Safe Zones limit free speech

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Editor:

Sherry Li’s response (“Williams’ privilege blinds her,” April 16), to Alicia Williams’ column (“”Safe zones’ would create false danger perceptions,” April 14), demonstrates the problem of discourse in the area of homosexual rights, privileges and respect. As someone who would have voted against Prop. 8, Prop. 102, the Florida Marriage Amendment, and the Alabama Unmarried Adoption Act, I have to seriously disagree with Li’s assessment of what free speech means in a public domain.

Li said, “Safe zones are a means of proactively expecting equal rights everywhere.” No they are not. Their purpose is the opposite. Designating portions of property anywhere as a place where one cannot freely express disdain for the sexual conduct of one’s peers is morally and legally incorrect, except in private settings (property rights). If Li and others who maintain minority opinions, morays and sexual preferences demand what she calls “respect and consideration,” they will allow the strengths of their opinions to be tested in the minds of listeners, not in the administration buildings. The simple fact that Li and allied organizations must appeal to authorities rather than the people demonstrates the weakness and lack of commitment in their ideas. Allowing people to test their claims will lead to “respect and consideration,” not arbitrary, top-down partition.

Zack Oakey,
Ophthalmology Department, Lab Faculty