Back to Basics: Letter to the Editor

A. Altmyer of McCandless wrote in to the “Letters to the Editor” page to share his or her belief that marriage should be between one man and one woman.  He makes a series of disjointed, but not unfamiliar points.

1. We are founded on Judeo-Christian values.

2. The majority of Americans are Christians who believe marriage is between one man and one woman.

3.Our society believes that we have to change laws when any small minority group (faction) wants to.

4. Family is the bedrock of society since the dawn of time.

5.  Family is the order of things in the natural world.

OK, I have to stop.  A. Altmyer is arguing along the lines of both “that's the way is has always been” and “that's the majority view.”  What if either were to be untrue?  Would it change A's mind? 

Setting Disney aside, families in the natural world do not look alike.  It is definitely not Mom, Dad and the happy kids with a random visit from the extended clan.  In fact, there is ample scientific observation and evidence of same sex sexual activity and same sex parenting and same sex families.  I wonder how Mr. or Mrs. Altmyer might consider a herd of one male and multiple females to fit into this design?

Ultimately,A wants us to go away. 

Marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Let others who are seeking to do things a different way than has always been since the beginning of time create their own society and social institutions to suit their lifestyle. Our society and our country are fine the way they have always been, and the foundations of such should remain unchanged.

Suit their lifestyle? Apparently, a lifelong marriage doesn't suit the lifestyle of most adults given the high rate of divorce. It doesn't suit the lifestyle of the sad closeted gay people who crawl into the City for a taste of the life and then crawl back home to their spouse and kids (and church).  It sure doesn't suit the lifestyle of the millions of adult children who grew up in unhappy families who stayed together for the kids' sake.

I also object to the implication that the LGBTQ community has not helped to build our society or our social institutions.  The entire debate over Don't Ask, Don't Tell is filled with examples of how the military is weaker because of the exclusion of openly LGBTQ individuals who have the necessary skills and talents to defend our nation. 

Many LGBTQ individuals and our allies have helped to build communities of faith.  You can disagree with them, A, but you cannot deny they exist.  My parents are staunch Catholics, but they don't want to vote me off the island.  They can't quite figure out how to reconcile me to the island, but you can't claim them 100% for your side just because they receive the Eucharist each week. 

This is actually a refreshing letter for me, because it reminds me why I started blogging in the first place.  A. had this letter published in response to nothing the PG wrote, probably just because of the Prop 8 furor and the general “issueyness” of the topic.  Your letter could also be in the Post-Gazette.  Here's the link to submit a letter. 

Some have been critical of anonymous commenters who pop up only in relation to what they define scandal.  There may be some truth in that, but I also know 1) anonymity is a historical phenom in gay culture and 2) we are human beings.  I also have not read any letters to the editor from those who are casting these stones so this might be an opportunity to make your point.  🙂

Here's the link again.


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  • This is a wake up call. There are so many issues on the front burner that there is no excuse for silence. Sue, when can we see your letter to the editor?

  • Off topic–feel free to delete. I believe the MySpace account PghLesbian has been hacked. I received this following comment from that account. I haven't tried the suggested URL and I recommend you don't, either. If I'm wrong, please let me know. But if this isn't from you, follow the MySpace “My account was hacked” protocol. At the very least, change your MySpace password immediately.
    “I think you'll like this. It's cool but a little creepy too haha. You need to follow these directions EXACTLY to get the correct results. Put the following into the address bar of your web browser. Type your favorite number between 1 and 999 and then type a dot and then type your favorite color and then type a dot and then type one word that best describes your mood and then type a dot and then type the word iqtestcard and then type a dot and then type com and then click enter. Let me know how it turns out for you.”

  • Interesting problem with yesterday's decision by the Pittsburgh Presbytery: “Male” and “female” are not defined. Questions about intersex phenomena, etc. have left a very big hole in church policy. How do you only marry one male, one female when you don't know what “male” or “female” are?
    Pittsburgh Presbytery, by their vote yesterday, is helping to create a nightmare for the people of the PCUSA.

  • ' always been since the beginning'
    just because something has always been “done that way”
    does not make it right.

  • I changed my password. I saw the comment on your site. That's weird. I also did notify MySpace. Please, Rob, let me know if it happens again.

  • A New Yorker here; but I'd like to comment upon the argument. The “it has always been this way” delcaration is naught but a trite cliche. WE have always been here; Lesbians have a documented history in writing as far as the seventh century BC, long before there was a Christian anything, let alone Christian marriage. I would say that our existence in literature for approaching three millenia and our appearance in myth nd legend for an even longer period suggects that the “it has always been like this” declarations are at best unsupported and at worst revisionist tripe.
    “Majority wants” posits an even worse argument. “Most” Americans did not want desegregation. “Most Americans” didn't vote for Bush in 2000. As for “it has always been done that way,” until the 1840's and gaslights, room lighting was generally done by candles. Would the author have lobbied against incandescent lights because illumination “was always done” with candles.
    Sheer silliness and intellectual vacuity!
    I love website, by the way!
    Maura Hennessey

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