Must you print letters like the one from Patrick Shepherd of Mesa, “Do homosexuals deserve more rights?” (AFN, May 13)

Shepherd states, “how is a homosexual person persecuted any more than I or my religious ancestors ... or for that matter the ‘nerd’ in your P.E. class? If you dare to be different, you must bear the burden of not being accepted by all.”

First, being a homosexual or “nerd” are not choices. People are simply different.

Second, what “burden” is Shepherd referring to, and what “rights” do his particular targets have that the rest of us do not? If he is referring to “hate crime” laws that increase penalties for violence against people simply because they are a member of a certain racial or social group, these increased penalties are entirely appropriate. People who are violent against someone for no other reason except that they don’t like the way they act or look should rightly be locked up for a very long time.

Dale Stanbridge

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