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Since WE Asked: Same-sex marriages in Jackson County'

As politicians grappled statewide with what has become an unlikely presidential election year issue, folks across the Rogue Valley were quite clear in their opinion to last week's question:

What's your reaction to the county clerk's decision not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in Jackson County? Check below for your chance to have your voice heard with our new question.

I support the county clerk's decision until the question is answered in a court of law. ' Jim H., White City Hallelujah!!! ' Derek Ophus, Talent It's heartbreaking that we would openly and purposefully discriminate against responsible, loving members of our community. I'm embarrassed to live here. ' Kristy, Medford The decision to issue or not issue marriage license to same sex couples was not the county clerk's decision. It is against the law and she is upholding the law. If you break the law, you pay the fine, and the people who issued the license against the law, should bear the consequences. If you don't like the law, you change the law, don't break the law. ' David E. Bashore It's about time that our elected officials look at what the intent of the law is and not what any group thinks it should be. ' Bob Kokanour, Central Point It sounds like the clerk made a decision based on those that disagree with same-sex marriages. These people are ignorant and more than likely don't know a same-sex couple. These relationships are based on love above all things. Are heterosexual couples' relationships not? This is supposed to be the land of the free, but I suppose only to those that have money and power. Having same-sex marriages will not be a gateway for judges to legalize drugs or incest or polygamy. Give me a break! Those in support of equality and fairness should make their voices (or e-mails) heard! ' A. Chaplin, Medford Thank God that Jackson County has the courage to enforce the law and not write new laws to satisfy the overly aggressive demands of the homosexuals in our society. The Liberals and the homosexuals have sought to enforce their agendas by populating our courts with liberal, activist judges. The resulting judicial tyranny is exactly what our forefathers warned of and so they gave us checks and balances between the three branches of government. The tool for the Legislature to keep the courts from becoming a tyranny is the purse strings. The legislature has within its power the right to stop funding the courts. Let's see how long an unfunded tyrannical court system can continue to dictate to the rest of us. ' Carole Morris, Jacksonville Marriage should forever be between a man and woman. I do believe that same-sex partners should be able to have civil union rights. ' Erlene Thomson, Trail I'm disappointed. It not only discounts gay couples but bars them from the many financial and legal benefits available to married heterosexuals. ' Karen Basin, Talent Although I am pleased that Kathy Beckett followed the laws of our state in not issuing marriage licenses to same sex people in Jackson County, I wish that she would realize that the issue of gay marriage is not about civil rights. It is about a group of people who, after making a lifestyle choice, are trying to subvert the law and force the rest of us to condone their immorality so they can feel better about themselves in the morning. ' Jackie Hassell, Ashland I'm saddened that discrimination is being practiced in this manner. The right to marry should be extended to all citizens, without letting their gender be the deciding factor. ' Diana, Central Point Because Multnomah County let same sex couples get married, I was embarrassed to be a resident of Oregon. Thank you Kathy Beckett for saying no and for not making me be embarrassed to be a resident of Jackson County. ' Denise, White City I think they are doing the right thing. Hopefully, they aren't made to change their decisions. Marriage is a special union of a man and a woman. God made Adam & Eve, not Adam & Steve. ' J.L.D., Central Point Not a good decision. Get with the whole picture and accept fact. ' David Shelton

I believe in a marriage as God created it, between a man and a woman. God is the creator of all. ' Carolyn I applaud the County Clerk's decision. I called and left Kathy Beckett a message thanking her for voting for the traditional family. One man, one woman. 'Katherine, Central Point I'm ecstatic that a governmental organization has taken a stand on this issue. Marriage licenses are issued by governments because of societal benefit. Marriages provide a stable relationship to bring up children. ... There is no reason to sanction a relationship between homosexuals. ' Ben Mathews, Central Point I am ecstatic Kathy Beckett decided not to take it upon herself to offer marriage licenses to same-sex couples. All Oregonians must weigh in. ' Bonnie Hadley, Medford GREAT DECISION ' George Flanagan, Medford What a shame that a public official should make a decision that supports discrimination and that the decision appears to be supported by area residents. ' Chris H., Medford The County Clerk used good judgment. Her decision clearly reflects the opinion of the vast majority of Jackson County citizens. 'Robert Lance, Central Point The marriage license entitles two people to enter into a legal contract. To bar one group from entering this contract while permitting others seems discriminatory. ' Don Reynolds, Ashland

I don't care what people do in there homes, but I am opposed to gay marriages as I feel marriage should be between a man and woman. They can have all the benefits the same as a married couple if they handle it right without the paper. I am tired of all their hollering and crying about wanting to be married. Most gay people I know don't give a damn about it one way or the other and they are tired of all the attention it is getting. ' Francis Newlin Our county clerk was correct in doing what she did. We will continue to support her as long she does not buckle into the opposition. My idea of a marriage is that it takes a male and a female to make a marriage, nothing else will stand up to that test. ' Jim & Edna Van Dusen

It was the right decision, but no legal document will ever truly legitimize an immoral choice. Who would have dreamed we would need a definition? ' Peggy Overstreet, Eagle Point The children of same-sex parent families continue to learn that their families are not as good, as loving or as deserving as opposite-sex parent families. By its decision, the county perpetuates and codifies bigotry, hatred and discrimination. Bad move. ' Nancy Parker, Ashland

