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Reject gay marriage amendment

THOMAS WILLIS, HOTCHKISS

Once upon a time in Colorado and America, being a homosexual was the equivalent of being a pervert criminal in the eyes of the law, and many of our fellow citizens. You didn’t ask. You didn’t tell. You had to pretend to be someone you were not. You were very careful about sharing any personal detail with others who didn’t understand. You kept it to yourself and hoped that despite all of this you could maybe find another person like yourself to love. The odds for a happy life weren’t that good. Sometimes quick, anonymous sex seemed the safest thing. You settled.If you did find your heart’s desire, despite the odds, you couldn’t share your happiness. You couldn’t invite your coworkers and family to your wedding. You pretended to be roommates, you resisted the urge to hold hands if someone might see. A kiss could get you a beating.After 1969 and the New York Stonewall Riots, where gay people finally stood up and said they would put up with being treated as subhuman marginal beings anymore, things began to change, at least in urban areas like San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York. In rural areas like Western Colorado, things move slower. Change is hard and social change hardest of all. People now say they don’t mind your being “different” if you don’t “put it in their faces.” Actual gay bashing seems to be fairly rare. Committed gay “marriages” are common. Many rural gays seem content to settle for that level of “tolerance,” but during the last few years things have changed once again. The professional “religious right,” seems to have decided that politically bashing gays is a great way to raise funds for their organizations. Abortion and gay marriage are the hot button – open your wallet issues. What is ignored is that while abortion is a wide issue, talk of constitutionally banning gay marriage targets a very small minority, probably about one to two percent of the population in rural areas. Consider how you would feel if your private life and future happiness was a topic for discussion and even a statewide vote. Currently there is a statewide law in effect that defines legally recognized marriage in Colorado as only being between a man and a woman. This is bad enough, but the fundraisers from Colorado Springs want to place this current prohibition within the state’s constitution, so that if the citizens of the state have a change of heart it will be more difficult to make a legal change. The issue has little to do with “marriage” but is just a cynical psychically violent attack on a tiny gay minority, reminding them that Jim Crow for gays is alive and well in Colorado. If you are gay they want you to wear a big scarlet H. All Coloradans who believe in equal justice, especially those on the Western Slope, should reject this attempt to enshrine hate and intolerance in the Constitution of Colorado. Please don’t sign their petitions and if they succeed in gathering enough signatures of those less thoughtful than yourself, please don’t vote for the measure.


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