Re "Vermont Court Backs Equal Rights for Gay Couples," Dec. 21: Observing the marriages of our parents and siblings taught us a quick path to happiness: Find your soul mate, treat him or her like gold and make a life together. As a gay couple in a committed monogamous relationship, we are each other's soul mates. Each day, we strive to treat one another with the same dignity and respect with which our parents and siblings treat their spouses. Our lives together are as fulfilling as we had hoped, and we would get married in a minute.
We applaud the Vermont Supreme Court's recognition of same-sex committed relationships and look forward to the day when all persons will be permitted to marry their soul mates regardless of sexual orientation.
What is the difference between "marriage" and "domestic partnership"? For me, failing to call it "marriage" forces me to reveal my sexual orientation whenever I take advantage of the rights and responsibilities of marriage. It means having to fight the battle on a state-by-state basis, leaving my personal freedom up to popular vote. And it means living in a second-tier system just because of the gender of the person I love.
Calling it "domestic partnership" is humiliating, degrading and unacceptable. If it looks like marriage and it quacks like marriage, then it should be properly called "marriage."
The four gay/lesbian couples I personally know have each been together longer than all my heterosexual marriages put together. Certainly they are more entitled to each others' benefits than my errant husbands were to mine!