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Winds of change.

I was moved to tears by your article on gay marriage ["Life After Gay Marriage," March 16], as I have five gay sons who, in our home state, do not have the same rights as other Americans. Conservatives against change have worn out the argument about "what it will lead to" (polygamy, marrying humans and animals). The same arguments have been used to prevent every major social change in modern society. The religious arguments, which seem to be the mainstay of the opponents' objections, are irrelevant. As much as many Americans would prefer it, we do not live in a theocracy, nor do we have any official state religion. Much ado is made about the founding fathers and what they believed. Again, it's irrelevant. The legacy they bestowed is freedom of religion, not freedom of Christian religion.

Our culture is changing. Countries around the world are coming to the realization that same-sex marriage is a moral and anthropological imperative. It will come to pass.

Markie Woods, Denver, Colo.

As I read your cover story I could not help but think back to my own wedding on September 12, 1992. My dear Steve passed away eight months after our ceremony (of AIDS). I am so very proud and glad that as a gay man I was able to say "I love you" in front of family, friends, and God.

Did it make us any better for it? I don't know. I will tell you that in Steve's last days he kept referring to our union and how he had waited all his life to commit himself to someone. This gave me the strength to endure the coming months as once again surrounded by family and friends and in front of God, I laid my partner to rest.

I have moved on with my life, surrounded by friends and a new partner. Jack rescued me in a time of darkness and uncertainty. When I visit Steve and look down at his grave marker, I believe the words--the same words engraved inside our wedding bands: "I do Love you XO."

Monte Durham, Alexandria, Va.

Thirty-nine states have passed laws banning gay marriage, legalizing discrimination and dividing Americans into first-class and second-class citizens. Why? We are no threat to the institution of marriage. We wish to confirm it. We are no threat to the family. We wish to create them. We are homeowners and taxpayers, good citizens and responsible human beings. We love our families and our friends and our pets, just as you do. What we don't do the same as you is enjoy equal rights. Many of us want to morally, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually, and legally commit to each other. We want to get married. You don't have to personally approve. But if this republic is true to its founding principles, then we as Americans all deserve equal rights.

Mel Seesholtz, Willow Grove, Pa.

In your current cover story, Chad Graham oversimplifies the nature of the constitutional amendment approved by Hawaiian voters in 1998. The situation in Hawaii is not quite as bleak as in some other states since the amendment does not define marriage as between one man and one woman but instead allows the legislature to define marriage. This means that the amendment itself would not need to be repealed but that a simple majority vote in the legislature can one day result in marriage equality for Hawaii.

David J. Chase, New York, N.Y
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Title Annotation:reader forum
Author:Chase, David J.
Publication:The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Date:Apr 13, 2004
Previous Article:Civil marriage, civil rights.
Next Article:Where you live.

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