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It's time to start celebrating everybody

Dear Editor,

I read, with interest, Steve Taylor’s Letter to the Editor in the July 16 edition of the Airdrie City View. Although I respect his opinion, I do not agree with most of his arguments. I will not try to compel Mr. Taylor to change his mind, as he appears to be quite firm in his beliefs, but I will take the time to express some of my feelings on the matter.

I really did not feel celebrating gay pride forced me in any way to succumb to anything, and I certainly don’t feel the movement is tyrannical. We’ve had many opportunities to celebrate heterosexual lifestyles. In February, we have Family Day – a day to spend with our families and enjoy the closeness of our relationships. Imagine if we were not able to admit to ourselves and others that we were a family. How awful would that be?

In the same month, we have Valentine’s Day – a day to show love and appreciation for your companion. Imagine if we loved someone, yet could not openly show our affection. In October, we have Thanksgiving – a day to give thanks for who we are and what we have accomplished. Imagine if we had to suppress our desire to express thanks. We also have Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

For too long, we have denied some people their rights and freedoms to love whoever they care about. It’s about time we celebrate everybody.

Let me end with this – the story of Alan Turing, the brilliant English mathematician and computer scientist who played a pivotal role in cracking intercepted coded messages that enabled the Allies to defeat the Nazis.

Turing was prosecuted in 1952 for homosexual acts by a law which mandated "gross indecency" was a criminal offence in the United Kingdon. He accepted chemical castration treatment as a punishment instead of going to prison, where he may have been killed. Today, we don’t even inflict that punishment on serial rapists.

On Dec. 24, 2013, Queen Elizabeth II signed a pardon for Turing's conviction, and his image will soon be featured on the Bank of England's £50 note. It took close to 70 years for this man, who literally saved millions of lives, to be finally recognized for who he was – after a long list of heterosexuals have been celebrated on monetary notes ever since the invention of coins and paper money. 

Leon Cygman


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