In a recent daily moderator, we asked readers if Ohio should overturn its ban on gay marriage and we’re sharing several of the responses we received today. We still welcome your thoughts on the issue through letters to the editor and Speak Up comments.
Letters to the editor
State has no compelling interest
I believe all Americans, regardless of gender, currently have the constitutional right to form an intimate loving relationship with anyone they chose and to publicly commit to one another as they wish. I think the real concern should be to what extent, if any, should the state regulate any of our personal relationships? The only intimate personal relationship that has been generally recognized, regulated and promoted by most governments, including our current state constitution, has been the traditional union between a man and a woman through the legal contract of marriage.
I believe it is in the compelling interest our government to legitimize the formation of the two-parent (mother and father) family because their combined paternal and maternal nurturing capability, their commitment to marital/parental obligations, and the social value of the extended family network are essential to the health and social fabric of our communities.
Therefore, the state’s interest to regulate marriage through family law promotes the general welfare. I see no similar compelling interest for the state to begin regulating other personal relationships, such as gay unions. In terms of fairness, current Ohio statutes already protect the extension of specific legal benefits to non-marital relationships, otherwise enjoyed by all persons. It also protects the validity of private agreements otherwise valid under the law.
I see no disenfranchisement here. Therefore, I see no need to change our state constitution. MIKE MANNING, BEAVERCREEK
Law ‘not about defending marriage’
It’s time to overturn the constitutional amendment banning marriage between people of the same gender. The longer it stays, the longer we’re reminded of some unappealing moments in our shared past.
Ohio passed its amendment in 2004, the year our state was crucial to the re-election of President Bush, and according to many analysts, the timing of the of constitutional effort was no coincidence. Certainly, President Bush pushed for the amendment during his campaign and then refrained from raising the topic of a federal amendment once his office was secured.
Ohioans who connect these dots see our amendment not as a moment of moral clarity, but the mark of political opportunism of an ugly sort. It’s a strategy that promotes irrational fear and bigotry for personal gain, and many people who will never have the power of a George Bush or a Karl Rove continue to live with the financial and personal consequences of their efforts. Not pretty.
The same unappealing character is part of Ohio’s misleadingly named “Defense of Marriage Act.” The next generation of Ohioans will certainly wonder at this expression and the thinking that it implies. Did Ohioans really believe that extending marriage benefits would erode families in other households? Are gay relationships, even where they aren’t legally recognized, somehow responsible for the 40 percent of marriages that end in divorce?
Let’s face facts. This amendment and similar legislation is not about “defending” marriage. At its best, it’s about misdirected fears. At its worst, it’s about self-righteously degrading people who deserve no such treatment — and, in some cases, doing so for political gain. Let’s be rid of it. … RICK INCORVATI, SPRINGFIELD
‘We have … turned our back on God’
It is my opinion that the downfall of America is due to several things. Most important, we have, as a nation, turned our back on God. If people would only read Romans, Chapter 1 and make their decisions according to the written word and return to our maker, God would heal our land.
With the trash that the ACLU has delivered to the gullible American people, it is no wonder that we are in the situation we have today. The ACLU (Anti-Christian Liberties Union) has done tremendous damage to the image of God and his people. Our country was founded on Christian principles and with the help of the “ungodly,” we, as a nation, have strayed from the helping hands of our Creator.
I, for one, have slipped in my walk with God, but always pick myself up and continue on in my search for eternal life. Obey God’s commandments, be true to him and he will be true to us. JAMES A. GILLIS, HUBER HEIGHTS
A privilege that should not be denied
The understanding of the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender reality is finally being understood by the citizens of our country and other countries … that citizens in some states still deny the truth that being LGBT orientation is not an option or a decision. It is who they are at their inner core.
