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Define bigotry

Published on -8/2/2012, 10:23 AM

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After reading Ron Ely's letter to the editor published July 27, I would like to as respectfully as possible offer my definition of bigotry for his consideration.

Mr. Ely seems of the mind that the Boy Scouts of America, Chick-Fil-A's ownership and others who advocate for policies that discriminate against the LGBT community either within their own ranks or in the public domain aren't bigots.

Rather, he seems to believe LGBT people are the bigots and really just hate straight people. Let us leave aside our constitutionally protected right to protest and his to complain about the protests.

Objectively, shouldn't a bigot be defined as "a person who believes that a set group of people, especially one they belong to, are superior to another group of people despite the lack of any evidence to that effect"?

Honestly, I want to give Mr. Ely the benefit of the doubt. He seems to believe that the majority of child molesters are homosexual, despite the fact pedophilia is a completely different type of sexual perspective and thoroughly predatory.

He seems to think "celebrating the gay lifestyle" when there is turmoil in the world is wrong of our military.

The military has "celebrated" any number of other ways of living and cultural differences for years, often at first being dragged kicking and screaming into it by a brave president such as Truman -- and when almost all of our major allies, including Israel, Germany, the U.K., Australia and, yes, those dreaded French have had open LGBT servicemembers for years and not a single problem.

However, what really gets in his craw is he thinks that being gay is a choice one can be converted to.

May I ask him when he chose to be straight? I sure don't remember choosing to be gay just as I don't remember choosing to be white or bookish or to have bad vision or to be tall. I have always known I was different, and once puberty started to set in, I knew how.

If it were a choice, why would I have chosen to be bullied, kicked out of my father's house and generally treated like the scum of the earth?

He then resorts to language calling homosexuality "unnatural."

What people who use that term typically mean is either 1) "two men/women having sex, yuck!" or 2) that two men/women having sex is immoral.

The first is irrelevant, as my reaction to the thought of a man and a woman together is generally "yuck!" and the second is a stretch without adopting a very narrow vision of Christianity, Judaism or Islam. Homosexuality is not "abnormal and perverted" in and of itself.

This misses the point, because people who have those views often can't see the point. This isn't about sex for LGBT people. This is about the dignity of being able to fall in love with the person of your dreams without society punishing you for your choice. If it were about sex, we could talk -- many gay people enter straight marriages out of pressure and prisons are rampant with "homosexual" sexual violence for lack of other options.

I'm not asking you to have sex with me, I'm asking you to leave me and any future spouse of mine alone like I leave yours alone and that you give us the rights you enjoy.

Not much to argue with there. Unless, of course, you are so bigoted that there is no argument to be had. In any case, you are entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts.

Tim Northrup, Hays

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