Letters to the Editor
Readers write about why the Iowa court made the right call on gay marriage.
The Iowa court ruled correctly on gay marriageSkip to next paragraph
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In regard to the April 10 Opinion piece, "The injustice of Iowa's ruling on gay marriage": Author Matthew J. Franck uses the word "moral" 21 times in this commentary – as in moral health, moral obligation, moral reasoning, and foundational morality – but he seems to be defining morality to suit a narrow view.
He implies that marriage equality in Iowa is somehow improper because it violates his exclusionary sense of morality. However, the families with gay children or gay parents all around us fit into most definitions of moral behavior, starting with mutual support and respect.
In this commentary, Matthew J. Franck writes, "Marriage and family are a moral institution," and insinuates that same-sex marriage is not moral. He also seems to suggest that the love that same-sex couples have for each other is not moral, a judgment undoubtedly focused on bias instead of a healthy and objective observation of the facts. Gay people in loving, committed relationships are no less moral than heterosexuals, and the stability and morality of their relationships deserve the same legal protections under the laws of our land as those afforded heterosexual couples.
In seeking to consummate their relationships through marriage, gay people are simply seeking the same rights that heterosexuals have enjoyed for centuries. Without marriage, they're prevented from accessing well over a thousand basic rights that heterosexual couples rightly take for granted. Those rights are so embedded in marriage that it is impossible to separate them from the institution.
Statistics show that children of same-sex couples are as healthy and well-adjusted as children of heterosexual couples. Gay families deserve the full rights of citizenship with no less respect from society and the legal system than their heterosexual counterparts receive.
Matthew J. Franck's opinion piece about the Iowa court ruling on same-sex marriage builds a flawed case against the ruling.
Mr. Franck's opposition is based on the premise that morality is built solely on a religious foundation. Franck's is a circular argument, solipsistic in its reasoning. The ethical concepts of justice, equality, the common good and so forth predate any religious doctrine, in both Western and Eastern philosophies. One has only to read Aristotle, Plato, Socrates, Plotinus, or Confucious, to name a few, to realize that questions of ethical behavior, or of justice, do not belong to the realm of religion, but to human rationality.
If our governmental system is designed to allow majority rule, with a check-and-balance judiciary to ensure minority rights are protected, why do those on the political right get angry when this takes place?
Why are judges "activist" when they rule against the right, but wise and fair when they rule in the right's favor?
Matthew J. Franck's commentary is certainly a more sophisticated take on this same argument, but it nonetheless takes its place among those arguments that supported Jim Crow and antimiscegenation laws.
It's hard for some to feel a tectonic shift due to a civil rights ruling. Whether it's a preacher in the Deep South or a Princeton fellow, their arguments always fall by the wayside in the march of history.