Letter: Intervention wrong

By The Daily Illini

I was very pleased to read President Bush’s gay union legislation was soundly routed in the House (“Amendment defeated banning gay marriage,” Friday). I find Bush’s attempt at government overextension to be particularly troubling.

Historically, amendments to the Constitution are most useful when they expand individual rights, not when they restrict them. In fact, only one amendment (Article 18, or Prohibition) was ratified with intentions to limit personal decisions and was subsequently met with disastrous consequences.

But there is a more disconcerting trend at work here. While most Americans rightfully oppose the constitutional amendment, polls show they continue to contest same-sex marriages. It is imperative, however, to prevent government from exercising control over marriage.

For one, no person has the right to elevate his or her beliefs above anyone else’s because there is no clear definition of right and wrong. What makes Bush’s belief in marriage more valid than a homosexual’s?

Secondly, we have the freedom to associate with whomever we wish, in any fashion we wish, provided the relationship is not an attempt to conduct harm.

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As a heterosexual male, most would agree that I have little stake in this debate, but I care deeply about the implications of government intervention in private matters. If we give Bush power over marriage, why not let him decide which religion we should follow, or what we can publish or say?

Until U.S. citizens refuse to be subjugated to the tyranny of the majority, I fear future generations will categorize our oppression of homosexuals much like we catalog the treatment of blacks before the civil rights movement, or the suppression of women before they achieved suffrage.

Perhaps Bush should spend more time trying to correct his foreign policy disasters and less time imposing his religion.

Patrick J. Ashby

senior in LAS