An apology from Mel White
I regret my unfortunate comment to the Dallas Voice reporter used as the opening of his otherwise excellent article on the "Amazing Race" ("Travelangelist," Dallas Voice, April 3).

Any conflicts I had while serving as dean of the Cathedral of Hope are long since forgiven and (almost) forgotten. The Cathedral has been and continues to be a source of spiritual renewal for thousands of LGBT people, our families and our friends.

I apologize to the staff and the people of the Cathedral of Hope for any hurt caused by my thoughtless, untimely remark.

Mel White
co-founder, Soulforce

Is ‘gay marriage’ what we want?
In the April 3 issue, the Dallas Voice ran an article about the Iowa Supreme Court approving "gay marriage," as did many mainstream media outlets. Here’s my question: Is it really "gay marriage"? Is that even what we want and/or what we’re working for?

In truth, the Iowa ruling didn’t mandate creating some new marriage license for same-sex couples or legislate a different ceremony for the homosexuals. What the state court decided is that gay and lesbian citizens of Iowa will no longer be denied the rights of marriage.

In other words, it’s not "gay marriage," it’s "marriage equality."

Marriage, as a civil institution, should not be denied to any of our citizens; to do so is called discrimination. As gay and lesbian couples, we want our loving, committed relationships to be recognized and protected by the laws of civil marriage — nothing more, nothing less.

We should not be appeased with promises of pseudo-marriage, "civil unions" or domestic partnerships that don’t give us full equality. That’s paramount to being allowed to ride on the bus, as long as we sit in the back.

This is about receiving the 1,000-plus benefits that are immediately bestowed on legally recognized married couples, but not afforded to long-term gay/lesbian couples.

Opponents would love to continue talking about "gay marriage" because it implies we’re looking for some special privilege or that we need a marriage that’s somehow inherently different than "straight" marriages. They can use that term to engage their constituency and inflame their congregations. That’s all the more reason for us to clearly control the conversation when we talk about the subject.

It’s not "gay marriage," but marriage equality. It’s not about a particular religious belief, but it’s about the equal rights of all citizens.

We’ve had similar problems with such prejudicial phrases as "gay lifestyle" and "sexual preference," so now it’s time to work just as diligently to make certain this issue is discussed using the most accurate, precise words possible.

In my opinion, this should be definitely be seen as a priority responsibility by GLBT media outlets. In a separate article in the same issue, the Voice pointed out, our words have power. ("Just like sticks and stones, words have power," Dallas Voice, April 3).

We’ve witnessed major progress in recent days — Iowa and Vermont — along with some setbacks. We cannot rest on the victories or buckle under the defeats. Now is the time to be crystal clear about what we want, with unity, clarity and confidence: What we want — what we demand — is equality.

Bill Prickett

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition April 10, 2009.
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