Letter: Don't equate gay rights, civil rights

Mar. 09, 2014 @ 04:51 AM

To the editor:

I am writing in response to Brent Tomberlin's column on equality and perceived homosexual discrimination. I think Brent is both an excellent writer and historian, but I must take issue with his position linking homosexual rights with racial discrimination. I think it is insulting to people of color, who were truly discriminated against for so many years in this country, to try to equate homosexuality with their struggle for freedom and equality. I do not know of any homosexual person who has been pushed to the back of a bus, forced to use separate rest rooms or been deprived of attending school due to their chosen sexual lifestyle. Martin Luther King Jr. led a movement that drew attention to discrimination and inequality based solely upon race. There is still work that needs to be done in achieving racial harmony in our nation, and it does not need to be distracted by the homosexual movement seeking to ride its coattails.

Discrimination can go both ways. What about the Colorado cake shop where the owner declined to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple because of his religious beliefs? He offered to provide other baked products for them, but not a wedding cake. They took him to court. Are this owner’s religious rights not being denied because his sincerely held religious beliefs prohibit him from helping to celebrate a homosexual wedding?

Mr. Tomberlin advocated that "if laws need to change to create greater equality, then it is high time to make things right." So where does this perceived inequality and discrimination stop? What about legalizing polygamy? And while we’re at it maybe we should also allow three women to marry two men and celebrate that by calling it marriage. Traditional marriage between a man and a woman has existed for five millennia and is being shaken at its foundations in America today. We truly face a crisis with the disintegration of the home and all the ill effects suffered by the children that it brings. I don't think that merely broadening the definition of marriage by allowing any and every expression of aberrant sexuality will do anything but make the matter worse.

It appears a little melodramatic to advocate discrimination for the gay rights movement based on news out of Russia or Liberia. I am not a citizen of either country and therefore not privy to their culture or civic concerns. None of us would ever approve of physical harm or imprisonment for our country’s citizens who declare that they are homosexual.

Homosexuality is a chosen sexual practice that seems to have the support and acclaim of many in the highest echelons of government, media and academia. I don’t think that we need to portray them as victims suffering and struggling for the basic rights of life. They already possess that and much more.

Robert Setzer

Lenoir