Visiting Little Rock, Ark., recently, I happened to be fortunate enough to receive an upgrade from the standard boring four-door midsize car to a Ford Mustang. Of course, I enjoyed driving the car, but more interesting was what transpired on the last day of my rental.
Upon returning to the parking lot, I found a note inserted in the door handle. The note was a copy of an e-mail which read: "Ford Sales Drop 11.6 percent: homosexual groups more important than support employees, dealers."
The e-mail, sent to members of the American Family Association, stated that the "boycott of Ford Motor Company continues to be effective," and asked that dealers and employees call the chairman of Ford to ask him "to stop supporting the homosexual agenda."
I only wish that I'd been able to return his favor of sharing literature by giving that person a copy of Jim Baxter's "Making it legal" (cover story, Sept. 27).
I wish that I'd been able to ask this person why he thinks that it is acceptable that same-sex couples needed to spend 100 to 200 times on legal fees (according to Baxter's article) the amount heterosexual couples spend securing the same legal protections.
I would have asked him why he thought that some couples were more deserving of adequate health care, simply based on gender alone. And finally, I would have asked him why he felt it necessary to be personally involved in preventing same-sex couples from enjoying the same rights that heterosexual couples enjoy.
Some might see this incident as a somewhat depressing reinforcement of stereotypes of typical Southern attitudes, but perhaps it represents only one misled individual. Perhaps if this man read Baxter's article, he might be persuaded to think outside of his usual frame of reference, and consider what life would be like if he were wearing the shoes of a same-sex partner.
Then again, I'm more cynical than most, and I have to ask myself what kind of "democracy" our soldiers in Iraq are really fighting for.