Basic rights for all

Written by Rosa Colucci on .

In a society still permeated by homophobia, we were pleased to see your March 10 editorial "Simple Fairness: Sexual Orientation Shouldn't Invite Discrimination." As members of rockOUT (formerly LGBTA) at Slippery Rock University, we support state Rep. Dan Frankel's House Bill 300, which will prohibit acts of discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

And you're right: This isn't about "pursuing a homosexual agenda" but about extending basic rights to all people in a country dedicated to equality and fairness.

We are familiar both with discrimination and with the rhetoric that describes the protection of basic rights as "special treatment." It is not special treatment to ensure that a gay man who does his job well and thoroughly be protected from being unjustly fired because his boss doesn't like "queers." Neither is it special treatment to ensure that a lesbian who is being harassed at school be guaranteed protection.

The simple (and sad) reality is that the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community continues to wake up daily in a world where hating "gays" is still somehow acceptable, where calling a boy or a man a "fag" is the worst insult imaginable and where a lesbian is gang-raped simply because she drove a car with a rainbow gay pride sticker ("4 Arrested in Lesbian Rape," Jan. 2).

Things have gotten better, certainly, and continued education, advocacy and activism will bring us all closer to our country's ideal of "equality for all." In the meantime, we thank you for endorsing that ideal. We do, too.

Slippery Rock
The writers are faculty co-advisers for rockOUT at Slippery Rock University.


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