Letter: Give everyone marriage benefits or don’t give them to anyone

Re: “Court should uphold meaning of marriage” (Letters, April 3).

Marriage was not defined by nature or God; it is a government-sanctioned civil institution with many benefits attached. If the government did not attach social and economic benefits to marriage there would be no need to fill out paperwork; you could just go to your local church and have your minister sanction the union.

People do not always marry so they can have children; there are plenty of heterosexuals who are child-free by choice and many people who are infertile or marry too late to have children. Procreation is not the reason people choose to marry and spend their lives together in a productive environment.

No one should be able to “give” another person the right to marry because they are the “right” kind (or sex) of people. Either everyone should have the right to marry, with all the benefits you acquire with that status, or there should not be government benefits attached to being married and it should be turned into a religious ceremony that means nothing to anyone but your church.

— Susan Ashley