would have voted against Question 6
Matt Cowger '03
To the Editors:
I am writing in regards to the Editorial in last week's Orient
entitled "Maine is not Vermont - unfortunately." This editorial, while
very well written (kudos to the author), brings forth some very controversial
statements about those who would vote against Question 6. While I am not
a Maine voter (I voted absentee in my home state), I would have voted
against Question 6. This is not because I am anti-homosexual. It is not
because I am bigoted. It is not because I am hateful. It is most certainly
not because I am a white male who is financially comfortable. It is because
I believe in the U.S. Constitution; that document which we all (should)
venerate as being the highest law under which we live.
First, I offer the First Amendment to the Constitution:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of
religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom
of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble,
and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
This amendment, while it does not explicitly mention gay rights,
is the basis for all implications that no non-fitness-to-task discrimination
tak place. Have you read it carefully? It doesn't say that Congress shall
make no law that discriminates. It says Congress shall make no law whatsoever.
None. Nothing. Nil.
You want something more concrete? Many times Congress has
declared that it wants no part of ANY law that has to do with sexuality.
See, for example, USC Title 20, Chap. 70, SubChap. XIV, Part E, Sec. 8901
None of the funds authorized in this chapter shall be used
to develop or distribute materials, or operate programs or courses of
instruction directed at youth that are designed to promote or encourage,
sexual activity, whether homosexual or heterosexual.
Congress (whom YOU elected) obviously thinks the Bill of Rights
is enough. Granted, Congress is not the most representative, but I propose
fixing what we have. Another new law won't do it.
Gays do not have fewer rights. They do not have more rights.
Isn't that the way it's supposed to be?
The rest of the editorial is nothing more than uneducated
blather. "The 48 percent of Americans who voted for Bush, for example
are not necessarily evil or stupid," but most are right? Thinly veiled
attacks on the characters of those who don't agree with you don't get
you anywhere. "For the second time in recent years Mainers had the opportunity
to conclusively affirm a belief in basic human rights." So, the rest of
us that disagreed with the bill don't believe in basic human rights? That
would be 50.55 percent of the population that doesn't believe in basic
human rights? Did you read what you wrote?
And then we have the assertion that high income males are
against this bill and therefore against human rights. I am a high income
male. Am I against human rights because of this bill? Absolutely not!
Don't confuse statistics with causality.
I'll end this now. But let it be a lesson: just because I
believe that we have sufficient laws to cover an issue and that we don't
need more does NOT mean I am against an entire slew of basic issues. Remember:
All sweeping generalizations are bad.
Matt Cowger '03