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Letter to the Editor: Public policy must be based on what's good for everyone


The right for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender couples to marry is finally trending in the right direction. Recent polls have shown for the first time that a majority of Americans favor same sex marriage, but a determined, well-financed group of the religious right led by the Roman Catholic hierarchy remains adamantly opposed.

The U.S. Supreme court recently heard arguments on two cases regarding the constitutionality of California's Propostion 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, which if not definitively resolving the controversy will go a long way to that end.

Much to the chagrin of the religious right, there has been a major cultural shift in America and political pundits predict that we will look back on the efforts to ban same sex marriage with embarrassment much in the same way that people view the laws banning interracial marriage.

But this shift will not happen without a battle. The Catholic hierarchy aided and abetted by the religious right are livid about this and have vowed to keep on fighting.

This from Brian Brown, president of the Organization for Marriage. "Though we are disappointed in these losses, we remain faithful to our mission and committed to the cause of preserving marriage as God designed it." To that end various religious groups have filed briefs with the high court. They are acutely aware that the court will not be persuaded by theological arguments so they are desperately searching for secular reasons why same sex marriage should not be allowed. They are however, not terribly persuasive.

Catholic bishops, for example, falsely argue that they will be forced to perform same sex marriages and refusal to do so will jeopardize their access to government grants and contracts. The Family Research Council makes the ridiculous argument that same sex marriage must be banned because such couples cannot procreate. If that standard is adopted, it would put in jeopardy the marriages of infertile couples, couples who choose not to have children, and those beyond child-bearing age.

This is a secular democracy and public policy must be based on what's good for everyone and not misguided theological dogma.

Gene Rigelon, Front Royal


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