I think it is immoral to refuse a marriage license to same-sex couples and is no different than refusing a license to an interracial couple. Gay couples have every right to marry legally and if we would face reality, we would realize it is going to be happening very soon, so we should get our heads out of the sand and get on with it. Maybe then we could concentrate on better health care for our citizens, instead of trying to control other people's lives. ' Judy Bundy Schaefer, Ashland I was one of the two that called in support of the issue. After 12 years, I'd like to legally complain about my mother-in-law. ' Mary Czaja, Medford OUTRAGEOUS! How does Jackson County allow landmark equal rights decisions to be made by Kathy Beckett's answering machine? ' Fran Curtis, Ashland The County Clerk was absolutely correct in her decision. ' Marla Lance, Central Point Multnomah County, as well as the city of San Francisco, made some amazing strides in history over the last month. We look back upon the civil rights movement and hail Martin Luther King Jr. as a visionary who led a people in the pursuit of their human rights. This movement of gay marriage is not different. A group of people are standing up and saying Hey we are citizens as well, and we deserve this. Jackson County is choosing not to participate in a great stand for basic human rights. It is a pity. ' Erica Any government should not be in the marriage business at all. It's just a way to earn revenue, and play Big Brother. ' Mike Hinkes, San Francisco How very sad. A wasted opportunity to allow equality under the law in the rights ,responsibilities and duties of marriage. ' Joan Nissenberg, Ashland I applaud the decision not to allow marriage license's to same-sex couples. If God had wanted this he would have made same-sex couples capable of reproducing. ' Loma Claus I am very disappointed that the County Clerk's office decided not to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples. Unfortunately I am not surprised. I live in Ashland ' Trish We, George and Stephen Miller-Zauner, next month celebrate another anniversary since we first met in April 1990. Wouldn't it be great after all we have done in all walks of our lives to finally be equal to all other — ' George and Stephen Miller-Zauner, Central Point How many man-woman marriage licenses has Kathy Beckett issued that have ended up in divorce? Yeah, think about it. ' Arnold, Talent My husband and I will be married 30 years this coming June. I am deeply disappointed that the Jackson County clerk has ruled against making available this legalized experienced to same sex couples. When something is offered to only some and not others it becomes an unearned privilege. Marriage should be a right available to all. My husband and I benefit in numerous legal and social ways from being married as a heterosexual couple. ... I am sad to see that this is possible for some and not others, including a member of my family for whom marriage is not yet a possibility despite his love for and commitment to his partner. ... Let us be a community that truly affirms justice and love. ' Barbara Scott Winkler, Medford The issue of gay marriage is really an issue of church and the state should only be involved in the issue of licenses. Licenses of civil union should be available to all and carry equal rights for all. ' Carole Souza, Medford Glad that our county clerk is law-abiding. Way to go, Kathy! ' Judy Beals, Gold Hill As long as there is even the slightest hint of unequal protection under the law, I don't think Jackson County or any other government agency has any legal choice but to issue licenses to gay/lesbian couples. ' Jim Amberg, Ashland Well, the county clerk is not doing her job if other counties see that they can do it; then, why not us? I would love to have the same rights as a heto couple. ' Jeffrey Foust, Medford It is not the Jackson County clerk's decision, as I believe this to be a state and federal Constitution issue. It is probably discrimination to disallow same sex marriages. ' Tommi Drake, Grants Pass I am a citizen of this county and would like to register my dismay at this censoring of privileges for gay couples. It is a clear act of discrimination and should not be allowed. I vote! ' Kalynn Gillis, Talent Why deny happiness, comfort and love to anyone? I'll tell you, the more people that love and support me the better off I am. Putting away a persons personal beliefs, consider that. If people are in love, and want to make that commitment, then do it. I know people who have gotten married for far less, and sad reasons than that. If asking yourself the above question doesn't help, ask God, I think she'll tell you. ' Dana, Sams Valley I am very disappointed. Jackson County could have lead the way to equality for all. Instead they continue to discriminate based on irrational fears. ' Sally R., Eagle Point Determination of constitutionality of any state law or application thereof must be determined at the state level by rule of law; allowing otherwise invites anarchy. ' Karen Kaberline, Eagle Point I was disappointed. Hoped our county would stand up for equal rights for all. Marriage is a civil union between two people. ' Dot Fisher-Smith, Ashland Why have marriages as a legal item at all? If the state gives benefits to couples who are committed, then they should do so to all committed couples. If a couple wants a religious experience within their relationship, let them go to their religion to express that. ' Dean, Ashland Kathy Beckett's decision is regrettable but understandable ' after all, her's is an elected position. No one's civil rights should be decided by impromptu telephone poll. ' Kris York I think it is unfortunate that Jackson County has chosen not to do the right thing in recognizing same-sex marriages as valid, legal partnerships. ' Karen, Talent To deny marriage to two human beings, who were born genetically predisposed to be attracted to a member of the same sex, is discrimination. ' Kurt Bernhardt, Ashland I strongly support equal rights for all citizens. Homosexual people should not be discriminated against by not being allowed to marry. ' Samuel C. Whitford, Ashland Government should have nothing to do with marriages. Marriages were ordained of God, and churches are the only ones with any authority. ' The deVilleneuves This week's questionRecent studies have told us what we already know, even if we don't admit it. Americans are getting bigger around the waist. With that in mind, we ask:

Who's responsible for the obesity that has become a major health risk for Americans?

Please try to keep answers brief. Overly long answers will be edited or returned to the sender. Also, please add both your name and hometown.

Send your responses to or use the form available here at the Web site