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  • LETTER OF THE DAY

    Filed at 6:08 am under by dcobranchi

    From a future g-school teacher:

    Lesbian isn’t going to wait until state protects rights

    As a lesbian who has grown up having great pride in being a Delawarean, I have become very disappointed with the backward steps state government has taken in regard to protecting the basic rights of all of its constituents. It saddens me that once again the Legislature has allowed Sen. James T. Vaughn to hold House Bill 36 in committee until the end of session.

    To pass H.B. 36 would not mean that gays and lesbians could marry. There is already legislation that prevents us from gaining that right in the state Constitution. This bill would only mean that I could not get fired or evicted simply because I am a lesbian.

    Employers cannot fire African-Americans or Latinos simply because of their race. Why should they be allowed to fire someone simply because they are gay? Some might argue that race is inherent and sexual orientation is chosen. However, having lived openly as a lesbian for some years, I can assure you that I would never choose the discrimination and threats of violence that I have had to endure. Neither would the rest of the state’s gay population. So why should people be allowed to discriminate against us?

    I have been forced to decide to leave Delaware altogether after graduating from the University of Delaware, knowing that I could be fired from my job or evicted at any time because I am a lesbian. I cannot wait around any longer for social conservatives to grant me the basic rights I deserve. Instead, I am going to move to a state that respects diversity in all its forms, such as Massachusetts or New York, taking my education and tax dollars with me.

    I hope that Vaughn is happy. Another educated, promising young person will have to leave Delaware because he and his colleagues in the Senate Judiciary Committee could not look past their archaic values in order to legislate in favor of basic human rights.

    Think about that in 10 years, when Delaware ranks among the lowest in the nation yet again in education — and think about me, the educator that your school system could have had.

    Stacy Konkiel, Newark

    Ms. Konkiel is correct in her description of the bill. It would not create special rights for gays and lesbians, nor would it allow them to marry. Delaware has a fairly substantial gay community (centered around Rehoboth Beach). It really is unconscionable that Senate procedures allow a single senator to bottle up legislation for years that would easily pass if put to a vote.

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