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Weeding out the 'different'
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The business about the Boy Scouts not allowing gays in is part of a larger picture of exclusion and bullying. We human beings have a strong prejudice against anyone who is "different."

When I was in kindergarten, I walked from our home to the old Douglas School on 1300 East. I was not homosexual, but I was different. I was born with a cleft lip and palate. My front teeth were crooked or missing. A group of boys would call "Eee-ahh, eee-ahh" as I passed them.

There is a deep instinct to weed out the different members of the herd. That is why some want to exclude gays.

In spite of being different, I have probably been more successful in my career than many of those boys who so cruelly taunted me. However, the trauma left its mark. At 89 years of age, I am still not good at socializing or making friends.

We should regard our lives on this Earth as a rare and precious gift. Most important is how our presence here benefits those who are here with us.

Gay citizens are born that way. They should be treated with respect and friendship.

Robert Lee

Salt Lake City

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