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Marriage in Massachusetts

WHEN I BEGAN reading the Globe Monday morning ("Free to marry," Page A1, May 17), I was surprised at the level of emotion I felt. I hesitate to use the "some of my best friends" cliche, but the fact is my thoughts went to a number of people who are very special to me and for whom on Monday Massachusetts became a kinder, gentler place to be. I am a former Republican State Committee member. If I had to label myself, I'd say I was a conservative Republican. It's time that other so-called conservatives return to the roots of conservatism and apply what ought to be our overriding principle: If people aren't hurting other people, let them live their lives.

I found it no coincidence that Monday was also the 50th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision, which started to heal the damage done by Dred Scott and Plessy v. Ferguson. Fifty years later, another class of Americans who have lived with second-class citizenship in spite of numerous and valuable contributions to our country and culture find themselves one or two court cases from having their right to marry recognized nationally. Let's hope it doesn't take us another 50 years to get there.

PAUL MELKONIAN
Lynn

WE APPLAUD the Globe for its support of marriage equality ("A wedding toast," editorial, May 17). This week we will apply for a marriage license at Cambridge City Hall. While this will be a very meaningful experience for us personally, we have always had the privilege of viewing it as an easy, obvious step in the preparations for our wedding on May 30. Standing in front of City Hall at midnight on Sunday, listening to the cheers and chants of "We are equal!" surrounding us, we were struck by the abject unfairness that so many couples were previously been denied the same rights we enjoy.

The extension of these rights to gay and lesbian couples will do nothing to undermine our heterosexual marriage -- rather, we feel far more legitimate marrying with the knowledge that we are entering into an institution open to all residents of the Commonwealth, rather than limited to some. As our friends and family soon lift a glass to toast our union, we in turn toast the couples who fought so hard for equal marriage.

ALISHA RANKIN
JOHN KUCZWARA Somerville

AS OF May 17, my family will not patronize any Massachusetts business, purchase any products originating there, or visit, for any reason. You are driving our nation down the path of decadence.

JOHN C. O'NEILL
Keystone Heights, Fla.

MY HUSBAND and I got our marriage license in Massachusetts almost 32 years ago. Today that license means even more than it did then because Massachusetts has led the way in respecting the traditional meaning of marriage: love, respect, and commitment. I am proud that my spouse and I were married in Massachusetts, and I am gratified that many more loving couples will be able to say the same.   Continued...

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