Wednesday letters: Treat fellow citizens fairly

September 18, 2013 

20010613 SAME SEX

KURT STRAZDINS

Marriage is not about the wedding. Marriage (as anyone knows who has attempted it) involves shared values: love, but also commitment and the lifelong promise to take care of the one you love. Marriage is a basic freedom that should not be denied to anyone. And a nationwide patchwork of laws, which is what the United States looks like following court rulings striking down marriage bans, unfairly limits the freedom of many people in our state.

Most people wouldn’t want someone to tell them that they shouldn’t be allowed to marry, and when they think about it, many wouldn’t want to deny marriage to anyone else either.

Marriage laws provide a safety net of legal and economic protections for married couples and their children — including the ability to visit your spouse in the hospital and to transfer property, which can mean being able to remain in the family home when a spouse passes away.

Right now, same-sex couples in our state who have made that commitment find themselves in legal limbo, with the federal government recognizing their marriages and South Carolina not doing so.

No one is asking that religious institutions be forced to marry same-sex couples, or recognize such marriages within the context of their religious beliefs. What we ask is that we treat more fairly our neighbors and not deny such freedoms to those who have already taken on the responsibilities that come with a marriage commitment.

Victoria Middleton

Executive Director

ACLU of South Carolina

Charleston

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