Regarding your comments on gay marriage: ("It's Not Just 'Politics,'" Urban Journal, June 14): I am one of the few conservatives who have no problem with gay marriage (although baby steps may be needed, such as civil unions, before outright marriage is enacted into law).

But you write that young people are especially tolerant. You seem to forget that young people become old people, and their views usually go more to the right as they marry, have kids, and work a 9 to 5. I am evidence of such a phenomenon. Thus, I would not take the polls of the malleable youth as proof of a growing acceptance.

I am accepting of gays; I knew and befriended them in college, and have done so at my present job. But society as a whole, not youth, must be taken into account.

When the 50-plus group starts to accept the concept of gay marriage, then the societal shift will be complete.

Mike Meggison, Penfield


I agree with the points Mary Anna Towler makes in "It's Not Just 'Politics'" (Urban Journal, June 14). My partner and I are committed to a 19-year relationship that is both monogamous and one embracing "family values." I find the distrust and second-class treatment we both feel disturbing. It's as if our long-term, faithful relationship is viewed by family, hetero neighbors, and other social observers as deviant, un-American, and outside the grace and mercy of the loving God we worship. As if we're some kind of freaks pretending to blend.

We pay high school taxes --- which we gladly pay to ensure a better tomorrow. We also pay high property taxes, which quite frankly pay for nothing more than bloated town government. I would welcome anyone who knows me from my church (Spiritus Christi) or my neighborhood to seek out my views further.

Gregg P. Allen, West Irondequoit


It is mind-blowing that something as logical as preserving our environment is as controversial and politicized as everything else George Grella mentioned --- science, medicine, history, and religion ("Frying and Dying with Al Gore," June 28). But the manipulation and misuse of imagery makes it easy for adversaries to claim "liberal propaganda" when the so-called "most compelling images" are the least scientific and least objective component of the film.

True, the "before and after photos" do dramatically illustrate physical change over time and enliven the audience with their shock value. But there is no presentation of exact location or even the date that the photos were taken. How do we know the "then" photos weren't taken during a rainy season and the "now" photos taken during a dry season?

If we are going to use scientific proof as a catalyst for social and environmental action, let's be scientific and not such suckers for dramatic imagery. The only way to get the right-wingdings to give a damn about the environment is to show the potential for capitalistic ventures.

Step up, economists. As demonstrated by the brief clip of George Bush Senior, the Republicans fear that if we care too much for the environment, "we will be up to our necks in owls." That's the mentality we are up against. (But what if those owls could be sold to voodoo practitioners for $1000 a piece, eh?)

Moira Speer, Rochester


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