Feb 262006
 
Authors:

Thursday, Feb. 16 saw a column condemning Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender people from several angles. Jeff Lemke, a CSU researcher, alleged that GLBT people are incapable of relationships and are inferior to "straight" people.

To see Lemke's bias on this issue you need only realize that his few sources are all antigay. Paul Cameron, who lost his medical license in 1995, founded the Family Research Institute, whose mission statement invites people to join the fight to "reject homosexuality at every level." Chuck Colson, known as Nixon's "Hatchet Man," was jailed for Watergate. Their studies are non-peer reviewed which, as any researcher knows, means factually invalid. Passing them off as fact makes Lemke a hack.

I don't see how lack of procreation invalidates GLBT relationships but not those of the elderly, infertile and those who don't have kids. Procreation does not define a couple!

Lemke says promiscuity is a GLBT issue. Promiscuity is something that blemishes all communities equally, regardless of sexual orientation. If gay men actually had 12 to 100 partners a year, a ridiculous claim, then I'd have a lot of catching up to do!

He suggests suicide is a reason GLBT people are unhealthy, but not a thought on causality; bigotry and hatred are the culprits, and people like Lemke directly contribute to this trend. Dr. Paul Cody, Ph. D. writes that 30 percent of teen suicides are committed by GLBT teens. This is an epidemic that demands relief not finger-pointing.

Divorcereform.com lists Massachusetts as 50th in U.S. divorce rates, even after GLBT people achieved equality. As for domestic abuse, dccadv.org reports, "one in three adult women experience at least one physical assault by a partner during adulthood" and "while same-sex battering mirrors heterosexual battering in type and prevalence, its victims receive fewer protections." Furthermore, "seven states define domestic violence in a way that excludes same-sex victims."

The study about GLBT people having shorter life spans is taken out of context from a report published in the 1980's. In response to "homophobic groups…interested in restricting the human rights of gays and bisexuals…" the authors of the study published a riposte on the following Web site: http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/30/6/1499.

This debate boils down to equality. Marriage comes with 1,039 federal rights. I deserve equal access to them. As a gay American, I pay taxes, I don't commit crimes, and I'm subject to civic duties like jury duty. The 14th Amendment says, "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges…of citizens of the United States." Legalizing gay marriage wouldn't force a church to recognize it, therefore religious freedom is protected.

Legislation is not morality. The Constitutional guarantees given to citizens are hollow if withheld from any citizen. How can we gallivant around the world espousing freedom while denying it at home? You don't have to approve of GLBT people, but they are equal. Equality is marriage with every right and responsibility for all consenting adult couples. Anything less is unacceptable. Separate is never equal.

Andy Bullecks

senior

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