How can you write an article on marriage (I do...eventually, Feb. 13) in Oregon without mentioning the elephant in the room -the successful efforts by religious organizations to deny this basic civil protection to gay and lesbian families based purely on their 'faith-based' (i.e., evidence-free) prejudice?

I know the article was a puff piece, but a more relevant and informative article would have noted how religious efforts to limit marriage were fought off in our recent past.

There were state laws and amendments banning interracial marriage, based again on biblical admonitions, that later were decisively overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1967 (when marriage was determined to be a 'basic civil right').

Perhaps marriage rates would rise in Oregon if religious discrimination were kept out of the Oregon Constitution.

Bill Griesar

Northeast Portland

Headquarters-hotel brigade keeps at it

I see the headquarters hotel revival tent has been raised, and I hear the chorus warming up (This city deserves an all-star chance, Feb. 16).

We Oregonians may be the most 'un-churched' of any state in the Union, but the truth is that we want to believe. It's been some time since this particular troupe has put on a show, but it must be pretty clear from the tram scam that we're ready for another miracle.

Now, it's been obvious to even a casual observer like myself that private business interests seek public funding for a project only after determining that there is no way the project can be profitable. And the obverse is at least as plain - the public will never be invited to participate in a venture that is likely to be profitable.

If a headquarters hotel (or a sports stadium or a major league franchise) looked like a profitable venture, local real estate interests (the guys with the cranes steepling the sky and City Hall passing the plate) would be mounting a crusade to keep the huge hotel chains from jumping in first.

I cannot decide which behavior amazes me more, our willingness to believe or our failure to recall overwhelming evidence as to why not to believe.

We've bankrupted our schools and mortgaged our children's future to invest in one true-believer scheme after another.

Hmm … this Kool-Aid has a funny taste.

Daniel Enroth

Northwest Portland

Blazers' dynamic duo jumps to rescue

I enjoyed Kerry Eggers' sharp and insightful profile of the Blazers' dynamic duo at the point (Twice as nice, Feb. 23).

The fine play ofJarrett Jack and Sergio Rodriguez has turned what was once a liability into a definite asset this season. It is the primary factor in the team's newfound competitiveness and for the community's growing excitement about the Blazers.

The smooth yet rugged Jack brings a professional approach and shows great mental and physical toughness on each and every possession. He has quickly developed into a savvy, steady performer under Nate McMillan's tutelage, and serves as the coach's surrogate on the floor.

Jack is consistently setting the tone for the Blazers at both ends of the floor and is fast becoming just the sort of unselfish 'quarterback' that eventually can lead a club to the promised land.

Rodriguez's gifts are truly rare, and he never fails to have a significant impact whenever he plays. His sudden emergence has given the Blazers unexpected depth at the 'One,' and his electrifying style puts a lot of pressure on opposing teams (and it thrills crowds).

As Eggers indicates, the change of pace he provides creates a host of matchup problems for opponents - he provides the 'X' factor that gives an extra edge to any team.

Jack and Rodriguez are still young, but they are playing at a high level and, under the guidance of McMillan, the ideal mentor for them, they're improving dramatically before our very eyes.

Kyle Shetterly

Southeast Portland

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