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News Opinion Readers Respond

Is there a better word for bigotry?

I noticed that one of your letter writers took umbrage at Dan Rodricks' characterization of opposition to marriage equality as an "irrational fear" ("Is half the country gripped by 'irrational fear?" Sept. 14).

I don't agree that because half the country hates gay people, that somehow makes it less irrational. How would someone who makes such a dubious claim prefer his motives be described? Irrational hatred? Irrational prejudice? I'd be interested in knowing.

When you get down to the crux of the issue, it doesn't really matter what word you use to describe prejudice against gay couples.

Whether it's fear, hatred, or just plain prejudice — and whether 10 percent of people feel that way or 90 percent do — it's no more rational than thinking that black people are less human than white people. It's ignorant, it's unfair and it's un-American.

It is a prejudice that belongs in the dustbin of history, and it diminishes us all.

William Smith, Baltimore

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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