The Supreme Court, in that very building, promoted equal justice when it recently struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) — an act which barred the spouse in a same-sex marriage from receiving federal marriage benefits such as Social Security survivors’ benefits. Therefore, Chuck Hagel, Department of Defense Secretary, ordered states to provide same-sex couples with the federal marriage benefits they’re now eligible for under federal law.
Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has scorned the idea of equal justice under law by decreeing that some of this state’s citizens are not equal. When her position was questioned, Fallin took her anti-gay posture to the logical extreme by denying the processing of all military spouse benefits — gay or straight — at any state-run National Guard facility.
Fallin brought shame to Oklahoma by denying benefits to same-sex married couples who serve our country in the military, some of whom have probably risked their lives fighting for us in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Fallin’s excuse for not recognizing same-sex couples is because Oklahoma has an anti-gay marriage law on the books. She is saying that this small state’s anti-gay law trumps the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court. What an arrogant, untrue statement to cover her bigotry against gay Oklahomans.
—Wanda Jo Stapleton, former state representative
Wind, more or less?
Kirsten McIntyre of Advancing Wind provided some insight into the wind energy in Oklahoma (Commentary, “Wind can light up our city,” Gazette, Oct. 30). She cites a National Renewable Energy Lab report that our resources could “provide more than 31 times the state’s current electricity needs,” and the enormity of that boggles the mind! That is a lot of wind and wind mills, and wires. Thirty-one times!
I would opine that 99 percent of Oklahomans don’t have any idea how much power — kilowatt or megawatt or gigawatt — this state needs that 31 times that is way out there in the wind (pun intended).
Perhaps as spokesperson, Ms. McIntyre could provide a few more details and then we could better appreciate the totality of the wind energy and its benefits to the citizens — details such as: How many turbines over how many acres would it take to satisfy Oklahoma’s power needs, and these would replace how many power plants over how many acres are currently in use? Oklahoma has four seasons with wide temperature swings (sometimes all in one day), so would the turbines be able to operate efficiently within this demographic?
Let’s not forget our feathered friends. How many birds will be killed by these turbines, and what percentage will be in the endangered species category? I’m sure noise pollution will be somewhat of a problem. Will there be sufficient safeguards to protect our citizens, and will this impact overall effectiveness? Will all the equipment — turbines, towers, blades, transmission lines — be produced in the United States or, as with the CFLs, be made in China?
Providing responses to these inquiries will allow consumers an opportunity for a evenly balanced comparison, and I’m positive that would be Advancing Wind’s desire.
— Pete Lepo
Oklahoma Gazette provides an open forum for the discussion of all points of view in its Letters to the Editor section. The Gazette reserves the right to edit letters for length and clarity. Letters can be mailed, faxed, emailed to email@example.com or sent online at okgazette.com. Include a city of residence and contact number for verification.