What is the basis for our fears?

Published 5:20 pm Tuesday, April 10, 2012

To the editor:
Often fears occur when we face an unknown.
I am grateful for the county commissioners’ wise decision not to opine on the amendment that would prohibit same-sex marriage. Each of us must make up our own minds. It seems quite odd to turn to the commissioners, asking that they tell us how to vote. Are we so confounded by this “unknown” that we need them to be our Wizards of Oz?
Fortunately, my wife and I know several same-sex couples. They, too, are in love with one another and seek to live productive lives in society. I have no fear of them. I wish I could help lift the frightened and sometimes mean spirit that appears to fuel the supporters of this amendment. I would replace these emotions with the love and understanding that many of us experience in life and in the pews of our more open churches and synagogues.
At a different time, we feared marriages between African Americans and whites, using some of the same language that we are now using in regards to same-sex marriage. We said this was an “unnatural” union.  Since, I know several mixed-race marriages, I, too, have had the opportunity to see that they too love one another and seek to live productive lives in society.
My wife and I are white… and we have lost nothing because we know and love interracial couples and same-sex couples.
We must be careful in a democracy not to allow it to become a tyranny of the majority. Minorities who seek to enjoy the same life that we in the majority do should have their rights protected, not stepped on… not beaten… and not berated.
I hope on May 8 that Polk County will show its compassion, not its criticism. I hope that we can seek understanding and not let our fears overwhelm us.
– Virgil Stucker, Mill Spring