In all ways, the LGBT community needs to be seen and appreciated the same as other citizens. This means in their civil rights, health care, housing, marriage, and any other way, they have all the same possibilities for happiness as every other citizen. Marriage is a primary privilege that should not be denied because of sexual orientation. CAROL ALEXANDER, KETTERING
Christians ‘can’t pick and choose’
I’m against any attempt by anyone to overturn any part of the Constitution that recognizes marriage between a man and a woman. My belief is based solely on biblical direction. One needs to read Genesis, Romans and Corinthians to know that marriage is meant to be between male and female. I’ve heard people who profess to be Christians agree that just loving someone should be the determining factor in whether or not they should be allowed to marry. As Christians, we can’t pick and choose what areas of the Bible should be pertinent in our beliefs. If we change any portion of the Bible based on the culture of today, what will biblical principles look like 100 years from now? I can tell you; the Bible would hold no value to that society.
I don’t hold my views out of hatred for homosexuals as I have friends who are gay. The Bible tells us to love others. I can love the individual without loving the sin. I find nothing in the Bible that tells me that as a Christian, I can agree with the homosexual agenda. ROBERT C. SMITH, SPRINGBORO
‘Turned my heart to cause of equal rights’
I moved to Ohio from Minnesota five years ago and celebrated the defeat of its constitutional amendment that would have banned gay marriage. I hope Ohio can do so also. I am a 77-year-old straight follower of Jesus, with no immediate family members who are gay. My faith and friendships with those who are gay has turned my heart to the cause of equal rights. I have friends who have just celebrated 30 years together, but do not have the same rights as married couples. They do not have the same benefits, and are restricted in health care because they are not married.
I grieve for the discrimination now occurring by Ohio’s constitutional amendment, and hope to live to see it overturned. MARY GRANT, CENTERVILLE
How can couple’s devotion be wrong?
Being raised in an Irish Catholic family and attending parochial schools, I always though gay was sinful. But as I grew older and now have reached senior status (80 years old) my thoughts on gay marriage have changed 100 percent. How can a couple of the same sex who are truly devoted to each other be wrong?
Fortunately, my wife and I have known a male couple for over 20 years and admire their devoted love for each other. We have observed many other man and wife couples who in no way come near to the devotion and dedication of these two. …I wish the world would accept gay couples as they are – excellent witnesses for love for one another. BOB “HUTCH” O’CONNOR, CENTERVILLE
‘Between a man and a woman’
Re “Should we overturn ban on gay marriage?,” Feb. 26: The answer is no. At no time have there been any amendments or revisions in the Scripture. Marriage is between a man and a woman.
I hear the word “tolerant” bandied about — we are taught by Scripture to pray for those who commit sin and love them and encourage them to get their lives back on track and serve the Lord and Savior. I feel sorry for Christians (so called — because if they are going against the Bible, they are not really Christians) who are saying it is OK to commit sin. A sin is a sin is a sin and God doesn’t rate them. … ALICE M. MARTIN, WEST MILTON
How will it destroy straight marriage?
To people who are opposed to gays being allowed to marry, just how is it going to cause the downfall of the family as we know it? …
Are they afraid we will show the straight world up and do marriage so much better than they will? Considering how the divorce rate is over 50 percent, I doubt we could damage the institution any more than it currently is.
If my being able to marry my boyfriend is going to destroy your straight marriage, then you have a lot bigger problems than allowing us to get the same civil rights that straight society enjoys. MICHAEL CURTNER, SIDNEY
Marriage is a commitment of love and mutual support between two individuals. Such commitments are valuable to society as a whole, because they promote stability and improve people’s quality of life. They should therefore be respected by society and awarded certain privileges, regardless of the sex of the individuals.
Future generations will look back on today’s intense prejudice toward gay marriage the same way we look back with shame at the outlawing of interracial marriage in America.
My opinion used to be of the Christian right, because I had gotten involved in the religious right back in the late ’70s as a “cure” for my own unwanted sexuality. For over 25 years, I fooled myself into living a life accepted by the norms of society, but one unauthentic to who I really was. After divorce in 2001, I had time to re-think everything and so I finally chose to live in accordance with my true sexuality. I’ve been partnered with a wonderful man for the last 7-plus years, and we look forward to the day that we can legally be married in Ohio.