Bigotry is Offensive

By [email protected]

Dear Editor:

Shame on The Chronicle for publishing Bart Gatrell’s piece, Rainbow Flags are Offensive (October 14, 2002). This piece was a glaring example of bigotry.

Mr. Gatrell wants to see no Gay/Lesbian symbolism on campus. He also has the temerity to suggest that homosexuals have no right to wave their sexual preference in his face.

Heterosexuality IS celebrated every day on campus, as well as everywhere else. It’s the accepted norm, and one routinely sees heterosexual couples “flaunting” their heterosexuality. The same cannot be said about gay couples, who risk their safety by being affectionate in public.

Mr. Gatrell’s myopia is manifest in his belief that gays/lesbians are the only ones displaying their beliefs in full view of all students on campus. One can reasonably surmise that Mr. Gatrell is Mormon, and therefore, he is part of the majority and he does impose his rights on everyone else. The LDS Institute of Religion is the only such institute of religion on campus ? I am forced to see this building everyday. The University is closed Sunday (or 90% of the facilities are) because that is a tradition of the majority. It’s a way the majority forces you to keep the Sabbath day holy.

Moreover, CTR rings are impossible to ignore, as are the ring-in-the-shirt markings garments make. They say “I am Mormon.” Mormon beliefs speak volumes, viz., that you should not be able to enjoy marital rights if you’re homosexual. By its very existence, the Mormon culture is an attack on homosexuals.

Perhaps Mr. Gatrell hates these flags because they protest his religion’s intolerance and hatred. Mr. Gatrell is certainly free to believe whatever he chooses, and he is free to donate money to an religion that spends money opposing marital rights for homosexuals. But turning to the ugly face of bigotry, as Mr. Gatrell has blatantly done, is something that we all must resist. We must never regard our own faith and views in matters of religion and morality as unquestionably right, and must never regard any other belief or opinion opposed to or differing from them as unreasonable or wicked. That is the essence of bigotry, and it was present in Mr. Gatrell’s opinion piece.

There are a myriad of beliefs and opinions being expressed on campus. We may disagree with what is being said, but we must defend, to the death, the right to say it.

Sincerely, James V. RoachPolitical Science [email protected]