BYU letter writer causes uproar
A Brigham Young University student from Raleigh, N.C., caused an uproar when his letter to the editor on homosexuality was published by the student newspaper at the Provo, Utah, university.
“Just as if we wouldn’t want a child to grow up with a prostitute for a mother or a serial killer for a father, we shouldn’t accept a lesbian, gay or transgender parental model for young people,” wrote Taylor Petty, from Raleigh, N.C., in the November 17 issue. “As prophets have said for four thousand years, sodomy is a disgusting sin we can’t accept.”
The letter was part of an ongoing discussion about “Modern Family,” a TV sitcom which depicts a gay couple who have adopted a child. The discussion was started by a letter in which Alex Hairston, from Provo, Utah, quoted a friend who told him that “he would rather pay extra taxes in order for a child to be brought up in an orphanage or foster care rather than to be adopted by a gay couple.”
Petty’s letter caused an uproar among BYU lesbian, gay, ,bisexual and transgender students and their supporters, who placed a flyer inside many copies of the November 18 issue of the Universe. Further criticisms of Petty’s letters appear in the Student Review and even the Daily Universe itself.
“Gay students are in every classroom, every ward and every apartment complex at BYU and we want to reach out in love to help you better understand,” an anonymous flyer inside the Daily Universe reads. “The attitude represented by these articles reopens wounds that Christ died to heal. … The task of any religion is not to teach us who we are entitled to hate, but who we are required to love.”
The Daily Universe has since taken down the letter. The student editorial board said the letter fails to live up to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saint’s standards.
“The Daily Universe has removed the letter originally published here after several readers complained about its tone and approach to homosexuality,” Campbell wrote on the new webpage substituting for where the letter was once displayed. “We agree that the letter did not represent the standards of our sponsoring institution or our university community including the recent statement in the LDS Church Handbook of Instruction: ‘While opposing homosexual behavior, the Church reaches out with understanding and respect to individuals who are attracted to those of the same gender.’ The letter published in the Daily Universe did not represent the kind of understanding and respect that should accompany dialog on this issue. We regret that the letter was ever published.”
Letter: Times are changing
The Hendersonville, N.C. Times-News published two letters to the editor yesterday in opposition to the impending vote on an anti-LGBT state constitutional amendment banning marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships for same-sex couples. In one, letter writer Glay Eddleman recounts the problems inherent within the as-worded amendment. In a second, letter writer Mark Fagerlin picked up on qnotes’ Nov. 8 election night headline, “Gay candidates win big across North Carolina.”
Not only is the tide turning in the selection of government officials, the North Carolina Council of Churches, a social justice advocacy group that unites denominations and congregations, has become the first organization of its kind in the South to elect an openly gay person as its president,” Fagerlin writes. “These events could be the precursor to the defeat of the marriage amendment scheduled for a vote next May.
Could amendment change rules for all couples?
That’s what Shelby Star reporter Jordan-Ashley Baker asked in her write-up yesterday.
From the paper:
In May, North Carolina residents will vote on an amendment defining marriage between a man and a woman as “the only domestic legal union that will be valid or recognized in this state.”
But what is a “domestic legal union,” and what does it mean to recognize that union in North Carolina? It’s that language that some legal and policy experts say could affect all North Carolina residents – whether they’re married, single, gay or straight.
Damon Circosta, executive director of the nonpartisan North Carolina Center for Voter Education, said the exact implications of the amendment, if it is passed, are unknown.
“It’s unclear,” Circosta said. “And I think that any time you go altering the constitution, you can inadvertently create a scenario that you might not intend.”