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April 08, 1978 - Image 4

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1978-04-08

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Page 4--Saturday, April 8,_1978-The Michigan Daily

juDia CAmI#r se


Is gayness born or made?

Is it something you learn to
become aware of? This is a real
simple question,'but the answer
totally influences our approach to
Society says it's something you
choose. Science has historically
said gayness is made. If it is
something you choose, then it is
something you learn and can
therefore unlearn. If it is
something you choose, then your
religion can say you made an
immoral choice, your parents
can wonder what they did to
cause you to choose that way, and
psychology can put forth all sorts
of theories to explain it.
THE HUMAN race has a long,
long history of erroneously ex-
plaining the unexplainable; that
the world must be flat is an old
example - that UFO's are really
only swamp gas is a more recent
ine. Did you know that there is a
psychosis caused by the third
stage of syphilis and that before
they figured out the connection,
they had a psychodynamic theory
to explain it? And how could we
ever forget Freud's theory of the
"mature vaginal" vs. "immature
clitoral" orgasm for women. His
theory was accepted scientific
dogma until Masters and Johnson

By Mimi Brown
Imagine that Anita Bryant had said
I have a right not to have any left-
handed teachers exposed to my
children because I don 't want my
children to become left-handed.'

came along. (There are some
who still treat it as accepted
scientific dogma.)
Many accepted beliefs have
changed within my lifetime con-
cerning war, and the environ-
ment, and the integrity of the
presidency. The accepted beliefs
that have changed about women
and blacks are too numerous to
That gayness is learned is an
accepted belief. That's why we're
all so afraid of it - we think it's
contagious like a cold. (I would
have used leprosy but it, too, is
contrary to long accepted belief,
is not contagious.) There is no
proof that it is learned. As it is
merely a sexual preference,

IF YOU are born left-handed,
you are born into a right-handed
world that equates different with
"bad". The left hand used to be
considered the hand of the devil
and left-handed people were bur-
ned as witches. It is only recently
that we have stopped trying to
make left-handed people right-
handed by tying their left hand
behind them.
But no matter how much you
tried to change them, a left-
handed person still instinctively
reached for things with their left
The startling similarities make
this a very useful analogy. And
it's fun to play with; just sub-
stitute left-handed for gay in any
statement about gayness. To
illustrate the absurdity; imagine

that Anita Bryant had said "I
have a right not to have any left-
handed teachers exposed to my
children because I don't want my
children to become left-handed".
brings up the theological
argument based on writings from
the Bible. Millions of people think
of Billy Graham as an authority,
and Billy Graham thinks gayness
is a sin. The Wisconsin Synod
Lutherans think playing cards is
a sin. What's a "sin"? Being left-
handed used to be considered a
Anyway, I'm not going to argue
with them, even though I could. I
won't change their minds with
my logic, and they won't change
my mind with their Biblical
Besides, gays have to change
their thinking first. After all,
white people don't tell black
people that black is beautiful -
black people told each other -
then white people.
The time has come to re-think
our assumptions about gayness.
Mimi Brown, a resident of
Ann Arbor since 1970, is a
private therapist.

Eighty-Eight Years of Editorial Freedom
420 Maynard St., Ann Arbor, M1 48109
Vol. LXXXVIII, No. 150
News Phone: 764-0552
Edited and managed by students at the University of Michigan

maybe it

is like being born left-


Why U.S. ju
der of a young man in Houston
have reached appalling ends.
Three former city policemen have
been sentenced to a year in prison for
"conspiring to deprive someone of
their civil rights." That is the lawyers'
terminology for what amounts to the
arresting, beating and drowning of Joe
Torres by the three officers last May.
Judge Ross Sterling disregarded the
maximum possible sentence for such a
crime by police officers - life in prison
- and instead handeddown suspended
ten-year sentences with five-year
Sterling's reasoning was simple: he
felt the officers would never find them-
selves in the same situation again, and
therefore would never deprive
someone of their civil rights again.
Trouble is, the judge didn't seem to
want to acknowledge the fact that the
first deprivation by the police was a
fatal one for Torres. It seems funny,
too, that Sterling didn't provide in his
decision that the defendants can never
be re-employed as police officers.
A protest staged following the
judge's sentencing highlighted the fact
that there were probably some strong
racial influences on the policemens'
alarmingly light jail terms.
When the U.S. Department of Justice
heard the facts on the case, they asked
Judge Sterling to lift the suspended sen-
tences, arguing that he was wrong in
thinking he had the discretion to
suspend the 10-year prison terms in the
first place.

stice is a mess
Justice officials admit that their
logic is legally unprecedented, but say
that moral reasons, if not legal ones,
should ensure that the officers be
punished more severely. Lawyers for
the police officers have assailed the
Justice Department request, and
Sterling himself has not said what he
will 'do. If the judge does not volun-
tarily lift the suspensions, the Justice
Department will try to appeal its
request to higher courts. That may
take years.
It seems that anyone would be able
to see that murder is murder -
whether it be ornamented in legal ter-
ms or not. But the murderers of Joe
Torres are free right now, and
probably will be so for a long time.
oboe Mtcbgoan :49at1

