You hit the nail right on the head, Linda

Letter to the editor

Posted: Friday, April 27, 2007

Linda Orr hit the nail on the head when she proposed that if Don Imus had said, "'dykes or faggots,' there would be no uproar" (Juneau Empire, April 20). Were it not so, the Empire's editorial staff would not have allowed such offensive hate language to be printed. These words are still as acceptable as the "n"-word was a few decades ago, and yet they are still as wrong.

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The reason gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people are so despised is that a primitive instinct tells us to fear them because we perceive them as different and therefore a possible threat. This primal xenophobia is not compatible with the peaceful coexistence we all long for.

It is fear and ignorance that makes a person so hateful as to compare two peoples' love to "being married to an animal" (Honda Head, who was quoted in an Empire article on April 1). Which person is the animal in Head's analogy? If they are both less than human to Head, then wherein lies her perceived threat to human society? More reprehensible than Head's argument is that of any Christian who dares to use the scriptures in defense of their hateful acts. Christ said the greatest commandment is to love God, and the second commandment in line to that is that you love your neighbor as you love yourself. "On these two commandments," He said, "hang all the law and the prophets" (Matthew 22:40). This last statement is an important one for Christian fundamentalists who lose the spirit in their attempts to spin the letter of the law. If your Bible tells you to hate or to do hateful things, then you are reading your Bible wrong.

To hate someone so much that you will go out of you way to take away their human rights is not Christian, and it's not in the interest of societal good. Same-sex and other unmarried heads of families have as much a right to support their families as married, heterosexual heads of households. As human beings, they deserve the same respect, the same compensation and the same representation as other human beings. Being in the majority does not make us better or more deserving than the minority; it only makes us more capable of persecuting them.

Steve Reese


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