Homosexuals deserve equal protection under the law

The Madison County Record Jan. 15, 2006, 6:46am

To the editor:

I would like to respond to Peter J. LaBarbera¹s letter about sexual orientation not requiring protections.

People are not born Jewish, Catholic, Methodist, Buddhist or any other religion. They must be taught it or converted to it.

If you went to an island where no outside influence had ever been, there would be no Christians, Jews or any other organized religion. There would possibly be a home brewed religion and there would be homosexuals.

This fact is easy to prove in our history. When Columbus came to the new world there were no Catholics, no Buddhists and no Jews. There were homosexuals within the Native American population.

Mr. LaBarbera¹s assertion that homosexuality requires no protection because it is a choice is to say that religion requires no protections. The only difference is that religion is protected by the constitution, while sexual orientation is not.

There are no "ex gays" contrary to his beliefs (these people are commonly referred to as bisexuals).

There are ex-Christians, ex-Catholics and ex-Jews. Religion is a choice that people make, homosexuality is not.

I believe firmly in religious freedom. People should be able to practice their religion as they are taught without government intervention. When those religious beliefs cause someone to lose their job, to be evicted from an apartment or any other form of discrimination is when the problems begin.

This applies to someone who puts a cross in their window as well as someone who puts a rainbow flag in their window.

The framers of the constitution put the freedom of religion in the constitution because they realized it was one thing that could break the country apart if the government got involved in people's beliefs and tried to push one belief system over another.

That is exactly what is happening with the marriage amendments now popping up around the country. The government is telling people of one belief that law does not protect them and that another belief system is the reason why.

Equal protection under the law is an important tenant that is being thrown out the window.

Donald McCleary
Lafayette, Calif.

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