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Article published January 21, 2013
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Amesh A. Adalja, M.D. Penn Township
While Nancy Cope may feel as if she has been robbed as same-sex marriage is increasingly recognized as a civil right, supporters of same-sex marriage have long felt robbed because of the unnatural monopoly religion has had on the concept of marriage. I’m referring to her Jan. 8 letter to the editor, “Words’ meaning stolen.” Cope’s construction of marriage as solely the province of religion is evident when she writes, “God designed this union to be so special that new life is produced as a result — a baby.” Does Cope believe atheists have a right to marry? What about those who choose not to procreate? As is evident, Cope’s conception of marriage is one entirely derived from her religious beliefs and, as such, has no place in this debate. Marriage is simply a specific type of contractual agreement between consenting individuals, and government’s role is simply to enforce the terms of the contract, not stipulate who the parties are to the contract. If Cope and other religious individuals wish to have a religious ritual surrounding instances of this contract that comply with church dogma, that is their right and is a separate issue that has no bearing on the fundamental at stake.