In the May 18 letters to the editor column, two individuals raise arguments against equal marriage.

One person makes the frequently invoked argument that traditional marriage is long-standing and religiously ordained.

However, it raises the question of which tradition.

Is it the polygamous definition, invoked several times in the Old Testament, of marriage being between one man and more than one woman?

Is it the long-standing tradition of marriage only being between people of the same race?

In 1968, one year after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down all anti-miscegenation laws in the United States, 72 percent of Americans held to the tradition that marriage between persons of different races was inappropriate, widespread interracial marriage being a development over a small percentage of the years of our nation’s existence.

Another letter writer invokes procreation as the critical element defining marriage.

What does this say about the innumerable marriages, my own included, in which having children was never intended nor ever to be a factor? Does this make marriages in which there is no intent of procreation less valid than marriages that result in children?

If the purpose of marriage is procreation, should we have fertility tests, to insure that the marriage in question will fulfill the purpose?

The simple fact is that marriage is a civil institution in the United States, governed by law and not by religious text.

The definition of marriage has evolved over the years of the development of civil society and, if the people so desire, will continue to do so.

While the state has the option to recognize religious marriage, no religious authority is currently forced to marry anyone, nor will they be forced to if equal marriage becomes law.

It really is simple. Equal marriage is a matter of fairness and justice.

Reid Scher

Windham

Just because some politician in Washington, D.C., or some supposed star in Hollywood says they have “evolved” and are now in favor of same-sex marriage doesn’t make it right.

These people’s opinions are just that, their own opinions, and they do not change what the word of God has to say on the matter.

Deuteronomy 22:5 tells us, “A woman shall not wear anything that pertains to a man, nor shall a man put on a woman’s garment, for all who do so are an abomination to the Lord your God.”

In the New Testament Romans 1:24-32 tells us exactly how God feels about homosexuality and lesbianism. God hates the sin of homosexuality and lesbianism even though he loves those who practice them.

He loves these sinners because he loves all sinners and wants them to love him and live the life he has laid out for them.

Politicians and celebrities know their words are going to be listened to and heeded by people in our society who haven’t taken the time to find out the facts for themselves.

The politicians and celebrities have a right to their opinions, as do all of us who live in this free society.

But they also need to find out the facts before they give an opinion on this or any other subject.

It seems a lot of people have changed their minds on this subject for some type of personal gain, whether it is in the hope they will add a few more votes in their favor during an election or for some other reason.

They need to stop trying to make themselves look better and they should read “the word” and see what God has to say.

Frederick H. Giese, D.Min.

Lisbon Falls

LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) human beings are born that way.

Ignorance is a choice.

Carol Raney

Portland

I write today about the importance of family in God’s plan.

Of greatest importance is the right of every child to be loved and raised with a man-father and woman-mother.

This is the truth that God has allowed to be.

Marriage is not only an arrangement whereby two adults come together.

Marriage is also about children who will cooperate with God through his plan for marriage and become the next generation.

Family is God’s plan and way to salvation for each person.

God’s creation of marriage and family is to choose his choice of life in what is right and good.

When we fall away from his plan, we can turn back to God for help.

Why change marriage and family according to our own agenda?

Rob Poissant

Gorham

If marriage is a sacred religious institution for the coming together of a man and a woman to make babies, how do you explain the atheist couple in their 80s who go to City Hall and get a marriage license without a single religious word spoken between them or the clerk?

The 80-something couple will never produce children and never recognize God.

Yet they are just as legally married as the couple who goes to church five times a day and produces a dozen kids.

And the couple who goes through a religious ceremony in their church but doesn’t secure the necessary non-religious marriage license from the government?

They’re as legally married as two rocks in the backyard.

Every day in Maine and across the country, straight couples with no intention of procreating get legally married.

Every day, gay couples with children (or who plan to have them via adoption or artificial insemination) get legally married in the seven states where it’s allowed.

Every day, couples for whom religion is the furthest thing from their minds, also get legally married.

The world doesn’t stop.

Locusts don’t swarm.

And it doesn’t interfere with anyone else’s religion one little bit.

Religious activities, including marriage rites, will continue as they always have.

And no church will ever have to perform a marriage that doesn’t conform with its religious views or doctrine.

But a lot of churches will marry gay couples, by the way, and their ceremonies are just as acceptable as those that won’t.

Until those condemning same-sex marriage on religious grounds go after non-procreating opposite-sex atheist couples with the same zeal, they have no case except a case for hypocrisy.

The biggest threat to heterosexual marriage is still what it’s always been: heterosexual divorce initiated by heterosexuals and sealed with good heterosexual riddance.

Bill Harnsberger

Portland