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Steve Ahlquist is an award-winning journalist, writer, artist and founding member of the Humanists of Rhode Island, a non-profit group dedicated to reason, compassion, optimism, courage and action. The views expressed are his own and not necessarily those of any organization of which he is a member.

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"We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” - Elie Weisel

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor." - Desmond Tutu

"There comes a time when neutrality and laying low become dishonorable. If you’re not in revolt, you’re in cahoots. When this period and your name are mentioned, decades hence, your grandkids will look away in shame." - David Brooks

9 responses to “Reason, Bigotry on Display at Marriage Hearing”

  1. donroach

    as I read the last paragraph of this piece, it reminded me again that those on the left of this issue take no time to understand those that disagree with them even though they are asking the nation to accept a concept that is a fundamental divergence from what we have come to know as marriage.

    It’s interesting, to say the least.  

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    1. DogDiesel

      There’s intolerance on both sides of this issue. Giving up the traditional definition of marriage is no different than asking Americans to give up their guns. All we know now is name calling and mocking. The issues won’t cause this society to collapse but the polarization just may.

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      1. donroach


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  2. Barry

    Sorry but there is a false equivalence here.  One side just wants the rights that everyone else has.  The anti-marriage equality side is especially mean spirited because it hurts others without gaining any benefit for themselves, (except perhaps the joy of forcing their ancient savage religous prinicples on everyone else)   Even the anti-tax zealots who would let folks go without heat, food, or medical care, at least think they really have a benefit by keeping their taxes down!
    I know there are some decent folks in the anti-marriage equality camp, but they need to think about why they are allied with haters and bigots.

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    1. DogDiesel

      Thanks for making my point.

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    2. PinkHatLib

      Yes, Barry, you’re surprisingly intolerant of intolerence.

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      1. Sully

        “There’s only two things I hate in this world. People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures and the Dutch.”

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  3. Ericka

    The young man in this video speaks of his loving family. How many of us know, or have been brought up in, dysfunctional heterosexual families and wish we had what he has. Marriage equality is about love. Those who, in this video, are against it preach hate. Hate should not be legislated.
    The bigots who swarmed the State House last night, preaching against gay marriage, should be ashamed of themselves. Do they actually listen to themselves. If any of my children came to me spouting any of this trash I would be mortified.
    I implore our legislators to heed the sane voices of tolerance over the hateful speech of fanatics. Vote to approve marriage equality. It’s what the people want.

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  4. Joel

    Having lived through the last 75 years in various circumstances and locales, including four years of military service, I’ve always managed to express my thoughts and opinions, hopefully while remembering that saying “I disagree with you”, doesn’t mean that I’m saying, “you’re wrong”, even though that may be my thought. It seems that rational discussion reaps far more positive results than yelling, disparaging, lying, and name calling.

    I still don’t hate anybody, but if I attended some functions like the one portrayed in the film clip, I’m ashamed to say that I probably could learn to. I disagree with those who would impose their will on others regarding matter of personal choice. Love can not and should not be legislated. The God that I love must surely be in tears because of the behavior of some of his children. Perhaps we could put more effort into understanding and caring for each other.   

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