In his letter to the Record, “Misguided Attempts to Redefine Marriage,” (2/5/04) Brock Taylor ascribes a lot to the institution of marriage: “It is and always has been the fundamental organizing principle of society, the pillar of social stability, the driving force behind human progress and the cornerstone of human happiness.” I’m not sure about all of that, but I know this: marriage is, above all else, about love. And while I can’t agree with Taylor that marriage is an “institution created by God” that “mankind” lacks the power to alter, I can believe that love is divinely inspired-and so what man has the right to judge it? It wasn’t until I myself was married that I fully realized the injustice of a system that tells a subset of its citizens that they can’t marry the person whom they love just because others have their own personal or religious objections. Before I was married, I could never have imagined all of the little joys that come from having entered into this specific form of partnership with my husband, and I am astonished that anyone would want to-or presume that they have the right to-withhold those joys from anybody else.
Besides, no one is trying to redefine the “sacred union” of marriage that Taylor so fervently defends in his piece: the SJC has an obligation to ensure that the STATE is not treating its citizens unequally in regards to the SECULAR institution of civil marriage. The tenets of Taylor’s religion need not be altered, and he is free to continue to believe that homosexuality is immoral and that mere mortals should not be allowed to eradicate discrimination from their own social institutions. But thankfully our legal system is finally recognizing that there are no valid legal bases for perpetuating a system that treats people differently because of their sexual orientation. While no judge can, or should, ever take away the religious traditions that dictate Taylor’s worldview, he is confusing those religious traditions with the obligations and responsibilities of a secular government grounded in principles of equality.
Cristine Reynaert, 2L