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Same-sex unions deserve equal acceptance at Duke

David Chen's letter to the editor in the Sept. 27 issue of The Chronicle may be the grossest misuse of analogy I've ever seen.

Cameron Indoor Stadium is a basketball venue and is simply not constructed to be a football venue. The Chapel, however, is perfectly capable of accommodating same-sex unions, which are probably very similar in format to heterosexual unions. According to Chen's logic, it would be discrimination on his part if he did not allow me to sleep in his dorm room simply because I do not live there. Needless to say, I'll be filing suit immediately.

Chen claims that "the Chapel was built on a system of beliefs that does not agree with same-sex unions." Currently, though, the Chapel is a nondenominational facility, and the position that religion occupies in society is far different than when the Duke Endowment was created. Chen also fails to consider that his very next point works against his argument. He states, "By forcing the Chapel to go against its system of beliefs would be like telling Coach K to cancel his basketball practices because the football players need to practice indoor." Unfortunately for Chen's argument, he makes the mistake of assuming that every member of the Duke community completely buys into his system of beliefs. This is not the case; it is incorrect to apply a set of beliefs to an entire population and a nondenominational facility.

I can see no good reason for excluding homosexuals from marriage or classifying homosexual and heterosexual union ceremonies as "different"-both are unions based on two persons' love for one another.

There comes a time when the rules must change, and those that continually cling to a set of outdated beliefs can cause an impediment to society's progress. Duke Student Government is completely justified in asking for the Chapel to host same sex unions. It is blatant discrimination against homosexuals and a violation of the Chapel's nondenominational status to deny homosexuals this privilege.

Jim Fitzpatrick

Trinity '03


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