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The pitfalls of majority rule | Federal Way letters to the editor, Nov. 22
Pitfalls of majority rule
Jerry Celski’s letter to The Mirror demands a response (“Homosexuals vs. majority,” Nov. 19). The argument presented is that a majority of people defines what is right, and further the majority may restrict the rights of a minority.
I am disturbed by such a profoundly un-American viewpoint.
This, from the U.S. Department of State, could not be more clear: “Majority rule is a means for organizing government and deciding public issues; it is not another road to oppression. Just as no self-appointed group has the right to oppress others, so no majority, even in a democracy, should take away the basic rights and freedoms of a minority group or individual.”
If you have a car that’s different from most people’s, or a different computer system, or a different skin color, or a different religion, or even a different family, the American principle is to protect your liberty. Especially if you are in the minority.
More than 200 years ago, Thomas Jefferson said it as well:
“All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.” — First Inaugural Address March 14, 1801.
Over history, our American democracy has grown stronger, with equal rights extended to more citizens. Someday, this will include Rachel Smith-Mosel and her family.
Word play on gay marriage
It has taken centuries for the English language to attain the level of complexity that it currently has.
Words have been added on by different cultures and by varying circumstances. Just in the last few years, we have seen additions to the language driven by need. The introduction of computers has led to new words such as spam and blog.
By the same token, words and phrases have become extinct in due course. Open a Shakespearean novel and you will be inundated by dinosaur words such as thy, thou, forsooth and verily. Some words have had their meanings altered over time. I remember a time when “gay” meant a happy state of mind. It is now appropriated by the male homosexual lifestyle.
So we see that language is not static. We are the masters of our language. Words are manmade sounds formulated to express an idea and can be expended, annulled or changed according to circumstance.
With that as a preamble, let’s expound on a politically charged word: Marriage. The dictionary defines the root word “marry” as joining persons, one to another; correlating (things) as pair; splicing (rope ends) together without increasing girth.
Traditionally, however, marriage is presumed to be between man and woman only. All other relationships were not acknowledged and kept under a rug. With our more open society, and with gays and lesbians clamoring for rights, we have to face the issue and give name to it.
I suggest we become creative with new words to denote homosexual unions. I suggest we use the term “garriage” for gay unions and “larriage” for lesbian unions. So a gay man would ask another to garry him and the minister will perform the garriage ceremony and they will be garried. Similarly, a lesbian would ask to larry another and have a larriage ceremony and be larried. All would attend their wedding ceremonies. And we would see M, G, L, S, D and W on our documents for selecting marital status.
This way the sanctity of marriage would be preserved. In addition, religious organizations would, if they so chose, add the sanctity of garriage and larriage to the holy sacraments.
All couples can then access the legal rights of a wedded couple with no barriers.
We can then set aside this huge controversial issue and get on with more important agendas like integrity in government and big business.