As Royal Oak’s proposed Human Rights Ordinance approaches I am reminded of the heterosexual privileges I have lost as a gay man. Heterosexuals are not told that they do not deserve rights because of their "sexual behavior." Before I came out I was not reduced to simply what I did in the bedroom. It is a heterosexual privilege to legally marry. Heterosexuals do not worry about getting fired or evicted simply for being heterosexual. Before I came out, the only agenda people accused me of was of being a hard-working good person and treating people right. Now I am told I that I want "special rights" for wanting equal legal protection. I am told I am risking an increase in taxpayer's money and that I threaten the sanctity of marriage. This all happened to me overnight. If I never engaged in sexuality again I would still be gay. Does this mean I am not entitled to equal rights? The agenda seems backward. There is an agenda to keep me from being my authentic self. Saying I am gay removes my rights immediately. I believe ignorance is responsible for this. Before making judgments, inform and educate yourselves to our lives as gays and lesbians. —Joe Kort, email@example.com, Royal Oak
In Jack Lessenberry's excellent column "Bushwhacking us all" (MT, April 11-17), he takes President Bush and his minions to task for their mishandling of the spy plane incident near the Chinese border. I agree that this was an outright provocation by Bush's cold warrior advisors. But I draw the line when Lessenberry claims that, "We then bumped into one of their fighter planes that was sent up to see what the hell we were doing."
I cannot believe that anybody would believe that the pilot of a fully loaded E-3, with two dozen persons aboard, would deliberately play chicken with a enemy supersonic fighter. There is no way that anybody could credibly claim that the much larger, much slower, much less maneuverable E-3 was the aggressor here. The only explanation that passes the test is that the Chinese went up to harass the spy and bungled it.
As far as I'm concerned this doesn't get the Bushies off the hook. Their new stance as cold warriors has done much to provoke. Bush's foreign policy is a shamble of unilateral protectionism. Bush will cast many of the stabilizing policies which have kept the peace for decades on the scrap heap.
Instead he'll revive expensive, unworkable lunacy from the 1980's, like Star Wars defense and a purposefully ambiguous Taiwan policy.
The Bushies seem to be itching for a fight. In an international political atmosphere such as this it is no wonder that the Chinese feel threatened. The provocation wasn't in the air over the Chinese border. It was in Washington. —Arne Flones Ontario, Calif.