New Castle News

Letters to the Editor

April 25, 2013

Marriage act approved to protect states’ rights

NEW CASTLE — Editor, The News:

On April 4, an editorial appeared in The News concerning the Supreme Court hearing cases involving same-sex marriage.

The editorial contained some good points, but totally missed the purpose of the Defense of Marriage Act. In fact, the article actually made some claims that were inaccurate.

For instance, the article claimed that DOMA was, “… intended to interfere with state laws allowing gay marriage.” This statement is patently false. DOMA was not written to interfere with state laws. The fact that nine states allow same-sex marriages proves this. DOMA was written to protect states’ rights found in the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

DOMA prevents any state that does not want a redefinition of traditional marriage — an institution thousands of years old — forced upon them. DOMA upholds each state’s right to self-determinism — otherwise known as federalism. That is why DOMA passed Congress with large majorities and was signed into law by Bill Clinton in 1996.

The News’ editorial claimed that marriage is “a contract, a merger of sorts.” This is true of a civil marriage, or a civil union. It is not true of a religious marriage.

To the government, marriage is a contract. To the church, marriage is a sacred covenant between a man, a woman and God. This is the case in the Jewish, Muslim and Christian faiths.

No government entity, federal or state, should interfere with a sacred covenant of the church. We must never forget the separation of church and state as Thomas Jefferson defined it.

While the Supreme Court can certainly strike down the parts of DOMA that deny federal benefits to same-sex couples, it can still allow the rest of DOMA to stand. This protects states’ rights.

Christopher Merola

Fairfax, Va.

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