Mailbag: Domestic partnerships are still available

Jeff Zarrillo and Paul Katami (“Couple takes on Prop 8,” Feb. 6) wish to change the definition of “marriage” despite the centuries-old one in most of the world that recognized it as a legal union between a male and female. (I trust I don’t have to go through the reasons for the importance of the sexes being different in the union.)

They claim that Proposition 8, meant to finally get something in law as to what this long-accepted definition was, violates the U.S. Constitution. If they are concerned about the separate rights that typically accrue to parties in a marriage, such are largely available through properly drafted wills, trusts and medical powers of attorney. The state and many employers offer benefit rights to Registered Domestic Partners, none of which are outlawed by Proposition 8.

If the Constitution permits Jeff to “marry” Paul, then how can marriage rights be denied to the parties of a union among Dean, Nancy, Linda and Judy, or of one between Larry and sister Sue?

MEL WOLF

Burbank

Congress needs to discuss health care

Health-care spending continues to rise. Americans have not found a way to safeguard families from the financial burden of health care.

As an occupational therapist working with children with medical and developmental problems, I find this untenable. I see the worry and stress parents experience when their child is ill and developmental milestones are delayed. Protection against the rising cost of medical insurance must be a priority because it leads families into debt and in some cases bankruptcy.

It is my hope that congressional lawmakers from both sides of the aisle can find consensus on the following issues:

 Insurance company practices, including denying coverage or charging higher rates for people with pre-existing conditions, annual and lifetime caps on benefits, and recisions, are unacceptable.

 Increasing the duration of coverage for adult children from their parents’ medical insurance policies, providing tax subsidies to help moderate income Americans afford insurance and the expansion of community health-care centers should continue to be debated.

The stakes are high for the health and well-being of American families as well as our nation’s economy. Health-care reform cannot wait.

CAROL FODERA

La Crescenta


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