To the Editor,
I am writing in response to comments made by Commissioner Wyatt Bunker, in The Commercial Appeal's story by Daniel Connolly (Wednesday, May 6), about his opposition to a proposed County Ordinance against discrimination of gay and transgendered persons:
The paper reports that Commissioner Bunker describes himself as a Christian conservative, and that he objects to the measure because the county would be interfering with local businesses, he believes homosexuality is a sin, and passing the ordinance could make it easier for the gay community to ask the county for more rights, such as benefits for same-sex couples. He continued, saying, "I don't belive people are born gay. I don't agree with discrimination against them, but I'm not going to give them a lot of protections that give legitimacy to homosexual behavior."
I applaud him for his proclamation that he is a Christian conservative. This is a right the Constitution affords Mr. Bunker, and I'm glad he feels strongly enough to do so. The same Constitution that gives him this freedom also provides for separation of Church and State, so that I am not subject to living under his church or religion's rule.
The Commissioner is entitled to his opinion, but I challenge him to do two things: First, look at the genetic research through a different lens than that of religious dogma. There have been numerous studies conducted by several researchers that indicate that homosexuality is in our DNA, much like our gender or the color of our skin. In fact with each new research initiative there is more evidence to support this theory than historical condemnation from the church can negate.
Second, don't deny me the right to live without fear of hatred, where lack of understanding has the potential to cost me my livelihood. Our ancestors left Europe a few hundred years ago to escape religious persecution. Don't resurrect it because you don't understand gay people and their pursuit of the same rights afforded you.
It is not for you to decide whether or not our lives are legitimate.
08 May 2009
I Simply Had to Say It
Sent to the editor of The Commercial Appeal in response to this story: