Roy Exum: Yes To Same-Sex Benefits

Saturday, November 2, 2013 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

The great majority of us know absolutely nothing about what will be discussed at a special public hearing in Chattanooga on Tuesday, yet virtually every one of us understands hatred, prejudice and the difference between right and wrong. The subject is homosexuality and the question is whether or not the city of Chattanooga should give same-sex couples the same benefits that heterosexual couples receive.

I believe it is impossible for a heterosexual person to know what a homosexual must endure on this earth. I also believe that any and all human beings are capable of falling in love. And, while I define marriage as a religious vow between a man and a woman, I firmly believe a gay couple in a committed relationship should get the same benefits as a straight couple. That’s the only fair thing to do.

The problem, of course, is that the argument has nothing to do with what is fair. You see, the critics won’t argue about work-place benefits. This is all about homosexuality and because over 90 percent of us are straight – and don’t understand homosexuality at all -- our fears and prejudices and ignorance get a very simple question all muddled up and out of balance.

For the record, I am a gay-friendly guy. I am strictly heterosexual, mind you, and would no more mess around with another male than a lesbian would be attracted to me. But I believe every human being is an inherently good person, until a few prove otherwise, and that the God I worship loves each one of us the same regardless of race, sex or any other reason you can name.

I believe a gay person is born that way. Again, I know zero about it but from those who I have had rather candid conversations down through the years, I think homosexuality is more about a gay person discovering who they really are rather than making a choice to be gay. That’s why I think those special “clinics” where purportedly they turn a gay person into a straight should be outlawed.

I know some gay people who are devout Christians and who, in their daily walk, are far greater examples of Christ than the egotistical Bible-slappers who will try to get in a TV clip by spewing their hate before the City Council. And we all got a dose of “a different religion” from the Ridgedale Church of Christ when its officials banned a family that had nothing to do with the fact their daughter is gay.

The daughter, a much respected detective, caused Collegedale to become the first Tennessee city to offer same-sex benefits and Knoxville just did the same things. Other cities across the state and the nation are moving towards treating all employees equally but there are some real issues, too.

If you approve same-sex benefits where no marriage is involved, what do you do about the man and woman who are not married but who live together? What is the difference if they love each other like a same-sex couple? Who determines a “committed relationship” versus “just an arrangement” where a friend gets health insurance? And, since without a marriage there can be no divorce, how will the city of Chattanooga know a same-sex couple has split up?

I think homosexuals have offended a good number of straight people by their constant demands for acceptance, their blatant public displays for attention and their aggressive methods to overrule the majority but I also believe they should be treated and respected the same as anyone else in this country. Should we have gays in the military? Of course. If a gay person sexually assaults someone or misbehaves, they should be arrested and tried just like we do when a straight person does the wrong thing. Let’s tear down these walls.

What I am trying to say is that the laws of our country and the rules of our society should be the same for everybody. When it comes to the question of homosexuality being right or wrong, I think that is a matter between God and anyone who is gay. I think God created each of us and, therefore, if God created someone who is gay, that is God’s business. He created me straight and that is our business.

Following Tuesday’s public hearing, the City Council is expected to vote on the benefits question later this month. Remember: the vote will not be about homosexuality, sin, hatred at the Ridgedale Church of Christ or the fact the City Council has a gay member. It is only about benefits and fairness.

royexum@aol.com


Paths Of Valor

As we take time from our busy lives this weekend, we pause to honor all those that have died in service to our country.  Take the time to go by an out of the way corner of the Northgate Mall and visit the temporary home of our own Medal Of Honor museum, as Chattanooga contemplates where the permanent building honoring these brave men and women will be constructed.  ... (click for more)

We Must Deal With The Real Problems Facing Children Who Attend The Low-Performing Schools

What is the real problem with our five underperforming schools? I believe that until we address the issues that our children face in their homes and neighborhoods, there will be little improvement.   Who could value an education while fighting for their lives? These children are faced with gang violence, not having enough food to eat, and worrying if they have a home ... (click for more)

Bradley Detectives Investigating Death Of 18-Month-Old Child; Foul Play Not Suspected At This Time

Detectives in the Bradley County Sheriff's Criminal Investigations Division are investigating the death of an 18-month old child that occurred Saturday evening.   Multiple phone calls into the 911 Communications Center led to patrol deputies responding to a residence on Lowery Street, N.E. Upon arrival deputies discovered a deceased child inside the residence, which ... (click for more)

Corker Says President Trump's 1st International Trip "Executed To Near Perfection"

Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Sunday praised President Donald Trump for his first international trip.   He said, “I spoke with President Trump at length this morning and told him that I could not be more pleased with his first international trip. The trip was executed to near perfection and it appears the president ... (click for more)

Lookouts Clobber Biscuits Sunday, 9-2, To Complete Series

The Chattanooga Lookouts bats exploded for nine runs in a 9-2 victory over the Montgomery Biscuits in front of a crowd of 4,527 at AT&T Field. The second place Lookouts trail the Tennessee Smokies by 1 1/2 games. After a scoreless first inning, the Lookouts offense kicked into gear. Outfielder Travis Harrison led off the innings with a double and scored on a double ... (click for more)

Clarke, Lom Score In CFC Win Over Chivas U-23

After playing 75 minutes to a scoreless tie, Chattanooga Football Club's Darwin Lom scored the first goal giving CFC a 1-0 lead.  The second goal came six minutes later when Charlie Clarke headed in a cross to close out the scoring.  The Liga MX U-23 team had alot of support from the local crowd but could not find the back of the net.  The win is CFC's first ... (click for more)