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Equal Rights Aren't Special Rights 

The inimitable editors of Bend's daily have mocked and name-called California supporters of gay marriage with, "A temper tantrum in support of gay rights." The

The inimitable editors of Bend's daily have mocked and name-called California supporters of gay marriage with, "A temper tantrum in support of gay rights." The support group had put together what the editors called a "snarky statement," "Day Without a Gay." I can't say it's my favorite, but did it deserve "a temper tantrum" and the "infantile" behavior of what you might expect "from a 3-year-old!"

It's time to question the phrase "gay rights." Why? Because gays do not have rights that are different than any other people's rights. What they have, and you and I have, is "equal human rights." We are all human beings, all Homo sapiens, all the same people. Our sexuality and religious beliefs are not what give us rights. Both are irrelevant. It's because we are human beings with the "first government in the world to be founded not on the authority of religion but on the bedrock of human reason." (historian Catherine D. Bowen) "Equal human rights" are mandated for all people. The Declaration of Independence, "That all men are created equal." Abe Lincoln, "A new Nation...dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." Why would it be otherwise? It's a no-brainer.

Getting back to the editorial, I would not call the protest of the loss of equal human rights "a temper tantrum" no matter how "snarky!" Imagine what we'd hear from the editors if a majority group of people were successful with an initiative getting a constitutional amendment banning editorial writing! The temper tantrum would be heard around the world! And rightly so! If one believes in "equal human rights" for ALL people, then one would have to support gay marriage. Otherwise, you live with a false belief. You can't have it both ways.

The editors take pride in the fact that "for years, we have supported civil unions for same-sex couples." What that means is that they believe gays are second-class citizens." Civil unions do not offer the same human rights as hetero marriages. Massachusetts, Connecticut and California (perhaps) and many countries around the world comprehend "equal human rights." Those who salute the flag ("with liberty and justice for all") and oppose gay marriage, epitomize hypocrisy.

Until we all have equal human rights (including marriage) we make a mockery of our Constitution. If we're not all free, none of us are free! Our 5th and 14th Amendments: No person shall, "be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process..." Loss of freedom is deprivation of "liberty."

Bob Bates

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