God, nature disagree with gay choice

The following column is from the August 20th edition of the Georgetown Times:

God, nature disagree with gay choice

By Tim Callahan

Jamie Sanderson, chairman of the Georgetown County Democratic Party, says we are not to judge. That we are to respect one another's choices, even if that is to support gay marriages.

Then why does he judge Tom Swatzel, Republican Party chairman, and call him a bully?

Swatzel chose to side with 77 percent of the voters of this state in supporting the marriage protection amendment. He pointed out that the Democrats have a link on their Web site to First Freedom First, an organization that doesn't like limiting marriage to a man and a woman.

"The beauty of our party is we stand for choice," Sanderson says. "Ultimately, we are not the ones to decide what is right or wrong, nor are we to be judgmental of a person's lifestyle."

I'm sure John Edwards would be happy to hear that right about now.

But, if the Democrats can't say what is right or wrong, why do they? Why do they lambast President Bush at every turn and say the war in Iraq is wrong? Sanderson's self-refuting statement is ludicrous. If there is no right or wrong, then was Hitler right? We can't say, right Jamie?


However, I have always felt the gay and lesbian issue is a no-brainer for anybody who can forget about Republicans and Democrats and the media, who favor any underdog in a fight, even if the dog doesn't have the equipment to be in the ring.

My point is this. Whether God created us, which I believe He did, or we evolved from a big bang of gases (question: where did the gases come from? Got you, didn't I?), we are made with certain body parts. Parts that fit nicely between and a man and a woman. No parts exist for the man-man, woman-woman scenario. Did God, or evolution, make a mistake? Have we, or will we grow these parts without operations? The answers are no and no.

So support choice all you want, but God and nature have disagreed with your choice since the beginning of creation.

Tim Callahan is an author and freelance writer from Pawleys Island who has covered the Murrells Inlet community for several years.

Political party leaders spar over gay marriage issue

The following is an editorial from the August 8th Georgetown Times:

Political parties in Georgetown County are expressing a difference of opinion over developments in Massachusetts regarding approval of a law allowing out-of-state homosexual couples from to marry there.

The Georgetown County Republican Party chairman criticized county Democrats for a link to a Web page approving of same-sex marriage.

County GOP Chairman Tom Swatzel said in a news release that Democrats are dramatically out of step with voters in a county and state, in which 77 percent voted in favor of a 2006 state constitutional amendment protecting the definition of marriage as only between a man and woman.

"The local Democrats' stand comes at a dangerous time, when despite the passage of the state's Marriage Protection Amendment, traditional marriage in South Carolina remains at legal risk because of developments such as in Massachusetts and California," Swatzel said.

He noted that according to the Boston Globe, the Massachusetts legislation will take effect 90 days after Gov. Deval Patrick signs the measure. One Massachusetts House member told the Globe that "repealing the law would create chaos outside Massachusetts ... other states will be forced to consider same-sex marriage or resolve disputes among couples who marry in Massachusetts but want benefits, or to divorce, back home."

Swatzel said, "When the Massachusetts repeal takes effect, some time after the November elections, gay and lesbian activists from Columbia will be able to fly to Boston, get 'married,' then fly home to file a lawsuit asking some federal judge to overturn South Carolina's marriage amendment and force us to recognize a same-sex Massachusetts marriage license," he said.

The Georgetown County Democratic Party's site links to the organization First Freedom First, which says on its Web site, "Religious-political interests are seeking a Federal Marriage Amendment -- or similar state constitutional amendments -- that would limit marriage only to 'the union of a man and a woman.'

"This would discriminate against the growing number of faith groups that perform same-sex marriages."

"Georgetown County Democrat officials' promotion of so-called gay and lesbian 'marriage' shows just how far out of touch they are with the values shared by the overwhelming majority of families in our county, Democrat and Republican alike," Swatzel said.

Georgetown County Democratic Party Chairman Jamie Sanderson says his party stands for the civil rights of all people.

"The Georgetown County Democratic Party finds it embarrassing for GOP Chairman Tom Swatzel to stoop even lower than ever before and now attack the GCDP for links on a Web site," Sanderson said in a written reply. "What else is left? Our paper we print materials on doesn't match your standards either, Tom?

"We do, however, appreciate the free advertising of our blog and want to emphasize that the GCDP encourages all its readers to educate themselves by reading and using the abundant information provided to them.

"We believe in giving the people of this great county all the tools they need to get and stay informed on county, state and nationwide issues.

