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Archive for Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Ugly feelings

February 22, 2005

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To the editor:

If you oppose same-sex marriage, you may think it's unfair that you are likened to Fred Phelps and other haters of homosexuals. I agree. Personal and religious beliefs are powerful identifiers that we all have. Because you don't share the beliefs that shape my identity, it's easy for me to see you as an enemy who hates me. But I know we're all more complex than this. We're too diverse to be labeled so easily. Everybody has to learn to appreciate each other's differences and acknowledge that all people have the same desire to be safe, happy and loved.

But you might never learn to do so if you use your own beliefs to label fellow human beings as sinners whose lives go against God's will. Please do not use your personal interpretations of the Bible to steer the rest of us in a direction that fits within your system. Our country is trying to adopt a pro-equality society and apply marriage to more than just a select population of individuals with whom you can identify.

Take a step back and think about how voting to add discrimination into our state's constitution reflects your own values. Hate might not be a component, but you may find intolerance, fear, ignorance, disrespect, disgust or anger. Does being associated with any one of these ugly feelings really distance you from Phelps' picket parties?

Chris Gladfelter,

Lawrence

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