On same-sex marriages, a public divided

Regarding the July 14 Opinion "Gay marriage - the next just step": What is the basis of the claim of homosexuals to the status of marriage? Marriage is the union of one man and one woman in which children are begotten and raised to be responsible citizens. The state recognizes this contribution, essential for its stability and very existence, and to that effect seeks to partake in this parental undertaking by means of supportive tax and social benefits. Friendships and partnerships of whatever combination between individuals of the same sex can indeed be as satisfying as marriages, but they are not marriages. What is their contribution to society? What is society's stake in elevating the union of homosexuals to the status and dignity of marriage?
Louis Miccio
San Diego

The author asked the right question - a question of equality under the law. Marriage is no longer just an alliance between families, nor solely for procreation. It legally sanctifies the union of two persons. Homosexuals have as much right to enjoy this type of union as heterosexuals do.

It is our duty to not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation. Why wouldn't gays have the same rights as other people? Aren't they the same as anyone else? Don't they go to the same schools? Do the same work? Have the same feelings? What if a white person couldn't marry a black one? It would be outrageous, and every civil liberty organization would contest it. But such a thing was written in Virginia law roughly 50 years ago, until it was overruled.
Maxime Dupont-Demers

It's time that the world look at the gay couple as just that: a couple. We pay taxes, we rear our children not to be hateful, we have jobs, we have gardens, we have social circles, we vote, we praise, we live for God. We didn't choose to be gay, but we accept it. Why can't the world accept it as we have had to? It would be wonderful, if my mate passes on, to be able to collect Social Security and live with the memory of my "late wife."
Eve McBride
Hollywood, Fla.

Rondi Adamson's Opinion piece asserts there is "growing evidence suggesting that gay people no more choose to be gay than I chose to have blue eyes." It would be helpful in the dialogue if those who make these assertions of "evidence" would let the rest of us in on the source of that growing evidence. A shared conviction that seems to suggest a truth doesn't carry quite the same weight as verifiable data.
Robert L. Kerr
Reidsville, N.C.

Many adults live together for years, such as a widow(er) and a grown child or other friends and relatives, without seeking "marriage" recognition and subsidies, as homosexuals are seeking.
Elizabeth A. Graser-Lindsey
Beavercreek, Ore.

I see no problem with allowing partners to jointly own a house, and benefit from tax breaks for mortgage interest, etc. But calling unholy unions "marriage" is a different idea.
Arlene Hobbs
Lakewood, Colo.

As a liberal and straight male, I found Rondi Adamson's piece about gay marriage to be a most welcome and eloquent example of decency and common sense. Please, people, grant other people the right to do harmless things that you don't like.
Evan Thompson
New York

As a gay man, I find the issue of gay marriage to be a complicated and important one, and the author presented several viewpoints on the subject with grace and respect.
Nicholas Mattos
Sebastopol, Calif.

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