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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

June 1, 2009 at 4:30 PM

Gay marriage

Reflecting on how far gays have come

I think it is a privilege to witness the historic civil-rights battle for same-sex marriage, including the fight over Proposition 8 in California and the fast pace of developments in other states.

Back in the ’80s, my first job out of college was with a bank in Colorado. One of my co-workers did not like me. When she heard a rumor that I was gay, she spread it as fast as she could. Many things happened that are too ugly to mention here. I was harassed into leaving. I was young and naive and let them get away with it.

Fast-forward a decade. I gained friends I never expected. Then, during the hard years of the HIV epidemic, I found courage and inner strength I didn’t know I possessed as I, along with many, coped with losses.

Fast-forward another decade. I have experienced career success I never imagined. I laugh at myself for not having a partner and own my shortcomings. What a luxury to be able to think in those terms.

— Charlie Heller, Seattle

Designate different marriages for different needs

Instead of trying to make all relationships fit one definition of marriage, maybe we should have different types of marriages.

There could be the marriage in which couples can only use self control and luck to regulate family size. There could be the marriage in which couples can use chemicals and physical means to regulate family size. There could be the marriage in which couples can have everything but marriage. There could be the scientific marriage, in which the scientists agree that if they cannot find a willing host mom, then they will be responsible for nurturing any lives they help to create.

The confusion we have about marriage would explain why so many couples are choosing to live together without the benefit of marriage.

Marriage counselors will tell couples that “every marriage is different.”

— Tim Carney, Seattle

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