Letters to the Editor

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November 17, 2010


To the editor:

As a freedom-loving Kansan, it saddens me to know that our governor-elect, Sam Brownback, plans to oppose the repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” military policy, a policy that denies soldiers equality based on their sexual orientation. In Mr. Brownback’s eyes, this policy has worked “relatively well”.

I recall reading about a black soldier who, after fighting for his nation’s freedom during World War II, was denied the right to enter a restaurant in his hometown. Through the restaurant’s windows this highly decorated young black soldier could see German prisoners of war (who were relocated to his town during the war) being served. Can you imagine how devastated that young soldier must have felt to be denied admittance to a café in his hometown where the enemy combatant was being served?

Compare that story to a gay soldier returning home from Iraq and being denied the right to settle down and marry the person of his/her choosing. This soldier can look through “the windows” of the church or the courthouse and see heterosexuals marry the person of their choosing. This soldier knows that convicted criminals including murderers, rapists and pedophiles cannot be denied their freedom to marry pursuant to any sentencing law in any U.S. court, yet she who has just been fighting for her country is denied the freedom to choose her life partner. Can you imagine how devastated that young soldier must feel?

Denying people equality — either in the military or in civilian life — is simply wrong. Discrimination is not something that can work “relatively well.”

Rick Frydman,



bruno2 7 years ago

What a measured and informed response. Try this, you are prejudiced.

Cait McKnelly 7 years ago

"You are warped."

Warp n. (Merriam-Webster definition #3) a : a twist or curve that has developed in something originally flat or straight b : a mental aberration

Now look in the mirror and repeat that sentence.

booyalab 7 years ago

When we legislate that certain discrimination is wrong in certain cases, as it is with discrimination against race and sexual orientation, that is not equality. People, businesses, and institutions of all kind discriminate constantly and get away with it. When I make friends, I'm discriminating. When I shop at Target instead of Walmart, I'm discriminating. You can't outlaw 1% of discrimination and claim to be for equality. If you're for anything, it's the arbitrary rule of fascism.

Mike Wasikowski 7 years ago

I'm for discrimination between different people. Just like you, I do it on a daily basis. I don't know how I could possibly go through a day without discriminating at least once. What I'm not for, however, is discrimination on factors that individuals have no control over and that have absolutely no bearing on their capabilities. Do you think somebody being a specific ethnicity or having a specific sexual orientation has any effect on whether they could be a good soldier? I'd say either of those factors make absolutely no difference compared to factors like integrity, duty, courage, or honor. Strangely, almost all Special Forces members, the most elite of soldiers, seem to agree with me.

booyalab 7 years ago

So you think that people should be allowed to discriminate against those you would discriminate against, but it should be illegal to discriminate against anyone you wouldn't.

Mike Wasikowski 7 years ago

That's not at all what I said, but thanks for trying to propagandize my words.

I notice that you didn't answer my question. I'll pose it again: do you think somebody being a specific ethnicity or having a specific sexual orientation has any effect on whether they could be a good soldier?

seriouscat 7 years ago

Of course institutions discriminate all the time and get away with it. However here in America most people today believe it's better for society that businesses and schools and the military should discriminate only upon ability and not upon race and sexual orientation.

It's comical that you equate that with 'the arbitrary rule of fascism".

booyalab 7 years ago

Because I know what it means and you don't?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

He's still a Senator until his term of office ends, or he swears in as governor.

Bob Forer 7 years ago

i discriminate against idiots, and there are a lot of them on this here board.

somedude20 7 years ago

ah, proof of this "god" that you speak of please...

bruno2 7 years ago

Many "felt" that blacks were inferior. Also, Irish, Spanish, Italians. Medical science has proven these feelings wrong, as it has your ridiculous "mental illness" claim. It is bigots like you that suffer from mental illnesses, paranoia, prejudice, ignorance, etc.

oliveoyl 7 years ago

Wow. Bwahahahaha. You poor ignorant soul. No use in trying to educate you, you are not open minded enough to reason with. I would beg to differ that you are delusional and possibly the one who suffers from mental illness. A little birdie told me once that if you lie to yourself you eventually begin to believe it. Hmmm...

