Re: “Nature argues for heterosexual unions” (letter, 7-28).
The letter writer made a good case in favor of legalizing gay marriage, though I don’t think that was his intent.
Marriage is intended to provide security and continuity for all persons involved. It provides rights and responsibilities to the couple and to the community. The birthing and nurture of children has never been a requirement or sole goal of marriage, even when commonly expected.
Because human sexuality is a constant and powerful force, society has particular interest in channeling its expression in ways that do as much good and as little harm as possible. I suggest that the public sanctioning of marriage serves that purpose in particular.
Does it work? Not all that well. The problem facing marriage now is not a threat from “redefinition,” which would extend its rights and responsibilities to more people wanting to take them on. It is most seriously threatened by those who take on the rights and privileges of marriage but fail to live up to the responsibilities.
Our society ought to be cheering the desire of a whole new segment of its citizens wanting to get into the responsibilities and rights of marriage. It ought to be saying, “Come on in! Sign here!”
In particular it ought to be saying “Thank you” to those thousands of gay and lesbian couples who have lived together faithfully, and often raised children very successfully, without any of the rights which are designed to strengthen long-term relationships, support the cohesiveness of society and preserve the well-being of children.