Same-sex marriage issue is a civil rights issue | LETTER
February 15, 2012 · Updated 3:37 PM
A recent story in the Reporter discusses local Pastor Ken Hutcherson and his threat to fight to overturn the recent vote establishing marriage equality in the state of Washington.
Mr. Hutcherson’s name is not new to this issue as he has been a vocal opponent of gay rights for quite some time, so his recent comments should surprise no one.
Mr. Hutcherson is trying to frame this as a freedom of religion issue, which it is not. Plain and simple this is a civil rights issue and Mr. Hutcherson and his brethren are on the wrong side, as they have been for years.
I’m sure that most people who oppose marriage equality don’t think of themselves as oppressors or as hateful individuals, they are simply repeating the ideologies that have been instilled in them through years of attendance at their local churches.
Unfortunately, this medieval way of thinking has negative consequences for millions of gay American citizens.
Despite the spin from some quarters on the religious right, this is not a Christian nation. It’s a secular nation comprised of people of many belief systems and not all belief systems see a problem with letting people marry someone of the same sex if they so choose.
To do otherwise would make this a theocracy run by religious ideology and not by laws designed to benefit all citizens. If you want to see what a theocracy looks like just look at Afghanistan or Iran.
There’s a simple solution. If you’re not attracted to a person of the same sex, or if your religious beliefs are such that you don’t think that marrying someone of the same sex is appropriate, don’t do it. What’s the big deal?
Nobody should have the right to dictate who someone else falls in love with and chooses to marry. I may not be attracted to my neighbor’s wife and wouldn’t view her as someone I’d personally want to marry but does that give me the right to prevent my neighbor from doing so? Of course not.
As a heterosexual male, happily married for 33 years to the same woman, I see no threat to my marriage or society in general by embracing marriage equality. In fact, it makes me proud to live in a state where reason and common sense take precedence over ignorance.
Mr. Hutcherson and his narrow-minded flock have every right to not choose a spouse of the same sex. But when they go to bat to deny equal rights to other honest, hard working citizens, that makes them bullies, oppressors and merchants of hate and it’s high time we see them for what they truly are, even if that’s not how they see themselves.
Larry Knapp, Kirkland