Government has role in protecting marriage

February 25, 2004

Dear Editor:

It is unbelievable that with all the problems in today's society, the one getting the most attention is same-sex marriage. We have problems with terrorism, education, the economy, healthcare, and on and on. Yet our major area of discussion is whether a man should marry another man, or a woman another woman.

Mr. Brian Cooney said that, "It is not the role of the government to legislate religiously based commandments or to be the enforcement arm of the church." I agree with this statement.

However, the institution of marriage is not necessarily a religious institution. It is more of a cultural or traditional thing. Marriage between a man and a woman is to provide for reproduction of the human species, for the rearing and training of children to adulthood, to enhance the family unit, protect inheritance rights, trace genealogy etc.


All major cultures of the world have traditionally recognized marriage between man and a woman as necessary for a well-ordered society. Christians marry, so do Buddhists, Hindus, Shintoists, Muslims, even atheists marry. The Native Americans married even before they heard of Christianity. I don't believe any of them recognized same-sex marriages.

I believe government does have a role in protecting the institution of marriage, not for religious reasons, but for the maintenance of a well-ordered society.

We have laws that forbid marriage between brother and sister, first cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews and other close relatives. Should the government forbid marriages between close relatives who don't share this belief? If same-sex marriage is legalized, would brothers be allowed to marry? Sisters allowed to marry? Why not?

Gil Russell


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