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Letter to the editor: Response to editorial

By JAN STAFFORD
California

Editor,

I just read Patsy Stoddard's commentary on gay marriage, and I am surprised that she is so misinformed about the subject. Like many people, she thinks that the gay marriage issue is about her beliefs. It is not. It is about the government giving rights and privileges to some citizens and not to others.

What are those rights? People who are legally married can obtain health insurance from their employers for their spouses. They have legal rights regarding access to their spouses when they are hospitalized; automatic inheritance rights when there is no will; and on and on. For example, there have been very tragic cases where hospital visitation was denied to a gay partner.

The gay marriage proponents believe that it is wrong for the government that they support with their taxes and volunteerism to give those rights to some couples and not to others.

Law is not supposed to be dictated by the religious beliefs of a group of people, whether they be Christian, Mormon or Muslim. That's why separation of church and state was written into the Constitution.

Throughout history, wrongs have been done to groups of people when religious beliefs dictate law. Opponents of women getting the vote, marriage between races, and even slavery backed their stances by saying that God was and is against those things. This is the same thing that is happening today with gay marriage. All of these past issues, and the current issue of gay marriage rights, were and are not about religious beliefs; but about not denying rights given to one group of citizens to another group of citizens.




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