This is a response to Mr. Maciaszek (Feb. 19) and other writers who decry the idea that Pat Quinn, Mike Madigan, John Cullerton and others are turning their backs on religion by sanctioning same-sex marriage. I would like to inform one and all that they realize that marriage is a legal contract and not a religious one. You have to get a license from the county. The person performing the marriage must be licensed by the state. You are just as legally married by a judge as by a member of the clergy as long as that judge or clergy member has a license to perform the ceremony.
Same-sex couples are asking for no more than the civil right that others have. Just like getting a divorce is a legal process, marriage doesn't need to have anything to do with religion. May I also point out that our friendly Canadian neighbors have had legally sanctioned same-sex marriage for many years and somehow seem to have weathered it without undue stress.
No one suggests that places of worship or members of the clergy be forced to allow same-sex marriage if they object. Let the couples be married by secular means. No one wants to force his/her will on others. Just don't try to force your will on them.
Incidentally, my wife and I have been happily married for over 60 years.