Dear Margaret,Do you remember the first time we were on the same court?
I sure do. It was at Wimbledon. I was about 17. You went to hit some serves on the clay court out back, and I helped you pick up your balls. I remember looking up to you. You were one of my role models, and I felt so privileged to be on the same court with you, even as your ball girl.
I think that is why it truly pains me now that we can't see eye to eye. And while I still admire all your accomplishments on the court, I'm disappointed by your inability to acknowledge me as your equal off the court.
There is so much I would like to say here but so little space, so I will try to be brief.
Giving gays and lesbians the right to marry isn't just a gay rights issue; it is a human rights issue. It is about equal rights and protection under the law for all human beings. Quite simply, it is the right thing to do. It most certainly is a secular issue and not a religious one.
One does not need to be a Christian in order to fall in love and want to marry, straight or gay, otherwise atheists would not be allowed to marry, right? Marriage can be and often is a religious celebration but legally speaking, it is a contract between two people who promise to love each other.
In the United States there are more than 1000 different protection laws that automatically apply once a couple is legally married, so to deny a couple these rights based solely on their gender is discrimination, pure and simple.
Margaret, you say children need a father and a mother and that anything else is not acceptable. Well, giving gay and lesbian couples the right to marry affords their children, both current and future, equal protection under the law.
If our society is about strong families, then why not give these gay families, which have always existed and will continue to exist, the same rights and opportunities that straight couples have always had? Should the children in these families suffer emotionally and also financially from this injustice?
You frame the whole gay issue in religious terms and quote the Bible. While I am not a theologian, I do know these same Bibles have been used in the past to justify slavery, to deny men of colour the right to vote, to deny women the right to vote and to try to deny inter-racial couples the right to marry.
As we all now know, the Bible was wrong on these issues and perhaps more importantly, fundamentalists have been on the wrong side of history over and over again; it seems to me they are on the wrong side when it comes to equal rights for gays and lesbians.
You say it is a choice to be gay; do you mean to say you had feelings for women as well as men and chose men? That might explain your certainty on the issue. The feelings one has for either gender are most certainly not a choice, they simply are; the butterflies that hit you in the gut are not a choice, they are just there. The choice is whether or not one acts on such feelings.
People (the straight ones) often ask: Why are people gay? I say, well, why are people straight? There is no straight answer here, so to speak. Human sexuality is multi-faceted, complex and quite fluid; genes play a part as well. How much? Who knows? But that's not really the point anyway.
Perhaps of the many things you said in your opposition to granting same-sex marriage rights was your statement that Australia is in moral decline and giving us equal rights would further this decline, basically labelling us immoral.
That one really hurts. I am trying to figure out which period in Australia's history you would like to go back to. Maybe it was when the convicts first were shipped here or perhaps it was when wealthy landowners had as many as four votes each, or when women couldn't vote at all, or when women couldn't be pastors.
I really have a hard time seeing how two people who love each other and want to affirm that love by certifying their commitment to each other by getting married are acting immorally. Loving another human being is immoral? Really?
I see Australia as one of the best countries in the world, a democracy that strives to be just, a nation that has historically been ahead of most of the world when it comes to human rights, and thus, a fantastic place in which to live. Come to think of it, why am I not living here? I mean, other than the speed cameras, what's not to love?
Souce: Herald Sun