Check, Please

Brace yourselves people: it’s time for the 21st century. Yes, here were are, so much smarter than any generation that has come before us, enlightened to the problems that have plagued human civilization for centuries. We live in a society that no longer judges people by their gender or the color of their skin, a society where John Q. White Man and his black bride Shaniqua can get married without so much as a blink, even though 40 years ago they could have provoked some crazy cross burnin’.

Here at BU, he have what the kids like to call a “non-discrimination policy,” which insures equal rights for all groups, with one very conspicuous omission: those people that have unpopular sexual orientations (as in, Adam and Adam or Eve and Eve).

All is not golden in the land of opportunity.

I’ve studied the gay rights issue for a long time, and I still have yet to hear a single intelligent argument about why homosexuality should be discouraged, other then the classic “It’s just wrong.”

Well, actually, it’s just time to grow up. Just because, when you were growing up in your trailer in Alabama, your mother told you to eat your vegetables, pray to Jesus and hate gay people, that doesn’t mean you have to be a bigot.

I’m often taken aback by certain people’s inability to question their upbringing. Just because that’s the way you was raised, that don’t mean it is right.

Can you believe that the teachings of Jesus Christ, who, whether or not he was actually the son of God, was clearly a gifted teacher who attempted to show people in the barbaric past how to love one another and to treat others with respect, are now just used and misinterpreted by ignoramuses whose only love is a love of hate?

This is not about sex or two guys doing it or what goes on behind closed doors. It’s about civil rights. It’s about whether or not you believe that our society and the institutions within it should provide equal rights for everyone or if you believe that the majority’s prejudice should be the sole controlling influence on public policy.

The battle over sexual orientation is the civil rights issue of our time.

Looking back at the 1960s, it seems pretty obvious that those who fought for blacks and women were the enlightened ones. Nobody argues anymore that minorities don’t deserve the rights they gained, but there were people — in fact, a whole lot of people — who fought very hard against equality. For example, Strom Thurmond, everyone’s favorite relic of the late 1800s.

People made all kinds of excuses about why women couldn’t work like men: that they had PMS, that God gave them a different role to play in society. Well, I think anyone who has ever been in class discussion with eight-passed out guys and 13 well-groomed, attentive girls realizes that they are just as capable, if not more capable than men are. Probably because don’t spend all their time thinking about breasts.

BU’s prize professor (and theoretical justification for Silber’s salary) is Elie Wiesel. He is known around the world for his writings on his experience as a Holocaust survivor. During World War II, the Nazis wanted to kill him because of his religion.

But guess what? The Nazis killed gays, too! For the very same reason they killed the Jews: because they thought something was wrong with them. Well, since then, anti-Semitism has waned, as people have finally learned — partially through Wiesel’s teachings — that religious beliefs should never be cause for discrimination, that bigotry is a solely destructive force with no place in society.

But discrimination toward gays, around the world and right here at BU, continues in full force. By conspicuously omitting sexual orientation from the policy, BU is actively contributing to bigotry when they should, as an institute for higher learning, be helping to fight it.

BU is lucky to have an alumnus like Martin Luther King Jr. as you may have guessed from the 16,000 posters they put up on street lights all over campus. Would he have come here if his racial group had been intentionally left out of the non-discrimination policy? What kind of legacy are we leaving for the BU of the future?

BU administrators frequently claim that they don’t want to add sexual orientation to the policy because that would allow for bestiality and pedophilia. Well, President Westling, there is a pretty big distinction between screwing the family dog and having a consensual relationship with a fellow adult. The fact of the matter is there are still many institutions in our country that will openly discriminate against people because of what they do in the privacy of their home. For example, the U.S. government’s most heavily funded program — the armed forces.

Westling has said the policy doesn’t need to be changed since Massachusetts’ law already protects against discrimination against gays. But, what he fails to mention is that it also protects all other forms of discrimination as well, making the policy totally superfluous, except in its symbolism. By omitting sexual orientation, the University is making a statement.

BU, it’s time to decide: do you want future generations to look back on you with respect for positively shaping the future? O would rather be seen like George Wallace and Strom Thurmond: an enemy of enlightenment.

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