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Justice Scalia and gay marriage

In his Dec. 12 op-ed column, “Scalia blocking the aisle,” Dana Milbank said that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s view of gays is medieval. Actually, his view is millennia older than that. Over thousands of years of human history until the present, no society concerned itself with homosexual marriage, as it served no purpose. Homosexual unions contributed nothing to the clan or tribe.

No sane parent would have betrothed his or her daughter to another woman. No sane person would try to extend the family line by having his son marry another man. It is only our modern concept of undiscriminating equality that leads us to ignore the inherent infertility of homosexual unions.

The Defense of Marriage Act is useful in that it enables a uniform treatment of marriage under federal law. The correct alternative to it is not recognizing marriage as a legal entity at all. If we believe those ancient reasons for marriage are no longer useful, we should get rid of marriage in law, not create another class of marriages.

Michael Cardinale, Springfield

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Dana Milbank’s column on Justice Antonin Scalia’s position on the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) pointed clearly to the central conflict in these upcoming cases: state’s rights vs. federal intervention, albeit with a twist.

In the past, federal government intervention has generally been used in defense of individual rights that states are not willing to grant. DOMA does the opposite, negating a right granted by states in an area clearly in their purview and done through normal legislative channels.

It is hard to see how Justice Scalia, widely viewed as a strict constructionist, can argue that taking away rights, both individual and state, in this setting is constitutional or in line with the intent of the framers.

Bruce Flax, Winchester, Va.

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