People should be allowed to make their own choices and mistakes

    434

    This is in response to “No Dispute Here,” a letter published in Wednesday’s paper. We were somewhat astonished at Ms. William’s assertion that, “The general Presidency of the church has spoken out against protecting marriages, in accordance with the scriptures.”

    We have been wondering if perhaps she meant to say something else? The point of J. Hyde’s letter to which Ms. Williams and others have objected is not that homosexuality is not a sin. That is not what we have or will ever argue. Our point is simply that our country is founded on the idea that people should be able to make choices [whether or not others find them morally reprehensible], so long as those choices do not curtail the freedoms of others.

    Obviously, crimes such as murder, rape, theft, embezzlement, etc. seriously impinge on the rights of other citizens; this being the case, they are outlawed and justly so.

    In our opinion, however, the right of gays and lesbians to get married does not in any way infringe on our liberties, and therefore we have a hard time saying that we, or others, have the right to place a ban on such a practice.

    Ms. Williams also put forth the argument that allowing gay marriages to occur will confuse our children as to the true and proper meaning of the word marriage. We do not feel this to be the case. We believe that it is possible to teach children that we do not approve of others’ behavior, without teaching children to hate or fear those others.

    In our experience, our parents had friends while we were growing up whose lifestyle choices [whether heterosexual or homosexual] our families disagreed with. As children we were simply taught that some people make bad decisions, and we choose to make better decisions. This can and was done without a spirit of judging or hatred. We simply knew better then to make certain decisions which we were taught were wrong.

    We believe conscientious parents can teach children to make correct choices even if there are present in our community those who choose differently. We need not be threatened by other positions if we are firm in our own convictions.

    We agree with Ms. Williams on one point, which is that lasting happiness is not to be found in homosexual relations. We have chosen to get married in the temple for time and all eternity [or are working toward that goal], and we know that decision will bring us more joy than nearly any other decision in our lives. We do not claim that homosexuality is right, nor would we ever claim such a lifestyle for ourselves. We simply think that perhaps we, as Americans, should be prepared to offer other people the right to make that same choice [and if necessary, the right to make their own mistakes].

    As a closing note, we would like to add a request for all outraged members of the BYU community to restrain themselves from contacting us [especially J. Hyde, the author of the first letter] personally through email, etc. We are perfectly capable of reading the First Presidency’s statements. Please don’t send us any more quotes just because we interpret things differently. We also feel that personal character attacks are inappropriate and harm the BYU community as a whole.

    Jennie Hyde

    Palo Alto, Calif.

    Ashley Morse

    Plymouth, Mass.

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