Now, after having lost a civil case, in which several jurors had family or friends who were, or were themselves, connected to the police, the family is being sued by the city for its legal costs, claiming the brutal pepper-spraying and killing of Gidone was "justified."

Doris Busch Boskey
Dix Hills, New York

Goin' to the courthouse

Re "State to Church: I Want a Divorce" [March 3-9]: Thanks for saying it in the Voice, Alisa Solomon. I've been preaching this gospel (yeah, I'm a priest) for years now—pretty much since I got back from Europe, where in fact everybody has to get hitched at the courthouse before (or instead of) a religious ceremony. I even met a priest in Belgium who had been taken to court and fined one franc for performing a marriage for a couple from Spain who had missed the Friday deadline at the courthouse.

I absolutely believe that churches and other religious institutions should get unhitched from the state in every respect. Probably, that's the next initiative the churches themselves need to take—once we get through pulling each other's hair out over our decision to bless gay and lesbian unions in the first place!

Reverend Linda Maloney
Saint Cloud, Minnesota

Define yourself

Alisa Solomon's article finally portrayed the view I have been waiting to see on the gay marriage issue. If marriage is considered to have a religious definition that excludes same-sex unions, then the union recognized for getting tax breaks and other benefits should not be called marriage.

I'm also glad to read someone who rejects the notion that Bush's statements are "pure election-year politics." I believe he honestly thinks that this is the right thing to do and that, understandably,

the issue needs to be addressed somehow despite all the other issues meriting attention these days. It needs attention, and I think Solomon presents the solution.

Martha DoByns
Charleston, West Virginia

Straight talk

I must admit to being disgusted by the whole debate over gay marriage, but not for the usual right-wing reasons. I'd like to know why gay people want to get married at all. With civil unions bringing all the needed legal rights and with thousands of years of crafting the finest true alternative/outlaw society this planet has ever known, with all the deaths, suffering, joys, and triumphs that were so hard fought, can it really be true that all gay people really wanted was to be like straight people? Raise kids? Get married in straight-looking ceremonies, with gowns and tuxedos?

The one group of people extant who could toss the stupid restrictions of all straight relationships right back into America's moribund face, and the goal is to be "accepted" and "tolerated" by straight society? What a massive disappointment! What next, gay NASCAR dads?

Norman Gaines
Hartsdale, New York

Church and state

Alisa Solomon brings up the point that I've been raising among friends and family for some time now. The arguments against gay marriage are all, ultimately, based on religious beliefs, and if the principle of separation of church and state were applied to the question of marriage, there'd be no legal distinction between marriage and civil union. And, as Solomon suggests, those couples—gay or straight—who want religious blessings for their unions could pursue that desire within their churches.

Judith Poxon
Sacramento, California

The personal touch

Thank you for Laura Conaway's "I'd Leave the Country, but My Wife Won't Let Me" [March 3-9]. I am pleased Conaway has decided to make her contributions to the Voice heartfelt and personal. No matter how intelligent or well-researched, an article cannot inform us about an issue unless it address the human element.

Jeremy Moon
Syracuse, New York

Northern flights

I want to thank you for your Laura Conaway's great article.

As lesbians in a binational relationship, my partner and I struggle with similar feelings every day. She is an American; I'm not. We have been together in this country for eight years, but we have to leave because immigration law doesn't consider us a family. There is nothing she can do to keep me here—she has no rights at all. It breaks my heart to see her cry when she says that this is not the country she grew up in. She wants to leave the U.S., and we will. We hope to go to Canada, like so many other gay and lesbian binational couples trying to find a place that they can call home.

Cris Pinillos
San Antonio, Texas

No Canado

"I'd Leave the Country, But My Wife Won't Let Me" was a great article and I totally empathize with Laura Conaway. I too have wanted to move to Canada for many years. Unfortunately, it is not as easy as just going there. For the past 10 years I have tried virtually everything that would allow me to move, but it is next to impossible if you are from the U.S. and do not have a college degree (at the very least a B.A.). As a gay man, I feel much more welcome in Canada, but as a person who doesn't have the resources to finish college, I am shut out of Canada because of their class-oriented immigration system.

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