Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor | Jan. 13

It’s about equality, period

To the editor,

In response to Guest Opinion by Jeff Rhodes in 1/6/12 POI edition:

Dear Mr. Rhodes,

Question: “When exactly did it become the state’s responsibility to validate anyone’s relationship or bolster their self-esteem?”

Answer: When the state determined that relationships recognized legally through state-sanctioned marriage would entitle the individuals within those relationships certain benefits that relationships not so recognized do not enjoy, thereby validating those relationships and granting them “special” — if you will — status.

As a citizen of Washington state who supports marriage equality, I’d like to take the opportunity to explain the basic premise of the concept. I’ll keep it simple, and free of the paranoid hyperbole of the recent opinion piece published in the Port Orchard Independent, which infers that correcting discriminatory law is using “police power of the state to compel” citizens to ... what? Recognize that we are all equal under the law, even if we think, feel, and speak differently regarding a certain subject? Gasp!

I use for my guide a handy piece available on the Internet called “How to Explain Gay Rights To an Idiot.” Please feel free to Google it. It may be easier and more entertaining to follow, as it is accompanied by neat graphics.

To paraphrase:

Marriage is a function of the state and has nothing whatever to do with religion, except by individual citizen choosing.

The state is denying its citizens the same rights that it grants to other citizens. That is unconstitutional. Two people who love each other and are able to consent to marriage should be able to enjoy the benefits of marriage. Period.

Gay and lesbian couples are not asking for anything “special” or additional or different from what straight couples enjoy.

Hope this helps educate those who continue to believe that religion has any authority over the state’s recognition of married couples. It doesn’t. Actually, religious lifestyle choices are imposed upon gay and lesbian citizens as a justification to limit their access to equality under the law.

Fine. Instead of making state-sanctioned marriage available to all citizens, why don’t we remove the state-bestowed benefits enjoyed by currently married couples? Then all personal relationships would be equally ignored under the law, and the state would have no need to “validate” anyone.

 

Cynthia Fisher

Port Orchard

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