Student Voice


July 22, 2024

Letter to the editor

Gay rights should be supported

March 2, 2007

Since former NBA All-Star Tim Hardaway made news a couple weeks ago with his hateful comments toward gays, I’ve been thinking more and more about the attitude of my own generation regarding the topic of homosexuality. It is obvious that we have made progress since our parents’ generation, and we’ve made great strides in diversity awareness and acceptance.

I cannot, however, be completely pleased with the status quo, because there are a large number of people our age — including students on this campus — who don’t support gay rights.

We’ve seen in the last few elections that there is strong anti-gay rights pressure in the United States, both politically and morally. I think that it is largely influenced by church doctrine and religious belief. To single out the gay community and restrict their rights (i.e. marriage and adoption) is discrimination, plain and simple.

There is no other word to describe it — it’s discrimination. I firmly believe that discrimination of any kind is a tool of hatred. I am not a Christian, nor am I religious in any way — and I believe morals are entirely independent of religion. This being the case, I urge everyone to take an inventory of their own moral code. Regardless of what the dusty old Good Book may say about the matter of homosexuality, we all have to realize that gay marriage is a basic human right and to deny people that right is ignorant, selfish and represents a glaring violation of the teachings of Jesus Christ.

A common argument is that one cannot pick and choose parts of the Bible to follow. This is flawed logic, however, since the Bible also denounces women’s rights (along with other such things). If you’re willing to discriminate against gays simply because a book told you to, are you also willing to discriminate against women? I certainly hope not.

But in the end, gay marriage is a topic that should be debated and discussed in a place removed from the influences of organized religion. In fact, the two should have nothing to do with each other.

I am deeply disappointed that so many of us allow our morals and beliefs to be so heavily dictated by the doctrines and rules of an organization. I intend to live my life as a free spirit with a perspective and moral code based on experience, instinct, and love for my fellow citizens.

It is my hope that 30 years from now, we’ll look back at gay rights as just another step in the march of our country’s progress - similarly to how we now look at the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. If that is to happen, however, we’ll all need to check our guts, our hearts and our minds, and do what we know is right.

Joe Hager