Get the State out of the Marriage Business

RECEIVED Fri., Oct. 28, 2005

Dear Editor,
   With the latest hue and cry from the religious right and homophobics, and their unholy war against same-sex marriage in the guise of Proposition 2, it has occurred to me that all marriages should be declared null and void, and that marriage as currently institutionalized should be struck down [Endorsements, Oct. 21].
   Under the Constitution we have the rights of free association and freedom of religion. Therefore, if two or more people desire that their relationship be recognized as permanent and committed, then they can do that, perhaps with the customary religious ceremony and their friends and family around them. However, their union should not be recognized by the state. The state has no business being in the business of marriage, a personal relationship formed between consenting adults. It is not a state matter. Nor is it the place of the state to promote, reward, protect, and otherwise take responsibility for a personal union between citizens who have, independent of the state, chosen their life mates and partners. As it exists now, the legal construct of marriage is indefensible because it is patriarchal, inequitable, and discriminatory. It hurts all of society, particularly women and children, while it purports to protect and preserve society. Moreover, if the benefits that accrue to some are not available to all, regardless of marital status or gender, then they should be available to none. After all, as citizens of this nation, we are guaranteed equality under the law.
Linda Evans
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