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Welcome to The Seattle Times' online letters to the editor, a sampling of readers' opinions. Join the conversation by commenting on these letters or send your own letter of up to 200 words letters@seattletimes.com.

June 21, 2009 at 3:04 PM

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Tactics of Referendum 71 opponents

Posted by Letters editor

Have some patience: gays' tactics only hurting cause

It's time for the gay-rights activists (including the "questioning") to take a deep breath, sit down and relax.

They want it all, and they want it now. They refuse to take measure of the political landscape. They decline to delay gratification. They are as persistent as an ill-tempered poodle. They just keep pushing, no matter the cost to our nation.

As an example, they're not satisfied with President Obama's recent decision ["Obama's effort to help gay couples falls flat," page one, June 18] to extend partnership rights to federal employees in same-sex relationships.

But Obama has more on his plate than any of his predecessors: two wars, a national economy in crisis, closing Gitmo, restraining North Korea and Iran, managing Pakistan, tax reform, health-care overhaul, salvaging America's image abroad, a Supreme Court confirmation, the legal mess left by Bush and roadless wilderness areas.

Gays are, to put it bluntly, small fish. Your clamorous, omnipresent pressure on the Obama administration is both distracting and counterproductive. Just back off. Your time will come ... and soon.

What's more, your movement doesn't play fairly. I give you the Seattle Public Utilities case ["Showdown over gays' privacy vs. public rights," NWWednesday, June 17]. A self-acclaimed conservative Christian and "Caucasian with no African-American blood," is requesting that the city provide him copies of e-mails and other communications relevant to meetings of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Transexual, Questioning Employees and Friends group.

Yet, the group is opposing the request on the basis that it might subject its members to harassment and/or retaliation. Give us a break. In a much-publicized effort ["Group wants to name names," NWTuesday, June 2], the gay movement is seeking to make public the names of all Referendum 71 signatories.

Why does the gay movement wish to publicize details about signatories? The first thing that comes to mind is to discourage citizens from signing the petition. The second? That would be to subject signatories to the same kind of harassment and intimidation the Seattle City Light LGBTQ seeks to avoid.

You can't have it both ways. Or can you? Sorry, I agree to a large extent with the gay agenda, but I hate your tactics.

-- John M. Clark, Aberdeen

Open-records law isn't for harassing gays

City attorneys who are ready to hand over the names and personal information of city employees active in a city gay-rights group to conservative, anti-gay employee Phil Irvin should think again. Do they really want to use the open-records law to aid and abet an anti-gay zealot in harassing and terrorizing gay city employees?

Irvin claims he only wants the information to start his own group of former gays and their allies. Since when do you need a list of gay employees to start a former gay group unless you plan to harass its members?

The gay-rights group uses city meeting rooms, as do other many other employee-based organizations. This does not make it in "the public interest" to ignore the U.S. Constitution, which protects employee privacy rights, their right to organize a group and keep membership lists and minutes private.

We have seen in the past few weeks a doctor murdered by an anti-abortion fanatic, a black guard killed in the Holocaust museum by a lifelong racist and anti-Semite and the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church exposing their hatred of gays, women, blacks and Jews to Seattle churches, synagogues and Garfield High School.

Our city must stand up against the right wing, not support its unholy crusades.

-- Doreen McGrath, Seattle

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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