House Majority Leader Paul Stam and the other supporters of the Defense of Marriage Act rally to “protect marriage” with the same fervor of a thousand good ol’ boys courting Scarlett O’Haraand come away from it looking just as foolish (“While conservative legislators denounce same-sex marriage, a lawmaker discusses being gay,” May 18). Marriage is not a real person whose rights need defending, and homosexuals in North Carolina are not villains who spend their time plotting to destroy society, though Travis Fain’s article makes me wonder if those like Rep. Stam believe otherwise.

The Defense of Marriage Act offers absolutely no benefit to the people of North Carolina whatsoever. Conversely, the presence of gay culture in the Triangle has created an incredibly rich environment of flourishing local business and socio-economic diversity. Working with gay culture has a more positive effect on society than standing against it ever will.

Supporters of this amendment would do well to remember that they don’t have to agree with the lifestyle choices of their constituents, but they do have to represent them. What does it say when your own congressperson votes for something that would prevent you from visiting a loved one in the hospital? Hint: It isn’t “re-election.”

Anna Geisler

Re: Eugenics and abortion

As a person with special needs, I appreciate your exposé on the dark and evil history of eugenics (cover story, May 18). I have cerebral palsy; when I was born in 1986, doctors told my parents I would never walk, drive or go to college. I did all of that and more. Science can only predict so much.

Sadly, we still have promoters of eugenics, particularly in Europe, whereaccording to my therapists at UNC who have given lectures overseas, as well as the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetownparents are encouraged to terminate children with special needs. Princeton “ethicist” and occasional New York Times contributor Peter Singer has advocated aborting and/or euthanizing disabled children as a means of conserving national resources. Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger is notorious for her support for the eugenics movement in the ’30s and ’40s. So was George Bernard Shaw. Unfortunately, both these figures are lauded as great contributors to humanity and progress in today’s society.

The Baby Doe case out of Indiana in the 1980s saw our U.S. Supreme Court say parents could deny life-saving surgery to a disabled child if they weren’t prepared to care for a disabled child. While we should be outraged by the systematic sterilization of minorities and the poor by the government of yesterday, I find it interesting that our modern day society has no moral qualms about aborting 85 percent of Down syndrome children. I’m not seeing the difference in the level of outrage, but sadly, many people do. They call it “choice.”

Michael Lewis
Chapel Hill