Letter to the editor: Same-sex marriage opposition requires clarificationLetters in the Aug. 8 Bulletin regarding same sex marriage are misleading.
Letters in the Aug. 8 Bulletin regarding same sex marriage are misleading. Barbara Dries suggests there is evidence proving that a stable family is not enough for children, that the family must consist of a mother and a father. The study featured on the website to which Ms. Dries refers shows no such thing. In fact, Mark Regnerus' research did not compare stable heterosexual families with stable gay and lesbian families; rather, it compared children in stable heterosexual families to children of broken families of all types, including the children of divorced couples where one of the parents had had a same sex affair. Of course the children of broken families fared worse. Many better-designed studies do show that the stability of the family is what matters, not the gender of the parents; same sex marriage, then, benefits the children.
Mr. St. Martin's letter cites many examples in which, he claims, the rights of religious institutions and individuals have been compromised. First, examples from foreign countries are misleading; we have separation of church and state, other nations do not. Second, the American examples St. Martin cites – military chaplains and town clerks – are public employees, and as such are subject to anti-discrimination laws that do not apply to religious organizations such as churches. As for the Catholic adoption agency in Illinois, that agency got taxpayer funding; if you get taxpayer subsidies you cannot discriminate on the basis of race, gender or sexual orientation for any reason. The Catholic Charities affiliates in Illinois did not close down because of religious discrimination, they closed because they would no longer receive state money if they continued to discriminate; freedom of religion is guaranteed by the Constitution, but government subsidies are not.
Joyce Denn - Woodbury