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Afterschool Homeroom
Gay Rights

Gay rights not a civil rights issue?

On Tuesday, May 12th, Harold Metts, vice principal of Central high school and member of Rhode Island’s Genera Assembly, graced us with his opinion on same-sex marriage. During a congressional debate, Metts reacted to any connection between the struggle for gay rights and the civil rights movement. When one person supporting same-sex marriage compared the Gay Rights movement to the civil-rights movement, Metts interrupted by saying “I can’t keep quiet any longer… You cite Dr.King, but there’s one thing I’m confidant of. He would not perform a gay marriage.”

For one thing, how in the world does he know what Dr.King would or would not do? He cheated on his wife on numerous occasions, a rather un-Christian thing to do, even worst if you’re a Baptist minister. At the time of his death, he had moved on from civil liberties to union organizing. Funny, union leaders are killed all the time in places like Columbia and Guatemala. Dr.King was killed when he began taking an interest in unions. Could it be said that someone of his stature would pose a threat to certain corporate interests by helping to organize unions?

What I seriously can’t understand, is how Metts, vice principal of Central high school, a school with openly gay teachers and students, could go out and speak out against same-sex marriage? He is a leader in the community! Those statements of his are a slap to the face to the gay teachers and students of Central high school. Just last year we had a Gay-Straight Alliance with Classical high school. Just a few years ago we had a Principal, Debra DeCarlo, who was openly a lesbian. Would Metts have spoken out against same-sex marriage if she were still principal? We can only wonder. Metts spoke out against same-sex marriage when the gay rights struggle was compared to the civil rights struggle. Does this mean that he does not think that the gay population’s pursuit of happiness is a civil rights issue? Does he think that the government and closed minded individuals should decide what kind of lifestyle you choose to live? Don’t we all have the same basic human rights? Are we all not equal? Or maybe, some of us are just a little bit more equal than others?

Back in December 2002, the chief justice of the Supreme Court Victoria S. Lederberg unexpectedly died. So began the process of nominating a successor to the late Chief Justice. Finally, when Gov. Almond nominated Judge Maureen McKenna Goldberg to the state supreme court, all but one of the 150 state legislators supported her nomination, Harold Metts. Why? Some might say because she was white. Because later on he explained “ How long will we have to wait until a person of color is named to the supreme court?” If Judge Goldberg received all but one of the 150 nominations, it must mean that she’s more than qualified for the job. She even has a history of teaching at an inner-city school in South Providence. Now what was that famous quote by Martin Luther King, the person the Metts quotes all the time? Oh yeah! “ I have a dream that one day men will be judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin”. Talk amongst yourselves.

Eliazar Velasquez