Saturday, July 2, 2011

02/07 On same-sex marriage, there’s intolerance on both sides

Letter to the Editor

Regarding Richard Cohen’s June 28 op-ed column, “ Cuomo’s grand slam ”:
I take exception to Mr. Cohen’s statement that “The opponents [of same sex marriage] have no case other than ignorance and misconception and prejudice.” No doubt, some conservatives do need to put aside the prejudices that prevent them from dealing with this issue in an intellectually honest way. However, many progressives are equally anti-intellectual in their approach.
I am gay. In February, I drove to Annapolis, hoping to testify before the Maryland Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee against a bill that would have allowed same-sex marriage in our state. While waiting to testify, I chatted with a group of others opposed to the bill.
Standing off to my side was a young father, who pointed at us and whispered into his child’s ear, “This is what bigotry looks like,” himself sowing the seeds of intolerance and animosity in his innocent child’s mind.
So often I hear that opposition to same-sex marriage emanates from fear and hatred. While this may sometimes be the case, is it impossible to consider that some opposing positions might stem from reasoned, principled objections? Just because we don’t like the conclusion that others might reach doesn’t mean that their objections are illegitimate or evil.
The history of our nation has been a tale of advancement in so many ways — technologically, economically and societally. The country certainly has evolved in its attitude toward gay men and lesbians. However, the abolition of such prejudice does not necessarily mean that same-sex marriage is inevitable or optimal.
Doug Mainwaring, Potomac

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