I got a copy of the article (really more of an extended caption) in question to edit my letter.
First LoveLet us reiterate the August 19 letter:
Couple becomes first gay pair married in Norwood
Sharon and Diane King-Lightman made history as they became the first same-sex couple known to be married in Norwood when they were pronounced partners for life last Friday, Aug. 6. Justice of the Peace Michelle Mullen performed the ceremony at her Longfellow Road home in front of a small gathering of the couple's family and friends. The King-Lightmans, who recently moved to Massachusetts from Florida, have been together for almost 15 years and have a 5-year-old daughter, Hunter, who they conceived through artificial insemination. Since gay marriage became legal within the Commonwealth last May, a handful of same-sex couples have applied for marriage licenses at Norwood Town Hall, but it is not confirmed where they were married. Under Massachusetts' law, couples may apply for marriage licenses in any town within the Commonwealth, regardless of where they intend to be married or reside. (From left): Sharon, Hunter and Diane King-Lightman; Mullen.
I am quite surprised that the Bulletin would put the marriage of two lesbian women from Florida not only on the front page of the last issue but also superimposed by a large heart. Do you really find this newsworthy and of interest to families in Norwood?And now my revised letter:
Do you really think that we would like to explain to our children how two women can marry and artificially conceive a child and tell this child that she has two mommies and no daddy? I don’t think so.
I sense that our local paper is beginning to exhibit an editorial slant that is going to become unwelcome in due time. I do hope you will get outside and get a real feel for the good people in our Town. News like this is not worthy of families living in Norwood.
To the Editor:August 19, the article that ran alongside the large same-sex marriage photo was an article about some Norwood kids coming home from duty in Iraq. Page 4 above the fold was:
Although the women featured in the photo Ruth Schiavonoe complained about were from Florida, they were married in Norwood and currently reside in Massachusetts. Certainly the first same-sex marriage held in a town is newsworthy. She claims that this is not of interest and in fact not "worthy" of the citizens of Norwood. I beg to differ. Norwood, like every other town across the country and across the globe, has gay citizens, many of whom are in committed relationships which they would like to have legally recognized by the government. Certainly their lives are of as much relevance to the town at large as those of any other residents. What I think is not worthy of this town is the refusal of some of its citizens to recognize that these loving relationships do not in fact threaten the fabric of society.
The other complaints she raises do not hold water. Explaining same-sex marriage to a child is as simple as "When two people love each other, they want to declare that in front of their friends and family." As for explaining how a same-sex couple has children, certainly "With the help of a doctor" would suffice for small children. We are constantly finding ways to explain the complexities of the world in ways which our children can understand. Certainly we can manage for this situation as well.
At battle’s end*cough* Yeah, ‘cause no one lives next to a gay couple nowadays. But yes, Ruth Schiavonoe was right that the Bulletin definitely has an editorial slant (though the Page 2 above the fold about the Senate race between Marian Walsh and Bob Joyce which focused on their positions on same-sex marriage didn’t seem very slanted) but it’s one that’s not unwelcome for this ‘good [person] in our Town.’
When it comes to welcoming folks, don’t sell short the Town of Norwood. Let’s look at a couple of seemingly distinct events over the past few days.
First, a trio of soldiers who has been fighting in Iraq finally made it home. Jim Collins, Dennis Mawn and Derek Wennerstrand, fighting along with the 94th Military Police Company, were supposed to come home months ago. But the U.S. Government extended their stay, and extended their stay, and...
It then was up to their families to do some fighting of their own - to get the back to Norwood. The families, with help from their representatives and senators, finally secured their return after 20 months overseas.
At this point, the soldiers may want to take things easy for a while and readjust to their ‘normal’ lives. But first, the Town will honor them, and all its Iraqi War veterans, with a parade and reception on Saturday afternoon. The parade will begin at the Philip O. Coakley School at 2 p.m., and end up at the Police and Fire Station - especially appropriate for Mawn, a firefighter here in Town.
A seemingly distinct event occurred last Friday when two women became the first gay couple known to be married in Norwood. Obviously, the soldiers’ level of personal commitment and sacrifice are on a vastly different sphere. Still, it’s the Town’s acceptance that’s important here.
Yes, Sharon and Diane King-Lightman became the first gay couple to be married in Norwood. And no, they probably will not be the last.
It is true that, while married by a Norwood justice of the peace, the two women were not from Town. Still, eventually, residents may be living next door to a gay couple. When that happens, we hope that they will be welcomed into Town and accepted, like all segments of this diverse Town. And we hope they, in turn, become a part of the community by joining a group, cleaning a playground and saluting a returning soldier who was overseas fighting for their freedoms.
