Friday, October 29, 2004

Making Waves on Campus

I am so grateful to be not only working for a hospital, but to be at an academic hospital, with forward thinking people and young minds that are open to progressive ideas – ideas such as equality.

Yesterday, in the Daily Utah Chronicle, the University Newspaper, this Editorial appeared, written by Nick Macey:

Protect the dignity of human relationships
A final plea to oppose Amendment No. 3

Once Election Day rolls around, something is bound to scare me.

I'm already on edge due to the close proximity of Halloween to Nov. 2.

And the potential election of a certain person scares me.

But these single cases of fear don't even compare to the fear placed in my soul by the possible outcome of Amendment No. 3.

It would destroy any chance of creating legal unions to allow either same-sex or unmarried couples to have similar benefits to those who are married.

Proponents of the amendment trumpet it as being simple. "How could something this simple be bad?"

It almost appears that proponents don't want people to think too hard about which way they should vote. The simple truth is this amendment couldn't be more complex and troublesome.

The amendment has two parts.

The first section is obviously symbolic. Many states already recognize marriage as a union between a man and a woman. There is nothing wrong with marriage being restricted to a man and a woman-but some benefits of marriage should not be withheld.

The second section of the amendment makes it among the most loaded amendments proposed to the voters thus far.

It has the potential to nullify domestic unions-something completely unrelated to the homophobic nature of this amendment.

In addition, it has the potential to ruin same-sex benefits given by private industry, thereby messing with something in which most conservatives believe government has no place.

It will also place a permanent denial on the rights of same-sex couples to have joint ownership of property and the right to make medical decisions.

Whether or not you agree with their lifestyle is completely irrelevant. This amendment sacrifices the dignity of human beings.

To give you an example, let's suppose you are gay and advanced in age. It was risqué to come out during early adulthood, and perhaps you thought it was an illness. You hid and married someone of the opposite sex, even had a few kids. And 20 years later, you finally had the courage to come out of the closet and found a partner for whom you cared deeply. Your family, so upset at these events, disowned you completely. When your health took a turn for the worse, your partner cared for you until you finally wound up in the hospital. Then because your family is only allowed to visit you, you will die from loneliness in a hospital bed. Your family will eventually find out and have the decency to bury you. Then they will get all of your money. Your partner, the person who cared for you through your life, and especially your dying days, will get nothing.

All that Amendment No. 3 will accomplish is the shaming of large numbers of decent people, then dragging them out into the public eye for long, wasteful court battles. These battles will eventually nullify the law, due to protections completely evident in the Constitution.

The vote on Amendment No. 3 is completely clear, and without question. Just say no to idiocy.

I was overwhelmed.

I replied. It was printed today.


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