My thanks to Jonathan Dohanich for his Dec. 28 letter concerning marriage (“Marriage Is a Privilege, Not a Right”). He gives me the opportunity to offer a response from one who supports marriage equality in Pennsylvania.
First, with regard to state interest in children, same-sex couples do have children in the same way all infertile couples do. One primary method is adoption. Since the state takes ultimate responsibility for children, same-sex couples adopting children is of special value to the state.
Second, there are commonly agreed upon reasons for denying licenses to young people under 18 (lack of mature judgment), blood relatives (probability of genetic abnormalities in the children) and more than two people (inequality). None of these apply to two female or male adults who mutually consent to a loving commitment for life. It makes no sense to lump gay and lesbian couples with these other situations.
Third, many same-sex couples do have multiple legal documents to gain some of the protections provided by civil marriage. It is false to think that these “can easily be obtained” or are “easy legal matters.” They are complicated and costly and a good example of the inequality experienced by gay and lesbian couples when civil marriage is denied to them.
Finally, loving, committed lesbian and gay couples want the privileges granted by the state to those who marry because they live their lives as recognizably married. Those who disagree on religious grounds can speak and vote as they wish. Where is the violation of their religious liberty?