To the Editor
In response to the letter “Fort Hood gay pride observance an affront to soldiers’ religious rights” (May 31, KDH):
Ed Coet’s letter protesting the LGBT pride observance day at Fort Hood indicates that he has forgotten that ours is a secular nation designed around the separation of church and state, which consequently allows individuals of all faiths to worship and live as they see fit within the confines of our legal system.
An LGBT pride event does not prevent you from professing your beliefs; it merely exposes you to the fact that others may do the same even if you disagree.
As Thomas Jefferson stated, “laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made ... institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times.”
The United States is slowly coming to the same conclusion as much of the rest of the world that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer or questioning individuals are not perverted or mentally ill.
Human sexuality is not binary, but rather a spectrum of possibilities capable of being healthfully expressed within the context of consenting adult interactions. As our society evolves to realize this, our legislation evolves accordingly.
Just as those who grew up in the antebellum South and Jim Crow eras held beliefs which could not be changed despite the forward movement of the nation toward a more just, equitable and perfect union, I suspect that Mr. Coet’s beliefs will continue to justify his resistance to the incursion of democratic values into his biblically conservative world.
When those of his generation have died, however, a younger generation that has grown up with different values regarding respect for diversity will take his place in the pews, pulpits and voting booths. No doubt they will also look back with horror at the messages of hatred, bigotry and outrageous disrespect exemplified in his letter.
Until then, Mr. Coet, I encourage you to recognize that the Constitution is the law of the land, not the Bible; that freedom absolutely does encompass issues of race, class, gender and sexual orientation specifically because those have been contributing factors in many conflicts regarding equality and justice; and that anything which celebrates the homes and families our troops fight for is more than appropriate; it is praiseworthy and in fact long since overdue.