Commentary: Columnist wrong about the definition of marriage

Re. “It’s A Gray Area: History’s lessons support marriage equality,” (April 5):

Judge James Gray’s column regarding “the time is here to correct a series of injustices” deserves a serious response.

In typical liberal rhetoric, we get a misguided connection to a false premise, which, if you follow the bouncing ball, you have nowhere to go but to agree.

Let’s start with the definition of marriage. For some reason it has gone quasi-militant. The gay and lesbian side of the debate wants to hijack the name of a historic covenant that has defined the bond between a man and a woman since time in memoriam. This is like a start-up software company, wanting to use the name Microsoft. As in a copyright, or trademark, which I’m sure the judge understands, the name is taken.

I’m fine with a new name of their choice, but the word “marriage” is no longer available. You’ll need to find one of your own. Next is the failed attempt to equate the issue with the interracial marriage history and, of course, throw in the Nazis for dramatic effect. Everybody hates Nazis. This argument is flawed because the debate was about racial prejudice against another race. There was a clear understanding of the two existing races, which was truly a civil rights issue.

But the debate on the inequality for the LGBT constituents is subjective, as there is no proven scientific evidence of a gene or chromosome predisposed to that lifestyle. It’s interesting how Judge Gray tries to tie the issue of gender choice to race to make his “civil rights” argument by saying that homosexuality “is not a lifestyle choice but instead a hard-wired trait.”

The civil rights comparison falls apart because race is not a trait; it’s a scientifically identifiable fact. However, we have seen a growing number of homosexuals return to heterosexuality, demonstrating again the choice component of the issue. Traits fit into the unscientific category of trends and fads, which cultures go through like a hot knife in butter.

That, of course, does not diminish one’s prerogative of free choice, which I respect — and I agree with the judge — that every person is entitled to. LGBT persons should be able to cohabitate as they choose, receive medical benefits, receive equal pay and rights involving inheritance tax. These are actually available to all now in the state of California, and it should be federal law as well.

But if we redefine marriage to be something other than the union between a man and a woman, what will be next?

Why not two men and a woman? “Oh that will never happen.”

This is an issue about a choice, and one that should be respected, but that does not mean you alter the definition of marriage.

BILL DUNLAP lives in Newport Beach.