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



The Economy Inn Debacle

Where does one start to rank the missteps of the recent closing of the Economy Inn on Brainerd Road? What a total debacle. I would not attempt to relieve the owner of her responsibility for operating a nuisance business. My questions relate to the manner in which our city leaders attempted to get her attention. This event occurred a week ago, and I've yet to see any reports ... (click for more)

We Need A Defensive Force At Our Schools

It's not enough. I want a defensive force at HCDE schools that will give a higher percentage rate of survival in the event an "Incident of Violence" occurs. Somebody, multiple personnel, need to be armed and at the ready (on school property) in-case such an occurrence happens.  #SHOOTBACK  Steve Hixon Parent HCDE (click for more)

Erlanger Has Unique Ribbon Cutting For $16 Million Heart And Lung Institute

Erlanger Health System unveiled its new $16 million Heart and Lung Institute on Thursday with a unique ribbon cutting. Dr. Larry Shears, a renowned heart surgeon who was recruited for the center, used the Da Vinci robot that he often operates with to clip a ribbon by remote control. The "hospital within a hospital" is on the fourth floor of the Baroness Erlanger campus on E. ... (click for more)

City Files Petition To Turn Confederate Cemetery Over To Sons Of The Confederacy

The city of Chattanooga has filed a petition in Chancery Court asking that management of the Confederate Cemetery be turned over to the Sons of the Confederacy. The Sons of the Confederacy, a group that has long taken care of the cemetery, joined in the petition. The cemetery is located by the UTC campus. It is beside the Citizens Cemetery and the Jewish Cemetery on the old ... (click for more)

Young Mocs Fall To Mercer 65-56

 University of Tennessee at Chattanooga freshmen Brooke Burns and Mya Long combined for 36 points in the Mocs’ 65-56 loss to Mercer in Southern Conference women’s basketball action at Hawkins Arena Thursday night. Chattanooga falls to 16-11 on the year and 7-6 in league play. The Bears, ranked 25th in the USA Today Coaches Top 25 Poll, are now 26-2 and 13-0 in SoCon action. ... (click for more)

Covenant Softball Wins Two In Home Opener

The Covenant softball team finally played its home opener and outlasted both the weather and visiting Judson to earn a doubleheader sweep on Thursday afternoon. The Lady Scots won 4-2 in game one, which was delayed over an hour due to heavy rain, and then recorded a 9-1 victory in the finale. Covenant (6-8) had played its first 12 games on the road or in neutral site locations. ... (click for more)