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Marriage in the balance

March 09, 2009

Re "Court looks unlikely to kill Prop. 8," March 6

Presuming that the California Supreme Court upholds Proposition 8 -- and at the risk of becoming one of the most reviled Californians in many circles -- what is to prevent me or any kindred spirit from filing a lawsuit to prevent all state-sanctioned marriages from happening?

California might still recognize marriages performed in other states or jurisdictions, but under the auspices of Proposition 8's denial of equal protection, it strikes me that the state could no longer be legally able to license or sanction any future marriage performed in California.

Ged Kenslea

North Hollywood

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As a resident of South Carolina, I can relate to the "righteous" anger currently on display in California over Proposition 8.

We in South Carolina rail against civil unions destroying the sanctity of marriage, this being the Bible Belt, yet we are among the top states in terms of marriages ending in divorce. We see no problem with Larry King being married seven times, Ivana Trump four times or Elizabeth Taylor eight times. It's OK for prisoners to get married. A pedophile or a rapist? No problem.

But gay marriage and civil unions are a threat to the institution (although no one can ever quite explain how it harms or what harm is done)? Give me a break!

Kimico Myers

Columbia, S.C.

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I fear that the state Supreme Court will rule that you can prohibit or legalize just about anything through popular vote.

If the justices let Proposition 8 stand, they will have made a mockery out of constitutional democracy.

Raphael Mazor

Long Beach

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Shannon Price Minter says Proposition 8 stripped the state Supreme Court's May 15, 2008, marriage ruling of a "core element": "the right to be treated with equal dignity and respect." The Times' article continues: "The initiative did not merely take away the word 'marriage,' he said. 'Nomenclature is not the point,' Minter added. 'The point is equality.' "

Minter is wrong on both points. Our laws are not established to dictate the amount of dignity and respect we give to each other, but rather to limit the amount of harm we do to each other. As Justice Joyce L. Kennard pointed out, Proposition 8 "hasn't destroyed equal protection." No right has been withheld or taken away.

Also, a same-sex couple is not equal to a man-woman couple -- not physically, not functionally, not even emotionally (the natural masculine-feminine balance is just not there). The only basis for equality I can see is in the fact that they are both "human" couples. This isn't about equal rights; it's about validation.

Arthur Saginian

Saugus

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Re "A way out of Prop. 8," editorial, March 6

Finally, a rational thought on the controversy about gay marriage. Although I do think it will be a long time before there is a general acceptance of the word "marriage" to mean anything but the union of a man and a woman, it is time for a new understanding of contemporary mores. The Times' editorial gets it just right: Take the problem of the word "marriage" out of the equation. Two qualifying adults can apply for a civil union and let the religious or spiritual side be left up to those individuals.

The problem? Neither side, straight or gay, will want to give up "marriage" as a legal definition or status.

Marty Wilson

Whittier

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