Letter to the Editor

Student Body of Whitman,In the last edition of the Pioneer an editorial entitled “Pop that Liberal Bubble” was published. It contained some very hurtful and homophobic remarks and Coalition Against Homophobia has deemed a formal response necessary.

“I find it quite fascinating that in the last few years, our Western civilization accepted the gay movement as our key problem”

This sentiment was rather common in the 50’s and 60’s as well with the Civil Rights Movement. It was also common during the suffrage movement. Many people could not understand why all of a sudden blacks and women wanted the same civil rights as whites and men. Now, I think having phrased my argument like that makes you see why this is our key problem. Right now the GLBTQ (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered and Queer) community of our nation is being denied rights that should be granted to them by the nature of their existence as human beings. We cannot marry whom we please, give our partners health benefits and that’s not even counting the general fear we feel everyday wondering who is going to say something hurtful next. This is our key issue because it concerns the very basic rights of people who are no different from most on this campus except in who they love.

“Concerns about gay rights are so widespread that I think they exceed the level of appropriateness.”

What do you consider appropriate when a group of people is trying to gain their rights? There has been no violence, no torture. I would like to know just how the gay rights movement is inappropriate. Or for that matter what an inappropriate concern is. It is inappropriate for a group of people to be denied rights, it is inappropriate for another group to deny them rights. “But isn’t gay marriage a bit too much?” No, no it isn’t. Marriage is a right that should be granted to any two fully consenting adults. Also, letting gays and lesbians marry is not going to destroy the sanctity of marriage anymore than the divorce rate is. To assume that allowing the small population of gays and lesbians to marry is going to destroy the sanctity of marriage is ridiculous and scapegoats them to take the blame for an institution that is having problems of it’s own already. No matter the importance you place on the actual possibility of a same-sex union denoted by the term “marriage,” the fact that opposite-sex couples have numerous options around the institution of marriage that ensure them numerous rights and same-sex couples have absolutely no state-sanctioned rights just looks like outright discrimination to me.“The truth is that if our society comprised purely of homosexuals there would be no society at all in a few decades because we would fail to reproduce”

This is just logically ridiculous. If all reproduction stopped right now at this very moment there would still be people around in at least 70 years which is far longer than “a few decades”. Furthermore allowing gays the right to marry is not going to suddenly turn the rest of the population gay. It is generally accepted that 3-5% of the population is homosexual. This number is just not large enough to cause any noticeable depreciation in the world’s population. Also, the planet is having problems sustaining the people it already has, slightly decreasing the population will not hurt. Also, artificial insemination can allow lesbians to have children and surrogate mothers using artificial insemination can allow gay men to have biological children without ever having a need for sexual reproduction. Imagine, if you will, not being able to have children, not being able to have a family that is recognized by the powers that be. That is the painful and precarious future that many of us face without the recognition of gay marriage.

It is said that each generation has a key issue, something that we take upon ourselves to fight for. For our parents it was the Civil Rights Movement, for our grandparents it was suffrage. In the 21st century our generation has chosen gay rights. We are not fighting for special rights for a few, we are fighting for equal rights for all. Think of the words of Pastor Martin Niemöller, as you evaluate your stance on gay rights.

First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.

For more information on the nationwide fight for gay rights and to learn how you can get involved please visit www.hrc.org.
Thank you,

Dusti Thurman, Copresident
Brian Mendiola, Copresident
and Chris Fryfield
on behalf of Coalition
Against Homophobia