I opened the opinion section of the Bellingham Herald this morning and was perplexed by the following letter: (Here is the link for the online version: Letter to Editor)
Aghast at bid to repeal gay rights
I somewhat doubted the real need for legislation banning discrimination in housing and employment based on sexual orientation. It seemed a formality in our tolerant society.
We have many admired gay and lesbian icons and "Brokeback Mountain" nearly won the Best Picture Oscar.
I was aghast to be proved wrong when the day after such legislation was passed an effort was initiated by Tim Eyman to put back in place the ability to deny a home or fire a person who loved others of the same sex.
Why would anyone fight for the right to discriminate? I'm still flabbergasted.
I'm not sure that the supporters of this effort to repeal the anti-discrimination law are aware of the large numbers of their friends and family who are gay or bisexual and hiding this fact (with just cause, it seems).
I'm very glad to be a homeowner and employee of a tolerant company so that I can openly admit that I am bisexual.
I know I sound like a broken record when continually writing my own opinions on the gay issue but I can’t keep my fingers off the keyboard after reading Mr. Dawson’s letter. I am “flabbergasted” by his reasoning.
The problem with the language used in this letter is that it is absolutely weightless.
It is pure rhetoric, the flowery mantra of an ever increasing population of the willingly ignorant.
If this were an argument for continued support for legislation making it illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation it would look something like this:
I. We live in a tolerant society
II. A lot of popular people are gay
III. A movie depicting gays won an award
IV. There are gay people (the fact that there are large numbers of them is unsupported here)
Conclusion: People who would repeal legislation making it illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation are intolerant.
I think I have that right. Now in this form you can see that Mr. Dawson is just a raving mad man. Everything about this is fouled up. But lets work with it anyway. If you boil away the argument further, throwing out premise two and three on account of being absolutely ridiculous and premise four for being irrelevant you get this:
I. We live in a tolerant society
II. People who would repeal legislation making it illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation are intolerant.
Conclusion: Therefore, we live in a tolerant society if and only if people vote for legislation making it illegal to discriminate based on sexual orientation
I think it is pretty clear here that Mr. Dawson as a man who likes to have sex with both women AND men would like to live in a society where he can openly admit this fact with out being discriminated against. Or another way of putting it is that Mr. Dawson does not want to be punished for his sexual behavior, he wants society to be tolerant of it. Tolerance, I can only guess, means that Mr. Dawson will be rewarded (since he is not being punished) for openly proclaiming his sexual behavior.
With this added piece of information I would like to again make adjustments to his argument.
People who reward me for my sexual behavior are tolerant.
People who do not reward me for my sexual are intolerant.
or further simplified:
If you agree with me you are tolerant
If you do not agree with me are intolerant.
This to me does not sound very tolerant Mr. Dawson.
Now for my own commentary. Mr. Dawson the fact that you like to have sex with both men and women is your business. Personally I think being devoted in love to one person and being monogamous is nobler still but that is my own view, one that you can or can not be tolerant towards. Concerning your letter to the Herald though I will say this. I a surprised that a newspaper would reward you by publishing such ramblings.