Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Homophobia, bigotry motivate same-sex marriage opponents

Letter Published in the Washington Blade--September 8, 2006

Sadly, I agree with Jeff Gannon's conclusion that same-sex marriage will not come to fruition for many years to come ("Gay marriage is a lost cause," September 1). However, he blithely dismissed the homophobia among religious conservatives and their allies as a reason for its demise.

Religious extremists always pointed to the Bible as a sanctuary to support their bigotry, whether it be directed against blacks, women or gays. They cheerily highlight scripture in Leviticus but conveniently dismiss the myriad other "sins" contained therein.

These homophobes insist that marriage is all about procreation but have not pushed to invalidate the marriage licenses of older couples who cannot bear children or other couples who do not want them.

They maintain the one-man, one woman model existed since the beginning of time but ignore the fact that in the Old Testament, Abraham and others typically had five wives.

They insist on making the debate about religion when same-sex marriage advocates were merely seeking civil recognition and the legal benefits, rights and responsibilities that would accrue.

The failure of this effort is more attributable to allowing the religious right to frame the debate on their terms, the intimidation of judges by the extremists, and the squeamishness of elected officials than to the rise of a conservative ideology.

Steve Charing

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