not enough.

Does the broader gay community have a lot of work to do when it comes to including black gays on important issues? Of course. Is it fair to say that we've felt "pimped out" by the mainstream gay community when they only come to us when they need black faces to support a cause they deem important? Maybe so.

Yet these problems shouldn't dissuade us from openly embracing a civil right that we've been denied for far too long or even participating in the fight for marriage rights despite the collective guilt that is spreading in our community for doing so.

There are hundreds or even thousands of black gay couples who will jump at the chance to be married and just because they're faces aren't seen on the nightly news doesn't mean they don't exist. How many black gay men do you know that are out and willing to say so in front of a camera? If we're ever going to be a driving force in the gay rights movement or change the worlds perception of how gays and lesbians look then we must come out. But that's another topic for another day.

So I'm not buying the idea that gay marriage is not important to the black gay community and I question the motives of anyone who would purport such. Contrary to the growing belief, there are black gay couples who are in committed relationships and who look forward to taking those relationships to the next level. I know because my partner Trey and I are fortunate enough to be one of those couples.

Darian Aaron
Clik Magazine, Staff Writer
Living Out Loud with Darian
Black and SGL with No Apologies

Many readers wanted to comment on Raoul Lowery Contreras' "Obama's delusional foreign policy." Sunnyvale's Martha Blackwell says come out from under that rock:

"Obama is delusional"?  Have you been living under a rock for the past nearly 8 (God-awful) years? What does Bush have to do for you to understand he's been the worst president in the country's history? Do you have a relative or friend getting blown up in this worthless, outrageous mess in Iraq?  George Bush is not worthy to have his portrait in the presidential gallery.

I'm just hoping and praying the democrats can prevent Karl Rove's machine from stealing yet
another election. It will be decades before American recovers from this "bush league" administration. The only ones who have benfitted have been Halliburton, Cheney, the oil companies, Iran and the Saudis. Bought gas lately? It was $1.47 a gallon in 2000.

"President Obama" has a wonderful sound. For starters, he can put two coherent sentences together without a script!  Pronounce English. Americans can watch a press conference without becoming nauseous. He just may have an idea or two about bringing people together instead of blowing them up.  Perhaps the United States can even regain some semblance of  leadership in the world again.

M Blackwell
Sunnyvale, CA

Who can resist a "Wake Up!" letter? Not reader as901:

Wake up and learn from the past!

During WWII Japan used suicide bombers to fight us. Instead of using the Bush method of unending revenge, we left the infrastructure of Japan intact and agreed to rebuild, if Japan would agree to our rules.

We did not loot Japan, or torture citizens. We did not disband their police and fire department, as Bush did. We made friends of our enemies, and what we believed to be suicidal monsters turned out to be good allies.

You could learn a lesson from history! Endless hate and revenge has never ended a single war! Talking with our enemies has always been the first step to the end of any war!


Tsk, tsk, says Michael Madha:

I am sorry to see in today's LA Times Dr. Contreras sloppy essay urging "thinking people" not to support Sen. Obama. He deserves perhaps a D+ for a good try. Here is a form of slur from me that he uses.

"If this is the level of confused slurring by the Republicans then it is not surprising they are so unpopular as most thinking person can see through the mud slinging".

He starts by referring the readers to his puerile  essay the one where he says "Who do you want to steal YOUR money..." Umm excuse me whose money is it?Is it the robbers or the victim's. Not to mention the slur about the naive young lawyer.

Then he mud slings by associating Sen.Obama with Hamas. If the vicious terrorist ruling Burma employs  Sen. McCain's associates for lobbying in Washington , IT no way implies Sen.McCain approves of those terrorist terrorising Burma(Myanmar) and killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people there.

Dr. Contreras paraphrases President Bush to say "that talking with some people in this era of terrorism is delusional" then goes on to say that (Bush) has been talking to the Iranians. Tut tut.

Really Doctor you need to do better. The American people deserve better.

Yours sincerely,
Michael Madha

From The Old Pueblo comes a strong condemnation of U.S. policy:

In my opinion, the United States of America is the greatest terrorist threat to the world today! It is the only nation to have dropped nuclear bombs on civilian targets. It has killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, and thousands of Afghani citizens, calling it "collateral damage". It is the only nation currently pursuing an imperialist agenda in the world, in the pursuit of oil! How dare the American government, which possesses nuclear weapons and has actually used them in the past, expect to dictate to other nations that they are not allowed to have nuclear weapons? The American government only negotiates from a position of entitlement!

All the hype about Iran threatening Israel's existence is based on a mis-translation that has been deliberately blown out of all proportion in order to keep up the Bush administration's fearmongering prior to a planned pre-emptive strike on Iran, using Israel's safety as a pretext. Ahmadinejad was referring to the current administration in Israel's government.

"Thinking" Jews understand that peace can only be achieved through diplomacy and negotiation. The violence will escalate to infinity until Israel recognizes Palestine's right to exist.

Lynda Hendrell,
Tucson, Arizona

Reader Michael Bew digs back for an earlier Contreras piece on "The Bradley Effect."

I have several Latino friends and unfortunately Contreras is correct in his message.
Michael Bew

From Woodland Hills, Sheldon J. Baer sends in an email labeled "Gratuitous advice," which seems to be responding to various items:

There's advice to Putin from a professor suggesting that he mend his ways and not try to push back at the U.S. Then there's advice to China from our Sect'y of defense telling them that they are spending too much on armaments.

As I read these newspaper items I can't help asking myself how come we in the U.S. expect anyone to take our advice when by overt action, we are the most dangerous war making machine on the planet.

To my simple way of thinking it appears that we are doing our best to force Russia and China to seek comfort in each other's strength. China has the manpower and Russia has the untapped resources. Add to that the sorry fact that China is holding a big bundle of American I.O.U.'s. In view of these things and the military bases we've planted all over the world, maybe our advice should be directed inward.

And John Harding of Palm Springs read Timothy Rieger's recent Blowback "Nuclear denial," and sent in some recommended reading:

If Israel's atomic program is "little-understood", it is not for lack of available information. For those interested, read the 470 page book by Avner Cohen, "Israel and the Bomb", Columbia U. Press 1998.

John Harding, Palm Springs, CA

And that's all the mail for now! Thank you for reading Opinion L.A. and you can always send us your thoughts at opinionla@latimes.com

Comments ()