Equality demands more than civil unions

February 04, 2012

Jerry Rodkey's letter formulated arguments that are not tied to facts ("Maryland should pass civil unions and move on," Feb. 1). Once again, The Sun continues to allow letter writers to throw out nonsense disguised as facts when the editors should know better.

Canada, Australia, Sweden, Argentina, South Africa and other countries have survived quite well the advocacy of same-sex marriages as well as its implementation. No collapse in their societies have ever been documented. And Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage has existed in the U.S. longer than any other state, continues to have the lowest divorce rate in the country.

What is most egregious about Mr. Rodkey's letter is that he claims same-sex marriage demeans traditional marriage. I would like to know from him how many heterosexual couples divorced because they felt their marriages have been demeaned by the legalization of same-sex marriages.

To his credit, Mr. Rodkey is advocating civil protections for same-sex couples. However, a civil union and its "separate but unequal" characteristic remands a large group of people to second-class citizenship. The Civil Marriage Protection Act, just introduced, has sufficient protections for religious organizations and leaders so as not to coerce religious institutions into officiating such ceremonies. Allowing same-sex couples to attain equal status is the real reason for the opposition, and that's obvious.

This is an important issue for the thousands of gay and lesbian couples, their children and other family members, friends, co-workers, neighbors and other supporters in Maryland.

Steve Charing, Clarksville

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