More thoughts on the gay issue

Dear Editor:

In this paper, as well as others, the gay issue has become a hot topic. I watch people on both sides of the issue argue about who is right and who is wrong.

To those of you who are against gay marriage, I would save my breath. You can’t kick a dead horse to get it moving. When you have odds of 51 percent of the people of Minnesota are either gay, or have friends who are gay, or just sympathetic to the gay cause, you are not going to buck those odds.

I thought, myself, that Minnesota for sure would be the first state to start gay marriage. I guess I was wrong. Rest assured, it’s on its way.

It looks like most of the people in the military are behind the new law that allows gays to serve openly. Having been in the army myself, this one gives me the chills.

Someone said gays can’t reproduce so they must recruit. This is not really true. Our liberal court systems have given gays the right to adopt children. So who knows how many of this will play out.

Considering the mess this country is now, I seriously doubt one more mess will really make a difference.

Jerry Wennberg


  • Aaron

    Yes, there is growing momentum behind equality and civil rights for gay people. But this is not something to be afraid of or discouraged by. Rather, it is something to be proud of and thankful for! When a society works to overcome its inherent prejudices and biases, that is a good thing and is a sign of progress and hope. During the civil rights movement of the 1950-1960s many people living in the South were very resistant to the social changes occurring then. They perceived greater equality for African Americans as being a challenge to their traditions and way of life. The equivalents of Rush Limbaugh of the time predicted doom and disaster and whipped people up into a frenzy of hatred and protest. Remember the images of armed National Guard troops having to escort young Black children to school through crowds of angry White shouting protesters? Today most of us look back at that and are surprised and ashamed that people could have been so misguided in their beliefs. It is human nature, I guess, to be fearful of change and to want to cling to the past and the ways that each of us is brought up with to think of as being “right” and “normal.” But we need to challenge ourselves to being more open minded and to recognize that change is not necessarily bad–especially when that change is focused on creating more equality and tolerance for others.

    PS 1: On the issue of “recruitment,” if you look at the legitimate main-stream research you will see that there is no evidence that children raised in gay households become gay themselves at any greater rate that those raised in heterosexual households. And just think about it: gay people are 99+% of the time the product of heterosexual families, right? If the orientation of one’s parents determined one’s sexual orientation, then how is it that gay people are coming out of heterosexual family environments? Think about Dick Cheney’s daughter, Newt Gingrich’s sister, Michelle Bachmann’s step sister. I don’t think they were raised in families that turned them gay! The fact is there is strong evidence that homosexuality has some type of genetic or perhaps early developmental (i.e. in the womb) component to and is not a result of one’s later family influences. Where the family/environmental influence comes into play is when young people who know deep down they are gay become fearful to let their families know due to fear of being disowned or even physically harmed. But shaming someone into keeping their homosexuality a secret and forcing them to live a false life is not the same thing as turning them into a happy, healthy heterosexual.

    PS2: You talk about being skeptical of gays in the military. In the 1950s many people predicted that integrating the military would never work. Surveys of the military at the time showed something like 70% were opposed to the idea. Opponents to integration argued that it was inconceivable for Blacks and Whites to share a foxhole (or a cafeteria, bathroom, etc.) and that to force them to do so would lead to chaos and ultimately the disintegration of the military. But Truman went ahead and forced integration through a presidential order, thereby bypassing military commanders and the courts. As someone who has served in the military yourself, do you honestly think the military is worse off today because African Americans are in it–even though this may cause some occasional conflicts between individuals who come into the military with prejudiced views? One of the great things about the military is that it serves as a melting pot of sorts and helps people learn to trust and respect people that they might otherwise never have come into contact with. The next generation will view gay individuals serving their country as being just as normal as we today view racial minorities serving.