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Gay marriage: It’s time to give up witch hunts

Posted: July 17, 2008 1:10 a.m.
Updated: September 17, 2008 5:03 a.m.

I’m a straight, married man who doesn’t worry about what other folks are doing. A wise state legislator recently remarked that with the war on terrorism, the economy, the collapse of the housing market and the high price of gasoline, he had more important things to worry about than gays getting married. I concur.
But illogical reasoning such as Sterling King’s recent diatribe in The Signal’s letters section (“Does everyone have the right to fight for marriage?” July 2) bothers me.

He writes that marriage is a legal, social and religious contract. I have no problem with religious organizations refusing to marry homosexuals. Certainly that is their right. But our constitution is pretty clear about separating religion from legal matters. What legal justification is there for denying gays the rights the rest of us enjoy? By what reasoning do we deny a right to a minority that we extend to the majority? If clergymen won’t marry gays, let judges do it.

Mr. King wants to fight to protect marriage. Protect it from whom? Does a good marriage really need protection? Besides, it seems to me that most threatened marriages are the result of involvements with other heterosexuals. So, how does gays marrying threaten straight peoples’ marriages?

Mr. King believes gays want to marry because they “want a legal means to dispel their guilt or shame for being same-sex attracted.” They shouldn’t have to feel guilt or shame for doing what comes — for them — naturally. There is now ample scientific evidence that gays are born with sexual drives that remain throughout their lives. In fact, some scientists now believe that sexual orientation begins in the womb.

Think about it. Who would someone intentionally choose a lifestyle that would give them the guilt and shame Mr. King writes about? Who would just decide to fly in the face of convention and be ostracized by the mainstream of society? Who would chance having friends, employers and even family reject them?
One does not choose their sexual orientation. It is not like hitting puberty and deciding on what flavor you want — chocolate or vanilla.

Homophobes like to use the term “abnormal,” but what is the norm?  If one child out of every hundred is born with red hair, is that “abnormal?” No, that is the norm. By the same reasoning, if one out of every hundred children is born homosexual, that is not “abnormal,” that is the norm.

Mr. King worries about future generations possibly becoming homosexuals if homosexuality becomes accepted by society as a lifestyle. But it doesn’t work that way. Just because you see other people being homosexual, doesn’t mean you will want to “switch sides.”

Mr. King may be surprised to learn that some of the greatest geniuses in history were homosexuals. Would you rather have a gay Michelangelo for a son, or a straight Hitler?

I don’t care if gays marry, have civil unions or just shack up. But I don’t care about how straights live either. This is the 21st century, not the 1600s. Its time to give up the witch hunts.


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