Civil Marriage

Letter to the Boston Metro, appeared 2/19/04

Civil Marriage

Dear Metro,

It seems that many people are having a hard time distinguishing between civil marriage and religious marriage. Civil marriage is a legal contract issued by the State that gives those who sign on legal rights and responsibilities (350 from the state of Massachusetts, 1049 from the federal government). Religious marriage is what you do in the privacy of your own church, temple, synagogue or mosque. Religious and civil marriage are not the same. Some religions marry same-sex couples, some do not. This choice is left to each religion. But no religion, not even the majority religion, has the right to impose its views on everyone. Remember that expression: “the separation of church and state”?

Seems like the anti-marriage folks have the idea that there is only so much marriage to go around, and that giving marriage to same-sex couples will somehow leave less marriage available to other-sex couples. Not true. My sweetheart and I have been together now for seven years. We love each other very much and we are getting married on May 20th. Please help us defend our right to remain married. Separate is not equal. Please oppose any constitutional amendment.

Robyn Ochs

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