The letter below from Senator Merkley is in reply to my letter of opposition to him. Although he is incorrect and foolish on his stance, I respect that he had the fortitude to reply to me, even understanding that it was a form letter.
Thank you for contacting me to share your views about the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). While we may disagree on this issue, please know that I respect your opinion and appreciate the opportunity to share my perspective.
Equal rights for every American is one of our most cherished constitutional principles, one that our nation is continually striving to meet For this reason, I believe that committed same-sex couples should have the same basic rights that heterosexual couples do. This is where the Senator goes astray. What he believes is not what the law and the constitution says. If same sex couple wish to live together that is there decision. But, marriage and the benefits of such a relationship should not be granted to them. Marriage is between a man and a woman. This is Gods design and has been excepted all of history. Should liberals promote such a watering down of the institution of marriage? Why should the definition be changed to benefit couples that are engaged in an immoral act? They are not in an equal relationship as, heterosexual couples, that is simply impossible, as defined in all of nature. It’s the male/female thing. Male animals and female animals may gather together and even segregate at times, but not for sex. DOMA prohibits the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages and permits states to refuse recognition of such marriages performed in other states. NO state should be legalizing same sex marriage. Gays can be treated as a person with an illness and extended compassion but no one has the right to legitimize their behavior. Where would this line of thought stop? What would be wrong with child sex? Rape? Murder? Stealing? Are we not denying people from doing what they wish, even what they believe they have the freedom to do? What about unmarried couples (straight or gay) living together, why are they discriminated against? Is all that’s standing in the way…a piece of paper? Why have marriage at all? Doesn’t that just discriminate against all unmarried couples? WHAT IS MARRIGE? I think that is the one question and one that needs to stay unchanged. Marriage is a legal union between and man and woman. Gays want something like that? Then let them call their union a…coupling. In other words, the act strips couples legally married in five states of their marital rights, such as Social Security, health care, and even the right to visit each other in the hospital. This form of discrimination undermines our constitutional values. Every American, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, is entitled to full equality under the law. Two men living together do not have the same responsibilities as a man/woman and never will. Do not compare apples to oranges. Do not patronize or insult me! Gay men have the same rights as unmarried straight men. Gay men do not have a female reproductive organ. They (gay men or gay women) can have sex all day long with each other but they will make no babies, no new human life. Their relationship is not the same as heterosexuals couples and should not have the same rights or share the definition!
Thank you, again, for sharing your thoughts with me. Even when we reach opposite conclusions, I appreciate that we can communicate our views. I hope you will continue to keep me informed about the issues that matter most to you. Yep, count on it
Jeffrey A. Merkley
United States Senator