bruno2 7 years ago

RC, again your way off. Opinion? Not so, protected opinion does not include discrimination, intolerance, and persecution. Social experiment? Not. The Israeli army, considered one of the best fighting forces in the world, allows gays to serve openly, and has for years. In fact, they, like all Israelis, are required to put in their two years. Great Britain has openly gay soldiers, who have served side by side with US soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan for a decade. The same is true for many armies of countries all over the world. The experiment is long over, you just don't get the results. Godless? Hardly, and how dare you? Just because I don't see things the way you do? Add all that to the fact that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, the Secretary of Defense, the overwhelming majority of serving soldiers including the special forces, all support repeal of DADT. Free speech? You offer misinformation, insults and slander! You think your position is not homophobia? A phobia is an irrational fear. Irrational means: not consistent with or using reason, lacking powers of understanding. Yep, look in the mirror buddy. BTW, I'm straight and happily married with two grown kids.

gl0ck0wn3r 7 years ago

Ridiculous. The military has a long history of social experimentation. Further ridiculous is bringing the 1A into an argument in which it has about as much relevancy as the 2A... Unless, of course, you are using the 1A to argue against the religious based DADT arguments.

cds 7 years ago

And Adam and Eve gave us Cain and Abel, 2 male offspring.

Olympics 7 years ago

First, it's adam and stephen. And second, 5-10 more years of "old people who can't handle equal rights for gays" dying off and this will all be over.

Enjoy the last vestiges of your hatred. Your grandkids (and most of your kids) are disgusted by your actions in this regard.

Olympics 7 years ago

First, it's adam and stephen. And second, 5-10 more years of "old people who can't handle equal rights for gays" dying off and this will all be over.

Enjoy the last vestiges of your hatred. Your grandkids (and most of your kids) are disgusted by your actions in this regard.

Olympics 7 years ago

sorry about the double post. Not sure why it happened.

mr_right_wing 7 years ago

It is so very inappropriate and even vulgar and obscene to compare 'gay civil rights' to civil rights of African-Americans. Gays have no idea, they cannot even approach what that group has gone through. African-Americans WERE born that way; there's absolutely no doubt or controversy about that; there has never been a case of someone who became 'black' later in life. Another night-and-day difference would be that African-Americans have no way of avoiding or not sharing that their 'black'. No African-American has the option of 'coming out of the closet'!!

Comparing the 'struggle' of gays to the true battle of African-Americans is like trying to give the same honor to a person who got kicked-out of boot camp vs. a highly decorated, honorably charged Veteran. It is disgusting and vile.

When gays so through wide-spread lynching, cross-burning in their front yards and have to face separate bathrooms and drinking fountains (and the like) then come back whining.

One other thing; please let me know when the 'white man' (I guess in this case 'straight man') steals your land and sticks you on some little reservation.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

"It is so very inappropriate and even vulgar and obscene to compare 'gay civil rights' to civil rights of African-Americans."

I guess you have to cling to whatever vestiges of bigotry remain to you.

mr_right_wing 7 years ago

I'm pretty sure in the whole history of a one-time racist Planned Parenthood, that they've ever suggested a 'gay baby' be aborted..........

bruno2 7 years ago

Read the papers RW; gay suicides, bullying, Mathew Shepard lynched. The only thing worse than ignorance is belligerent, deliberate ignorance.

mr_right_wing 7 years ago

You can call that tragic, but it doesn't begin to compare to the injustices and casualties of hated towards racial minorities in this country. Not one of us could even begin to count the number of African Americans brutally murdered due to their race. (You did it in one little paragraph.)

I have yet to hear of a 'gay' Baptist church being fire-bombed resulting in the death of two young lesbians, who were them ignored by the legal system. Where was the protection of 'hate crimes' back when blacks were struggling??

I wonder if Lawrence will ever be burned to the ground again for supporting 'gay rights'??

Tell me the names of the gay communities versions of Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who were assassinated.

The African-American community has far more shameful examples than the 'gay community' will ever have.

Should we address what the disabled have gone through next?? I've never heard of 'asylums for the gays'.

mr_right_wing 7 years ago

Good to have you back Defender!!

I was a little concerned about you for awhile!

Order has been restored.

seriouscat 7 years ago

Do you really not know about all the gay people who have been beaten and murdered? All the gays rights leaders who have been assassinated? The fact that gay people have been institutionalized in asylums to be 'reconditioned'?

Just because the parallels aren't perfectly delineated doesn't mean they aren't valid.

mr_right_wing 7 years ago

You win.

Gays are the most persecuted group of people. Comparisons between gays and other minorities are not fair to the gay community who has had it much worse than any other minority.

Even the Jewish people have a 'happier' past than any single gay. (Of course the holocaust was blown way out of proportion.)

Victory goes to you and your kind.

jafs 7 years ago

Nobody suggested anything of the sort.

You're the one saying they shouldn't complain, because they haven't had it as bad as ...

Discrimination and violence against minorities is wrong and shouldn't be tolerated, regardless of who "had it worse".

