Respect each other’s opinions, lifestyles

Published Jun 4, 2014 at 4:02 am (Updated Jun 3, 2014 at 9:34 am)

Last week’s front page story “Overturned gay marriage ban a relief to local couples” and subsequent editorial, “Proud to be from state of PA” sparked a lot of response from our readers. The beauty of living in the United States of America is the freedoms that we have – freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, and so on.

We realize that not everyone will share the same opinion, and that’s what makes our country great – diversity. We welcome rebuttals to the editorials that we print and stories that we report. What concerned us, however, is the amount of hate that spewed from angry emails and phone calls – without leaving a name or phone number to return the call.

The reason that we are proud to be from Pennsylvania, and proud that the ban was overturned, is that now we are a step closer to all being equal. We are a step closer to teaching our children tolerance, love and acceptance.

Think of a gay child or teenager. Rather than calling them “sick” as so many of you did, think of how you would respond if it was your own child. Would you say those hateful things to him or her? And if you did, how would you feel if your own child felt so worthless and depressed that he or she then committed suicide? It happens way too often.

Remember Tyler Clementi, the 18-year old college freshman at Rutgers University who made national news after killing himself because his roommate set up a web cam and caught him kissing another man? Had his roommate been brought up in a more tolerant home, perhaps the incident could have been avoided.

Of course, this idea goes beyond a gay/straight issue. It permeates all areas of society – race, religion, divorce, family values, education, age, income, so on and so forth.

So, before you pick up the phone at 10 p.m. to call and yell into our voicemails, remember this – it’s very, very OK to disagree. But at the end of the day, we all bleed red, and we are all citizens of the world. Let’s celebrate our differences, rather than argue over them. Let’s respect each other’s choices even if we don’t agree with them. Let’s coexist.

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