15 July 2006

Letter to the Boston Globe

In reaction to today’s front page story:

To the editor:

Oh, boo hoo. Some residents of Provincetown signed a public petition on a vital, highly contested matter of public policy. They went on the public record — in a town known worldwide as a safe haven for gay and lesbian people — as opposing a basic civil right for a substantial portion of the population. And they are surprised when their action bears consequences and public reproval? Please.

Being called a “breeder” doesn’t even begin to compare with the words that gay and lesbian people get called on a regular basis, many of which cannot be printed in this paper. Nor does it compare with the actual physical danger that most gay people would face if they, for example, walked down a street in South or East Boston holding hands. And why does this incident become front page news when similar acts in the opposite direction don’t even rate coverage from the Globe? Worse slurs against gays and racial minorities get uttered here in Harvard Square each day, but the Globe writes nothing about that.

Marriage equality currently constitutes much of the public and political discussion in this state and country. The expression of even an opinion on the matter becomes a public and political act. Signing a petition to ask the state and its citizens to change the constitution is public and political act to an even greater degree.

Political philosophers and statesmen have long recognized that the only anonymous public act in a democracy lies in voting in an election. Everything else is on display, and rightly so. A public politics may make for some uncomfortable (and even regrettable) interactions. But such is the only way to preserve our democracy in spirit and in truth.

If the anti-gay-marriage residents of Provincetown go on the record as such, they should have the courage to accept the consequences of their convictions. And if they do not like the way that their interlocutors bring the matter up, those residents might try getting over it and themselves.

Sincerely,

Etc., etc.

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Posted in Politicks on 15 July 2006 at 9:07 am by Nate