Regarding your article "Archbishop's letter on gay marriage" (Aug. 9), the precedent to the latest church vs. state battle in Annapolis was already set by John F. Kennedy in 1960.

At that time he stated: "I am not the Catholic candidate for president. I am the Democratic Party's candidate for president who also happens to be a Catholic. I do not speak for my church on public matters — and the church does not speak for me."

Archbishop Edwin F. O'Brien is well within his rights to speak out against same-sex marriage within the Catholic church. However, he cannot instruct Governor O'Malley how to govern, despite the fact that the governor is Catholic. Archbishop O'Brien is overstepping his bounds.

Jason L. Miller, Arlington, Va.