At work on Monday i picked up a copy of the August 26 Bulletin. Here are the relevant Letters to the Editor made me happy.
Anti-gay letter didn’t speak for everyone
To the Editor:
In a recent letter to the editor, Ms. Ruth Schiavone expressed her surprise (and dismay) that the Norwood Bulletin would give front page coverage to the first gay marriage in the town of Norwood. In her opinion, this type of news is “not worthy of the families living in the town of Norwood.”
Apparently, Ms. Schiavone is not fond of the idea of gays marrying and because of this believes the rest of us don’t have the right to hear about it either. She also seems to have an issue with speaking to her children about this topic.
While Ms. Schiavone has every right to voice her opinion, what concerned me most about the letter was her belief that she spoke for everyone. That scares me - much more so than the idea of gay marriage does. I am a good person, my family and I live in the town of Norwood, and I was pleased with the article. I thought the superimposed heart was a nice touch. Let’s face it. all any of this has to do with is two people that are in love and want to make a commitment to each other. What’s so bad about that?
A suggestion for Ms. Schiavone about speaking to her children about this: just tell them the truth. Kids tend to be a lot more open-minded than adults. Thank goodness.
Please keep up the good work, Norwood Bulletin.
Agree with school editorial, letter against gay coverage
To the Editor:
I’d like to comment on a couple of items in today’s Bulletin (Aug. 19).
I agree with your editorial, ‘Consider both sides,’ and hope the Town will put Blue Hills Rep. Kevin Connolly on the committee to study the future of the Town with Blue Hills School.
I also agree with the letter from Ruth Schiavone (‘Gay marriage coverage inappropriate,’) on which she was surprised that you would print a picture fo two lesbian women from Florida on your front page.
People opposed to same-sex marriage believe it is contrary to the natural law, which is all of God’s work in creation and teaching to humans.
Take two simple quotes from genesis: 1-27 - “And God created man in his own image; to the image of God he created Him. Male and female he created them.”
2:24 - ‘Wherefore a man shall leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be two in one flesh.”
Therefore, when a male marries a female they become a whole man as God created him!
Gay marriage reflects Town’s diversity
To the Editor:
Having read Ruth Schiavone’s letter in the Aug. 19 edition (‘Gay marriage coverage inappropriate)’, I am writing to say ‘Thank you’ to the Bulletin’s decision to show a picture of Norwood’s first gay couple to marry. The only sad thing is that it’s considered front page news rather than an ordinary announcement about an ordinary wedding of two people in love. And yes, I do find this of interest in my community.
News like this is one reason why I would want to continue living in Norwood. My husband and I have always appreciated Norwood’s ethnic and cultural diversity, have taught our children (now grown) to accept and honor the differences around them - religious, philosophical, racial, cultural. Having loving gay couples and their children in our community is a welcome addition to that diversity.
I always found it much easier to tell my children that families are places where children feel loved and that the grown-ups who care for them might be a mommy and a daddy or grandparents or foster parents or two mommies or two daddies or a single mommy or daddy; more difficult was trying to explain homophobia or discrimination.
The author of the letter asks about explaining gay marriage and ‘artificial conception’ to a child. I’m not sure that children need to hear any details about ‘artificial conception’ whether it’s for the infertile couple down the street or the gay couple next door. And marriage? Well that’s what happens when two people love each other and want to spend the rest of their lives together and to share that love with children and/or the community around them.
Bravo, Bulletin - for publishing a story about a couple doing just that.
Gays should have the same rights - including marriage
To the Editor:
To the ‘good’ people (in the Town of Norwood and elsewhere):
I do not understand or advocate the gay lifestyle. I do believe gay people are born with, not choose, their sexual orientation. I believe they should have the same rights as heterosexuals, including getting married and having their pictures printed in a newspaper if they wish.
The next time you hear about a beautiful, kind young person committing suicide, think about the possibility that he/she may have done so because of an inability to tell his/her parents he/she was gay and no longer being able to pretend he/she wasn’t. Then think about how ‘good’ we, as a society, were to cause him/her to feel that way.
Think about that kind, compassionate person who cared for you while you were a patient in the hospital. He/she just might have been gay. Those are characteristics of they gay people I know. Do you avoid TV programs, plays, musical productions or movies in which one or more of the stars might be gay? Think about all the areas in your life where you might knowingly or unknowingly be involved with gay people. Think about the fact that you could have a gay son or daughter. Would you still love him/her, or would you banish him/her from your life? It does happen!
The Bible tells us that God created man. He then made a woman from one of Adam’s ribs. They became one by joining themselves together. There was no official marriage ceremony such as we have today. Man created that. Man also created divorce. If there is an amendment to the Constitution banning gay marriage, there should also be an amendment making divorce illegal. Think about it!