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Civil Unions Hold Most Promising Future

Letter to the Editor

By Allison K. Rone

To the editors:

Although I am an ardent supporter of gay and lesbian civil rights, I disagree with The Crimson’s statement that gay marriage is an issue of “the fundamental freedoms enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.” (Staff Editorial, "Opening the Doors to Marriage," Dec. 1) Marriage is not a public right that should be extended to all; it is a private tradition.

If anything, the Constitution upholds the freedom to prohibit gays and lesbians from marrying. The 9th Amendment states that “the enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.” Compelling society to recognize gay marriage would indeed infringe upon the rights of those do not endorse the practice.

I agree that same-sex partners should share the benefits and advantages that our government currently grants heterosexual couples. Sanctioning homosexual marriage not the best way to ensure this equality, however.

Gov. W. Mitt Romney’s “civil unions” would establish equality without violating the rights of those who do not support gay marriage. Such unions could be open to both homosexual and heterosexual couples in place of religious marriages. They would in no way demean or lessen the status of homosexual individuals or create “separate but equal” institutions reminiscent of racial segregation. Instead, civil unions uphold the rights of all men and women, regardless of sexuality.

In our support of gay and lesbian rights, we must not forget the rights of the Americans who wish to protect the private tradition of marriage. The silent majority has a Constitutional right to reserve marriage for whomever it chooses.

ALLISON K. RONE ’06

Dec. 1, 2003

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