- The Washington Times - Friday, November 21, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

I agree with what Tara Wall wrote (“A marriage mandate,” Op-Ed, Tuesday).

The gay-rights folks are harassing Christian groups and blacks for having supported Proposition 8 in California and the traditional view that marriage is between one man and one woman. The vote in favor was higher than that for President-elect Barack Obama, a man whose election is considered a mandate for change. The votes in California and elsewhere on marriage were a vote for change back to the traditional meaning of marriage.

As the voting is over, only meanspiritedness can be the explanation for the gay activists’ behavior. If they want to target any religion, it should be Islam, but that is the only religion the left dares not attack, even though Islam believes the only good homosexual is a dead one. This belief is actually practiced in many majority-Islamic countries. In Somalia, they also stone to death 13-year-old rape victims for adultery.

Secularists believe religious beliefs should not be considered on political issues, particularly those that conflict with their views. This is a radical view, as most of our moral and legal beliefs come from our Judeo-Christian background.

I propose a new law for states to consider: The government would cease issuing marriage licenses. If you wanted something the state would treat like a marriage license, you would enter into a partnership contract or use the domestic-partnership laws many states now have. Under a contract, the parties would be free to negotiate its terms, including the number of partners (not polygamy, since not a marriage), and how the partnership may be dissolved. Child custody and support would still be state-law matters. Religious and secular groups could marry people, but that would be controlled by the group’s rules and would not be enforceable in our state or federal courts.

My proposal treats all sexual orientations equally, and it has historical and legal basis because marriage was once considered a purely religious matter.

WAYNE L. JOHNSON

Commander, Judge Advocate General’s Corps, Navy (retired)

Alexandria

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