Letters to the Editor: Aug. 13, 2014

Fallin’s popularity wavers

According to a recent Rasmussen poll, Governor Mary Fallin has the support of only 45 percent of likely voters. (That’s down from a high of 69 percent.) Her Democratic challenger Joe Dorman came in with 40 percent support from likely voters. That telephone survey was conducted on July 15-16.

In my opinion, the reason for her popularity plunge is, in part, because Fallin rejected an estimated $3.6 billion in federal funding to expand Medicaid in Oklahoma. This funding would have covered 200,000 adults who were too poor to buy health insurance. With no money to go to a doctor when they get sick, they wait until they’re so bad that they go to the emergency room, which is enormously expensive for us taxpayers.

Fallin also signed a bill that keeps Oklahoma’s minimum wage at $7.25 an hour. This measure forces city and county governments in Oklahoma to keep the minimum wage at $7.25 statewide.

In conclusion, former U.S. President Ronald Reagan said, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are ‘I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.’”  How true. How true of Oklahoma with Mary Fallin as governor.

— Wanda Jo (Peltier) Stapleton
Former State Representative
Oklahoma City

Let’s talk about human rights

For the current debate about gay marriage, let’s look back at interracial marriage. What was public opinion when courts made decisions? How did politicians and religious leaders react?

The U.S. Supreme Court called restrictions on interracial marriage unconstitutional in 1967. A nationwide Gallup Poll the next year found 20 percent of people favoring interracial marriage.

No church was ever required to perform interracial marriages. Still, nearly 30 years later, in 1995, Southern Baptists reconsidered their staunch position to discover a holy acceptance of this type of marriage.

Looking back at this absence of marriage equality … well, would anyone go back?

Today, various courts examine the Constitution and find again that government can’t restrict marriage between two adults. The non-partisan Gallup Poll shows 55 percent say gay marriages should be valid.

No church is going to be required to perform gay marriages. Still, we can prayerfully hope that before 30 years passes, unwelcoming religious leaders will again examine their hearts and theology.

Fallin, Lankford and other divisive politicians seem concerned only about their next election. Meanwhile, the rest of us continue to embrace, respect and support diversity.

Oklahomans love marriage; most marriages here start by age 23, which puts us in the top five states for earliest age of first marriages. Our state is also in the top dozen highest rates for interracial (black/white) marriages, which shows a receptive “Oklahoma Standard” does bend toward justice.

— Steven Goldman
Oklahoma City

OKG Contributor

This article was written by an Oklahoma Gazette contributor. To reach an editor, please email jchancellor@okgazette.com with this story's headline in your subject line.

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