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Singling out gays

By Patrick J. Dooley
Arizona Daily Wildcat
February 15, 1999
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To the editor,

I am concerned about the rhetoric coming from our state legislative officials concerning a bill that would bar local jurisdictions in the state from providing health benefits to unmarried domestic partners of government employees. In particular I refer to the false accusations and faulty information that Karen Johnson (R-Mesa) and her ilk are using to support their initiative to prohibit these benefits. She cited many of the long-discredited claims of Paul Cameron who was ousted from the membership of the American Psychological Association (APA) in 1983 for violation of its ethical principles, including his "finding" that a gay man without AIDS has a life expectancy of 42 years. She then used this as justification for a state interest in not funding health care for homosexuals.

What was said during the debate, are outright hateful and vicious lies told about gay and lesbian people. According to the APA, "homosexuality is no more abnormal than left-handedness," yet our elected officials say homosexuals are "undermining the natural family." They are then compared to people who engage in "human sacrifice and cannibalism."

If any other group of people were singled out and described as such, there would be an immediate public outcry to remove these hateful people from office. What is even more disturbing is that when those who represent the people make such absurd comparisons, some members in the general population will adopt the same view.

What happens next? Gay and lesbian people are hung up on rural fenceposts like a scarecrow, pistol whipped and left to die in the cold as was the young college student in Wyoming?

Many readers may say that is an unreasonable assumption to make, but rational minds can look inside themselves to see that this is the logical outcome of such irresponsible and reprehensible behavior by our elected officials.

Patrick J. Dooley
Second-year law student