2011-03-03 / Letters to the Editor

Equal rights for gay couples

The depths to which those opposed to gay marriage will lower themselves in a desperate effort to justify their bigotry and deny equal rights to others is astounding and could not be better represented than the recent letter to the editor by William A. Kelly.

The letter is replete with inaccurate characterizations of the principles upon which this country was founded and outrageous assertions on the validity of gay relationships.

Were he to truly understand our republic, he would know that the founding fathers were very cognizant of the dangers of what were later referred to by Alexis de Tocqueville in “Democracy in America” as the “tyranny of the majority,” and that they made every effort to protect the rights of the minority in our Constitution.

In his first inaugural address, Thomas Jefferson said, “All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will to be rightful must be reasonable; that the minority possesses their equal rights, which equal law must protect, and to violate would be oppression.”

His woeful lack of knowledge on the principles of our republic aside, Mr. Kelly has bigger, more bigoted fish to fry. While he “respects the relationships that exist in the gay community,” he has the audacity to judge them as being less legitimate than his or any other straight relationships. Perhaps he feels there is something less human about gay people, which prevents them from loving someone as earnestly or mourning the loss of a loved one as deeply as he mourned the death of his child?

He apparently believes that the death of a gay man’s child – yes, gay people are capable of having children, Mr. Kelly – couldn’t possibly be as meaningful to the grieving parent. Because, as Mr. Kelly has essentially stated, gay people are different.

If the ability to bear children is as fundamental to marriage as Mr. Kelly asserts, does he propose denying post-menopausal women the right to marry? How about an elderly couple that are blessed in finding each other later in life? Should the marriages of those couples so unfortunate as to not have the ability to bear children be dissolved by the government? His logic is faulted and employed for one purpose only: To make the case to deny equal rights to all Americans.

In time, gay marriage will be accepted as a completely acceptable part of our society. Surveys already show that the majority of people under 30 years old view it as a nonissue.

When that day comes, the people who chose to voice their bigotry as prideful as Mr. Kelly did in his letter will be viewed with as much disdain as we now view those who spoke out against civil rights in the 1960s.

George Wallace’s defiant cry, “Segregation now, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever,” in all its cringe-inducing intolerance, says it all.

Richard A. Ventrone Jr.

Greenville

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