To the editor:
There are two aspects of marriage. The legal or civil union aspect of marriage is the set of rights and responsibilities granted by the government when a couple signs a marriage license stating they wish to join their property, declare who they wish to have access to their medical information in an emergency, etc.
The spiritual aspect of marriage is determined by the beliefs of the people getting married. The vows to love, honor, cherish are commonly spoken to express the spiritual commitment one person makes to another.
The government has no right to legislate the spiritual union, and the church has no right to interfere in the legal union. The separation of church and state was put into place to protect both religious institutions from the government and the government from religious institutions.
All Americans have the right to practice whatever faith they wish; they do not have the right to deny the civil rights of others because of these beliefs. If you do not believe people of the same sex should not be married, don't marry someone of the same sex.