"Absolutely. Do we, or do
we not, believe that everyone is created equal? If we adhere to that
belief, then gay people should be allowed to marry. It doesn't threaten
me. I don't understand why it would threaten anyone else."
--Debbie Williams, 60, a paralegal from Millfield
"It should be legal because I think that marriage is a representation of love. Just like love sees no color, love should not see gender."
--Laleh Honar, 22, a student from Athens
"I think it should be legal (assuming that this is an issue over which the federal government has jurisdiction). There is nothing in the Constitution that either prohibits or encourages it. Honestly I believe the states should each decide for themselves."
--Erin Hyman, 28, an office manager/delivery driver from Athens
"Yes, absolutely. I'm bisexual, and I believe my right to marry should be the same as anyone else's, should I happen to fall in love with a woman. It's love, not genitals, that make a marriage."
--Catherine Maynard, 22, graduate student from Nelsonville
"Yes, evolution is inevitable. I have hope."
--Amanda Sharrai, 33, a community organizer from Athens
"I think that it should be legal for everyone to declare their intentions to love, honor, etc, the person of their choice. I have friends who are the dearest women that I have ever known - to deny them the right to celebrate their relationship with their friends and family is a travesty. I have been to marriages between a man and a woman that should have been considered more of an affront to religion and society than any gay marriage ever could. In one, the bride, who was seven or eight months pregnant at the time, walked down the aisle in a damaged dress because she had set fire to the thing the night before. This couple fought like this before they were wed and then after - but they were allowed to be in a church and say vows that they obviously did not mean at the time nor did they intend to honor afterward."
--Amie Nogrady, 42, a freelance writer from Glouster
"No. 'Gay marriage' should not be legal. EVERY person, including the LGBT, was born in the same way - by a union of a female egg with a male sperm. Marriage rightly celebrates this truth, even though not all marriages result in children and the lucky will survive the gradual end of their sexual powers. It is OK for LGBT to be daring, but they often also insist on being 'proud' of their difference. Why? To celebrate 'Love' is not enough. Read C. S. Lewis on the different kinds of love - affection, friendship, charity. Eros (sexual love) is not all. Today there is too much emphasis on Eros, whether hetero- or homosexual. People need to work on good relationships, good families, good marriages. On the other hand, what I think on this matter will not matter to others. I accept that, but I won't support legality for LGBT "marriage." The traditional marriage that I favor is not an easy relationship. A honeymoon is followed by the rest of your lives. Humility, kindness, acceptance of hard times and life's peaks and valleys are all needed. I also believe that what consenting adults do in private is their own business unless it hurts others, which is why I accept civil unions."
--Lois D. Whealey, 78, a citizen activist/independent humanities scholar from Athens
"I want to see gay marriage made legal. Nobody should be able to dictate whether or not two consenting adults of any race, gender, nationality or creed (can) express their love in the same manner others are. I hear so many people talk down on gay marriage as if it's the lowest form of human interaction, forgetting there are so many truly bad expressions of love and sexuality in the world and it makes me really angry."
--Caitlin Seida, 21, a freelance writer from Nelsonville
"I feel that if two people wish to join their lives together, so be it. Whether it is a marriage or civil union or whatever you want to call it. Two people who are in love and wish to commit to each other should be given that chance."
--Jennifer Cooper, 42, with a non-profit from Stewart
"I think that gay marriage should be legal. It is an abomination that it is not, honestly. The United States was founded on the concepts of total equality, freedom of speech - including freedom of expression and thought and actions, as well as freedom of religion. If every religious group could stop each and every other religious group from practicing or create laws against religions, how would that be American? Also does the United States have the right to control your personal life? Is that not an invasion of privacy? Also in some states sodomy is still illegal. Sodomy is defined as any sexual act other than penetration. If you are in love with someone and want to be tied to them forever in a bond under a state, what would you say if you were prosecuted for wanting that? Honestly, it is unfair and un-American."
--Kari Lowery, 18, a student from Athens
"Of course, I think gay marriage should be legal in the United States. Why would it matter to me whom someone else married or what they do in the privacy of their own lives? My husband and I are doing just fine, so why shouldn't someone else have that privilege?"
