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gender & sexuality

Gay-marriage foe fails to make case

Abraham Lincoln said, "Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves." I suggest that anyone who would deny those different from themselves the freedom to marry, should look in the mirror and try a little introspection.
GAY-MARRIAGE FOE FAILS TO MAKE CASE

By Christopher J. Armstrong-Stevenson

[This letter was published in the Portland Tribune, September 7, 2004.]

Letter writer Russell Boedeker reiterates the thinly argued and inconclusive statements that many Christians on the far right use to attack the concept of same-sex marriage ("Gay marriage affects all of us," Letters, Aug 30). First, let me state that I am not a candidate for same-sex marriage, and I hope to be considered a practicing Christian.

Boedeker states that "traditional marriage would decline." On what experience is this claim based? Surely any heterosexual is not going to change his or her attitude toward their own marriage or intent to marry simply because people of the same sex choose to marry. Any detrimental trends in marriage surely have more to do with heterosexual attitudes. Gays and lesbians are not affecting those changes. Does Boedeker suggest that there is a finite number of marriage licenses available and that if same-sex couples use them all up, there will be none left for heterosexuals?

He goes on to state: "The ideal environment to raise a child is in a home with both a mother and a father." Marriage itself is not about child-rearing, though of course, many married people do so. Many who marry are infertile, physically incapable of or too old for child-bearing, and many simply don't want to have children. Does that invalidate their marriage?

Third, he states: "Public schools... could be required to teach that same-sex relationships and marriage are just as moral as traditional relationships and marriage... "It is not the place of schools, other than religious schools, or any government official to teach "morality" in any way. Morality is strictly a religious term, the teaching of which should be left to the respective religious denomination or spiritual path to which a person subscribes.

Boedeker appears to conflate the legal state of marriage with the religious wedding ceremony. They are and should remain two separate states of being.

Abraham Lincoln said, "Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves." I suggest that anyone who would deny those different from themselves the freedom to marry, should look in the mirror and try a little introspection.

homepage: homepage: http://www.mbtranslations.com
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Public Schools & morality 08.Sep.2004 12:04

Edain

I don't agree that public schools should not teach "morality" in any way. Children spend the majority of their lives in school. Because of this it can be a stronger influence to a child than the lessons they learn at home. If the teacher sees one child hitting another and they don't step in who will? If the parent has no knowledge of their children's behavior, because the teacher doesn't want to get involved, how can the parents advise their children? They are not allowed to stay at the school with their children, and many have no choice but to work so they can't home school. And it would certainly help if schools taught some life skills so people could grow up and live and work in the community. Isn't that part of morality? The things that Jesus taught are decent life skills, they are only warped by greedy bastards who will stoop to any level of deception. Ghandi, Confusious, Buddha, Mohammad, etc. all talked to the people about being decent.
I would take this arguement the other direction and support that when it is appropriate, such as a class in sexuality or relationships or life skills, etc., or even when a teacher overhears a student being teased, that teachers do tell their students that the world is made up of many people and, as an example with many other examples, some of them are homosexual. What a relief it would be for the students sitting in that class who are gay. The Christian right would like to dictate what we acknowledge and what we deny but they will never change the hormonal makeup of individual people and who they are attracted to. They can make people miserable and push them back into the closet and increase the suicide rate but they will never force a man to be attracted to a woman or vice versa if that is not their natural inclination. And we all have a right to love.