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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 29, 2013 at 7:05 AM

Let states decide on same-sex marriage

This artist rendering shows Paul Clement, standing second right, with Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. seated, right, addressing the Supreme Court in Washington, Wednesday, March 27, 2013, as the court heard arguments on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) case. Clement is defending DOMA on behalf of House Republicans. (DANA VERKOUTEREN / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

This artist rendering shows Paul Clement, standing second right, with Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. seated, right, addressing the Supreme Court in Washington, Wednesday, March 27, 2013, as the court heard arguments on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) case. Clement is defending DOMA on behalf of House Republicans. (DANA VERKOUTEREN / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Spousal rights would not be recognized out of state

Bruce Ramsey advocates that each state should decide whether a gay couple is married or not [“Supreme Court should let each state decide same-sex marriage,” Opinion, March 27]. Thus, a legally married couple from Massachusetts visits Hartford, Conn., where one is hospitalized, and the spouse cannot visit or be involved [in medical decisions]. Very critical spousal rights are taken away.

Inheritance, taxes, health care, visitation rights, etc., are seriously affected by the marital status of a couple. Clearly, this issue should not be left to a hodgepodge of local decisions by state legislators anymore than states should decide their own international borders.

–Charles S. Hoff, Redmond

Marriage equality is urgent

As a 61 year-old kid, I am surprised by the euphoria I feel about the upcoming wedding to my partner of 14 years. As our service begins, we will have a moment of silence to remember our parents who did not live long enough to see their daughters get married.

So please, do not suggest there is no urgency to grant marriage equality to all citizens of all 50 States.

–Gayle Brenchley, Mount Vernon

We shouldn’t just let it ‘play out’

While Bruce Ramsey is content to let same-sex marriage “play out,” 37,000 kids in California can’t have their parents get married.

Hundreds of thousands of American citizens across the country aren’t free to marry the person they love, because we should “let it play out.”

In 1967, should the Supreme Court have let interracial marriage “play out?” Where would our society be if they had decided that “expanding marriage [was] up to the states?” Alabama only removed its interracial ban in 2000. Is that really the right way to handle the fundamental rights of human beings?

Who are we to decide whom gets to marry whom? Since when did it become a legitimate right of the states to say who could have fundamental rights and who couldn’t? Are we to abandon same-sex couples in states such as Mississippi, where a same-sex ballot initiative isn’t projected to pass for decades?

These are the questions I have for Mr. Ramsey, who, as far as I know, didn’t have to ask voters for approval of his marriage. I wish he would consider that before declaring that fate for couples with love as real as his.

–Ben Lennon, Seattle

Comments | More in Federal government, Gay marriage, Gay rights, U.S. Supreme Court | Topics: DOMA, Proposition 8

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