Editor, Ceres Courier,
With a new year around the corner I think it’s time to address an issue I saw during the election – blatant discrimination. Discrimination is an ugly word to describe an ugly behavior and I was disgusted at the way it was used against Turlock’s Mayor Gary Soiseth. He was the victim of vicious personal attacks based solely on his sexual orientation. Homophobic slurs, and other name calling were used to win an election and make no mistake, it was a dirty, underhanded tactic.
Here are some things to remember.
1. According to U.S stats approximately two in 100 people in the U.S are gay.
2. Twenty-two states, including California outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation.
3. Sexual orientation discrimination is prohibited in public and private employment in California.
4. Being gay is not an indicator of how well someone can do their job.
5. Being gay is not contagious, and it’s not a mental illness. People are born that way.
You better get used to the idea that there is a vibrant gay community in Stanislaus County- from MoPride, to The Central Valley Pride Center, The PLACE Youth Group, and Josie’s Place located on the CSUS campus. There are plenty of bars, clubs, meet up sites and places. It’s estimated around 25,000 gay men and women live in Modesto alone. Turlock missed an opportunity to show that in the 21st century we had indeed risen above our fear of what we may not understand. Being gay is here to stay, and it’s time Turlock overcame its homophobia and fear of something so commonplace.
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