Thursday, March 15, 2007

Check the Facts

Letter Sent but Not Published in Howard County Times

This newspaper has the responsibility and an obligation to the community to vet false claims by letter writers. Where statistical allegations are made by a writer, there ought to be a tenable source. The letter written by Thomas M. Crawford (letters, March 8) illustrates how inaccurate information cloaked as fact is an abuse of the Times' letter forum.

In expressing his views opposing same-sex marriage, Mr. Crawford (N. Laurel, MD) throws out absurd generalizations to the readers. One example was, "Recorded human history has consistently shown homosexual behavior to be detrimental both to individuals and to society at large." Before the readers buy into that nonsense, the writer should be forced to produce irrefutable data to back up such an outlandish claim.

Mr. Crawford's statement that people choose to be gay flies in the face of the growing body of medical, biological and psychological evidence that supports the contention that being gay is not something a person chooses to be-that it is innate. He should ask himself: did he choose to be straight; that he was confronted with a choice. He will find the answer there.

But the most egregious "fact" offered by Mr. Crawford was that "Literally thousands of former homosexuals and lesbians. have turned their back on their practices, and become re-oriented sexually." Really? May we please see where those numbers come from?

It is interesting that Mr. Crawford believes that marriage is a privilege and not a right "subject to societal rules and approvals." Our society allows murderers, rapists, child molesters, terrorists, drug dealers and armed robbers, among other felons to marry. Is it a privilege for them but not for law-abiding, contributing gay and lesbian members of our society? Is that the society Mr. Crawford finds solace in?

If heterosexuality is indeed the determining qualification, then Mr. Crawford clearly is homophobic and not truly concerned about protecting marriage. If he were, he would be advocating a ban on divorce.

The real fact here is that Mr. Crawford maintains reactionary views towards marriage. The institution has evolved over the centuries and has in fact been redefined. A wife was once the husband's property. It was only a few decades ago that African-Americans could not marry whites in this country. Did he oppose these changes, too? Opening up marriage to loving, committed couples does not destroy the institution; it strengthens it.

Instead, Mr. Crawford clings to world that has long since moved forward, as evidenced by his referring to Asians as Orientals.

Steve Charing


Maryland said...

awesome work Steve. Keep it going.

John said...

Bravo! I'm seeing so much of the same old nonsense in Blogland. Blogger seems to pull in a lot of conservatives who don't even speak the same language I do. (I mean, how do you argue with people when you can't even agree on what words like "liberty" mean?)

Thank you for a much needed dose of truth and clarity.