Why is court ruling outrageous?

Letter to the editor

Posted: Monday, November 07, 2005

In a written statement, Gov. Frank Murkowski said he was "outraged" by the decision of the Alaska Supreme Court that denying health benefits to partners of gays was unconstitutional. I wonder how he justifies his outrage to his gay friends and colleagues. What does he say to them when sitting next to them at a dinner party or across from them at a meeting? Could it be that he doesn't think he knows any gay people or that he doesn't think he deals with them in any way?

I wondered if this was possible. There are gay doctors, teachers, truck drivers, administrators, governors, mayors, congressmen, photographers, waiters, lawyers and every other occupation. He must deal with gays all the time whether he knows it or not.

Does he hate these people? Do they disgust him? If not, then what is it about the Supreme Court ruling that so outrages him? The issue relates to health care. Maybe he holds the outdated opinion that being gay is a "pre-existing condition" or something that needs to be cured. I don't know. I can't imagine.

I'm not gay. I don't really understand being gay, but so what? What do my beliefs or understanding have to do with the health care of gay couples? The governor can hold any beliefs he wants, but why should his personal biases have any bearing on this situation? Whether he likes it or understands it makes no difference - some people are gay. It has nothing to do with him. It doesn't threaten his marriage or my marriage or his health care or my health care or the state of the world. That some people are gay has nothing to do with anything or anyone except those people.

Alaska's constitution should be used to protect and expand the rights of Alaskans, not as a tool of discrimination. If the governor feels he must fight this "outrageous" act, let him carry out his vendetta with his own money and on his own time.

Governor, you're not in D.C. anymore. It's time to start acting like a real Alaskan.

Cameron Byrnes


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