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November 1, 2012 at 4:00 PM

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Ref. 74: Same-sex marriage in Washington

Flawed statistics

If the authors of the op-ed on same-sex marriage were using their numbers correctly, the population of the state would have to be in excess of 680,000,000, more than twice that of the whole country [“We are Catholics who oppose Ref. 74 to legalize same-sex marriage,” Opinion, Nov. 1].

Claiming that the number of people involved in domestic partnerships is only a one-hundredth the number that truly are really pounds their point home, doesn't it? Assuming this is an honest inability to understand the difference between common decimal fractions and percentages, I find it hard to trust other arguments they make. If it was deliberate, it is reprehensible.

— Joe M. Wesley, Seattle

Children should not be basisof Ref. 74 opposition

Every time I read or hear anything about Ref. 74 and children, I think about my brother and his new wife who are in their late 40s. After many years alone, they found each other and decided to marry. Clearly, they will not be having children. Is their marriage any less valid because of that?

Marriage is a civil contract between two loving adults. It may or may not include children. One may disagree about giving same-sex couples the same right that my husband and I (we do have a child) or my brother and his wife have, but using children as the basis of this argument is not only ludicrous, it is disrespectful to all the couples who by choice or by circumstance do not have any children.

Support Ref. 74 and give all loving couples the right and the privilege to marry.

— Andrea Drewinko, Seattle

Need for progress and equality

Dear Tom Matthews, Bob Kelly and Pia de Solenni,

In regard to the restriction of your freedoms to live according to your beliefs, that can be applied to anything you don’t agree with. For example, the people of the South could have used this to deny people of African heritage their equal rights. They also believed segregation was a matter of conscience and religion.

How many millions of children have a family environment to grow up in because gay couples have adopted them?

I come from an age where not only were LGTB people not recognized, adopted children were not told the truth about their origination. We have made great progress the past 70 years and we need to continue to ensure that we all are recognized equally.

— Joseph A. Mascis, Black Diamond

First Amendment argument irrelevant

By all means let’s have a serious and frank debate about Ref. 74 and how Washington should legally define marriage. But please drop the canard that recognition of same-sex marriage by the state would violate the First Amendment rights of those who disagree.

Is the state violating the rights of people who have a religious belief forbidding interracial marriage when anti-miscegenation laws are thrown out? Would all tax laws be unconstitutional under the First Amendment if my church proclaimed it was against church doctrine to pay taxes? If so, sign me up.

Ref. 74 concerns the way the state defines marriage in terms of its laws. People are free to disagree about what marriage means to them for religious or other reasons. But if the law changes they, like everybody else, will be asked to use the legal definition in legal transactions. There is no First Amendment right to have the state mimic your religion’s social teachings in law.

— Michael S. Perry, Gig Harbor

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