As disappointed as I am with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s disjointed coverage of LGBTQ issues, I have to applaud the readers who submit letters to the editor with gusto and flourish.
Four days ago, Jonathan Dohanich of Monaca wrote to oppose marriage equality on the grounds of procreation, his distorted understanding of legal protections accessible by the average queer and basically the entire argument dismantled in recent court cases. My favorite part is this new twist – it’s religious liberty, not bigotry.
What homosexuals who want to marry will not admit is that they want to force these Americans to call themselves bigots when in fact they are simply following their consciences. This is a violation of religious liberty.
I’m not interested in forcing Jonathan to do anything. I’m happy enough to label him a bigot myself openly and directly. It is a title he earned with merit by actually writing this letter. Bigots still have religious freedom, ask the members of the KKK. And religious freedom still has some constraints when it interferes with other people’s freedom.
Still, I was delighted to find four responses (so far) to Jonathan.
Suzanne Heintzinger of Plum beautifully dismantles his erroneous logic, point for point.
Kevin Modrak of Mt. Lebanon points out that marriage inequality was already decided in the Loving case and that there is no legal substitute for marriage.
David Skeele of McKees Rocks calls out the dystopian distortion on key points.
Most of us, after all, begin our thoughts on the matter with a different set of assumptions. One, we consider marriage to be a sacred compact of love and commitment. And, two, we assume that any act which harms no one else should be considered a “right.”
(Let me insert here that I am not 100% on board with the first assumption. Marriage is also a pragmatic economic transaction and it always has been. We just allow the participants more direct agency in their choices. And there are fewer goats involved.)
And Bonnie Humphrey from New Castle weighs in on the matter of religious liberty.
He has a right to use his religion to back up those beliefs (although I personally think that is a cop-out and an affront to many who share his religion). But no one should be forcing his moral beliefs onto secular society.
Sadly, folks like Jonathan simply don’t acknowledge that we live in a secular society. They are compelled to impose their beliefs of the rest of us. They recognize no boundary for their own proselytizing because they are right, but they react in terror and outrage at the slightest example of other religious beliefs gaining traction. It is a battle to them, a competition perhaps to some.
But democracy is alive and well per four people who took the time, invested their time, to submit rebuttals to the original letter. Let’s keep it up shall we? The more we respond with coherent thoughtful factual analysis, the more we shall prevail in winning the hearts of Americans who believe in fairness.