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In Saturday's edition of The Times, I learned a new fact about myself. I apparently learn a lesson the third time it is taught to me.
When I read Fred Chitwood's Nov. 14 letter dismissing the need for bilingual signs or accommodation of immigrants within the U.S., I thought, "that is troubling, but I'm sure someone will contradict it." When the same author articulated on Jan. 20 that Robert E. Lee was a true American hero and Martin Luther King's name was worthy of history's wastebasket, I thought, "I'm certain someone will argue with that, so I won't bother."
However, upon reading his recent letter regarding homosexuals in the military, I decided I was no longer prepared to wait for an advocate of my viewpoint.
I will, as long as I live, never comprehend the obsession Americans possess to deny rights to other Americans that they themselves enjoy. Historically, we have prided ourselves as a nation promising freedom to all. I realize now, that while such a motto may look excellent on a Statue of Liberty postcard, it is an empty promise.
Apparently, Americans — or, more specifically, those with attitudes like Mr. Chitwood's — desire an America in which the only people granted equal rights are those perceived as "worthy." Furthermore, the insinuation that homosexuals are "deviant" is one that I find horrendously erroneous. I take personal issue with his stereotyping and spiteful depiction of all homosexuals as immoral people.
I have many gay, lesbian, and bisexual friends who are some of the most kind, accepting and sympathetic people I know, while all of the most ill-mannered, spiteful, detestable human beings I have encountered are heterosexual people who profess to being both "patriots" and Christian. So in my experience, sexuality is no more a realistic standard of judging morality than one's hair color.
I would also like to remind the author that he lives in a nation that, ideally, is an environment for "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness" and his mere disagreement with a particular issue does not validate denying the rights of others, particularly if such a right is one that requires a great act of bravery, such as serving one's country in the armed forces.
As advanced as American perceives itself to be, its restriction against openly homosexual people from serving in the military ranks it alongside the very nations that Americans view with hostility: Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Venezuela.
I, for example, found it difficult to read the author's article without becoming physically ill and ruining an expensive laptop. However, that in no way means I believe he should be prohibited from saying such.
I ask the author to examine the question whether he would like to be denied service in the military simply because of his sexuality, and if not, how is it fair to push such restrictions off on others?