Sunday June 3, 2012

Jay Vickery, in his letter dated May 26, makes the argument that same-sex marriage should be prohibited because, in some people’s views, it is not considered "normal." His reasoning? "The root word of normal is ‘norm’ which is defined as ‘something that is usual, typical or standard.’ Therefore, claiming that homosexuality is normal for some people negates the very definition of normal."

Same-sex marriage is considered "normal" in many developed countries today where it once wasn’t. It is becoming normal here in the bastion of conservative values. Interracial marriage is normal today, where it once wasn’t. This goes for African-Americans being released from their shackles by judicial decree (not popular vote), to women’s right to vote, which is still not "normal" in many Middle Eastern countries today. Freedom of speech is not normal in China. Sup pression is the standard, but that doesn’t make it right.

Mr. Vickery continues: "There fore claiming that homosexuality is normal for some people negates the very definition of normal." Yes, homosexuality is not normal by some people’s standards. So is eating healthy foods (have you surveyed the typical shopping cart lately?) So is exercising regularly. So is not watching television. Homosexu ality doesn’t have to be considered normal by everyone. That’s not even the point.

Humans possess this remarkable capacity to spin intricate webs of "reasoning" as a way of articulating their primal fears and prejudices, from the man on the street to the Supreme Court bench, where majority opinions kept segregation in place for almost 100 years after the 14th Amendment granted full citizenship to African-Americans. On the surface, the mental gymnastics are impressive. One can get lost in the labyrinth of words.

But truth be told, the intellect simply provides a voice for what resides, first and foremost, in the heart. And for those who won’t have a change in heart? Equal protection under the law. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr." Judicial decrees "may not change the heart, but they can restrain the heartless."

Mr. Vickery’s letter then spins off into gibberish, equating homosexuality with mental deformities and human plagues brought about through incest, ending with the revelation that humans wouldn’t be alive today if they hadn’t procreated, as if that were the only reason for two people marrying.

His reasoning is as solid a brick of Swiss cheese. Many heterosexuals marry today without any intention to procreate. We’re not chimpanzees for God’s sake. Stop thinking like one.

JEFFREY REEL

Becket