To the Editor-
I am a lifelong practicing Catholic and I support equal rights for people of all races, creeds, and sexual preferences.
While I am a fiscal conservative, I like to think of myself as socially liberal. But I also believe in modesty, and I do not believe another person’s sexual preference or gender identity is anyone’s business but their own. It also offends me when someone insists this should be public knowledge.
I’ve been following the extensive news coverage on the Reserve Street Pride crosswalk with a great deal of disdain. Any deviation of a standard crosswalk on a city-owned street should have come up for public discussion. But the mayor used his discretion to decide this, and I think that does nothing to support his constant claims of transparency in local government.
Lack of transparency aside, I see a lot of people on Facebook comparing a Pride crosswalk to one that might be dedicated to the Armed Forces or school colors. That’s a misguided argument, one that compares completely different things.
A Pride crosswalk promotes support for a group of people with diverse sexual preferences.
On the other hand, a crosswalk with school colors, or a sports team colors, would show support for an institution a community sees as an identifying one, like a green and gold crosswalk might work in Green Bay, or purple and gold for UWSP Pointers.
An Armed Forces crosswalk would show support for the men and women who put their lives on the line defending our nation. That’s hardly in the same league as someone who identifies as a member of the LGBTQ community, although I do believe an Armed Forces crosswalk would better reflect our community’s values than one that celebrates personal sexuality.
To question the new Pride crosswalk does not mean someone is “anti-gay” or “anti-Pride.” The crosswalk went in without public input. It did not have input from the Common Council. And it was done without consideration of the nearby Catholic church, where not all members are as open and tolerant of sexual preferences. It has brought out some of the worst in some people, sadly, but not surprisingly.
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