NEW YORK - We have today
a new form of inflation, say the
researchers, a type as resistant
to our conventional efforts as a
brand new strainof influenza.
The new inflation,dthey say,
has infected our food, housing,
health and energy markets.
A NEW LAYER of middlemen
add to the food prices, land and
financing costs add to housing,
insurance costs ado to health ex-
penses, and price-fixing by car-
tels adds to energy costs.
That, in a one-sentence cap-
sule, is the contention of a private
research group, the Exploratory
Project for Economic Alter-
natives. To which one might
justifiably ask: What else is new?
Inflation is a chameleon,
changing colors in an attempt to
blend unnoticed into the existing
economic environment. But it is
still the same animal - a lizard,
that is, a greedy, devouring one.
Why settle for so short a list,
when one can go on and on
describing the changing colors.
For example:
" Politics. Give the voters
everything they want - and
more. Assume they do not know

By John Cunniff




Managing Editors
EILEEN DALEYL.....EYanagnngiEdersr .. Universty
LANI JORDAN...................................... City
LINDAwILLCOX .. . eatures/Projects
BARBARA ZAHS ................................. Personnel
Editorial Page Director

what they need, so do not wait for
them to ask. Provide them with
costly services - and then
quietly slip the bill to them.
" Government regulation.
Make it more and more difficult
to do business. Load down in-
dustry with a maze of obstacles.
And then watch industry pass on
the added costs to their
" Environment. Insist on more
refined, complex products, while
simultaneously clamping down
on the resulting environmental
damage. Come down hard on in-
dustry; change the world over-
" Perfection. Demand the very
best in hospital care, no
matter how much overlapping

technological gadgetry is in-
volved. Demand the perfect car.
"If we can safely go to the moon,
we can make a safe car, too."
" Luxury. Do not settle for a
functional home; your neighbor
does not. Assert yourself, show
you are a person to be reckoned
with, prove you can afford the
best; an extra bath, game room,
swimming pool.
" Credit. Live on it. Nothing
wrong with that, so long as you do
not exceed your ability to pay.
But -why stop there? You only
live once; if you can get the
money, grab it. Worry about
repaying later.
" Retirement. Do not wait until
you are 65 to retire. Make the
company agree to give you a full

pension after 20 years. Then you
will be able to lie around in- a
hammock for decades. If you live
that long.
" Sue. Get a good lawyer. Go
after the insurance companyor
the company th-it made the
gadget. Claim your life span has
been shortened by their negligen-
ce. Live comfortably off the
x Protect. Make sure no
existing companies are driven
out of business by fierce com-
petition. Instead, write your
congressman and demand that
the government subsidize local
industry, no matter how inef-
Why continue - the list is en-
dless. The colors change with the
times, but you might say the
times really do not change that
much. Today's list will be mat-
ched by tomorrow's, as it was by

Sunday Magazine Editors

Arts Editors




Cunniff is business
for The Associated


BOB MILLER................... Sports Editor
PAUL CAMPBELL................Executive Sports Editor
ERN19 DUNBAR................... Executive Sports Editor
HENRY ENGELHARDT.............. Executive Sports Editor
RICK MADDOCK .................Executive Sports Editor
CUB SCHWARTZ...................... Executive Sports Editor


To The Daily:
I am surprised at the uncritica

plan on judges is fh
1 acceptance by The Daily of the ms of service or provides a choice
- League of Women Voters position by lot. The League has yet to of-
regarding their petiton to place fer a substantive explanation for
on the November, 1978 ballot a these oddities.
constitutional amendment -Avern Cohn
regarding the selection of Court Detroit
of Appeals judges and Supreme legal aid
Court justices.T
What the League did not tell To The Ilaily:
Wu hat th Legue i mote p- As a student who was involved
you is that there is more op- in a two-year tenant-laridlord
position than simply the dispute which started off as a
Democratic party to their court-ordered injunction for
proposition. Whether the appoin- repairs, progressed into a rent
tment of high court judges be strike and class action suit, tur-
good or bad, the plan being ned into an eviction trial and
pushed by the League is fatally /finally resulted in a favorable
flawed in two important respects. settlement, I find myself totally
First, the plan limits the term bewildered upon hearing the
of service of Court of Appeals begilderd o n hay be
judges, and Supreme Court legal aid to students may be cut
justices to three terms each. This off.
means that a judge of the Court of Without the help of Campus
Appeals can serve a maximum of Legal Aid, my housemates and I
eighteen years. If the plan were would never have stood a chance
in existence today, one-third of against our landlord, Trony
the judges of the Court of Appeals Associates, who spent thousands
.. .. .-. f dollars in l1e~a1 fees trving t

hoodlum landlords of this town.
(I've leased from both good and
bad landlords here.)
I urge all students,.to vote YES
on the 10th, 11th and 12th for the
MSA funding proposal.
-Cheri Adinoff
Ann Arbor
'mindless attacks'
To The Daily:
Unden the subheading "more
garbage," April 6th's Editorial
page carried two letters concer
ning the latest modern, metallic
sculpture next to the art
museum. The following day, page
ten carried a Bilinsky photo of the
sculpture juxtaposed with
skewed wooden construction
barriers over the puckish cap-
tion, "Which is which?"



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