Not if we believe in freedom and equality under the law.

Cait McKnelly 7 years ago

You honestly have no idea about the history of the Holocaust, do you? You apparently have no idea that homosexuality was targeted just as severely as Judaism was by the Nazi government. Where Jews were identified by the Star of David, gays were identified by the pink triangle, the beginning of the use of the term and symbol for Lambda that's prevalent among gay rights organizations and used now. Bottom line, gays and Jews died side by side in the Nazi concentration camps.

remember_username 7 years ago

Wrong is wrong. I for one cannot see why there is an argument comparing the threshold of atrocities. Maybe the statistics of horror list greater abuse leveled at the African-Americans than at Homosexuals, but to be offended? Perhaps, you might consider that prejudice against the Gay community is just as prevalent among African-Americans as it is among Caucasians before getting upset at amount of cruelty suffered by one group or another.

Shane Powers 7 years ago

You have a decent point, but terrible examples. Nearly every kid in America has been bullied at one point or another. It's not comparable to what African Americans have endured, nor is suicide equal to martyrdom.

mr_right_wing 7 years ago

Hmmm...David Duke never did (and rightly so) ever make it to a public office.

Whereas....well, I'll just use the name and it will speak for itself; Senator Robert Byrd.

I've even read that Fred Phelps is, or at one time was a registered Democrat.

Check out your history my friend; 'republicans' by no means had any kind of monopoly on the wrongs that happened during civil rights struggles. That's a 50/50 responsibility. I'm willing to be honest about that...do you dare?

mr_right_wing 7 years ago

Oh....sorry.....knee-jerk reaction on my part.

I give up on the rest of these folks.....fine; gays have it every bit as tough (if not tougher) than blacks or even Native Americans. They are all on the same level.

jafs 7 years ago

Nobody said that.

Why does it matter who had it worse?

We shouldn't tolerate discrimination and violence against minorities.

ferrislives 7 years ago

I actually think that mr_right_wing makes a good point, and I think that is why a large percentage of the African American community has a problem with homosexuality. (Another reason is religion of course.)

I think that it offends a lot of African American people when gay supporters try to equate the gay experience with the African American experience, including all of those incidents noted by MRW.

Whether or not you or I agree with his views, I do see his point.

gl0ck0wn3r 7 years ago

Can I assume that if a biological basis for gayness is discovered that you will quickly shift your opinion and support ending DADT and other policies that discriminate against gay folks?

begin60 7 years ago

Senator Brownback represents the majoriry of Kansans I've met. Most wear their bigotry as a point of pride on their sleeves. I've never before KS and Lawrence lived in a place where my freedom of movement was cruelly restricted by offensive people who see it as a point of good citizenship to approach and terrorize strangers on the street on the basis of perceived legally protected characteristics. Talk about mob discrimination. Kansans train up their kids to behave like this.

Talk about cultural imperialism by dummies. I don't enjoy and neither should I be forced to interact with or suck up to these republitards whose conversation is completely scripted, insincere, and guaranteed %98 content-free.

seriouscat 7 years ago

"I've never before KS and Lawrence lived in a place where my freedom of movement was cruelly restricted by offensive people who see it as a point of good citizenship to approach and terrorize strangers on the street on the basis of perceived legally protected characteristics".

What the heck are you talking about?

MrRighty 7 years ago

Wow she should get a PhD in Political correct speech. Let me rephrase her statement in English; the language the rest of us understand. "Until I moved to Lawrence, I've never seen people like Fred Phelps be able to walk up to total strangers and tell them they're going to Hell because they "look gay." -- perceived legally protected characteristics? How long did it take you to figure that one out?

Flap Doodle 7 years ago

Psst, Einstein, the % generally goes after the numbers, not before.

Shane Garrett 7 years ago

No one gives a rats butt what Brownback-side thinks.

usnsnp 7 years ago

Just for information, most of the NATO nations gays can serve openly and have for many years. It is also the policy in Israel, so this not social experimintation. If you think it effects how service people do their job you are wrong. If you think that the NATO services are not as good as ours, you are wrong. Get out of Kansas and go see what is realy going on in the world.

emaw 7 years ago

I just read the headline....I thought this was an article for democrats?

H_Lecter 7 years ago

Underneath the skin people are essentially the same...especially, once they're sliced into three-ounce portions and cooked to 160 degrees.

hroeken 7 years ago

Perhaps with a nice chianti?

Also, let gays fight openly.

Cait McKnelly 7 years ago

People can discriminate on a daily, personal level all they wish. I object to institutionalized bigotry.

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