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Government Shouldn't Decide Who Can Marry

November 23, 2003

President Bush is right when he says, "Marriage is a sacred institution between a man and a woman" (Nov. 19). But whoever wrote these words for Bush obviously doesn't understand that it is irrational for a secular nation to attach civil benefits to sacred institutions. Naturally, I understand how committed relationships lead to a more stable society, and I feel that they should be encouraged. But the encouragement of only heterosexual relationships and not gay relationships, when both provide the same benefit to society, can only be justified in a religious or homophobic context, or both.

Any religion should be allowed to decide who might get married in its church. But a government should not be allowed to decide who may benefit from commitment and who may not.

Mitchell Singer

Los Angeles

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As a married man enjoying the profound commitment shared with my wife, I commend Massachusetts for extending this privilege to everyone. I'm confused by the conservatives panicking that this move will deprive them of any rights. No one is saying that a man and woman can't bond and raise children, just that now a man and a man, or a woman and woman, can too. With more couples forming stable relationships, extended families of all kinds should only grow stronger. The right-wingers need to stop hoarding membership to their exclusive club of marriage and let others join in.

Todd Olson

San Marino

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Can someone please explain to me how allowing me to marry my partner undermines the family as an institution (Commentary, Nov. 19)? My first attempt at reading Douglas Kmiec's article was interrupted by my 2-year-old daughter's hand wiping peanut butter on the paper. The second time I tried, my 3-year-old son needed more milk.

A final attempt at understanding how allowing us to marry would destroy the "primary weave in the social fabric" was thwarted when I noticed my partner making lunches, feeding the dog and folding the laundry. I couldn't sit around reading while she was busy with the hard work of destroying American families.

Christine Angelli

Santa Monica

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When I read Kmiec's polemic against gay marriage, I was prepared to be offended on behalf of my gay friends. I did not expect to find that, because my own 20-year heterosexual marriage is not "blessed with children" and is therefore "self-centered," Kmiec might consider it too to be an inferior union. How did he ever become a professor of constitutional law?

Jack Enyart

Los Angeles

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The politics of gay marriage are not complex. It's a simple matter of equal rights. You have the right to marry the one you love -- or don't love, as the case may be. So should I.

Stephen May

Los Angeles

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