Dan Rodricks' assertion that there are no rational arguments against same-sex marriage is unfounded ("Same-sex marriage foe: irrational fear," Sept. 11). In fact, there are logical arguments both for and against same-sex marriage, but they differ in their premises.

The argument against same-sex marriage assumes that marriage is primarily oriented toward the generation and upbringing of children. Since homosexual relationships are inherently incapable of generating children, they cannot be the basis for marriage. This premise also justifies government interest in marriage, since it is the generation and appropriate upbringing of children that produces competent future citizens.

The argument for same-sex marriage seems to be based on the premise that marriage is simply society's endorsement of a persistent sexual relationship. Given this premise, any kind of sexual relationship, including polygamy and incest, could be understood as a basis for marriage. It also raises a question as to why the state should be involved in regulating marriage at all.

Charles Roswell, Columbia