To the editor:
In 2005, my husband and I attended three golden wedding anniversary parties among our liberal friends in liberal Lawrence. Of the six individuals whose marriages were celebrated, four were retired faculty from the liberal Kansas University. The parties were arranged, attended and celebrated by loving children and grandchildren. Our own 50th anniversary was several years back. Another highlight of 2005 was a joyful wedding uniting large families across two continents, Africa and North America, and celebrated with traditional foods and customs from several communities.
Traditional family values seem to be alive and well here in this liberal blue county in a red state. I do not put the word liberal in ironic quotation marks. Our friends are genuine liberals - that is, they favor progress and reform; they favor the freedom of individuals to act or express themselves in ways of their own choice; they are generous and tolerant of the views of others. Such attitudes are often nurtured by a liberal arts education, available at Kansas University at its best.
But family values also exist in nontraditional families among our single, divorced, widowed and remarried liberal friends. They support aged parents, neighbors and friends, as well as their own children and other dependents. Some of our gay friends are in long-term relationships without the option of marriage. Liberal family values do not depend on narrow, judgmental views.