Still Fighting for Rights

by Allyson Wendt | 5/29/02 5:00am

To the Editor:

In response to the May 22 letter, "On Homosexual Rights," by Steven Lulich '02, we would like to say that "homosexual rights," as he calls them, would have to be present in society before they could be considered endangered.

Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered rights are indeed nonexistent when one considers that members of our community are fired from jobs, attacked, beaten and raped because of their sexual orientation or gender expression. These catagorical hate crimes are tacitly condoned by bigots who seek to use their religion as a tool to spread personal prejudice. Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, for example, chose to blame "gays and abortionists" for the Sept. 11 attacks. GLBT people are society's current acceptable whipping boy and what "rights" we have are nothing like what we want and deserve. If by "GLBT rights" we are referring to legal rights, there is definitely inequality: same-sex unions are currently illegal everywhere except Vermont and a few scattered counties, thus denying GLBT people equal access to the same rights in tax law, hospital visitation, power of attorney, adoption law and many other legal structures.

Concerning the genetic basis of sexual orientation versus that of race, the scientific community is far from certain about how genetics work in regards to either sexual orientation or race. Mr. Lulich's statement that "white people produce white people, and black people produce black people" not only smacks of racist separatism, but also ignores the large variations of skin color, ethnicity, culture and social constructions of "race" that exist in the world.

Regarding the Bible and its supposed condemnation of homosexuality: neither Mr. Lulich nor Chris Curran (whose May 20 column, "The Right Thing for the Right Wing," was the impetus for this discussion) refers specifically to the verses in question. The most common ones referred to in this debate are Romans 1:26-7, 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:9-10. We invite the readers to look for a more in-depth discussion of the issues of language and translation with regards to the interpretation of these verses.

We would like to reiterate that until GLBT people can walk down the street, into work or into a courtroom and be assured that they will be treated equally in the eyes of the law, "GLBT rights" must be fought for in both political and personal arenas.