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A Test for Tolerance

But those incarcerations and 7,000-plus homicides removed a great deal of fathers and potential husbands away from hearth and home, where and when they were most needed. Face it: Gay marriage, civil unions and domestic partnership laws haven't had a thing to do with those jailings and deaths, or with the dearth of two-parent families in the African American community.

Let's get back to the case at hand.

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Judging from some of the articles that have appeared in gay publications since news of Greene's initiative emerged, there is much fear that supporters of the causes of tolerance, inclusion and civility will be lost because the anti-gay measure will appeal to our city's otherwise forward-looking and progressive African American clergy, who are supposed to be constitutionally unable to accept the idea of marriage being anything but a man and a woman.

Methinks the fearful sell the causes short.

Most of us in this city know intolerance when we see it. We also know the value of inclusiveness and respect; we recognize the dangers of polarization, and don't like it very much. Most of us, at least that is my hope, will see the proposed initiative for what it is: zealotry and a dislike for homosexuals run amok.

Besides, I was not able to lawfully stand in the way of my three adult children's decisions to marry if they so chose -- and two have, quite happily, I might add. So why should I get to decide what consenting adults in love, people who are total strangers to me, get to do with their lives?

If it comes to pass this year that a petitioner on the street asks me to sign up for Lisa Greene's anti-gay initiative, I'll just say no. Hope you will do the same.

kingc@washpost.com


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