Last edited: November 15, 2003

Letter: Standards Lowered

Yuma Sun, May 27, 2001
Box 271, Yuma, AZ 86366
Fax: 520-343-1009

On the front page of the May 9 edition, The Arizona Republic reported "Hull signs repeal of sex laws." With the governor’s signing of Senate Bill 2016, the state of Arizona, that means us, gave its stamp of approval to such things as sodomy and cohabitation. To some people this was no big deal, a "no brainer." After all, the governor was merely following those time honored and universally accepted principles of "not policing the bedroom," "if it feels good do it" and my personal favorite, "you can’t legislate morality."

The issue was never really about physically stopping anyone from sodomy or cohabitation, it was always about what we as Arizonans felt the standards of decency and morality should be. By signing that bill into law, the governor, on our behalf, brought those standards down several notches and has opened the door to what a writer to this editorial page described as " ...two people who would get married in a minute if our society didn’t prohibit them from doing so." The repeal of the so-called archaic laws was just the first step toward what some people in this state have as their ultimate goal, marriage between people of the same sex.

Our laws reflect our ideas of what is right and wrong, of what is acceptable and unacceptable and, yes, even of what is moral and immoral. We make rules and laws all the time that restrain us from doing things that are harmful to ourselves, to others and to society. We need to take seriously what we say to our citizens by the laws that we enact, and not be afraid to be called intolerant when those laws are unpopular with a minority of our population.

By the way, in that same Arizona Republic edition there was an article headlined "12 arrested in Tempe sex sting." It was about a police operation aimed at stopping gay men from performing sexual acts in public restrooms. In the article, a police officer is quoted as saying, "It’s not a gay issue or sexual preference issue at all with us, it’s simply that, behavior of that nature does not belong in a public place. There are specific laws prohibiting that. We’re enforcing those laws." Perhaps those laws are archaic as well.

— Dan Chavez, Yuma

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