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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Civil Unions Don't Provide Equal Rights

August 11, 2004

As an avid Kerry supporter, I was extremely disappointed to read in The Times that Sen. John Kerry stated he would have voted for Missouri's same-sex marriage ban (Aug. 7).

In 1955, Rosa Parks sparked a national debate on civil rights, which ultimately caused the U.S. Supreme Court to outlaw segregation on city buses. Black people gained the right to sit at the front of the bus. If the Supreme Court had mandated: "Blacks will have the same rights, but on separate buses. They will not be called buses. They will be called vans. Buses are for white people only," that would have been further segregation and would be equivalent to the "civil union" idea.

Civil unions are not equal to marriage, even with the same rights in place. The very act of defining gay unions under a different name is, in itself, unequal. Only marriage is equal to marriage.

Erica Springer

West Hollywood

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