Of course, I am in favor of gay marriage. Gay people deserve the same protections under the law as heterosexual married people.
Religious institutions have the right to refuse this to people. They should not, but they have that right. Civil marriage is not the same as a religious ceremony. Civil marriage is what protects people under the law.
Obviously, this issue is of vital importance to me. I hope it is important to others of the silent majority.
Constitutional ban is still discrimination
Letter writer Peter Heck believes Indiana needs a constitutional ban on same sex marriages in order to stop the courts from ruling discrimination against gays and lesbians as illegal.
But any such ban is still discrimination. It is still treating hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers as inferior citizens, because of fears of people like Mr. Heck.
The fact is the courts have protected the rights of disliked and despised groups throughout our nation's history. Brown v. Board of Education overturned racial discrimination in schools, and Loving v. Virginia overturned interracial bans. There is a reason we have a court system, and it is in part to ensure that despised groups enjoy the same rights and liberties as everyone else.
Despite what Mr. Heck seems to believe, the vast majority of marriage equality supporters are not gay; they are the friends, family and loved ones of gay men and women. They are people who love their children, grandchildren, nephews, uncles, lifelong friends and co-workers.
Those who oppose marriage equality know their ideas and fears are being discarded by millions of Americans every year. In just 10 years, support for marriage equality has risen from 30 percent to 50-plus percent of Americans.
Gays, lesbians and their supporters are not trying to strip those who oppose marriage equality of their ability to marry. We believe they have a right to marry the person whom they love, but unfortunately the other side on this issue does not believe the same.