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letters | DEBATE OVER MARRIAGE

Cause of equality is advancing

MARRIAGE EQUALITY is farther along than the Globe thinks it is ( “Gay marriage a state-by-state tussle: Both sides see hope in voters, legislators,’’ Page A1, Feb. 13). More than 42 percent of Americans already live in the 21 states that have various forms of legal marriage, including same-sex marriage, civil union, and domestic partnership.

Up to 30 mostly rural states still use state laws, state constitutions, or both, to ban all forms of marriage except one-man-one-woman couples, but 14 federal lawsuits in the last three years are favoring equality over discrimination. When it comes to applying the constitutional principles of fairness, equality, and liberty over the human prejudices of history, culture, and religion, the justice system is ahead of the voters.

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In 2012 alone, lawmakers, judges, and voters in 16 states, as well as federal judges and Congress, will decide whether to allow, or ban, various levels of marriage equality. Let’s hope their decision-making will be illuminated by the fact that, until 1967, interracial marriage was outlawed in many states.

Ned Flaherty

Project manager

Marriage Equality USA

Boston

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