The following is my letter to the editor of our local newspaper, which was published on July 14. The woman mentioned in my letter, Virginia Schell, had written a letter claiming that god has ordained marriage to be "one man, one woman," and that god would now abandon our sinful nation for ruling that DOMA is unconstitutional. The columnist I thank wrote a wonderful piece about same-sex marriage that urged people to stop being narrow-minded and recognize that love is love and should be recognized as such.
First, I would like to thank Carolyn LeDuc-Krehel for her column in Wednesday's (July 10) paper. It's good to hear voices in support of gay marriage.
It may come as a shock to people like Virginia Schell (letter of July 10), but they don't have the right to foist their particular beliefs on the rest of us. The Constitution declares as much. When such believers invoke God and predict that we will all pay a price for abandoning God's word, they assume that all of us believe in the same way. In fact, there's quite a diversity among religions. In the United States, no one religion has the right to declare itself the ultimate arbiter of right and wrong, or of public policy. I know a lot of Christians who are fine with marriage equality for gays.
I also find it amusing when Christians declare that marriage as designed by God is "one man, one woman." I seem to recall that according to the Bible, Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines, and that God at one time commanded women to marry their rapists, a man to marry his brother's widow regardless of the living brother's marital status, and virgin girls taken as spoils of war to submit to their new owners.
As any historian can tell you, marriage has changed over the centuries. Only a few decades ago interracial marriage was illegal in many states. Enlightened people today look back on that time with near disbelief. One day, most of us will feel the same about having forbidden marriage to gay couples in committed, loving relationships who simply want the same recognition of their bond--and the same rights and benefits--that straight couples receive.