October 2, 2003  
Volume 97, Issue 20  

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Older folk don't get gays

Kats got your tongue
Laura Katsirdakis

News Editor

It doesn't take much to feel the canyon-of-a-gap between the generations of today's young adults and their parents. The recent developments in gay/lesbian rights in Canada brings this gap increasingly to the forefront.

As a 22-year-old, my baby-boomer parents seem archaic in their viewpoints on society. When the federal Parliament narrowly rejected a motion to re-affirm the traditional definition of marriage as that between one man and one woman, I knew my parents would be upset. I could practically hear their lamentations about "what the world is coming to" in my head.

On the issue of gay marriage, it goes without saying my parents are in opposition. I am familiar with their traditional beliefs, since they let me know that having my boyfriend live with me meant I was living in sin and I was not to let my grandparents find out under any circumstances.

I simply cannot understand why anyone could think it justified to deny two people who are in love the right to be married just because they are two people of the same gender. It is much easier to imagine the hypothetical person believing this than to know my own parents think being gay is being sinful.

Some of my good friends are gay and I know it is ridiculous to believe they should have less rights as citizens of this country than people who are attracted to those of the opposite sex. At the same time, I respect my parents; they are not unintelligent or irrational people. But when it comes to gay and lesbian rights (or premarital sex for that matter), my parents shock me with their generalized appeals to "morals."

Although it makes no sense to deny equal rights to people who have a different sexual orientation, I find my father saying things like "it's just not natural" and "why do they have to get married anyway? Can't they just call it something else? Marriage is a tradition."

Why is there an emotional investment in denying rights to gay and lesbian people in the older generation? Why does the idea of gay marriage provoke fear in my older and more religious relatives?

Recently, a protest organizer at an "ex-gay" conference told The Gazette the United States thrives on being a fundamentalist state and the more liberal Canadian one scares them to death. Truly, recent news confirms many in the U.S. resist gay marriage legislation.

Am I missing something? Where is the urgent need to deny homosexual men and women equal rights?



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