I'll not offer my personal view on gay marriage. However, there are two aspects of President Obama's announcement that he supports the idea that have me outraged. It's one thing to change one's views (regardless of the motivation). It is, however, insulting for the president to say his views have "evolved." I expect that from the far left, but the ridiculous assertion is anyone who disagrees is stupid or bigoted. Typical left-wing attack tactics.
Much worse is Obama's statement that service members — gay/lesbian or not — are "fighting on my behalf." It has been quite awhile since I took my oath, but if I recall correctly, I swore to support and defend the Constitution of the United States, not any specific president. For the president to use that language is utterly insulting to all service members and belies his arrogance and ignorance of the Constitution. As someone who retired after nearly 27 years on active duty, I know better. I'd think a supposed professor of constitutional law would know better as well.
Regardless of one's moral, religious or political views, there is another simple, though less titillating, reason to criticize President Obama's stand on same-sex marriage: economics. Such marriages could be costly to our country at a time when the economy is in bad shape.
If Bruce and Charles are allowed to marry, they may also be allowed to file a joint federal tax return. If Bruce becomes disabled, Charles may be able to claim benefits, too, just as a wife would. If Bruce dies and Charles has had a smaller income during his working years, he might be able to derive Social Security benefits based on Bruce's larger income.
If same-sex couples are allowed to marry, we may see many more people tying the knot in order to receive financial benefits. After all, where there's a free meal, people are always ready to swoop in.
Most Americans share the traditional belief that it is desirable for men and women to marry, become parents and raise their children in a stable and productive household. So, the tax and Social Security systems were designed to support that belief.
If Bruce and Charles are in a committed love relationship, there should be some protection for them in the form of a civil union, not marriage. Let's not go overboard in our haste to be liberal in the name of "fairness." We can't afford it.
Culpepper takes on NFL
Regarding "Former Bucs sue NFL over head injuries" (front page, May 11): It is interesting that Brad Culpepper is the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit with 25 other players against the NFL regarding concussions on the field. First of all, he knew, like all other players playing football, that there were risks, but he chose to take the money. The great Lee Roy Selmon refused to sue the NFL before his untimely death because he knew right from wrong.
The Tribune said Culpepper did not respond to a request for comment. Here is the problem: He is, in fact, an attorney. Why can't he comment? By his own admission in the lawsuit, his brain is scrambled. Would you want a brain-scrambled attorney representing you?
Aware of risks?
It's a sad world we live in. I was truly disappointed to read that Brad Culpepper is suing the NFL. Undoubtedly, Culpepper is an intelligent person, but are we to believe that he wasn't sure whether repeated blows to the head could have some lingering effects later in life?
Culpepper made a very comfortable living doing what he loved. If, in fact, Culpepper wasn't aware of the risks, would his decision to play professional football been different if he were made fully aware of the risks?
Lies and statistics
The editorial "Obamacare's threat to the nation's employers" (Our Views, May 10) is one more example of the Tribune Editorial Board's lethargic and inept opinions in an attempt to destroy a national health-care program. Your use of statistics supplied by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce substantiates your obliviousness to the health-care crisis in America. You chronicle your objection to national health care by use of such generalized words as estimated, expected and probable. Unfortunately, you seem not to be concerned with health care for America but rather astronomical profits for business conglomerates.
Finally, let me leave you with a phrase from my deceased father: "Son," he said, "there are two kinds of lies. One is a damn lie; the other is a statistical one." He was right.
James N. Holmes
The Alzheimer's tsunami
Regarding "Living alone with Alzheimer's is tough for all" (May 7): Thank you for the front-page feature regarding this mind-robbing and devastating malady. The fact that Florida has more than 10 percent of those officially diagnosed in our nation is of significance. Yet it is estimated there are at least twice that number actually warranting this diagnosis. As we consider the boomer and millennial generations, it is readily seen that the tsunami will inundate families as well as facilities here in Florida.
Elder Care Advocacy of Florida has long urged early diagnosis through professional screening, as the Tampa area has the finest facility in the state for this. The skilled professionals at the USF Health Byrd Alzheimer's Institute have benefitted thousands in this effort. By early detection, individuals and their loved ones may enjoy quality of life through medications currently available. Trials with newly discovered medicines are also offered. By acting now, years of unnecessary suffering can be avoided.
With this beneficial service available today, Elder Care Advocacy of Florida strongly urges the utilization of this evaluation process offered by the expert staff at the Byrd Alzheimer's facility in order to save years of anguish.