--Anne Whitman, 60, an adjunct instructor from Athens
"I do not agree with gay marriage, from a personal perspective. However, I struggle with the ability in whether or not it is appropriate to judge others on their choices and limit them as a result. People are who they are. It doesn't make them any less beautiful, magnificent and human. I wish there was a 'win-win' for this topic, as I always feel it will be controversial and subject to debate."
--Tomma Shuler, 37, in health-care management from Athens
"I think it should be legalized. All that people are looking for in life is someone to love and to be loved in return. When someone finds that person, it is no one else's business who that person is."
--Kate, Nelsonville, 24, a cook/dietary aide from Nelsonville
"I truly believe that all human beings have a right to be happy. Blocking gay marriage does not make someone straight; it just punishes them for being gay. I honestly do not see anything wrong with allowing gay couples to marry"
--Missy Brown, 40, an RN clinical manager from The Plains
"Yes, it doesn't matter the gender, you should marry whom you love."
--Amber Skorpenske, 20, a student from Pittsburgh
"Absolutely. It's just the right thing to do. Don't like watching gay couple kiss? Don't look."
--Jessie Daniel, 38, a realtor from Glouster
"Yes, the Constitution guarantees rights for ALL people - there are no exclusions."
--Billie Handa, 29, Director of Development, NBIA, from Nelsonville
"I don't believe in homosexuality because of my Christian faith, but I also don't feel it is our government's place to put laws into effect preventing it. It is a personal choice."
--Daniella Limoli, 20, a student from Athens
"Yes. Because love and commitment are good things."
--Janice Phelps Williams, 54, a publisher, writer, illustrator from Athens
"Yes, I do. Who am I or who are you to say whether someone should or should not be allowed to marry someone they love? If you don't agree with it, then don't be involved bottom-line. I don't think arguing is the answer; what will it solve? Nothing. That's what. If someone doesn't like or agree with something, then they just don't have to be apart of it. It's a very simple concept to me. I just don't understand all the commotion over it. And if you're worried how you're going to explain to your children that little bobby has two dads or two moms, you do it the same way. You explain to him where babies come from, except now you get to skip that part. Simple."
--Shana Snyder, 22, graduate student/substitute teacher from Athens
"I definitely think that gay marriage should be legal. I can find no logical reason why two people who love each cannot declare this is an official way, regardless of their sexual orientation."
--Marisa Welch, 23, a sales associate and student library assistant from Athens
"I absolutely believe that gay marriage should be legal in the United States, because no matter what personal or religious beliefs a person has about homosexuality, there is one thing that is incredibly important to remember - gay people are PEOPLE! Homosexuals, as human beings, only desire (and deserve) to have the rights that every other human on the planet has, and they are more than willing to take on the responsibilities that go along with them. They are not some sort of lower being that heterosexuals can claim to have the right to lord over and decide what is acceptable and lawful behavior for them. What does it say about our society that most ANIMALS have more rights than homosexuals do? Seriously, racists used to (and still do) spew forth some of the same bull crap in order to deny African Americans equal rights. So, bigots can go on making ridiculous arguments about the religious and moral implications of allowing gay marriage to be made legal; in the end, the truth is that there is no moral 'slippery slope' or any other legit reason anyone can give that makes sense to deny this particular group of PEOPLE their rights!"
--Ellen Lambert, 27, a full-time aunt from Albany
"Being barred from a loved one in the hospital, possibly dying, is the most devastating consequence of the anti-gay marriage mania. It should be permitted for the legal protections. Stable gay couples should be allowed to adopt and participate fully and openly in American life."
--Alexa Ross, Nelsonville, 63, a retired motel manager/actress from Nelsonville
"I do not think that gay marriage should be legal in the United States. I believe that if you choose an alternate lifestyle from the accepted norm, you should give up some of the benefits. I believe that we have traveled too far from the traditional values that made this country strong and we are confusing too many issues."
--Tabitha Bond, 40, a business owner from Coolville
"To each their own."
--Darcie Hartley, 36, office assistant -- ABH, from Albany