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Mailbag

June 03, 2009

Apartments improved thanks to city program

I think an outstanding program from the city of Burbank has been the rehab of nine apartment buildings in the cul-de-sac of West Elmwood Street. It all started 12 years ago when the city purchased the buildings. Crime by gang activity was added to the mix. Other areas that were improved as were Verdugo Lake, Golden State, Peyton Grismer and Lake Alameda.

Students were formed into organizations to learn about, improve and maintain those areas (“A crash course on Burbank,” May 13). The city established the Connect with your Community program that would foster partnerships with area organizations and residents.

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What a big plus for the city of Burbank and the improvement that has endured.

WESLEY GREENE

Burbank

Proposition 8 doesn’t ‘ban’ anything

The term “marriage” has for most of the history of modern humanity referred to that special and formal joining of male and female into a relationship recognized within society. That history includes 222 years of the United States and 159 years of California whose constitutions and laws never covered the definition of marriage since it wasn’t necessary; everyone knew what marriage was.

Proposition 8, the text of which was already approved for the ballot and just waiting for the next election when the California Supreme Court made its narrow May 2008 ruling based upon a then-silent state constitution, simply clarified within that constitution what the dictionaries in my home study and in the school library said all along — marriage is a formalized relationship between man and woman.

The verbiage did not, I repeat, did not ban anything (a gay person of one sex can marry anyone of the opposite sex). I cringe whenever I read continuing media coverage that Proposition 8 “banned gay marriage” (“Prop. 8 gets court approval,” May 27). It seems strange to me that opponents of Proposition 8 have recently used terms such as “morally wrong” when, in fact, for most of American history, society’s morality was just the opposite on the matter.

The critical analogy by opponents of prior prejudices against interracial marriages is both naive and disingenuous; it is obvious that the physical and emotional differences between sexes is far greater and very real than differences between races.

And as for assertion that the “fundamental rights” of gay couples (two people) are being trampled — why has it taken centuries to discover such rights in our constitutions? If there are such fundamental rights for any individuals considering a formal relationship, then they apply equally to members of a group greater than two, or to persons related to one another.

I, for one, do not ever want to see the traditional definition of marriage dumbed down so that it becomes meaningless; and that is what will happen when “marriage” becomes less special than that formal commitment of man and woman to one another.

MEL WOLF

Burbank


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