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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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The Community Based On Equality and Diversity

America is one of the most diverse nations in the world. It encompasses almost every type of person in the human species.

Our Constitution, which we all seem to so highly revere, is meant to apply to all people on American land?but unfortunately, this is not occurring.

It is the new millennium, the year 2001, and, in most states, gay people can still be legally discriminated against and are blatantly denied the fundamental rights of freedom and family-building. Many other “groups” are still terribly discriminated against, but gay people are the last to still be oppressed by state-proscribed sanctions.

America is quite advanced in many respects when it comes to public policy, but it falls painfully short when it chooses to openly deny the rights and benefits of its beloved Constitution to all of its citizens. It trips over its own feet when it allows personal prejudice to impede the fundamental freedoms of its members.

There are many arguments for why homosexuality should not be a group classification, let alone a status that needs protection, as well as arguments that it is sinful in the first place.

Mostly, justifications fall back on antiquated portions of the Bible that state homosexuality is against the will of God. Other arguments include such ideas as it is a choice to be gay, or one can hide their sexuality if they want to, and therefore don?t need legal protection or “special rights.”

These arguments are misguided. They are incorrect not only because they are improvable, emotional arguments, but also because they are vicious statements that kill.

Gay kids are more than twice as likely to commit suicide as their heterosexual counterparts, and depression has a high occurrence among gay people. Hate crimes committed against gay people are also high.

You may think you know no one gay, or may have presupposed moral prohibitions about homosexuality, so why should you care? What does this matter to you?

It matters in a cosmic sense, because if you believe in the Golden Rule, you should treat others as you want to be treated, and no one wants to be oppressed. In our own bumbling ways, we are all just seeking out some happiness in a confusing life.

It matters in a global sense because we can?t be hypocrites to our Constitution. We cannot pick and choose to whom its privileges will apply.

Equality for gay people should matter to you because you will know someone gay, and they very well may be your son or your daughter, your brother, sister, even your mother or your father. You should care because anybody you could meet at any time could be gay, and you would otherwise have no problem with this person if it were not for the knowledge of their sexuality and an illogical and misconstrued concept of what it means to be gay.

What it means to be gay cannot be summed up in words or even in concepts. What it is not, however, is a sin, or unnatural, or pedophilia, or dangerous to children. The only thing dangerous to children is for them to be told by their parents or respected leaders that they are evil and ought to be changed, or don?t deserve to live.

Oct. 11 is National Coming Out Day. It is a particular day to actualize oneself and affirm sexuality in a positive way to families or friends. If you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer, embrace who you are.

Affirm that you are a worthy person, capable of transcending a label of sexuality to be a valid member of the human community.

If you are part of the family of a queer person, embrace them because they are of you and are the same sons, daughters, sisters or brothers they have always been.

If you are a friend, support your gay friends, because it is our human interactions that make live worth living.

A 900-word opinion column will probably not change anybody?s mind if they are dead-set against this concept of homosexuality. Perhaps the first thing that needs to change then, is the paternalism involved in legislating sexuality.

It is not necessary for heterosexuals to make laws regarding homosexuality. Existence cannot be denied.

Like it or not, agree with it or not, queer people will always exist?be it nature or nurture, people are what they are.

In fact, if part of the problem with the idea of homosexuality is that gay people don?t marry and have kids, then legalizing gay marriage and adoption would allow gay people to do what heterosexual people demand of them.

All the laws in the world will neither eradicate homosexuality nor improve the heterosexual condition. Simply put, it is not the right of the majority to tyrannize the minority. Legislating oppressive morality obtains no one?s goals.

In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

To deny freedom and equality to gay people is to deny justice. To knowingly and willfully deny justice is to threaten the very foundation of our nation.

Oppression and hate gain nothing. They don?t make our individual lives any easier to live, and at some point, on some level, anyone and everyone can become a target of hate and oppression.

Indeed, to not rage against injustice is to be oppressed. America is strong enough to handle diversity, and freedom and equality are always worth fighting for.

Anne welcomes feedback at: [email protected] or send letters to the editor to: [email protected].

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