LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Marriage must be protected

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The U-B's editorial position on gay marriage - gay couples have gotten all the other rights they've asked for so we might as well give them the label - is disturbingly shallow.

More disturbing are the actions of our elected officials regarding this issue. Gov. Gregoire introduced gay marriage legislation stating it is time to end the inequality and discrimination against gay people who want to be "married" and to send a message to children raised by same-sex couple's that their family unit is the same as the traditional family unit. She likened the battle for same-sex marriage to the battle for civil rights and inter-racial marriage in previous generations.

The state has addressed discrimination against same-sex couples by passing domestic partnership laws. However, to say a same-sex couple is "equal" to a heterosexual couple when it comes to raising and nurturing children is to deny our very nature as women and men. Like it or not, women and men were created differently!

When they join in procreation and child-rearing, their differences complement each other for the benefit of the child and of society. They can bring more to the blessed task of child-rearing than can any same-sex couple. Failing to recognize this will have long-term negative effects on children and society that gay marriage proponents choose to ignore.

Gregoire's comparison of this issue to civil rights and inter-racial marriage is disingenuous. Those battles addressed racism and the ability of minorities to enjoy basic human rights.

Gay marriage proponents, on the other hand, demand a fundamental change to a definition of marriage that has stood for thousands of years just so they can share the label with heterosexual couples. If there are still "benefits" that gay couples cannot have because they don't have the "marriage" label, they can pursue obtaining those benefits as domestic partners through the legislative process. We should not be forced to call gay unions something they are not!

If this legislation passes, our state will have undermined the role traditional marriage plays in child development, and played roulette with a cornerstone of our culture - the traditional family unit - in the interest of appeasing a vocal minority.

Marriage will eventually mean whatever people want it to mean and this institution that has stabilized societies for centuries will become meaningless!

Please talk to God, your neighbors, and your legislators about this shortsighted legislation (Senate Bill 5793).

Dave Opbroek

Walla Walla

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