Bravo to state leaders for making marriage equality Maine law. Civil marriage is a right that has been extended to a select group of people for far too long. While many religious and other conservatives believe in the biblical ideal of one man, one woman, maybe it’s unclear to many what the new law says and does.

Under this law, churches and other religious organizations are protected and exempt from recognizing or performing gay marriages (if they choose). There can be no recrimination, legal or otherwise. This is strictly a civil issue.

Procreation, moral decay, sanctity of marriage … I heard the same arguments when interracial marriage and gay marriage in Massachusetts became legal. They are excuses to keep things the way they are because people fear the unknown. Those fears are proven unfounded. Do we really need to go through this again?

While all marriages strengthen the foundation of our communities, it is no longer just about procreation. Straight people can marry, have no kids, and it’s a non-issue. Why, then, shouldn’t gays be extended the same civil right?

To be fair and just, the U.S. Constitution was written to provide everyone the same civil rights. There is a societal responsibility to make sure people aren’t treated differently simply because someone’s views are different than others. People don’t choose their sexuality.

Everyone should have the right to marry the person they love, and enjoy the many civil and legal benefits that come with it.

Derek Green, Lewiston

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