To the editor:
As a father, husband and citizen of the United States, I have been saddened, as the institutions of marriage and family have come under increasing attack recently. I have also been concerned that the specific issue of gay marriage has been misrepresented as a civil rights issue akin to the African-American struggle for equality. No less a civil rights icon than Jesse Jackson has denounced that claim, noting that "gays were never called three-fifths human in the Constitution."
Supporters of a marriage-protection amendment are not out to discriminate against anyone; they simply want to preserve the institution of marriage as it has served society for centuries. We miss the issue when we resort to labeling it with emotional terms, such as "discrimination" and "civil rights."
I also fear that unbalanced media coverage has led people to believe that there is less support for the protection of marriage than is truly the case. The Defense of Marriage Act passed by 427 members of Congress and signed into law by former President Bill Clinton in 1996 underscores the broad support in America for the definition of marriage as "a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife."
The revision of national policy to say that gender, especially in child rearing, is inconsequential, even though research indicates children do best when raised by a married mother and father, is a serious matter with far-reaching implications. To sit back and do nothing about it is to give tacit consent. We must protect the sanctity of marriage and the benefits it provides to individual families and to society as a whole.