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Accept it: Gays not going anywhere
Letter to the Editor
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Published: 4/26/2009 12:00 AM

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A recent letter-writer referred to homosexuality as a "chosen lifestyle." Nobody would choose to have 5 million evangelicals spewing hatred upon them. Nobody would choose to live their lives as an outcast. I knew I was gay before I even knew what the word meant. If you believe that was chosen by me, then I have a bridge to no where to sell you in Alaska sir. He continues to belittle the gay movement by stating that we are expecting "acceptance." We are not that naive. While acceptance would be appreciated, it is tolerance that we seek. It's not as extreme as the kind of tolerance that many homosexuals extend to the Evangelical right wing who picketed the funerals of our fine U.S. soldiers and Mathew Sheppard. Nobody is forcing anybody to accept anything, but nobody should be refused a job, housing or to be with their loved one during their dying breath just because they are gay, or of a certain race or religion etc. While studies may show that children with a mother and a father are better off, there are studies that show that children of gay couples are equally cared for and productive in society and are just as likely to be heterosexual as any child of any heterosexual parent. My parents were straight, but like one in ten people, I am openly gay. Parents promote love, not sexual orientation. Parents should be teaching their children right from wrong, but to the extent that no individual has the right to reduce any group in society and label them all as "bad" under a blanket statement. This mentality is the very reason why we need laws in this country to protect African-Americans, Hispanics and Asian-Americans, and yes, gays and lesbians from being refused housing and employment.

In all honesty, a civil union between a gay couple has absolutely no affect on your personal relationship with your wife. Does it? Would it make you any less married if the law gave me the same right to sit next to my partner of 16 years in an emergency room? I think not. Whereas you may be basing your opinion on a stereotypical lifestyle that exists in your own mind, I am here to tell you that our lifestyle is, in nearly every respect, the same as yours. We live in a subdivision. We worship the god of our CHOICE. We pay the same ridiculously high property and school taxes. We fund the same Social Security and Medicaid that you do. In fact, even more as individuals, rather than couples. We deserve the same societal benefits that you enjoy which are guaranteed under our constitution. Contrary to your statement against my family, we also are moving the country forward from generation to generation. In fact, our adopted children will go on to reproduce even more children into this rapidly overpopulating country. Our hopes for our children are the same as yours. We hope they grow up to get married and have their own kids. We also hope that they will not become part of the very real statistic of the 50 percent divorce rate that "traditional" marriage has suffered from for many years. We not only teach them tolerance, but that a family should stick together and stay strong, even when it seems that the rest of the world is against them. You cannot continue to enjoy the benefits of the tax dollars that homosexuals pay, without accepting the fact that we are here and we are not going to go away. Whether or not we were born gay is still in question scientifically and socially. I am counting on the residents of the good state of Illinois, who vote for equality under the law for all citizens, and I believe that their voices will drown out yours and those of the 5 million Evangelical right wingers who oppose gay adoption while refusing to adopt any of the estimated 129,000 children in America who are currently awaiting a permanent home with any parent, much less a mother and a father. We may not win equality overnight, but mark my words, we will overcome the back of the bus mentality that you are doing your best to spread in your own message of intolerance.

Carl Shepherd

Lake Villa