Letter to the Editor – What’s Wrong with “Being Right”

Malik S. Wright

I’ve been a part of a movement these past couple of weeks to stop the sorts of intolerance, hatred, ignorance and lack of knowledge that led to that racial graffiti emblazoned upon that filthy bathroom stall; not simply because it offends me, but because it offends what I believe to be the transcendent sensibilities of our progressive institution. So, imagine my disgust when I read Olivia Offner’s column “Love is Not Enough” in The Maroon-News this past week; an article that offended me so deeply, not because it was written in my unbiased, campus newspaper, not because it was written by the so-called Editor-in-Chief, not because it was factually and irresponsibly inaccurate, not even because it displayed a lack of editorial and journalistic merit, but because you were able to transform our newspaper into that very bathroom stall. I have taken some time to reflect, because, initially, I was upset and hostile towards Olivia and not her content, but at an academic institution everyone should have a right and, I would say a responsibility, to share their own opinions and have those opinions appropriately challenged; so let me challenge her.

1. In regard to the “institution of marriage,” specifically, the argument that gay marriage would undermine said institution, studies have shown that in European nations that have long-term legalization of same-sex marriage, there has been an increase in heterosexual marriages, marital births, and a marked decrease in the divorce rates amongst heterosexual couples. One study featured in the Berkely Electronic Press about same-sex marriage in Scandinavia states, “Long-range trends in marriage rates, divorce rates and non-marital births either have been unaffected by the advent of same-sex partnerships or have moved in a direction that suggests that the institution of marriage is strengthening.”

2. Now you could argue that these nations do not have the same religious foundations as the United States of America, so I bring to bear the religious arguments made against interracial marriages in the early twentieth century. Specifically in the case of Loving v. Virginia (1967), in which the Virginia Supreme Court argued that, “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And, but for the interference with his arrangement, there would be no cause for such marriage. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

3. In regard to Olivia’s argument, particularly, the point that gay marriage could be equivalent to bestiality, the Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals argued that, in Naim v. Naim (1956), “nothing in the U.S. Constitution would prohibit the State from enacting legislation to preserve the racial integrity of its citizens, or which denies the power of the State to regulate the marriage relation so that it shall not have a mongrel breed of citizens. The obliteration of racial pride and “the corruption of blood” would weaken or destroy the quality of its citizenship.”

This movement, this cause that I have been deeply invested in these past few weeks is not only for “black people,” it is for all people who feel that they do not have a place at this university. For all people that believe who they are what they look like, who they worship, or who they love is wrong and immoral. While LGBTQ people on this campus may not have the loudest voice in this movement, let me make myself clear: you do it to one of us, you do it to all of us.

Therefore, I believe that Olivia owes this campus an apology, not for her opinions, but for the way in which she veiled them with some sort of scholastic and journalistic validity, the way in which she did not allow her opponent on the left to make a substantive counter-argument, the way in which she put “Editor-in-Chief” above that article, and undermined the importance of that position with her commentary. I look forward to her apology and/or further action.