The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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June 7, 2013

Religious arguments fall short on gay marriage

Peter Etzell’s latest fulmination against marriage equality (Free Press, May 30) oversimplifies and selectively applies religious teachings.

Obviously Etzell can’t be bothered with trivial details like the Golden Rule (“do unto others as you would have them do unto you”), recognized in both Jesus’ teachings (Matthew 7:12; Luke 6:31), and other world religions.

Singling out gays and lesbians for marriage discrimination violates the Golden Rule.

Etzell (and the Religious Right generally) are astoundingly selective in enforcing biblical mandates about human lifestyles.

That this crowd never inveighs against eating shellfish (Leviticus 11:10), wearing gold or pearls (1 Timothy 2:9) and wearing mixed fibers (Leviticus 19:19) reveals its raw hypocrisy in applying ancient moral codes, and its fetishistic obsession with controlling others’ sexuality.

Anti-marriage-equality arguments don’t take people’s intelligence seriously.

After two frontal challenges over the past year, nobody has even attempted to show how legalized gay marriage would damage present or future marriages. Religious Right claims that same-sex couples automatically, presumptively pose some colossal threat to children are also rubbish, grounded in Bible-thumping and pernicious stereotypes.

Another ridiculous argument is, (with gay marriage illegal) there’s no discrimination; anyone can marry (an opposite-sex partner). That’s garbage: What gay/lesbian person would marry an opposite-sex partner — thereby living a lie?

Marriage-equality supporters respect opponents’ right to not enter same-sex marriages — but opponents refuse to accept the rights of those who would enter them. If you dislike gay marriage, fine; don’t enter one. But you don’t have the right to impose your narrow, intolerant religious dogmas on people different from you.

Kudos to Minnesota lawmakers for affirming that everyone (legally qualified to marry) has the right to marry one’s beloved.

Fred Slocum

Mankato

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