Gay relationships "are consistent with the core of the history, tradition and practice of marriage in the United States." There is no "historical purpose for excluding same-sex couples from marriage." "Gender no longer forms an essential part of marriage."

These are quotes (not covered by the media that I heard) from U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn R. Walker's ruling on Proposition 8, the words of which simply define the term as it has always been defined.

That ruling, and I have read it all, seems silent on the historical definition of "marriage" and why the people cannot establish the codified definition after all these centuries. He never develops just how the simple words of the constitutional amendment violate any Californian's 14th Amendment rights. He also does not comment on why history and prior judges never recognized this violation before, nor comments on why his expansion of who can marry can still be limited to "couples."

You decide: Was he an activist judge with a predisposition about the issue or not?

Mel Wolf

Burbank

'Modernism' can be a slippery slope

In the Aug. 7 editorial "Some traditions deserve to die," the Glendale News-Press chided the California electorate for the passage of Proposition 8 in 2008. The editorial went on to castigate the public generally for moral and religious views that have been used to "justify what everyone now considers to be hurtful, discriminatory means of subjugation."

I would respectfully like to point out that our very existence as a nation is based upon moral and religious grounds. The founders of this great nation fled a country that would not allow them to exercise religious freedom. Likewise, many of our criminal and civil laws have their roots in moral and religious principles.

So, let's be honest here and admit that much of what we hold today in our laws and customs has some sort of religious or moral precept.

Without entering into the debate on the appropriateness of same-sex marriages, let me just say that the issue provides a slippery slope. If we decide that same-sex marriages are to be condoned, we may well be opening the door to other views of marriage.

For example, in some societies, it is appropriate for a man to have more than one wife. Perhaps we should embrace this concept as a part of our modern and enlightened view of the institution of marriage. Perhaps too, we should allow brothers and sisters to marry, or maybe brothers and brothers, as well as sisters and sisters.

We also have taboos on the age of consent for marriage. Perhaps those, too, should be removed so that children can marry.

I realize that I am offering some absurd examples in a contemporary sense, but I am doing so to point out the risk to be assumed for simply discarding the traditions of the institution of marriage. Because it is an institution that I have enjoyed for nearly half a century, I would like to see its principles and values continued and not diluted under the guise of modernism, or simply in the eyes of the editorial, a "faded tradition."

Robert B. Taylor

La Crescenta

Gatto bill pushes the right buttons

Finally, an elected official with some good fiscal sense. This is exactly why I voted for Mike Gatto, and why I am thankful he represents Glendale today ("Bill may provide relief for Bell scandal," Aug. 28).

It is simply wrong for the people of Glendale to have to pay for the lack of oversight in Bell. We Glendale taxpayers have plenty of uses for our tax dollars. Paying the inflated pensions of Bell officials is not one of them.

Gatto's leadership on this issue is much appreciated.

Gerald W. Aho

Glendale