Thursday, January 29, 2009

Proposed Op-ed Letter Re: Gayle Ruzicka & Common Ground Bills

January 27, 2009, the first of a group of bills known as the “Common Ground” bills was heard, debated, and defeated in committee. I am disappointed this Wrongful Death bill was put down so quickly. However, I am more deeply disturbed by the tone and rhetoric some took in the debate over the issue.

At the committee hearing Gayle Ruzicka testified against the entire “Common Ground” bills, not just this first bill. Her rhetoric, as usual, was intensely conservative and inflammatory. “It is the same liberal people who support gay rights that also support the killing of unborn children,” she said. Are we truly to believe that any extension of civil rights to the LGBT people is also to remove any and all restraint on abortion? I, for one, do not fit this simplistic definition of one who supports gay rights.

Ms. Ruzicka’s rhetoric, lumping pro-abortion and pro-gay rights into one, reminds me of a similar comment. In 2006 a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy spoke at my LDS Stake Conference. During his talk he mentioned a time when he was asked why the LDS church opposed abortion and homosexuality. His response, “We oppose same-sex marriage and abortion because if everyone practiced them the entire human race would be destroyed in a single generation.” Although technically true, the “if” of this argument is so grossly absurd I would laugh were it not for the fact many have taken it to be very likely, even to the point of being a prophetic warning. I made sure to face and question the Elder in person on using the argument directly after the meeting.

And so I must ask Gayle Ruzicka, Sen. Chris Buttars (who headed the committee), and any others who hatefully and fearfully oppose anything with even the whiff of gay rights: is this what you fear? Do you truly believe in some apocalyptic implosion of human society should any of these rights be extended? I do not ask rhetorically either. I want to know directly from them. I want to hear from you, and I do not want the scripted talking points in response. I do not want the absurd, broad stroked simplicity that has dominated the public discourse on this issue. I want to hear it truthfully and sincerely. I want you to look deep inside and tell me what it is that causes you such fear that festers into so much anger.

I am very tired of dealing with people like Gayle Ruzicka and Sen. Chris Buttars. I am tired of their use of absurd logic, twisted arguments, and outright lies to influence civil policy. I am tired of those who accept such distorted discourse as truth. Mostly, I am tired of all the fighting that must be done so decent, productive people may live in this world without fear of abuse and harm. I can no longer hold a clear conscience without calling people like these out on their fallacious ideas and destructive philosophies. I and too many others have been harmed too much for too long to allow it to continue.

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