GAY-MARRIAGE FOE FAILS TO MAKE CASE
By Christopher J. Armstrong-Stevenson
[This letter was published in the Portland Tribune, September 7, 2004.]
Letter writer Russell Boedeker reiterates the thinly argued and inconclusive statements that many Christians on the far right use to attack the concept of same-sex marriage ("Gay marriage affects all of us," Letters, Aug 30). First, let me state that I am not a candidate for same-sex marriage, and I hope to be considered a practicing Christian.
Boedeker states that "traditional marriage would decline." On what experience is this claim based? Surely any heterosexual is not going to change his or her attitude toward their own marriage or intent to marry simply because people of the same sex choose to marry. Any detrimental trends in marriage surely have more to do with heterosexual attitudes. Gays and lesbians are not affecting those changes. Does Boedeker suggest that there is a finite number of marriage licenses available and that if same-sex couples use them all up, there will be none left for heterosexuals?
He goes on to state: "The ideal environment to raise a child is in a home with both a mother and a father." Marriage itself is not about child-rearing, though of course, many married people do so. Many who marry are infertile, physically incapable of or too old for child-bearing, and many simply don't want to have children. Does that invalidate their marriage?
Third, he states: "Public schools... could be required to teach that same-sex relationships and marriage are just as moral as traditional relationships and marriage... "It is not the place of schools, other than religious schools, or any government official to teach "morality" in any way. Morality is strictly a religious term, the teaching of which should be left to the respective religious denomination or spiritual path to which a person subscribes.
Boedeker appears to conflate the legal state of marriage with the religious wedding ceremony. They are and should remain two separate states of being.
Abraham Lincoln said, "Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves." I suggest that anyone who would deny those different from themselves the freedom to marry, should look in the mirror and try a little introspection.