Letters and comments for March 8, 2012

By Observer Upload March 08, 2012 02:33 pm
Letters and comments for March 8, 2012

Bigotry, intolerance

To the Editor:

I found it interesting that the Baker City Herald felt compelled to write an editorial on the resignation of the City of La Grande’s mayor. Unfortunately, they got it wrong.

The issue is not about the legality of same-sex marriage; no one has said that Mr. Pokorney does not have the right to his opinion.

What he does not have is the luxury of pretending that his public life is somehow isolated from his so-called private life. No one who holds a public office can pretend such a separation.

Mr. Pokorney’s mean-spirited posts on his Facebook page were inflammatory precisely because he is a public official. His position as mayor is why he was asked to come to EOU and answer to students and community members. It was his position as mayor that got him an interview on the Lars Larsen show; and it is his position as mayor that has garnered the unfortunate and sad press for the City of La Grande.

The real issue is about two things: bigotry and intolerance.

We all know that these sentiments run through every community, but when someone who claims to be a community leader is so arrogant as to give public voice to these sentiments, they also give tacit approval for others to act, implicitly or explicitly, on these hateful views.

Mr. Pokorney’s so-called apology was insincere, as others have noted in letters to the editor. His retreat to the “victim status” at the end of the forum at EOU would be laughable if it wasn’t so insulting to those who attended and hoped for some resolution.

As for his views on same-sex marriage being “mainstream,” a recent survey suggests otherwise.

According to a recent Pew Research Center Poll last November, “46 percent of Americans supported same-sex marriage and 44 percent opposed it. That’s a dramatic shift from 2006…”

As Maryland and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals recently showed, states are moving in the direction of equal rights for gays and lesbians.

It’s no longer a question of “if,” but thankfully “when.”

Colleen Johnson

La Grande