"The beauty of our Democratic Party is that we stand for choice. Ultimately, we are not the ones who decide what is right or wrong, nor are we to be judgmental of a person's lifestyle.

"I want to know whether or not Swatzel's statements would sit well with the Log Cabin Republicans, a federated gay and lesbian political organization in the United States with state chapters and a national office in Washington, D.C.

"The Log Cabin Republicans have a chapter here in South Carolina. Does Swatzel speak for their members in this state?

"The Democratic Party is the party for all people and we stand for the civil rights of those people at all times.

"It's not surprising to see Swatzel resorting to these tactics. He has no answers on the issues. I do hope the readers of this newspaper begin seeing who the true bullies are in Georgetown County politics."

Kelso wants sun to shine on all votes by state legislators

Contact: Jill Kelso (843) 543-0180

MURRELLS INLET- Republican State House candidate Jill Kelso announced Thursday that if elected, she will introduce legislation requiring recorded roll call votes on all bills considered in Columbia.

"It's time to let the sunshine on everything that happens in the Legislature," Kelso insisted. "Citizens not only deserve to know how their representatives stand on the issues, but how they actually vote on those issues."

Kelso's announcement was in response to a study this week reporting that the Legislature rarely records the actual votes of individual lawmakers.

Currently, roll call votes are required only on elections by the General Assembly, such as for judges, consideration of the Governor's vetoes, contested Supreme Court elections, the removal of officers, and amendments to the state Constitution.

"The current system allows legislators to hide behind non-recorded voice votes on almost all legislation considered by the General Assembly," Kelso said. "That is simply not in the public's best interest. Making members of the legislature have to record their votes will provide the openness and accountability in Columbia the citizens of Georgetown County and this state deserve, and just makes common sense," she concluded.

This week the South Carolina Policy Council released a study that showed in 2008 roll call votes were held on general bills or joint resolutions in the state Senate and House only one percent and eight percent of the time respectively, and that the average for the General Assembly was five percent.

The study looked at state legislatures in the southeast and found that Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi mandate roll call votes on final passage of all bills; Tennessee requires roll call voting on every bill including bills making appropriations of public dollars; and North Carolina mandates roll call votes on second and third reading of revenue bills.

A bill was introduced in the state House in April called the "2008 SpendingAccountability Act," that would require a roll call vote for all bills with a fiscal impact. The bill was referred to the Ways and Means Committee where no action was taken during this legislative session.

SC Club for Growth calls Vida Miller's mailing "deceptive" and "hypocritical"

Contact: Matt Moore (803) 454-1134

GEORGETOWN - Today SC Club for Growth labeled "deceptive" and "hypocritical" a post card mailed to voters last week by Democrat state Rep. Vida Miller, District 108, regarding the recent state sales tax holiday on school supplies.

In the mailing Miller said, "Any time government finds a way to let you keep more of your money, we're all better off."

Matt Moore, executive director of SC Club for Growth, said Miller's mailing is deceptive, since she tried repeatedly to kill the tax holiday legislation.

"Vida Miller's attempt to so brazenly deceive voters is pretty astounding, given that she voted against the sales tax holiday bill three times. Then, only when it was clear it was going to pass with or without her, she changed her vote. Now, her postcard misleads voters to believe that she was all for it," he said.

Moore also said it's hypocritical for Miller to tout letting taxpayers keep more of their money when she supported an increase in the gas tax, wants to tax internet purchases, voted against a 20 percent reduction in the state sales tax on groceries and refused to support spending cuts that would have allowed the Legislature to further reduce taxes.

"We call on Rep. Miller to firmly repudiate her past support for further increasing the cost of gas and internet purchases to Georgetown County families, and we urge her to come clean and apologize for a mailing clearly intended to mislead voters by covering up her support for higher taxes and her repeated attempts to kill the tax holiday bill in particular," Moore said.

According to House journals from 2004 to 2008, Rep. Miller voted to sustain Governor Mark Sanford's vetoes of excess government spending only 17 out of 473 times, consistently earning her "F" grades on SC Club for Growth's yearly report cards for not standing up for taxpayers.

"Rep. Miller also needs to apologize for covering up her woeful record of wasting taxpayers' money on pork barrel projects - money that could have been returned to hard working Georgetown County families," Moore added. "Voting one way in Columbia while saying another thing back home is just another example of why voters are fed up with politicians they can't trust."

Click here to view Miller’s post card