Letters to the Editor: The Debate on 8 Goes On, Drowned Sorrows

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The Debate on 8 Goes On
I would like to respond to Robert Chin’s letter (Letters to the Editor, Nov. 14). I am an Asian American lesbian, and the right to gay marriage affects the Asian American community; it is not a “white homosexual” issue. A simple Web search will show that gay communities exist in China, India and Japan. Homosexuality is as much a part of culture in Asia as it is in the United States.

Instead of using the case of your oppression to fight for equal rights for all, you want the rights that affect you immediately first. I think all parts of our community — gay and straight Asian Americans — can work together for everyone’s benefit.

Valerie Kameya
Walnut Creek, Calif., Dec 1

I am surprised, saddened, disheartened, alarmed and on the verge of disgusted (Voices from the Community, Nov. 21). I am Asian American, queer and of mixed race. I also happen to live in California. Prop 8 is hurtful. Unless you are a straight, white, upper class, Christian male, then you have been and will continue to be “not helped.” Since when is it conducive for any minority group to trash the plight of another?

The queer community has to deal with its issues of race and sexuality, and in time we will. Right now isn’t that time. We have just been told by 52 percent of Californians that separate but equal is ok.

The API community has fought for years for things it needs and deserves. As we enter this new era of fighting for rights that aren’t defined by what skin color we have, will this community do what is right? Let’s hope so.

Nickel Lester
Pasadena, Calif., Nov 25

The reason Asian Americans were able to ultimately triumph over discriminatory laws in the last century was because the equality they wanted was also wanted by every other minority. What Asian Americans wanted specifically was never really achieved with the help of others, but only within the Asian community itself (Asian-language schools, community help, immigration, U.S. aid to homelands). So don’t guilt us into supporting gay marriage, especially when homosexuals treat Asian Americans disrespectfully (see Rosie O’Donnell).

In short, homosexuals should set their records straight before whining to Asian Americans for help on advancement of their political agendas. Maybe start off treating us with respect.

F. Tai
Houston, Texas, Nov. 22

Most East Asian cultures do not include the European Christian dogma that has evolved into American evangelical, force-you-to-live-by-my-religious-standards-or-else fascist control. Even though the Christian Right does not want to admit it, the culture war they are waging against gays is a religious one.
The only example of an overwhelmingly Christian, East Asian culture would be the Philippines, the result of being converted to Catholicism by Spain. But even then, we don’t see Filipinos rabidly attempting to push Catholicism down everyone else’s throats. Catholics are more independent minded, tending to pick and choose the Vatican dogma they will follow.

That having been said, I’m pleased that we have the Asian community on the gay side — the side of justice and equality.

Joe M. Benevides
Fresno, Calif., Nov. 22

Drowned Sorrows
I agree with Mr. Vu (Giang Hô, Nov. 21) that Ho Chi Minh always smiles when he thinks about the millions of victims in the ocean, including my loved ones.

John Cheng
San Jose, Calif., Nov. 19

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