In Favor of Bigotry? A Defense of Gay Marriage

By By [email protected]

By [email protected]

Name: Camie SchaeferMajor: EnglishYear: SeniorE-mail: [email protected]

Note: Thanks for considering this for publication.

I was deeply concerned when I saw Andrew Kirk juxtaposing gay marriage and child abuse in his letter on November 11. The comparison is illogical at best and manipulative at worst. I may be biased, having never experienced that “deep violent reaction” at seeing two people in love, but I believe the comparison is offensive to gay marriage.

But perhaps Mr. Kirk would allow me a comparison of my own, albeit one inspired by law professor Kim Forde-Mazrui. Mr. Forde-Mazrui recently gave a talk at Virginia Law School that pointed out a parallel between the arguments against gay marriage and interracial marriages. “There’s something about sex . . . that triggers the most violent and visceral emotions,” he stated. “[These emotions were] the most with respect to this type of interracial interaction.”

Most people would agree today that to discriminate against a person because of their race is wrong. I believe I can also speak for most by saying that they would also approve a marriage between people of two races. Although the activists usually try to avoid comparisons with the previous civil rights movement, I believe the analogy is apt in this case. Why, then, is it morally fine to make gays second-class citizens by denying them the right to form a union?

Curious about other reasons, I have asked many people why they supported Amendment Three. The most common response was that they felt they needed the protection for their own marriages. In response, I asked if they were aware that Massachusetts, the state that allows same-sex marriages, has the lowest divorce rate in the nation? For every 1000 marriages, there are 2.4 divorces. Compare this to Texas, where the rate is 4.1. In fact, according to the Associated Press, the southwestern states that voted for President Bush experience the some of the highest divorce rates– a rate of 6.4 in Tennessee, 6.1 in Arkansas– there is no correlation between gays and a failing of a heterosexual marriage.

I do appreciate Mr. Kirk’s attempts to accept gay marriage and I recognize that he cannot. I feel similarly, as I am equally unable to comprehend refusing people rights that they are owed as Americans. I cannot understand why religious convictions have become a driving force in legislating the laws of our country. I cannot see why what I see as bigotry is acceptable, and I fear the next four years will, in fact, be that bad.