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OpinionLetters

Obama's choice on gay marriage

Amber Weiss and Sharon Papo, both of Berkeley,

Amber Weiss and Sharon Papo, both of Berkeley, Calif., hold hands during their wedding ceremony at City Hall in San Francisco on Tuesday, June 17, 2008. Photo Credit: AP

Regarding "Right move on marriage rights" [Editorial, Feb. 25]: Martin Luther King Jr. said, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice."

It is well past the time for discriminatory injustice to end and for all people, gay and straight alike, to marry the person they love providing they meet all the age and relationship restrictions already imposed upon those who now can marry.

It took until 1967 for the last remaining anti-miscegenation laws to be held to be unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court (Loving v. Virginia), finally allowing interracial couples to marry in Virginia. We look back at this and think, "How absurd that their love was denied!" and yet we continue to discriminate against loving couples, just because of their sexual orientation, who wish to marry.

There are two charming gentlemen ages 70 and 86 living in Suffolk County who are eager to seal their 21-year engagement by marrying. Isn't it well past the time and only fair that they should be able to do so? Isn't it only fair that my younger son and his partner of 11 years be able to enjoy all of the more than 1,100 rights, privileges and responsibilities that his brother and his wife enjoy?

We think so, and so do the majority of our neighbors.

Iris S. Blumenthal

Syosset

Editor's note: The writer is the past president of Parents, Families and Friends of Long Island.
 

How very nice of Newsday to come out and support the president's decision not to defend the Defense of Marriage Act. Are there any other laws Newsday would like the president not to defend?

The president does not have the authority to pick and choose which laws should or should not be defended in court. The oath he took requires him to protect and defend the Constitution. The DOMA is the law of the land.

The only bodies that can overturn the DOMA are Congress or the Supreme Court. Or is Newsday advocating a change to the way our government works?

I can only imagine what Newsday would have said if former President George W. Bush had decided to pick and choose which laws he defended. I'm sure you wouldn't have supported him.

Bret P. Wallach

Hicksville
 

Newsday apparently believes that the president and attorney general, not the courts, can decide which laws are constitutional. Your support seems to rest on the argument that "at least eight states recognize some variation and there is a strong push by advocates in New York for legislators to vote this spring for legalization."

Does Newsday realize that this sets a precedent which, although Newsday feels it is a "morally correct" decision, is not constitutional? More than half the states believe Obamacare is unconstitutional, and some federal courts agree; would Newsday praise a president who would refuse to defend that law? Would Newsday laud a president who felt that Roe v. Wade was indefensible and instructed his attorney general to act accordingly?

Our system does not grant to the executive branch the power on its own to decide which laws are constitutional. Newsday should be calling for the president to follow the law, and work with Congress to change it, not commend him for unilaterally making what it calls "a clearly strategic political decision as much as a clever legal one." The actions of the president, attorney general and Newsday are stunning.

Terence Kane

Long Beach

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