Religious anti-homosexual comments shouldn’t be printed

For as long as I can remember (I have worked at the University for 25 years) there have been regular opinion pieces printed in the Daily describing homosexuality in terms equivalent to anathema. Citations from the Christian Bible and other religious sources frequently place people who practice these sexual behaviors beyond the pale of acceptable human behavior. I have begun to wonder how this type of assault on a group of human beings is allowed to continue. Let me ask a series of questions to make my point:

Suppose I wrote an opinion piece calling for legal action to prevent the marriage of black Americans to white Americans. In this piece I would argue the Bible refers to this bond as a violation of religious law (a point of view practiced by most churches for several hundred years). How many of these types of columns would be printed? One per week, one per month, and for how many years without a serious public confrontation of the editorial policy of the Daily?

Suppose I were to write an opinions piece supporting the position that Jews should not be allowed to attend the University because I did not want my tax money used to educate Jews. What if I could get 25 people to each write an opinions piece and submit it to the Daily, one each week for six months? How many of these would the Daily print? What would be the response of the University community to this kind of hateful writing?

Or suppose I wrote a column describing the proper place of women in a Christian-based society as subordinate to men. I could find (numerous) quotations in the Bible that would support my arguments and, because I was quoting the Bible, I would be above criticism. Fifty of my misogynist friends would gleefully write opinions pieces and send them to the Daily every other day. How many of these would be printed before the Daily was labeled hostile to women?

Yet routinely, Christian right-wing opinions pieces in the Daily target gay people. My guess is the Daily believes they are making an effort to present a “balanced” view on the issue. I think it is time for the Daily to stop legitimizing religious bias and start treating homosexuality the same way you do race, ethnicity and gender – that homosexuality is natural and efforts to describe it otherwise are efforts of bigotry.

David W. Johnson is an academic professional staff member. He welcomes comments at [email protected]