Letter to the Editor

Morality has many faces

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Dear editor:

I am writing in response to the Rev. Johannes Brann's letter on Oct. 6. My objective is not to make more political the issue of Cottey College's Pride Alliance rally or even to refute every claim made by the Rev. Brann himself. Instead, my aim is to remind the citizens of Nevada that they have a moral obligation to consider both sides of every issue and, simply, provide the face for that "other side."

I am a 2006 graduate of Nevada High School and a formerly active community member. I was highly involved in the NHS debate program (of which I recall the Rev. Brann being a tireless supporter), Soundsational Singers, the band program, student council and National Honor Society. I worked with Habitat for Humanity, Relay for Life and the United Methodist Church throughout my childhood and adolescence. I list these organizations and institutions to point out that I have been supported by many readers of this newspaper as a student, singer, friend, volunteer and fellow Christian.

I would hope that my sexual orientation would not decrease or restrict the support and love I have come to expect when I return to Nevada. The Rev. Brann reminds us that homosexuality is a "significant sin that has negative consequences" and, then manages to tell us that "studies in the Netherlands show that gay men in same-sex marriages have an average of eight outside sexual partners per year…."

A book, released in 2003, revealed that of American marriages, "some 50 to 65 percent of husbands and 45 to 55 percent of wives become extramaritally involved by the age of 40." I would ask that the Rev. Brann not make the ridiculous claim that homosexuals are exclusively and always promiscuous and morally irresponsible. That generalization is inaccurate, unconscionable and offensive.

I encourage the citizens of Nevada to acknowledge Cottey's Pride Alliance rally for what it was: a peaceful demonstration to combat the injustices of hate crimes against human beings. I remind you that even in Nevada, there are "sinners" among you who live respectable lives. Look to your churches, your co-workers, your classmates and your families and realize that while the moral debate over homosexuality is not going to end anytime soon, there are gay men and lesbians -- whether we know it or not -- in our town and on our minds that we support and love.

I regret that I must write this letter from so far away. It seems cowardly to speak out when I know I won't have to endure the fallout from my words. In lieu of that, I welcome respectful dialogue and/or comments via the Internet. My e-mail address is scott.hillier@yale.edu.


Scott Hillier

Editor's note: Other letters to the editor relating to this subject were received, but per our policy cannot be published without a signature and a phone number by which we can verify the origin of the letter and that it is intended for publication. Anyone who has submitted a letter without such information still desiring its publication may contact Nevada Daily Mail editor Lynn Wade by phone at (417) 667-3344, ext. 41, to confirm the origin and intent of the letter.