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Cardinal O'Brien misses the point on same-sex marriage

In citing his objection to same sex marriage ("Redefining marriage in Md?" March 2), CardinalEdwin F. O'Brienfails to acknowledge that our laws are not based upon religious dogma but upon the precepts of our Constitution. Indeed our founding document not only offers specific protection from the undue influence of religious authority but likewise guarantees the equal protection of individual rights. From that perspective, marriage between two loving same-sex adults is hardly a "radical" notion as the cardinal has so characterized but one that is consistent with the exercise of long standing ideals that underlie our democracy.

As is evident in the case of Iran and other theocratic regimes, a free society is far more vulnerable to those who claim divine sanction than to those "radicals" who cherish democratic traditions.

Irwin Fried, Baltimore

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