Should God Be Involved in the Gay Marriage Debate?

A civil or religious union?

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A Civil or Religious Union?

Mr. Schlesinger writes "No one on the side of marriage equality is suggesting that, say, the Catholic Church should be forced to perform gay marriages" ["Get God Out of the Gay Marriage Debate," May 25]. For now! There are currently many who are suggesting that, say, the Catholic Church should be forced to fund abortion through health insurance payments by associated service activities. Who would have thought this possible four years ago?

DAVID GRIFFITH Belleville, Ill.

Robert Schlesinger couldn't be more wrong in trying to "divine a seismic political shift" about the issue of gay marriage. The reason the GOP hasn't made a big deal out of the issue is because President Obama's ploy was clearly an attempt to distract voters from the many issues he's weak on. If the economy were strong, if the unemployment rate were low, if the deficit were under control, if the foreign policy were sane, if the scandals didn't exist, etc., then maybe the GOP would reassert its historical position on the issue. Thanks to this administration, though, there are huge mountains to be flattened. I'm glad the GOP didn't fall into the distraction ploy.

BARRY DYSERT Fishers, Ind.

[See a collection of political cartoons on gay marriage.]

In a country like ours that supports, via our Constitution, the separation of church and state, this is and should be a non-issue. There should be no civil laws preventing people from marrying, no matter their orientation. As the article says, the government shouldn't tell churches who they may marry, and neither should religious organizations have any voice in civil laws. How does it hurt anyone when any two people want to marry? No one is asking those who oppose marriages between same-sex couples to also do it. They follow whatever religious attitudes they wish to believe. God, if there even is one, which I personally doubt, doesn't fit into the equation. If God is so all-powerful, he or she also "made" homosexuals and all variations thereof. So, they can't be considered any differently than anyone else. That's where the hypocrisy comes in. One doesn't need to believe in a religion or higher power to be a good person. Actually, it's been my experience in my 72 years that all the so-called very religious are the biggest hypocrites I've experienced and the least so-called "Christian." Live and let live.

MARILYN P. MUELLER Alpharetta, Ga.

Why should God be left out of any public issue? Robert Schlesinger just doesn't get it. Religion is not a secondary issue to believers. It is the overarching issue, and it belongs in every debate. Suggesting that God should be left out of the gay marriage debate is an insult to the convictions of believers who evaluate every decision on the basis of their religion. Here's a better idea. Why not make every legal union between couples (man and woman, woman and woman, man and man) a secular civil union and leave marriage to religion. Doing this gives all couples equal civil rights and allows marriage between couples to be a matter of religion.

DOUGLAS CAMPBELL Lock Haven, Pa.

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