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About the writer
Austin Eicher, whose letter appeared June 5, has been selected as last month’s Golden Pen Award winner. In the judgment of the editors, he had the most effective letter to the editor during June.
Eicher, 25, is a native of Woodburn who attended DePauw University for three years to study writing. He is searching for work as a restaurant server after taking a brief hiatus to recover from injuries he suffered in a serious car accident in April.
Eicher, who enjoys reading, writing and hiking in his spare time, is also devoted to eating a healthier diet. He recently celebrated losing 100 pounds over the last 18 months.
He wrote his letter, his first, because he was concerned about the hate directed at gay people in the community.
“Two guys holding hands is not the danger,” Eicher said. “The hate directed at them is the danger.”
Eicher received a gold-plated inscribed pen for his efforts. The Golden Pen Award was established to express our appreciation for the contributions our letter writers make to the editorial page.
Samuel Hoffman | The Journal Gazette
Golden Pen winner Austin Eicher

Golden pen award winner: Austin Eicher

Bigots’ hatred overcome by gay couples’ love

I’m confused. So often I read the letters on this page and find (I’m sure they’re well-intentioned souls) Christians throwing stones at the only target that remains somewhat acceptable in such a forum: gays.

Now I’ve read the Bible, and for the life of me I cannot understand the fixation with this particular Levitican transgression while others are so saliently dismissed. The idea that God will punish America for allowing gay marriage is laughable.

So apparently God was silent through our annihilation of the American Indians and the sheer horror and misery of our enslavement of Africans. Yep. Just Steve and Bob getting joint coverage, that’s what’s got him on the avenge. Personally, I think these folks would be better off reading the good book more and throwing it at others less.

This bigotry too will be toppled by history, by our progression of understanding. It is fear of the unknown when you seek to deny equal rights to an entire class of citizens you do not know for your own minor comfort.

Why should fear and disgust be given precedence over hope and love? I’ll tell you what I think: As far as disgusting goes, I’d rather see their love than your hate any day. Keep it to yourself.