INTRO: Recently Representative Scott Boyd of the Pennsylvania General Assembly introduced legislation to include an amendment in the state constitution to:
- define marriage as between a man and a woman, and
- outlaw any form of civil union or other legally recognized relationship identical to or substantially equivalent to marriage.
I’m angry… So I decided to write to the local paper:
Boyd’s bill discriminates against gays
TO THE EDITOR:
Representative Scott Boyd says that proposed House Bill 2381 is not intended to deny anyone’s civil rights or discriminate against gay couples. But who is he trying to kid?
How exactly is this amendment supposed to protect marriage? Are we to believe heterosexuals are so insecure in their orientation that gays and lesbians could seduce them to abandon their spouses and opt instead for a same-sex relationship? It seems to me that divorce is a greater threat to marriage than a couple looking for state recognition.
If the point was simply to reserve the word "marriage" for those who have access to it now, there would be no need for the second half of the amendment. Instead, the proposed change to the state constitution deliberately and systematically attempts to head off any future discussion of civil unions or other arrangements.
Boyd claims he’s nonjudgmental. But leading into the debate with a comment like "a sin is a sin" implies homosexuality is wrong. His willingness "to sacrifice [his] career at the altar of doing right" further indicates the debate is less about defending traditional marriage and more about legislating morality according to the religious beliefs of one segment of our society.
As a Christian, I must point out that not everyone adheres to the narrow interpretation of Scripture represented by the self-proclaimed "Marriage Defenders." Though fundamentalism has little room for independent thought and interpretation, Episcopalians, Lutherans, Presbyterians and others have actively taken on the challenge of applying the spirit of our sacred texts to the realities of our modern world.
I have spent my adult life subsidizing child tax credits, financing schools and providing for our nation’s underprivileged sons and daughters. Though I’ve fathered no children of my own, I consider these good investments in the future of our society. Those who wish to deny and form of government-recognized status to me and my partner should take a moment to reflect on why they need to ensure such recognition remains their special right.
Bryce E. Rich, Lancaster
Only one reader of the Intelligencer Journal responded to this letter.
Karl E. Moyer of Lancaster wrote a response entitled "Clarifying point about church doctrine" in which he wanted to make sure that readers understood that though Lutherans may have studied this issue, the Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has formally declared it will not support gay marriage. He also went on to quote the next part of the resolution, welcoming gays and lesbians into the church and trusting "pastors and congregations to discern ways to provide faithful pastoral care to same-sex couples."
God forbid anyone think that gay marriage is okay with the Lutherans. 😮 But they’ll still let you come to church…