What about the golden rule? | TheUnion.com

What about the golden rule?

This is in response to the Other Voices article of Sept. 15.

While I respect the writer’s right to express his opinion of Judge Walker’s ruling on Proposition 8, and The Union’s obligation to print a wide spectrum of viewpoints, I vigorously oppose the publication of blatant inaccuracies and hateful, anti-humanitarian statements in the legitimate press.

I will leave it to better scholars than I to expose the column’s misrepresentations, half-truths and oversimplifications – and their apparent sources.

What I find unacceptable are those comments that fly in the face of the letter and the spirit of the Bill of Rights, and that denigrate a large portion of the people of Nevada County.

Women make up more than half of our population. Mr. Pohorsky stated that “rule of equality lead to emancipation of women, to abandon the care of home and education of children, and to join the labor force in quest of personal fulfillment and career.” That might be nice if it were so, but it doesn’t exactly depict reality.

I would point out that at least 32 percent of California’s children live in homes headed by single mothers, and that 37 percent of live births are to unmarried women. Although I certainly can’t speak for all of them, I’m pretty sure that most would not have chosen to go it alone. Child-rearing is just too hard.

Obviously, not working is not an option for these women, nor is it an option for most married women, again for economic reasons. And, despite the fact that women now comprise more than half the work force in this country, and despite strides toward equal opportunity in recent decades, there persists a significant wage gap in all but a few professions between women and their male counterparts.

Today’s statistics don’t indicate “equality” or “emancipation,” or even, necessarily, “fulfillment.” They do indicate an honorable response to economic exigency, and they do demonstrate that women have not abandoned the care of their children.

Mr. Pohorsky also insults lesbians and gays, who make up a relatively small, but extremely important, part of our Nevada County community. He accuses them of engaging in intimidation and fraud in order to sway opinion and, most egregiously, conflates same-sex marriage with theft and murder.

In fact, the lesbians and gays I know are dedicated professionals in a wide variety of fields, business people, visual and performing artists, hard-working volunteers and philanthropists. They have played an important role in reinvigorating this community over the past several decades, and continue to work to insure its viability. Our quality of life would be much diminished without them.

In the course of his discussion, the writer states that Judge Walker nullified the votes of 7 million people (out of approximately 22 million eligible voters in California), implying that vast numbers make right. Not necessarily so. Proposition 8 will eventually be decided – as it should be – by interpretation of the Constitution.

Many times in the past, sometimes informed by prejudice or demagoguery, citizens have voted in favor of an issue that was later overturned by reasonable, impartial review. Might does not make right, nor do throngs. If that were so, we would live in a world ruled by the mob, our governance no better than that of the regimes we deplore.

Finally, I object to the writer’s assertion, in a public forum, of what God has “defined and blessed.” At their peril, our forefathers fled imposed state religion in order to practice their faith according to their conscience. Later, our so-frequently invoked founding fathers established freedom of religion as the first tenet of the First Amendment. To me, that means each of us can love our God in our own way, and, I would hope, our neighbors as ourselves.

Diane Robertson lives in Nevada City.

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