Letters to the Editor

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MARRIAGE: Respect right of association

Letter by Burt L. Talcott, Tacoma on July 24, 2012 at 5:29 pm with 7 Comments »
July 25, 2012 10:15 am

There are reasonable solutions to seemingly intractable social problems, such as same-sex marriage and the Boy Scouts’ exclusion of “gay” leaders. All persons, particularly Americans, enjoy constitutional rights of association. We can associate with like-minded persons without demeaning or antagonizing others.

Marriage, since time immemorial in all nations and religions, has been universally understood to be the union between one woman and one man. If some prefer to deviate from this venerable definition, they can define their different relationship (civil union, for example) without usurping the name “marriage” as their own. This solution should reasonably satisfy both sides.

Similarly, if some don’t want to associate with the Boy Scouts, they can form a different association with their own rules (Young Pioneers, for example). Both could join whichever association they preferred without demeaning or antagonizing the other. Forcing persons to accept their associates is un-American. No “authority” can force me to join one or the other. Only in China or Iran can this abuse happen.

Leave a comment Comments → 7
  1. sandblower says:

    Nobody “owns” the word marriage.

  2. Separate but equal doesn’t work. The fairer solution would be to eliminate the term “marriage” from government laws altogether, and replace it with “civil union.”

  3. That’s good sandblower. Burt comes up with an idea trying to offend no one, just looking for a solution all can live with and you respond with “nobody owns the word marriage.” It reminds me of my childhood when we had great replies like “You can’t make me.” I’m sure your attitude will help bring unity. I know it moved me.

  4. Burt, you can call it chopped liver if you want to. That venerable institution of marriage, that entity that no man can put asunder, has had many definitions and will continue to have many definitions depending on hyour state, nation, culture, religion, etc.

    The question is whether or not the legal definition meets the letter and intent of the Constitution. It will one day come down to that, whether or not people vote one way or another.

    Marriage rights in the USA, unlike scouting, cannot be limited for anyone unless a state can show good cause for limiting the right to marry or can show that a marriage would harm our nation or its people.

    The “call it something other than marriage” issue is just a ridiculous attempt at diversion from the real issue of human rights.

    oldman4, having two separate laws for exactly the same thing and relegating one group of people to a diminished status is extremely offensive.

  5. oldman4, Burt’s idea offends anyone who can think. I’m not surprised at your take.

  6. frankiethomas says:

    I object to the Boy Scouts rationale because it equates homosexuality with pedophilia. I kept our son out of it. There certainly is no other relationship to equal marriage. If my husband had proposed a commitment ceremony or that we just live together rather than get married, I believe I would have been insulted, although I realize some people with strong feelings against the institution of marriage have chosen the former and as long as they had the CHOICE, fine. I won’t eat at Chik-fil-A because I disagree strongly with the owners politics but I don’t believe a municipality should be allowed to deny him a permit based on his beliefs – that’s patently un-American. Let the market take care of him.

  7. Tuddo wrote: (The “call it something other than marriage” issue is just a ridiculous attempt at diversion from the real issue of human rights.)

    If human rights is the “real issue” please explain why a civil union law granting all the legal rights of marriage does not solve the human rights issue.

    Your statement that, “having two separate laws for exactly the same thing and relegating one group of people to a diminished status is extremely offensive” is absurd. If the laws provide the same legal protections for all then there can be no diminished status for any.

    The entire issue can be capsulized by its obvious attempt to provide a greater measure of respectability to gay unions and to further the cause of societal acceptance.

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