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Gay marriage response

June 4, 2011
Marshall Independent

To the editor:

In his letter of May 26, Phil Drietz respectfully posed five questions on the issue of marriage equality. This response is to address those concerns from my perspective as the father of a gay son and a strong advocate for equality.

In response to the inquiry about when and why the word "gay" came into our vocabulary, from my recollection it was in the '60s and '70s and it was initially considered to be derogatory. As far as the percentage of same sex unions that remain monogamous throughout a couple's lifetime, since they have not been recognized there are no statistics, but I am guessing it is probably similar to heterosexual marriages, which would be around 50 percent. Banning same sex civil marriages because they might end up in divorce is no more valid than banning heterosexual marriages because they might end up in divorce.

Allowing same sex couples the right to civil marriage has nothing to do with polygamy. Comparing same sex civil marriage to marrying one's pet is a totally hurtful analogy, and one that I hope does not surface again. Asking if they can then marry a boy is another hurtful comment but let's address it. The same laws that apply to a heterosexual man marrying a young girl would apply to a gay man marrying a young boy or a lesbian marrying a young girl. Relative to the example of one Australian marrying his dog, I guess I would have to say that I am not familiar with Australian marital law but I have no fear of that being an issue in Minnesota.

I did not understand the question about defining a "minority" being connected to DNA, or what that has to do with a person's right to pursue a loving relationship and a lifetime of happiness with the person of their own choosing.

Relative to the American Psychiatric Association's decision to no longer consider homosexuality a psychiatric "disorder," and the scientific basis for doing so, I trust that trained psychiatrists have more expertise than I, so I personally trust their reason for doing so.

I thank Mr. Drietz for his respectful dialogue and hope we can continue to discuss what is a controversial and decisive issue in a calm manner. We will disagree on issues, but let's try to do so without being disagreeable.

Denny Smith

St. Cloud



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