Your Views for September 11


Let gays marry

In its special session next month, the Legislature should pass a bill to legalize gay marriage. This is a civil-rights issue. People should not be judged by their skin color, their ethnicity, their religious views, their gender or their sexual orientation.

Religious conservatives who want to deny gay people the right to marry are among the worst kind of hypocrites. Religions should preach love, tolerance and compassion instead of hatred of anyone who is different. By calling it a “lifestyle,” they imply it’s a choice. It is not. People do not choose to be gay.

Talking about “defending marriage” is ludicrous. The idea that letting gays marry somehow undermines straight marriage makes no sense. It isn’t as if every time a gay couple marries, a straight couple has to divorce. There is no quota system. Letting gays marry has no bearing whatsoever on straight marriages. Besides, many gay couples have more stable relationships than many straight couples.

It’s a tragedy that many gays who are just trying to fit in have married straight partners because it’s what society expects of them. When honesty should prevail, society instead forces these people to live a lie to avoid discrimination. Living a lie makes everyone miserable: the gay person, the straight partner and the children.

Thankfully, the military has finally stopped forcing gay service members to deny or cover up who they are to avoid being kicked out of the military.

It is deeply troubling that so much cruelty is still perpetrated in the name of religion. After all, for those who believe that one supreme being created everybody, it must ensue that all people are equal, therefore gay people are equal to straight people and deserve the same rights. Period.

Charlotte Phillips

Hilo

Saddle Road

The Central Federal Lands Highway Division and Hawaii Department of Transportation, among others, should be commended for their efforts to improve Saddle Road. The recently opened segment between mile marker 41 and mile marker 51.27, along with the previous phases (mile marker 11 and mile marker 41), is a huge improvement over the old Saddle Road.

The latter roadway was riddled with potholes and serious design deficiencies, which caused an immeasurable number of accidents and fatalities. In addition, the realignment and reconstruction of Saddle Road to a full-fledged highway has resulted in a huge time savings in commute times.

I was able to drive between mile marker six (top of Puainako Extension) and mile marker 51 on the Kona side in 56 minutes. My overall time savings was about 26 minutes, so I can’t wait until the last east side Saddle Road phase is complete. It will reduce commute times even more.

I know there are challenges acquiring the right of way for the final phase. However, I’m confident these challenges will be overcome. It is imperative that Sen. Dan Inouye’s legacy project is finished.

Aaron Stene

Kailua-Kona

 

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