The goal of gay rights

Dear Editor:

I read with interest and a little sadness, the letter to the editor by Rod Bergengren in the June 1 edition of the News.

We could argue all day about the validity and truthfulness of the “statistics” and “facts” cited in Mr. Bergengren’s letter, but the fact remains that being a gay man or a lesbian woman is not a “choice.” No one in their right mind would make the “choice” to be identified with such a persecuted group. The world’s most prominent expert on sexuality, John Money, likens homosexuality to left-handedness; it is a typological difference, not a syndrome.

Conservative estimates say two thirds of all marriages in the United States will experience a period of separation, have an unfaithful member, or end in divorce. Given such statistics, it is hypocritical for the heterosexual community to accuse gays and lesbians of promiscuity and to insist that marriage is sacred and should be reserved exclusively for heterosexual couples. According psychologists, gays and lesbians have the same need as heterosexual couples for long term stable relationships.

The goal of gay rights is to make it possible for gays and lesbians to be honest about who they are without being deprived of their civil rights-simple really. These rights do not entail special privileges, but rather the rights (marriage) and responsibilities (military service) that every American enjoys. Noted Christian clergyman William Sloan Coffin said,” If what we think is right and wrong divides still further the human family, there must be something wrong with what we think is right.”

Think about that while you are in the ballot box in November and are asked—for the first time in our state’s history—to codify (make law) discrimination against a segment of our population by banning gay marriage.

Barry Thomas