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Editorial: Opinion roundup (July 4, 2014)


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EDITOR’S NOTE: Today, the Daily Journal presents a sampling of editorials from around the state and nation.

Same-sex marriage inevitable, Indiana

Evansville Courier & Press

Whatever the state of Indiana tries to do to stop same-sex marriages, it is inevitable that gay marriages will ultimately become legal in Indiana, as they should.

This is an issue headed squarely for the U.S. Supreme Court, which we expect will eventually declare it the law of the land, and not just in Indiana. The court is expected to declare that it is unconstitutional to forbid same-sex couples to wed.

In Indiana last week, Evansville-based U.S. District Court Judge Richard Young struck down the state’s prohibition of same-sex marriage. With the court’s decision, Indiana became the 20th state to adopt same-sex marriage.

Although Young’s decision sent numerous same-sex couples to courthouses for marriage license, the office of Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller filed a notice of appeal with the federal appellate court in Chicago.

Depending on time, Indiana officials might attempt to try again for a state constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriages in Indiana.

Regardless, this is a decision that, by all rights, should assure gay and lesbian citizens the right to be treated equally.

Advocate program immediate need for kids

Tribune-Star (Terre Haute)

If you agree that not much is sadder — and potentially more unsettling to our society — than a child torn from his or her home, here is a way you can make a difference, one kid at a time.

You can advocate for a child who ends up in court because parents or guardians can’t keep their own lives together — whether because of broken relationships, crime, drug or alcohol obsession, domestic violence, poverty, physical or mental illness, or, likely, a combination of those factors.

This is where many social and religious agencies step in, but most especially the Court Appointed Special Advocate program — CASA.

Nationally, CASA units exist in 951 communities, serving 238,000 abused or neglected children. But as in so many critical areas of our society, the need far exceeds the response.

To become a CASA, one must take 30 hours of training and be willing to check in with the child at least once a month, which seems minimal to maintain any level of personal contact. And it means tough skin and a caring heart.

What it comes down to is one committed adult — you? — to match up with one vulnerable child to help give that child a better chance to succeed.

Or, as the national CASA says in its mission statement, “the opportunity to thrive.”

Egypt successfully returns to Middle Ages     

Wall Street Journal

These days the Middle East seems to be returning to the Middle Ages, and Egypt recently made its contribution to pre-modernity by jailing three journalists for the crime of doing their job.

An Egyptian judge sentenced an Australian, an Egyptian-Canadian and an Egyptian who work for Al Jazeera’s English-language news network each to at least seven years in prison. The men were accused of collaborating last year with the Muslim Brotherhood to “give the appearance Egypt is in a civil war.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called the sentences “chilling, draconian” and “a deeply disturbing setback to Egypt’s transition.” He’s right, but they are also typical of the new old Egypt.

More than 1,000 Brotherhood members have been arrested and convicted to long sentences or death. Egyptian liberal activist Ahmed Maher was sentenced last year to three years in prison.

The sentences came down a day after Kerry visited Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and said the general “gave me a very strong sense of his commitment” to improve Egypt’s human-rights record and transition to democracy.

Egypt’s future now depends on enlightened military rule, and so far there are few signs of that.

Who needs Congress to ‘fix’ immigration?

New York Post

New York’s City Council recently voted to create municipal identity cards that allow every resident — including those here illegally — to obtain a card that will be recognized by every city agency. The council hopes it will also be accepted at places such as at banks.

The move was backed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, who campaigned for such an ID card during his run.

The council also voted to expand a pilot program designed to give people facing deportation free legal counsel.

All this speaks to the fundamental problem: The national system of immigration has broken down, and these efforts — whether it’s an Arizona law requiring aliens to carry immigration documents with them at all times, or a New York law that will give them IDs — are different local responses to a challenge that demands a national answer.

President Barack Obama bears his share of the blame for this. In 2008 he said an immigration bill would be a priority for him, but it’s now 2014 and not only are we still without a bill, his threats of policy by executive order and the crisis his neglect has invited at our southern border makes bipartisan reform even less likely.

Doing nothing on immigration doesn’t stop people from coming in or get people here illegally to leave. All it does is uphold and encourage the lawless status quo they claim to object to.

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