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Love, Money and Marriage

March 20, 2004

In Opinion on March 14, Douglas R. Kmiec made his case against gay "marriage," and a lobbyist quoted by E.J. Graff stated that movements toward social change were "messy." Might I suggest that another M-word, "money," is a prime motivation fueling this movement?

Government provides many tax and monetary benefits to married couples. The rationale for this is a conscientious effort to promote traditional marriage. Although all married couples do not birth and raise children, these monetary benefits provide incentives to do so. Society gains from those who do.

In no way is it unfair not to grant these same benefits to gays and lesbians. Homeowners receive a tax benefit. Renters generally do not. Those employing solar and wind power are granted incentives. Petroleum consumers are not.

Gays and lesbians should be free to live the lifestyle they choose. However, I suggest that society should not promote this lifestyle with similar incentives that are employed to advocate traditional marriage, homeownership and clean air.

Don Frank

Indian Wells

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Isn't Kmiec a law professor? I would have expected him to come up with better arguments against gay marriage. Resorting to biology, c'mon. What about infertile couples? Or couples well beyond the age of conception? Are they not entitled to the benefits of matrimony?

So only your kind of family (which, by the way, is more and more an exception rather than the rule) -- biologically based, with Mom and Dad -- is the "wholesome" kind that deserves protection. And what do I say to my daughter when she asks, "Why can't my moms get married?" Is she deserving of fewer protections than her classmates? True wholesomeness is about raising ethical, empowered and compassionate children who are taught to respect all people regardless of difference. True family values are about love and inclusion.

Robin Berkovitz

Venice

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In their zeal to establish the rights of marriage under the guise of equal protection, supporters of gay marriage must realize that equal protection would include polygamists. Equal protection under the law is for all Americans.

Larry Zini

La Quinta

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Kmiec's article could have been called "Patriarchy Matters" rather than "Family Matters." The traditional form of marriage is men dominating women and their children. Trying to maintain marriage as being only between one man and one woman is nothing more than patriarchal men and patriarchal institutions trying to maintain control over chattel. Gay marriage threatens the patriarchy, which has been under siege for years. Women were given the right to vote, chink. Women were given the right to choose, chink. Women started having babies by choice without benefit of husband, chink. More women were elected to public office, chink. Gay marriage, chink, chink, chink.

We need to be freed from the oppressions and submissions of the past for the good of us all.

Mary Starr

Del Mar

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Thank you for running the discussion of same-sex marriage. I was particularly impressed with Kmiec's comments, based on reason and not calling upon religion or the Holy Bible to justify his position. He produced a powerful statement.

J.C. Toomay

Carlsbad

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The logic in Kmiec's piece arguing that marriage is based on procreation is so faulty I do not know where to begin. Perhaps his citation of the federal appellate court's opinion noting that Florida has a "rational interest in 'emphasiz[ing] [the] vital role that dual-gender parenting plays in shaping sexual and gender identity' " might be a good place. Wait a minute. Let me check something here. Yep! Most gays, lesbians and transgendered individuals are the product of dual-gender parents.

How does Kmiec explain that? Following Kmiec's logic, the walls of defense that some would like to see built around marriage would need to protect it from not only gays and lesbians but also the infertile and post-menopausal.

Jay Soloway

Pasadena

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Kmiec makes a compelling argument that the purpose of marriage is procreation, and our laws should reflect that. I have a few modest proposals of my own to strengthen his. (1) Outlaw divorce for any couple who have children under the age of 18. (2) Require any single woman or unmarried couple who have children to get married within 90 days or have their children given to a stable heterosexual couple. (3) Require couples whose children are bratty, obnoxious or convicted of a crime to give up their children and get divorced because they have certainly failed to uphold the purpose of marriage. That way, marriage will remain pure and strong.

Steve Chivers

Silver Lake

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