Feb 042010
Authors: Robyn Scherer

In today’s world, diversity is pushed everywhere you look. When you look at advertisements, there are usually a variety of people portrayed. When you look on campus, you see people of different ethnicities.

However, there is one form of diversity that is not as widely accepted, and it amazes me how people say they are tolerant, yet in reality they are not.

I am talking about people’s intolerance of gays. One of my closest friends is gay, and it has never once bothered me. In fact, it’s made the friendship that much easier because I never have to worry about him “making a pass at me.”

The Collegian editorial board made good comments in Tuesday’s paper about the military’s “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. On that same day, two top defense officials called for an end to the 16-year policy, which forbids openly gay people from serving in the military.

Shame on you, American military. Why are these people any different? If they want to serve our country, they should be allowed to. If you aren’t supposed to be discriminate against someone for color or sex, why doesn’t that same belief extend to sexual preference?

I have known several people who have told me that gay people are sinners and that their sexual orientation is a choice. I do not for one second believe that. If you have ever had a gay friend, you would know that it’s not true.

I don’t care what your religion tells you to believe. If you don’t believe gay people are born that way, or don’t agree with it, that is fine. However, you should be ashamed that you tell these people they don’t deserve the happiness that you also seek.

I understand that many believe marriage is an institute of the church. However, since marriage licenses are granted by the state, anyone who wants to marry another person should be able to, regardless of the sex of the two people.

I’ve heard the phrase, “I don’t want him/her hitting on me.” But how many times have you been in a bar and a person of the opposite sex hit on you that you weren’t interested in? It’s the same concept.

In one of this fall’s hottest new shows, “Glee,” one of the main characters, Kurt Hummel, is gay. I remember watching the episode “Preggers,” when Hummel comes out to his dad. Watching that moment really hit me.

Kurt says to his father, “Dad, I have something that I want to say. I’m glad that you’re proud me, but I don’t want to lie anymore. Being a part of the Glee club and football has really showed me that I can be anything. And what I am … is … I’m gay.”

His father responds, “I know. I’ve known since you were three.” At this moment, I really felt for anyone who has tried to tell other people that he or she is gay. Although I can’t relate on a personal level, I’m sure each of us can think of an experience where we had a hard time admitting something.

This brings up a greater issue. Why is this sometimes such a hard thing for people to admit? As hard as it is to say, many times people don’t accept other people for who they are, whether it be gender, ethnicity or sexual preference, and that’s why it is hard.

I know what it is like to be treated differently, being a woman. However, I generally do not really know what it feels like to be hated on for sexual preference, to be denied rights that everyone else has.

At a time where we celebrate and push diversity, we need to open our minds to more than just ethnic and gender diversity. We need to accept gays just as we accept everyone else.

Robyn Scherer is a senior animal science, agricultural business and journalism and technical communication major. Her column appears Fridays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

 Posted by at 6:14 pm

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