To the editor:
I read Carl Burkhead's April 30 letter, "Healing power," with great impatience. How does one respond to capital-lettered pronouncements that homosexuality is a SIN? List all the other biblical "laws" people break without inciting Mr. Burkhead's self-righteous indignation? Argue that discrimination of any kind goes against virtually all of Jesus' teachings? Cite the Golden Rule, or mention the often-ignored "Do not judge lest ye be judged" passage? Perhaps point out that there are many religions for which homosexuality is a nonissue, and that practicing those religions also is protected under the law? Or quote medical journals and psychological studies that show, repeatedly, that homosexuality is a naturally occurring and benign orientation?
In truth, however, it doesn't matter what Mr. Burkhead, or the neighbors, or our religious leaders believe about homosexuality. It doesn't matter if folks are uncomfortable with same-sex relationships. We are all entitled to our own interpretation of the world and to make our own choices accordingly.
What does matter is that America is based, foremost and fundamentally, on ideals of fairness and equality. There are people who are troubled by interracial marriage, and people who would be troubled if their daughters married Muslim men or their sons married Jewish women. But we don't pass laws against interracial or interfaith marriages just because we're troubled. We recognize that what makes this country great is that we Americans value fairness and religious freedom above all, even if it means we might be uncomfortable with our neighbors' choices.
I'm sure I don't need to underscore how dangerous it is to allow the religious convictions of some to become the law for all - we see evidence of those perils all too often.