Repeal the 1998 marriage amendment

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, March 10, 2006

It's getting better here.

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Our nation is moving slowly, yet surely, toward embracing all subsets of people. From marriage rights for mixed-race couples, to independence and mobility for the physically disabled, to the recognition of the prevalence of mental illness and available treatments, we are becoming a more healthy and holistic society. Every time a "special-interest group" gains a foothold in educating us about the difficulties it faces, we are all better off. We experience less of the shared shame and pathos that comes from ignorance and pretending (against all evidence to the contrary) that we could never have found ourselves in less "normal" circumstances.

As we move through these obstacles toward a better world, we leave behind those clutching onto their hatred and prejudices. The glass-ceiling sexists are dying out, possibly refusing medical treatment from brilliant women doctors as they go. Those who fought viciously to deny hopeful black children a decent education are remembered with scorn and sorrow.

This trend will continue, and while there will always be those who can't see the big picture, future generations will look back at the harsh limitations and intolerance of our times with pity and relief.

I love Alaska, and it shames and confuses me to no end that my fellow voters passed the marriage amendment in 1998. The spectrum of human sexuality is as wide and wondrous as the various shades of human skin, and no amount of dogma or eye-covering will change this. The 1998 amendment should be repealed and the proposed expansion of it doesn't deserve our consideration. Can Alaska, the great bastion of freedom and individuality, really want to go down in history among those having clung most desperately to denying the basic human rights of so many of our friends and relatives?

Pagan Hill


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