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posted: 8/4/2012 4:28 AM

Herald's shaky stand on gay marriage

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Herald's shaky stand on gay marriage

The Daily Herald endorsed gay marriage in its "Our View" column of July 2. First, the Herald asserted, "the reality is civil union status is unequal status," to marriage. If a civil union law grants every legal right currently given to marriage, how are the two unequal?

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Second, the Herald contended, "It is not government's job to decide whether gay marriage is a good or bad institution." It is government's job to promote the general welfare of the country with support of the voters, as it does with the institution of public schools.

Third, the Herald stated a contemporary belief of what the essence is that constitutes marriage, i.e., "relationships that are loving and committed." The traditional definition of marriage consists of two parts; a quantity attribute -- two people and a gender combination-attribute -- man and woman. Contemporary thinking renders the gender-attribute non-sacred insisting that it might consist equally well of two men or two women.

If we accept the new definition, then on what principle can anyone argue that the quantity part of the definition should not also be challenged, so that, on what rational basis should polygamist marriage be discriminated against? Surely three or more people can form a "loving and committed relationship."

Readers might say, "The majority wouldn't sympathize with polygamist marriage." Thirty years ago few would have sympathized with gay marriage, but here we are. Relativism makes anything possible if enough people agree.

And so, the Herald now argues for gay marriage to be given license. Interestingly, the word, "license," can mean authorization as in a "marriage license." It can also mean lack of control, excess, and abandon. Concerning gay marriage and its unintended consequences, are we getting the two meanings confused?

Linda Van Dine

Carol Stream

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