1988: Focus on Homosexuality

Letters to the Editor 11/18/1988

On October 21, 1988 The Observer published a multi-page "Focus" section on homosexuality.

Letter to the Editor: University community should be above insularity

Published November 18, 1988

To the Editor:

I have been following the discussion of homophobia with some interest. I would like to make some observations, if I may.

I find the necessity of a discussion of this nature dismaying; not because I am shocked by homosexuality, but rather because the students at CWRU find this subject controversial. Furthermore the matter of insularity must be addressed. I also find the remarks of two students particularly disturbing because of their parochial nature.

Why is this controversy a controversy at all? I am somewhat disappointed that the students of a major university find differences amongst people controversial. The Webster's Collegiate Dictionary shows the etymology of the word "university" to be from the Latin universitas-- the whole, universe, society. It is apparent to me that this means that a university is a place where persons of all races, creeds, and by extension, lifestyles may come together in the pursuit of truth and knowledge. That means that in a university these differences should be of no consequence and those who attend the university must exhibit the qualities of forbearance and tolerance. If this is not so, then how can knowledge be gained or the truth learned?

Robert Georgi and Francis Uy raise some question of morality in regard to the gay lifestyle. It has always been a fact of life in this nation that one's morals are one's own; that is to say that I have no right to impose my moral standards upon you and likewise you have no right to impose yours on me. This is called pluralism. It is true that our legal system is based on the English Common Law and hence upon Biblical strictures; however, our society has changed and it is imperative that one set of laws be agreed upon and that law must be the Constitution. The move by CWRU to bring its policy into agreement with Federal law is to be commended.

The issue of insularity should also be addressed. It is time for Georgi and Uy and their supporters to realize that outside the University it is a fact of life that blacks and Whites, Buddhists, Moslems, Christians, agnostics and atheists, heterosexuals and homosexuals all live and work in this nation and all have a right to believe as they wish and to live in peace, free from harassment and violence. To this end, in the workplace it has become rare that racial epithets and homophobia have raised their ugly heads. When they do it should fill us with disgust and revulsion.

As to the issue of the pictures taken in the men's room, I would hope that The Observer is now aware that the news must stand on its own merits and not be manufactured and stage managed.


P.T. Liggett

Father of an Undergraduate