Op-ed shows weakness of case against gay marriage

February 03, 2011

Thank you for printing the Peter Sprigg op-ed piece opposing gay marriage ("Same-sex marriage is contrary to the public interest," Feb. 2). Nothing could better expose the utter emptiness of the anti-gay marriage position.

Mr. Sprigg offers only two reasons to deny same-sex couples the same marriage rights that all the rest of us enjoy — that the sole purpose of marriage is to repopulate the planet and that children do best in a two-parent home. If marriage is all about children, why doesn't Mr. Sprigg also insist that infertile heterosexual couples and couples who have no intention of ever having children be denied the right to "our most fundamental social institution — marriage"? You said it, Mr. Sprigg, it's a "social" institution, not a species replacement institution. It's for loving couples who want to share a life together and want to enjoy the legal, social, emotional and financial protections that marriage provides.

As for his other point, Mr. Sprigg is correct in stating that "reams of social science data" show that children fare much better in a two-parent than a single-parent home. There is no debate about that. But this being the case, why doesn't he also suggest that divorce be prohibited or that parenting rights be denied single parents? While we're on the subject, let me add that while research favors two-parent homes, there is absolutely no research that shows that heterosexual two-parent homes are superior to same-sex two-parent homes.

The argument against extending marriage rights to same-sex couples is intellectually indefensible as Peter Sprigg has demonstrated. Let's move on.

Dick Boulton, Ellicott City

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