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Mr. Wolfson,

I just read your article in today's Denver Post.

I am a straight, conservative, republican evangelical Christian, demographically about as far from approving of gay marriage as possible. However, in truth, I just can't understand all the fuss.

I used to think that marriage was a "club", defined by religious people, so I figured, let religious people have marriage, and gays have civil unions. But then, atheists and agnostics can get married, and seem to do so with no protest from the evangelical religious, so there goes that "argument".

Then there's the argument about kids needing a mom and dad. But I don't see the conservative community greatly up in arms about single-parent families (divorced, single, promiscuous or otherwise). So there's no leg to stand on there.

I suppose there's the argument of "it's different", or "I don't like it". But then, I don't like cauliflower either, but my wife does, and I like her. And I like sushi and she doesn't, but she likes me.

So I guess I just don't get all the fuss. Oh, well.

Irv Rollman

Despite its sound and fury, the Federal Marriage Amendment suffered a decisive defeat in the U.S. Senate last week. Although there still is life in the movement to ban gay marriage -- the House could take up the matter, and voters in 11 states could outlaw same-sex unions -- the Senate defeat still is instructive.

Attempting to change the Constitution to restrict the wishes of consenting adults to marry runs counter to America's belief in equality. It belies this nation's commitment to tolerance, and it asks government to play a more intrusive role in the personal lives of its citizens.

The amendment wouldn't defend marriage. It simply would impose a narrow definition of the institution with the specific aim of disqualifying gays and lesbians from the benefits of marriage.

An increasing number of employers are beginning to concede marital status to same-sex partners. An employee wants to make sure company health benefits apply to his or her spouse or that he or she receives the employee's pension if the employee dies. Same-sex partners want to be accorded joint-filing status on their tax returns just as heterosexual couples have the option of doing.

The movement to ban gay marriage is instructive. It shows the lengths opponents are willing to go to further divide our nation.

That in itself is significant. Today, this nation is weathering a weak economy and a daunting unemployment rate. America's sons and daughters are putting their lives on the line in Iraq, while the reasons that originally justified the U.S.-led invasion grow thinner by the day.

A gay-marriage ban won't change any of those matters. It can, however, act as a distraction.

Today, as much as any time in our history, Americans need reasons to work together. The gay-marriage ban can do many things, but building unity just isn't one of them.

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