Saturday, June 13, 2009

It's Your Fault, Not Mine

by Gary Fleming

So, I’ve done it to you again. My gay marriage series this week has lit a fire under you, and I took all your punches.

This series was designed to do just that. The goal was to challenge your notions of both sides of the gay marriage debate and make you think about things you may not have considered before. I didn’t ask you to agree, just to think.

Two stories particularly grabbed your attention. The first was about a gay black man who is struggling to awaken the black community — which largely opposes gay marriage — to gay rights.

In his eyes, many African-Americans are being hypocritical by not supporting gay rights, considering their own background of oppression and prejudice.

I received buckets of letters saying I had no business equating the civil rights movement to the gay rights movement. So let’s be clear: I made no such argument. I brought you the story of a man who makes that argument. It’s up to you to decide whether you agree.

The second story that got you fired up was one featuring gay marriage opponents who say their stances don’t make them bigots. I brought you three people who voted for Proposition 8 in California but who also say they don’t think being gay is immoral, despite the way they voted.

Well, you just ripped me a new one. You told me that if I was willing to run such a story, I must be willing to run a story on backing slavery and the like. You said I was giving credence to hatemongers and that I ruined your gay pride month celebrations.

So, another point of clarification: For those who said I’m supporting “hatemongers”by printing a certain side of the debate, talk to your fellow readers who told me the opposite the day before.

More importantly, the opinions of the opponents are theirs, not mine. I simply brought you the story, and let you decide for yourselves. By presenting both sides of the debate, I was bound to irk some readers one day, and others the next.

If the story ruined your good time, that’s your fault for letting it get to you that much.

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