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Gays should be recognized

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I would like to respond to Linda Thompson’s July 19 letter. Including the contributions of gay and lesbian persons in school curriculum has nothing to do with “what individuals do in their private bedrooms.” Sexual orientation is a very complex, inborn quality that indicates the gender toward which one is attracted, and with whom one desires to form loving and affectional relationships. It is not true that “every group in the world” has “felt disenfranchised at one time or another.” As a heterosexual, white, male, Christian I have never felt disenfranchised. Gays and lesbians in our society are not only disenfranchised — many are disowned by their families, abandoned by friends, bullied and harassed in school, discriminated against in the work place, and rejected by their faith communities. While we might wish to minimize the suffering of others, it is neither fair nor honest to do so. Few individuals in our world have suffered more because of a God-given gift of birth, than have gays and lesbians. I am grateful that future generations will now have the opportunity to learn of the sufferings and triumphs, the contributions and achievements, the hopes and dreams of this important segment of our beautiful and diverse human community. Richard K. Ernst, Loomis