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Dear Senator Kerry Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by Alex, United States Jul 13, 2003
Human Rights   Opinions


Dear Senator Kerry,

As a rising senior at Phillips Academy who is a lesbian, I was very disturbed to learn that you had publicly stated your opposition to the legalization of gay marriage.

In May of this year, I attended the Boston youth pride march and was heartened to see such a large turnout, both other young gays and lesbians, as well as supportive and out politicians. In many states however, young homosexuals are much more likely to be victims of ostracization and hate crimes. If the government continues to discriminate based on sexual orientation, what message does this send to intolerant hate-spewers, if we are like a subspecies, denied the right to marry?

In many ways this issue seems to be reviving that old demon in our closets, the 1896 separate but equal clause. Denied marriage gays must settle for civil unions which lack the spiritual and historical significance of marriage. As you so rightly said, “there is something special about the institution of marriage--the oldest institution in the world." The fact that this gender-specific distinction is currently made proves the unwillingness of the government to stop its detrimental and divisive practice of treating its citizenry differently on the basis of sexual orientation. Are we not in freedom's land where the term Boston marriage was coined?

The concept that marriage is for procreation, another point that you mentioned in you statement is also a commonly applied logic to discourage gay marriage that never seems to apply to barren heterosexual marriages. The rate of childless marriages has been steadily rising over the years, whether due to a higher incidence of remarriages later in life or simply that more couples are deciding against having children. If marriage is for procreation are infertile couples to be denied this right along with the post-menopausal octogenarians who's whirlwind romances entertain soft-hearted readers in the human interest section of so many newspapers? The 30 year old woman who lost her ovaries to cancer? The man with erectile dysfunction? These may seem extremely private details but was it not recently decided in Lawrence vs. Texas, to paraphrase Justice Anthony Kennedy that the state could not justify itself for interfering with personal and private practices? Such practices surely include whom an individual chooses to "marry" and live with for the rest of his/her life. Further, although biological reproduction by a homosexual couple is impossible, domestic and international adoption by such couples are becoming increasingly common and scientific advances have enabled women, commonly lesbians and surrogate mothers for gay couples, to be artificially inseminated so that biologically the child is even related to one parent in a same-sex relationship.

Senator Kerry, you spoke of equal rights for gays yet support depriving them of what is, although intangible, the single most powerful gesture that the government can make, acknowledging their love and bond to be equal in every way to that of heterosexuals.




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