LETTERS

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November 21, 2008

Minorities’ rights should not be put up for a vote

I found the arguments put forth in the article (“Civil Rights and Wrongs,” 11/18/08) written by Christian Wentling to be shockingly uninformed and offensive.

I found the arguments put forth in the article (“Civil Rights and Wrongs,” 11/18/08) written by Christian Wentling to be shockingly uninformed and offensive. While attempting to set up a framework to show that advocates for gay marriage are hypocritical and misguided, Mr. Wentling only proves that he does not understand the basic principles set forth by gay marriage advocates. Never before has determining the civil rights of citizens been determined by a ballot measure. And this is a civil right; this is about justice and equality, though Mr. Wentling asserts that these assertions are blown out of proportion. When the government bestows the right to marriage upon its citizens, this becomes an issue of national civil rights. The government selectively chooses to grant these marriage rights to only a certain sector of the population: the heterosexual sector. The second that the government issued a marriage license, this became an issue comparable to the battle for equal rights comparable to that for any discriminated social group.

This is not about the “thought police.” That there are racists, sexists, and homophobes crawling all over the country does not make a difference to the basic fact that just because these prejudices exist in some individuals does not make them valid in a court of law. There is no “peace, love, and acceptance” because gay marriage advocates are fighting for what they believe in and refusing to accept the blatant homophobia that has denied them these basic rights.

The fight for equal rights for all is basic to democracy. It is what millions of advocates have been fighting for since the inception of America. That the phrase “all men are created equal” would be modified to include non–land owning men, non-white men, and women and but not individuals of differing sexual orientation is what is really subversive to democracy. Using democracy as a guise for undermining basic civil rights is what is really subversive to true democracy. Every voice has a right to be heard, but every voice has a right to equal rights.

Allison Barner

Class of 2009