To the Editor:
I attended the debate between State Senator Art Linares, Emily Bjornberg, and Colin Bennett on October 8th at Valley Regional High School. With regard to the letter from Sue Huybensz, who also attended the debate, I am certain that she misunderstood the discussion. In particular, she completely misinterpreted the response by Senator Linares regarding his stand on the SCOTUS Hobby Lobby decision. In no way did Senator Linares say that he is opposed to a woman’s right to choose. He pointed out that this issue is not germane to candidates running for the State Senate. If he were running for the United States Senate or were in line for consideration for a position on the Supreme Court, the issue of what methods of birth control must be paid for by a private enterprise would be a worthwhile topic for debate. At a debate for election to State Senator, the issue is a red herring. When Art shared that he was raised Catholic, he was pointing out that nobody’s personal and religious beliefs supersede the laws of our country. The aim of Senator Linares on the evening of October 8th was to bring the debate’s discussion back to issues that are germane to CT residents, issues that a state senator is empowered to do something about: returning prosperity and top-notch educational and professional opportunity to the residents of our state. As a CT woman, I plan to cast my vote for Senator Art Linares.
Alice van Deursen
Here is my response:
I completely agree with you that Mr. Linares was stating that the SCOTUS decision was not applicable to his candidacy. Its just that I completely disagree. I think that we need strong advocates for women’s rights in the capitol as well as in all elected/appointed public positions. Most moderate Republicans would fit this bill. Have a look around you at what is happening in this country. States, such as Texas, Mississippi, North Dakota, Michigan, Colorado, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Ohio are making it more difficult for women to obtain abortions. Those decisions are all being made in state senates. The Hobby Lobby decision a distinct slippage of women’s rights. Are you aware that women earn 23 cents less on the dollar than men, that fewer women enter STEM studies than men, that women are still discriminated against in our country? Across the board, women’s rights are threatened by right-wing extremists such as Mr. Linares seems to be and it is a constant fight to maintain what women have won. His views are not in keeping with this district or the times we live in. These reasons are why women’s issues are not a “red herring”.
If his comment about his religion was to say that religion doesn’t matter, then why didn’t he just say that? Are his debating skills that lacking, or was he just hedging or being disingenuous? Whether I misinterpreted his meaning or not, why couldn’t he just be honest and open about his feelings on this issue and women’s rights like the other candidates were? Perhaps women’s issues don’t matter that much to Mr. Linares. But, we’ll never know because he won’t agree to another debate.
You can thank your long gone sisters for your right to vote for a candidate that might take rights away from you.