Religion is problem in anti-gay prejudice

It's obvious that religion plays a major role in opposing equal rights for gays and lesbians. If you have any doubt, just look at the sources of funding behind discriminatory laws such as Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act.

If religious zealots would stop devoting their limitless resources to fanning the flames of anti-gay prejudice, acceptance of same-sex unions would be commonplace.

It's no coincidence that as the population of nonreligious Americans increases (currently around 20 percent, according to the Pew Foundation), anti-gay bigotry decreases.

This is only one of many benefits directly attributable to the rise of secularism in our country.

Burt Bogardus

Danville

Supreme Court will avoid decision

This will be sent back down to the state level because the Supreme Court is not ready to force the same-sex social issue on the whole country.

I expect the Supreme Court will avoid the gay rights issue altogether on both issues, the Defense of Marriage Act and Proposition 8, even though Prop. 8 is a human rights issue and should be decided by the Supreme Court.

Marriage is a religious issue. Marriage is the joining of two souls under God. When the state gets involved, it's the joining of assets. This is proven by what happens at the end of a "marriage" -- death or divorce.

The courts never talk about what happens to the souls, love, and all those other wonderful words mentioned at the wedding. The courts, at the end, only worry about the money and dividing up the assets.

Let's take religion out of "marriage" when the state is involved, as the First Amendment dictates, and have the state issue "civil unions." If you want to get married, see your minister or spiritual mentor.

Peter Veasey

Martinez

Marriage a legal right for every citizen

The dictionary I use was published in 2007. It defines marriage as "the formal union of a man and a woman."

That definition was my unquestioning opinion until a few years ago. The societal prejudice that prevailed during most of our country's history was the motivator that denied lesbian and gay couples the right to marry.

Maturation, and life's experiences, provide at least some Americans the willingness to inspect rigid perceptions. A majority of Americans now believe every couple in a loving relationship should have the legal right to marry.

My response to the question, "Should the Supreme Court overturn Proposition 8?" is a resounding "yes." Even if the court doesn't strike down the proposition, the intolerant law will soon disappear, as have other oppressive relics.

Change will take time, but this controversy is progressing to an irrevocable ending. It's inevitable, in my opinion, that a majority of states will eventually establish that marriage is a legal right available to every citizen.

Ronald Entwistle

San Pablo

Issue contracts, say vows at the drugstore?

Why not throw the whole issue of same-sex and opposite-sex marriage open to free-market competition among different entities?

Let governments (state or local), religious institutions (churches and synagogues), marriage chapels and places like check-cashing services and drugstores offer marriage ceremonies.

Competition would allow the marrying parties to select where to marry and how much to pay. There would be no need for government-issued marriage licenses.

Contracts would have to be drawn up between marrying partners. All the courts would have to do is allow contract law to take over. If courts can accept prenuptial agreements, why can't courts accept marriage contracts?

With free-market competition, then government is not there to block the wishes of people wanting to marry.

Richard S. Colman

Orinda

Prop. 8: Let the people, not the courts, decide

Why should the Supreme Court, or any court, even hear arguments?

A critical reading of Proposition 8 reveals that it only bans calling a legal same-sex relationship "marriage," but does not, as popularly claimed, ban same-sex relationships.

Equal rights have not been violated in California, since legally registered same-sex couples enjoy all the same rights, privileges, and responsibilities as legally married couples under California law.

There is no unconstitutional principle in Proposition 8. It only defines what a state-recognized marriage is, but does not prohibit or deny recognition of any other legally defined relationship.

So, why have the courts become involved? Democracy means rule by the people. Therefore, let the people, not judges, rule.

Wes Zmolek

Fremont

Rights are inherent, so overturn Prop. 8, DOMA

They should overturn Prop. 8 and DOMA.

The 14th Amendment states, "Nor shall any state ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." That's pretty clear. Even if the majority vote to remove the rights of a group, be it based on gender, race, religious preference, etc., it is still unconstitutional.

The First Amendment states, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Since arguments against same-sex marriage are based on religious beliefs, this would mean the United States would favor one religion over another.

Tolerance. Religions teach us to love one another, even to love our enemies. Why can't we at least try to tolerate those who are different? And who are you to judge?

What difference does it make to you if a same-sex couple gets married? How does that affect you? If you believe they will rot in hell, then that is your belief. Maybe they will, maybe they won't. But that is their choice to make.

Jim Cauble

Hayward

Prop. 8 is clearly unconstitutional

The Supreme Court must declare Prop. 8 unconstitutional, as it is religious dogma. It was placed on the ballot by the religious right -- Mormon and Catholic churches.

It takes away freedom of religion for more than 50 percent of the population who are in favor of same-sex marriage.

Charles N. Wilkins

Fremont

Civil unions better answer for all couples

I feel that marriage is between a man and a woman. But at the same time, I also understand the need for two people of the same sex to get married. It should be called a civil union, and they should get all the benefits of a married couple.

It is not the Supreme Court, but the Senate and Congress, that should act and accept civil unions and give them the same benefits as a married couple.

What is the purpose of an election when the elections are rigged and the people's opinion is overturned? There is no point in spending so much money on elections when it is the rich who can command the elections. Do not have an election. Let the rich, with all their money, enforce laws that ordinary people have to follow as their voices are not heard, but accept them.

Ansuya Phadnis

Fremont

Gay marriage has been rejected, so drop it

We, the people of California, rejected gay marriages twice. Enough already with all of these legal and legislative manipulations.

Leo T. West

San Leandro