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With New York becoming the sixth state to allow same-sex couples to marry (in addition to Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, plus Washington, D.C.), and adding the seven states that currently allow marriage-equivalent civil unions for same-sex couples (California, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Washington), plus the four states that have limited civil unions or domestic partnerships (Colorado, Maine, Maryland, Wisconsin), I see trouble for the 30 states whose constitutions or laws ban any legal form of same-sex coupling.

With many American gay couples now marrying, adopting children and creating wholesome families, and then doing what American families do — moving — Americans' sense of justice and fair play will increasingly scorn the situation where a married New York same-sex family of four moves to Utah (or Mississippi or Alabama) and — presto! — they're no longer married! Soon the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which says states don't have to recognize marriages in other states, will fall under the wrongness of its mean-spirited consequences.

Even "pro-family" Utah will have to adopt the stance of Maryland and New Mexico — they don't permit same-sex marriage ceremonies, but they recognize marriages performed in other states. So why wait? Have a heart. Do that now!

George Hanson

Los Angeles

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