The insistence of Gary Bauer, president of the Family Research Council, that gay relationships belong in the same category as incestuous behavior {"Legal Snag Keeps Gays From Tying the Knot," Metro Dec. 6} is simply ridiculous.

Right-wingers, disturbed that gays are finding increased acceptance from more fair-minded Americans, are now attempting the tactic of attacking gays' political and social advances by associating homosexuality with incest and other kinds of sexual behavior that most would find much more offensive than homosexuality. I hope that readers will look beyond this vicious tactic to examine the real issues around gay marriages.

One of the primary stereotypes about gay people is that they are inherently promiscuous. Although this couldn't be further from the truth, that myth is perpetuated by society's unwillingness to allow gays to marry and openly carry on stable relationships.

Many churches are beginning to recognize this problem and are at least talking about allowing gay unions. Perhaps it's time for our secular institutions to consider gay unions as well. This issue promises to be the first major test of Mayor-elect Sharon Pratt Dixon's commitment to gay rights.

Readers should be reminded that at one time, blacks were not allowed marriages in this country either, as ridiculous as it seems. I know that one day Americans will look back with similar shame at the injustice of not allowing gays to marry. CHRISTOPHER GOULD Washington