Wednesday | February 22, 2017
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Letters 9-22-13

Faulty logic used to dicredit gay marriage

I was saddened by the letter from the “State Director For Concerned Women of America of Hawaii Hilo.” Her attempt to discredit gay marriage uses the faulty logic that the only godly rationale for marriage is to give birth to children, to be raised by one man and one woman.

I am sad because my widowed mother remarried at age 75 to a widower, a retired Christian pastor age 79. Did they unknowingly violate their faith because they married when they were no long able to have children? What of those who for health, economic, social or philosophical reasons choose not to have children; should they be allowed to marry? What of those who, like myself, are unable to carry a pregnancy to term: should my husband and I be not allowed to remain married? What of single parent families?

Clearly, neither the state nor the church denies marriage to heterosexual couples for any of these reasons. It may be ideal to have two people sharing the responsibilities and expenses of raising a family, but we do not have any social data telling us long-term whether what children need can be provided by a same-sex couple on a par with a heterosexual couple.

Logically I am not persuaded by her, and cannot believe that what she claims “deep inside, we all know” is anything more than prejudice.

Mary Steuben


State should recognize same-sex marriage

When people refer to holy matrimony or the sanctity of marriage and make reference to the Bible as reasons for denying same-sex couples the right to marry it makes me realize that this definition of marriage is a religious rite. I respect their religious rights to deny church recognition of same-sex marriage if that is the teachings of their church. However, one of the main tenets of our Constitution is the separation of church and state so not even a majority of people can impose their beliefs on everyone.

At the same time, the government also sanctions marriage as a legal contract between two adults, which gives the couple many rights and responsibilities that have absolutely nothing to do with the religious rite of marriage. Taxes, medical coverage, visitation rights at hospitals, inheritance rights, custodial rights, debt obligations, child support responsibilities to name but a few. If two people love each other and are willing to enter into such a legal contract, what interest does the state have in denying it on the basis of their sex? Perhaps the best solution would be for states to offer civil unions to any two consenting adults and leave marriage to religions to confer as their beliefs dictate.

One of the other reasons people give for denying same-sex marriage is that marriage between a man and a woman is the ideal environment for raising children. Does this mean that heterosexual couples that aren’t planning to have children or couples over a certain age should be denied a marriage license? What about single parent families? Should they be deemed illegal? Maybe we should outlaw divorce. What children need more than anything is a sense of love and security and best of all, a model of a loving and respectful adult relationship. A dysfunctional or abusive heterosexual marriage is far worse for children than a loving same-sex relationship. If you are really concerned about the children of same-sex couples you should honor and respect their families rather than disparaging them. The adult daughter of a lesbian couple I know told me the hardest part in her childhood was not having two loving mothers, but the disdain and sense of second class citizenship she felt from Christians trying to save so-called traditional marriage.

Finally, how does another couple’s marriage, whether it be heterosexual or same-sex, affect your marriage or your rights? Why then should you attempt to affect theirs or deny them equal opportunities? It is time for the state to give equal rights to all its citizens and recognize same-sex marriage.

Carol Laramee