"I read with interest your June 20 article on the proposed “hate crimes” legislation (News, “Hate Crimes in Indiana,” June 20-27). I am all for putting a stop to hate crimes, but the current push seems to suggest that homosexuals are the only victims of hate crimes. Unfortunately, people are subjected to hate crimes in this country for a variety of reasons, including race and religion, not just homosexuality.

The staff writers in NUVO itself frequently engage in hate speech against religion, but somehow it’s OK for you to give voice to your prejudices.

The current push by gay activists seems to be to deprive anyone who disagrees with them of the right to voice that disagreement. I agree that people do not need to resort to hurling epithets or name-calling, but the gay community seems to be trying to classify any words that may be used to voice disagreement with their lifestyle as “hate speech” and to expect the offenders to seek therapy for their “phobia.”

Andy Rooney has been credited with saying, “If I think homosexuality is wrong, that isn’t a phobia; it’s just an opinion.” And I, along with Mr. Rooney, think that all Americans are equally entitled to their opinions and have an equal First Amendment right to voice them. Granted, we need to refrain from hurling epithets and name-calling, but we still should have the right to voice polite disagreement without being accused of “hate speech” and expected to seek therapy because we dared disagree with someone. Anyone who takes a position in America is liable to hear disagreeing viewpoints. No one else in America has the right to be free from hearing disagreement with their views. Why should gays?

Shawn Childers

Brownsburg

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