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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 14, 1996)
Wednesday, February 14,1996 Page 4
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
J. Christopher Haiti....;..Editor, 472-1766
Doug Kouma .... \.Managing Editor
Doug Peters.Opinion Page Editor
Sarah Scalet.Associate News Editor
Matt Waite. Associate News Editor
Michelle Garner.Wire Editor
Public must face fact that teens have sex
Just when you thought it was safe to assume that the American
public is becoming more enlightened about issues like sexuality
In Omaha last week, a 15-year-old girl tried to buy condoms at a
The clerk refused.
She refused on the basis that it is wrong for a teen-age girl to buy
contraceptives, even though the government places no more restric
tions on purchasing condoms than it does on purchasing a pack of
The girl’s parents found out what happened and, of course, were
angry — not at their daughter, but at the store.
And rightfully so.
The owner of the store called the parents to apologize and assure
them it never would happen again.
It never should have happened in the first place.
We know about this incident only because the girl told her par
ents. How many times has this happened before, when—not just at
this one store, but anywhere? How many teen-agers have put them
selves at risk because a convenience-store clerk took it upon him
or herself to make moral decisions for them?
Many people might be shocked by the family’s reaction. Many
would say that abstinence is the only alternative for our country’s
amorous adolescents. Many would ^ay that a 15-year-old girl has
no business buying condoms — and she certainly has no business
Maybe not, but consider the alternative.
Teens have sex. At least many do. Convenience store clerks who
refuse to sell them condoms will not change that. Instead, the well
intentioned but naive act of withholding condoms from sexually
active teens compounds the problem. Without condoms, teens hav
ing sex risk more than their reputations or their self respect—they
risk pregnancy or disease — they risk their lives.
Teen abstinence is held up as a goal. Fine, have it as a goal. But
make sure that those who don’t abstain have the ability to protect
If someone swims out into choppy water and starts to go under,
we don’t scold them for using poor judgment; we don’t try to teach
them how to swim.
We throw them a lifeline.
Staff editorials represent the official
policy of the Spring 19% Daily Ne
braskan. Policy is set by the Daily
Nebraskan Editorial Board. Editorials
do not necessarily reflect the views of
the university, its employees, the stu
dents or the NU Board of Regents.
Editorial columns represent the opin
ion of the author. The regents publish
the Daily Nebraskan. They establish
the UNL Publications Board to super
vise the daily production of the paper.
According to policy set by the regents,
responsibility for the editorial content
of the newspaper lies solely in the
hands of its students.
The Daily Nebraskan welcomes brief letters to the
editor from all readers and interested others. Letters
will be selected for publication on the basis of clarity,
originality, timeliness and space available. The Daily
Nebraskan retains the right to edit or reject all material
submitted. Readers also are welcome to submit mate
rial as guest opinions. The editor decides whether
material should run as a guest opinion. Letters and
guest opinions sent to the newspaper become the
property of the Daily Nebraskan and cannot be re
turned. Anonymous submissions will not be pub
lished. Letters should include the author’s name, year
in school, major and group affiliation, if any. Re
quests to withhold names will not be granted. Submit
material to: Daily Nebraskan, 34 Nebraska Union,
1400 R St. Lincoln, Neb. 68588-0448.
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Students make UNL
I am writing in concern to the
article published on Thursday, Feb.
8, pertaining to the proposed change
in UNL student seating at Memorial
I firmly believe that it would be a
tragic mistake to move student
supporters from their current
position. There would not be any
Comhusker football games for all
Nebraskans to enjoy if there were
not a university, and there would not
be a university if there were no
students. Therefore, students should
come first in the eyes of the univer
sity and the athletic department, not
alumni, boosters, or Nebraska
citizens. These people are impor
tant, but students attend this
institution — we are the players, the
cheerleaders, the band and everyone
else who makes the Nebraska
football program truly great. We are
the University of Nebraska-Lincoln,
and I’d welcome anyone to try to
put the program together without us.
life In the closet
After reading Bob Ray’s column
about the gay community’s need to
“Get Over It,” I felt the need to
Because heterosexuals never will
have to “come out,” it is understand
accused, trying to put down,
suppress or show hatred for those
who are gay. Quite the contrary —
he was trying to provide his insight
on how those of us who are gay can
avoid abuse from those who are not.
As for him being “homophobic,”
this is a term concocted by liberals
who cannot tolerate anyone who..
does not fit their mold of what the ’
world should be like. Homophobia
is a fictional phenomenon. I do
agree that homosexuals are abused,
mistreated and denied their rights as
human beings. But this action is not
the result of fear — it is because of
the lack of love we should feel for
our fellow creature of God. I do not
believe God approves of homo
sexual behavior. But I also KNOW
He does not approve of the abuses
of other human beings based upon
their actions: Let he who is without
sin cast the first stone,
Eric L. Anderson
College of Medicine
University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa
Right on Bob! Finally somebody
at this paper is actually writing
articles that are not politically
correct and thus do stir emotion in
people, which I believe should be
the focus of such opinion pages.
I think what Bob is trying to get
across to everyone is that it’s fine to
be gay, but don’t force all the rights
and judicial procedures on the rest
of us. I for one, don’t care if people
go out and try to educate people on
what being gay means, but this
should be passive. By this I mean
that there is no way that any gay
group should be able to force its
opinion on me by parading down O
Street or by parading around
campus. Anything that interferes
with the general public that is not of
majority consent is purely show
manship that is completely laughed
at by the rest of us who aren’t gay.
In fact, I think that this type of
behavior pisses most of us off even
more—though we won’t admit it.
People who are gay have to realize
that the majority of Americans do
not perceive their “struggle” as
being worth the time, and that is a
proven census fact.
able that the process is incompre
hensible to them. For me, being in a
gay pride parade is a liberating
experience to accept myself as I am.
It is necessary because society,
especially so-called Christians, has
deemed homosexuality as immoral,
subhuman, and inherently wrong.
This is the reason that the “keep it in
the bedroom” philosophy is bogus
and would perpetuate hate toward
Equal rights (such as in marriage
and employment), and acceptance as
a human being are the goals I hope
for as a gay man. Communication
may be the only key to these goals.
To keep it to myself would be
defeating and “simply inappropri
ate.” Because Mr. Ray never has
had to hide his heterosexuality to get
along in society, it is reasonable that
he cannot comprehend why the
closet is a terribly degrading place
to keep oneself.
alumnus, class of 1987
Mr. Ray has received quite a bit
of heat for his editorial, so I wanted
to take the time to actually add some
support for his stand. I do not
believe he was, as many have
I wish to join Tim Janda and C.
David Peters in thanking Veera
Supinen for the excellent editorial
on capital punishment in the United
States. Mark Baldridge’s comments
regarding this subject are also duly
noted and appreciated. Philip Paider
is the one who needs to check his
facts. A January 1995 Legislative
Research report studied the cost of
the death penalty in Kansas and
North Carolina. It found that this
system costs around $4 million more
per year to operate than life impris
onment in both states. Figures
indicate execution costs to be
$163,000 to $546,000 more than
trial, appeal and incarceration costs
of life in prison.
The moral and ethical consider
ations of killing as a solution to the
problem of violence in America are
hard to ignore, but putting them
aside and focusing on cost factors
alone should make it clear that life
sentences (without parole) make
better use of Nebraska taxpayers’
dollars than executions.
M J. Berry
Nebraskans Against the Death
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