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Mixed reception for marriage ruling

October 31, 2006

Re "A state with gay-friendly laws faces a fight over partnerships," Oct. 27

It seems the word "marry" is the problem. OK, fine, let religious conservatives have their word. I suggest we adopt a different word to describe a committed, nondiscriminatory union between any two loving people: "merriage." Homosexuals and heterosexuals should be allowed to "merry," and their merriage should afford all the benefits assigned to marrieds.

My spouse and I would be first to take our vows under the new name. All of our gay, lesbian and hetero friends would be free to take the same vows and enjoy the same privileges, and religious conservatives would be able to get married without fearing the demise of their institution of marriage because other loving couples want the same rights.

PAUL SCOTT

Santa Monica

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President Bush spoke in Des Moines and commented about New Jersey's highest court guaranteeing same-sex couples the same benefits enjoyed by married couples.

My comment to Bush is: Shame on you. You were elected to serve all Americans. Instead, your biases and perceived differences are preventing many people from finding a human connection.

SHERYL KINNE

Lake Balboa

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Re "Lawful unions," editorial, Oct. 27

This editorial calls the New Jersey Supreme Court's marriage ruling a "principled decision." But what is the principle being supported? No one would consider it fair if any other group were told, "You can't get married like all other people; you have to enter a civil union." That's because there's a vast difference between marriage and any other status. Ask any parent whose child called to say, "I'm entering a domestic partnership" instead of "I'm getting married!"

When was our constitutional guarantee of equality downgraded to a right to only "parallel" protection? Lesbian and gay couples seek only the same freedom to marry provided everyone else. Equality, not some separate scheme, is the principle that deserves support.

JON W. DAVIDSON

New York

The writer is legal director of Lambda Legal, the organization representing the New Jersey plaintiffs.

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