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Letters: Children and same-sex marriage

June 15, 2013

Re "Why marriage matters," Opinion, June 9

Nathaniel Frank's piece revealed a compressed view of same-sex marriage. Nowhere did it mention children — conveniently dismissed, it seems, as if marriage is simply a celebration of individual rights and public recognition.

Through the centuries, in vastly different cultures all over the world, marriage has been a religious and social institution because it is the single greatest unifier of men, women and children. It is self-evident that marriage is much more than Frank's idea of "sharing in the symbolic space of first-class citizenship." This reduces marriage to something akin to membership in an exclusive country club.

Marriage has historically enabled the entire concept of family and society to flourish. And that, of course, includes children.

So while Frank may believe same-sex marriage is about rights, benefits and recognition, those are secondary considerations. Perhaps he should consider marriage as something selfless, something based on giving, not just getting.

Gary P. Taylor

Santa Ysabel, Calif.

Re "58% in state support gay marriage," USC Dornsife / Times Poll, June 10

Attitudes on same-sex marriage are changing, even among my fellow seniors.

I am a straight ballroom dance instructor who has had the inordinate pleasure of teaching gay and lesbian people for almost 19 years. I like to think attitudes are changing partly because more gay people are out and are becoming known to their straight neighbors, who see them as they are — just people like themselves.

I firmly believe a lot of prejudice is borne of ignorance — people fear the unknown. When they see for themselves that there is much to respect and admire in the gay community, they realize their prejudice is unfounded.

I am forever impressed by the restraint and dignity the gay community has shown in the face of unbearable bigotry. My life is richer for having many warm friendships within this community, and I can't wait to celebrate the legalization of their marriage.

Gloria Paternostro

Diamond Bar


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