TO THE EDITOR: First, I would like to commend you on the most fabulous Mercury feature ever written, the "Just Say No to Measure 36" multi-page extravaganza [Feature, Oct 7]. There's something you missed, though. I read your "Point/Counterpoint" section, and was a tiny bit disappointed that you skimped on the ignorant heat that conservative Christians are giving us via the Bible. Just arguing that ignorant excuse could really fill a whole issue.

I just wanted to tell all those angry white rednecks this: Not everyone believes in the Bible, as you apparently think. Also, the Bible is not the state law. And it really shouldn't be. I think it's fascinating there are people out there like you who still believe we should be living in the early B.C. If we're going to live by the Bible, we might as well go all the way. Then we can stone all of our wives if we're having a bad day, or have people stone you if you give your boss the finger. The Bible is something to believe, not something to live by, retards.

Alisha Baker


DEAR MERCURY: Well sure, the right-wing Christians are against gay marriage, and the liberals and artists and creative types are against those who are against gay marriage--but when are we going to stop screwing around and start dealing with some of the REAL issues about marital defense?

Deuteronomy 22:13-22 states "If any man take a wife... and say 'when I came to her I found her not a maid.' Then the father of the damsel and her mother take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity unto the elders of the city and the gate... If this thing be true, and the tokens of virginity be not found for the damsel: Then they shall bring out the damsel to the door of her father's house, and the men of her city shall stone her with stones that she die."

Yet, while there are movements to make sure there is no same-sex marriage, I see no initiatives whatsoever to maintain a man's GOD-GIVEN right to have his wife publicly put to death if she is not a virgin on their wedding night. What's the point of putting all this work into keeping marriage a heterosexual event when millions of women are avoiding the fates that the Bible has so clearly laid out for them? Why can't we defend THAT aspect of marriage?

Rich Mackin


TO THE EDITOR: Here's why I'm voting NO on Measure 36: Oregon is the land of liberals and libertarians, and in the spirit of the working-class intellectual that makes me proud to be born and raised in this beautiful state...I will be voting No on Measure 36. And to the few fanatics who hold signs that say "God hates perverts," I hold mine: "God hates assholes." Oh, by the way, marriage IS a sacred religious institution. And that's exactly why it should be banned altogether. Up with civil unions!

Kimberly Kadas


TO THE MERCURY: I have just read the text of the proposed amendment 36, and am deeply disturbed by what has been left out.

The proposed Amendment says, "It is the policy of Oregon, and its political subdivisions, that only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or legally recognized as a marriage." However, it does NOT say, " man and one woman at a time... ."

Oregon currently recognizes second and subsequent marriages as legally valid unions. This is a policy of serial monogamy--of one man and one woman at a time. So in Oregon, Bob can marry Alice, then later divorce her and marry Carol. But the "one man and one woman" policy proposed in the amendment is not serial monogamy; it is strict monogamy. Under the proposed amendment, Oregon would be unable to recognize Bob's marriage to Carol. Recognizing Bob's marriage to a second woman would violate the "one man and one woman" provision of the amendment.

With its insistence on "one man and one woman," the proposed amendment would strip all Oregon divorcees of their existing legal right to remarry. It would prohibit Oregon from recognizing second marriages performed in other states. And, it would throw into legal limbo any Oregonian currently living in a second marriage. In short, the proposed amendment would wreak havoc on traditional marriage in Oregon. To preserve traditional marriage, vote No on 36.

Stephen B. Gerken

CONGRATULATIONS TO STEPHEN for winning the Mercury "Letter of the Week!" For his stirring legal argument, Stephen wins two tickets to the Laurelhurst as well as two passes to see Sun City Girls at the Ash Street Saloon on Thursday, Oct 21!