George F. Will ["Questions for Kerry," op-ed, Aug. 5] rhetorically says to John Kerry:

"You oppose, on federalism grounds, a constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. You say marriage law is traditionally a state responsibility. But so was abortion law for the Republic's first 197 years, until 1973. What is the difference?"

I can take this one.

The difference is that Roe v. Wade was a Supreme Court decision, an interpretation of the Constitution. Another Supreme Court at another time could decide differently.

An amendment banning gay marriage, however, would alter the Constitution itself, so that no court could ever decide differently. It's not John Kerry's fault that Roe made it all the way to the Supreme Court and took the issue out of the states' hands.


Watertown, Mass.


I would like to hear John Kerry answer some of George F. Will's charges about his inertia against Social Security reform, as well as his apparent hypocrisy regarding campaign finance.

Mr. Will's use of innuendo, however, is shameful. In asking pointed questions about whether Mr. Kerry would fail to intervene against nuclear proliferation in Iran and against genocide in Darfur, Mr. Will implied unfairly that he would not. Asking whether the elderly with dementia have a right to life, he implied that Democrats are geronticidal maniacs.

The current president is not doing anything militarily to stop the Sudanese genocide or to stem nuclear proliferation. By attacking Mr. Kerry on these contentious grounds and implying that he is destined to fail to respond adequately, Mr. Will undermines his own integrity.