Re "Gay Conservatives Fight Bush on Wedding Vow," Feb. 26: I can think of no other word than "delusional" to describe gay Republicans (a former one myself) who were surprised by President Bush proposing an anti-gay amendment to the Constitution. How can gay and lesbian citizens support a conservative agenda that consistently votes against equality? Our tax dollars function as membership dues to a private club that refuses to allow us the privileges and protections of other members (i.e., we have no national protections from job discrimination or hate crimes, we can't marry and we can't serve honestly in the military). How dysfunctional is that?
Delusions are fueled and spun by conservative AM talk radio propaganda techniques: distort, simplify and repeat; simplify and repeat. Their anti-gay rhetoric ("threat," "destroy," "culture war," "if we allow this, then ...") has little to do with morality and everything to do with promoting a fear-mongering political agenda.
Re "Cheney Figures in Ad Opposing Ban on Same-Sex Marriage," March 11: I met Vice President Dick Cheney when he spoke at my daughter's graduation. I believe one of his own daughters graduated from that same school. She is openly gay. By supporting a constitutional amendment to restrict the rights of gay Americans, Cheney has sold his own daughter down the river in a way that is almost mind-boggling to a parent.
Actor Paul Winfield
I have always remembered a wonderful story that actor Paul Winfield told on the radio many years ago (obituary, March 9). In February 1973 he had just gotten into a cab in Manhattan. The cabby told him that he'd just heard the Academy Award nominations announced. Winfield asked him who was up for best actor. The cabby said to him, "Let me see, uh, it was Marlon Brando, Michael Caine, Peter O'Toole, Laurence Olivier and some other guy I never heard of, I think his name is Paul ... something."
"Was it Paul Winfield?" the actor asked. "Yeah, that's right, Paul Winfield," replied the driver. Winfield exclaimed, "That's me!" He had to take out his identification to persuade the cabby that it indeed was him, an actor whose face or name meant virtually nothing to the moviegoing public at that time.
David E. Mayhan
Production of Gasoline
Re "Gasoline Prices: a Case of Cheating, Not Competing," Commentary, March 11: It is not for nothing that California is called La-La Land. Jamie Court and Tim Hamilton ignore the fact that product availability requires production. And production requires that individuals of ability make long-range investment decisions.
Why would anyone decide to invest when the reward is excoriation? Profit is not a scarlet brand requiring apology or permission. Really concerned about gasoline availability and prices? Begin by repealing the restrictive legislation that has prevented any new California refineries for decades.
Send Refund to a School
I received a $72 vehicle license fee refund check from the state. The next day, I opened my paper to read that the West Contra Costa school district was eliminating sports programs, libraries and counselors from six high schools because of lack of funding (March 11). Is this the kind of tax relief we really want?
I'll be donating my refund to my local school. I hope others will do the same.