FedSmith.com occasionally takes a poll of readers to determine attitudes and beliefs about cultural or political issues.
One issue that has been in headlines recently is “gay marriage.” We were curious to know how federal employees and retirees (most of our readers fall into these categories) react to this subject.
In most of the polls on political issues, readers tend to favor the liberal side of the political spectrum. In large part, this is due to economic self-interest. For example, a majority of readers recently said they would vote for John Kerry over George Bush in voting for president. The most common reasons given by those who support Kerry (from those readers who sent in comments) were because they thought Kerry would not contract out as many government jobs.
On the issue of gay marriage, however, readers gave a more conservative response. 64 percent of those responding are opposed to legalizing same-sex marriage and 33 percent said they are in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage. Three percent are undecided on the issue.
Some of the reasons given for being against same-sex marriage are based on religious beliefs. Some readers think it is destructive to society to allow same-sex marriage. Still others are in favor of civil unions but prefer restricting marriage to a relationship between a man and a woman.
Those speaking out in favor of allowing same-sex marriage often viewed it as a civil rights issue. Some readers compared not allowing gay marriage to laws that used to forbid marriage between men and women of a different race.
Here are a few representative comments that display the thoughts and emotions of readers on this controversial subject.
First, those opposed to gay marriage.
A resources chief from Eglin, AFB, Florida wrote: “Absolutely NOT! What has become of our country? This is disgusting!!”
A forestry technician from Enterprise, Oregon said: “Using Denmark as a model, where same sex marriage is legal, points out that the result is a complete distintegration of the institution as a viable component of society. Sociologically, the benefits of the institution act to bind humanity together, both culturally and economically.”
A computer specialist from EPA in North Carolina’s research triangle commented: “Marriage is a covenant w/ God and the Bible states clearly in Lev 22:18 that homsexual sex is an abomination to God!”
A paralegal with the Department of Justice in Des Moines, Iowa wrote: “Absolutely contrary to all Christian fundamentals on which this country was found (sic).”
A supply technician from DLA in Ohio sputtered: ” Will we be able to marry an animal soon? This is insane!”
An engineer with GSA in Washington, DC feels this way: “Marriage was instituted by holy God and is designed for a man and a woman. This issue exists because most people no longer believe the Scriptures.”
An employee of the Naval Weapons Station in Charleston, SC has a warning: “Those that vote for this issue will one day pay. Aren’t you glad we don’t have to dish out their punishment? Yes, it is biblically sound.”
A Coast Guard employee in Elizabeth City, NC wrote: “Marriage is a religious institution not a public forum for debate of unnatural lifestyles.”
An HR supervisor with DoD in Washington, DC had this to say: “We act as though we can just re-invent society and human nature: where is the evidence of our competence? We are awash in VD, broken homes, and unhappiness. It is time to stop and think about why nations fall. History gives quite clear answers to that question. Decedence is usually the major factor.”
A mechanic with the Navy in Jacksonville, Florida said simply: “It goes against nature and it should be against the Law.”
And, on the other side of the issue, readers sent in comments such as these.
A program analyst with the Coast Guard in Portsmouth, VA commented: “I don’t understand the concept that legalizing same sex marriages would “weaken” the institution of marrigage. It seems to me that the ease with which many of us marry and divorce these days, often multiple times, weakens marrigage much more and we are hypocrites to deny the right of marriage to anyone.”
An examiner with the FDIC in Austin, TX had this to say: ” While I don’t condone homosexuality, I really don’t see it as my business either. It is really between them and God, and it is not my place to judge them.”
An employee of the USDA who says he is from Yachats, Oregon may have done some deep thinking on the issue when he commented: “Some people are attracted to people of the same sex. It doens’t make them bad people. Some people like only fish and nothing else. Does this make them bad?”
An IRS investigator from Denver sees the issue as one of discrimination: “Discrimination of any kind is both legally and morally wrong. Think of something from the past: Those of you who have not sinned cast the first stone.”
A Department of Labor investigator said simply: “During 8 years at a Catholic grade school I was taught that we have Free Will. Will there be a constitutional amendment against that?”
An assistant general counsel from an agency in Washington, DC sees this parallel: “For many years, there were laws in effect that prohibited people of different races from marrying. Those laws were struck down by the Supreme Court back in the 1960’s. The same should happen with the so-called ‘Defense of Marriage’ statutes.”
A scientist with the Navy facility in Charleston, SC says: “The least they could do is allow gays to carry their partners on their health insurance.”
An employee and labor relations specialist from Texas thinks: “We are making laws based on moral/religious beliefs and I don’t feel this is right or fair. Same sex couples should have the same rights as other couples irregardless of their sexual orientation. ”
And an employee of the Railroad Retirement Board thinks the survey makes FedSmith.com a stooge of Republicans as he (or she) wrote: “Shame on you! Making a big issue out of this just plays into the hands of Bush agenda.”
Thanks to the many readers who took the time to vote on this issue and to send us your opinion. Feel free to add your own comments at the end of this article.