Letters to the Editor 9/10

Gays, lesbians deserve same rights as anyone

I would like to respond to the arguments of Michael Matott and Charity Kiser, who are advocates of same sex marriage. Contrary to Ed Matusek?s arguments against same-sex marriage, I do not wish to make any claims regarding any risks or threats homosexuality may entail. Rather, I would simply like to call attention to the difference between heterosexual and homosexual relationships.

Advocates of same-sex marriages claim that it is discrimination that only heterosexual people can legally get married. But I do not think that is discrimination at all.

People get married for different reasons, but at its core the institution of marriage is a time-honored, sacrosanct tradition that honors and nurtures the love between a man and a woman.

Why does this love need to be treated with such dignity? There are several reasons. One, marriage is about loving another person.

Two, it is about supporting another person. And three, it is about procreation, which is, of course, essential to the survival of any species, humanity included. Marriage is a unique institution in that it encompasses all three of these critically important aspects of human life.

And if a married couple happens to be infertile, that still does not detract from the fact that they are a man and a woman coming together where all three of the above aspects are possible if not immediately present.

Now, a homosexual pair can love and support one another. But their union does not have the backing of the power to propagate humanity behind it.

Those who might argue that gay couples have artificial insemination as a recourse are forgetting that artificial insemination is, despite the technology surrounding it, a heterosexual activity.

Those who claim that a gay couple has adoption as a recourse are overlooking two things. One, it remains controversial as to whether growing up under the care of homosexual parents is detrimental to the psyche of a child. And two, adoption would be impossible if not for heterosexuality.

Thus, although homosexual people may pair up much the way heterosexual people do, the idea of marriage for anyone but a heterosexual couple is absurd. Marriage is a celebration of the coming together of a man and a woman.

It is the union of the two sides of humanity, the product of which is life. It is one of the most important functions in our society. But these days, society seems to have set foot on a slippery slope. We have acknowledged that gay people, like anyone else, deserve not to live in fear of discrimination or violence.

However, let us not make the mistake of forgetting the value of marriage by confusing it with other issues.

Gaddy Bergmann is a graduate student majoring in biology.

All people deserve equal legal rights

In Ed Matusek?s letter in Tuesday?s Oracle, he makes many unfounded assumptions. He assumes that gays and lesbians are incapable of maintaining long-lasting monogamous relationships. He assumes that legally recognizing such unions would lead to a push to legalize pedophilia and would also open the door to similar criminal acts.

To be perfectly honest, many heterosexuals are incapable of maintaining long-lasting, monogamous relationships. Fifty-one percent of all marriages end in divorce, and the rate is climbing by the minute. Pedophilia is committed by sexual predators, many of them straight men.

Gays and lesbians, in asking that their unions be legally recognized, are only asking for the same rights and privileges that heterosexuals have had for centuries.

We want to be able to file joint tax returns, visit each other in the hospital without having to lie and say that we are a brother or a sister, be listed on one another?s medical insurance, have joint bank accounts and be entitled to our loved one?s pension or Social Security benefits if the other should pass away unexpectedly.

The rights that gays and lesbians are asking for by requesting that our unions be legally recognized are not special rights, they are equal rights.

We want the same things that heterosexuals have.

I am no different from you, Mr. Matusek. The only difference between your relationship and my relationship is that yours will automatically be anointed by religious and legal systems alike, and mine will not. You will end up marrying the woman of your dreams. That?s all I want, too.

Sarah Clarke is a sophomore majoring in mass communications.

Same-sex marriages appropriate, acceptable

I found it extremely disheartening to read ?Same-sex marriages not morally acceptable? written by a first-year Ph.D.-program student. I found that the arguments against this kind of marriage were antiquated, to say the least. One such point he made was the discussion of the moral aspects of the unions. I am wondering when, exactly, he was given the right to decide what is moral and just?

Next, he states that this would now be ?ignoring the wise, centuries-old tradition of allowing only heterosexuals marriage;? again, I ask how he is now the decision maker of what is moral, just and also wise?

Continuing, he states that heterosexual marriage is the ?basic social institution that undergirds the family.?

Please tell me why I have encountered so many disturbed children from families that have resulted in divorce, yet they were making the ?wise? decision to have that blessed heterosexual union called marriage?

The writer states that this is ?the beginning of the end for the unique status of marriage between a man and a woman.? Maybe he has a point in this statement.

After all, white men had the unique status of being able to vote, and men still have the unique status of having their personal rights in some countries, and the elite have the unique status of having safer cars, more beautiful homes and nannies for their children.

So, is his point that he would like to retain such a skewed unique status that excludes all that is not pure, in his mind?

He states that there are no ?fresh arguments;? here?s one, the basic right to express oneself, as you deem appropriate. I am concerned that in the final few paragraphs he closely equates pedophilia (referring to the Man Boy Love Association) with homosexuality.

Is it not obvious, in this day and age, that the offenders of this crime are not the homosexuals that have loving relationships with their partners, they are the perverted men and women that find pleasure in harming innocent, defenseless children?

I am not asking anyone to attend or support a marriage in which I choose to participate, all I am asking is the respect and right to do so.

Jennifer Karasick is a USF alumna.