In response to the Dec. 28 letter “Marriage Is a Privilege, Not a Right”: The letter writer presented the following erroneous arguments.
1) Error: Marriages have “always” been heavily regulated. Truth: Common law marriages were legal until 2005.
2) Error: Marriage laws exist because of the future children produced by the union. Truth: Infertile heterosexual couples are not denied licenses and no couple must swear to bear children to get a license.
The author mentions restrictions on age and bloodlines in marriage laws, then writes, “Homosexuals who want to marry in the commonwealth then need to ask themselves why they should be able to marry and not individuals in the above groups.”
No, the state should be asking itself why, if gay couples do not fall into the above categories, they should be forbidden a license.
The author also writes: “Hospital visitation … of significant other as a trustee are easy legal matters to resolve.” It is only since the anti-discrimination law passed in 2011 that hospitals cannot stop same-sex partners from visiting as family members. That is why the law was created. Domestic heterosexual partners were allowed to visit with no law needed. It was not a marriage issue; it was a discrimination issue.
Also from the author: “The fact is homosexual ‘marriage’ provides no benefit to the state.” I disagree. A content, equally-treated-under-the-law citizenry does provide benefit to the state by not migrating to areas with more equitable laws and taking tax revenues and jobs with them while leaving behind empty housing.
From the letter: “What homosexuals who want to marry will not admit is that they want to force these Americans to call themselves bigots.” No one can be forced to call themselves anything, but if the shoe fits, one really shouldn’t be acting like it is too small.
By the way, I am a heterosexual, married with grown children, lifelong Pennsylvania citizen.
PAMELA V. JONES