A reader writes:

I was mulling over the argument that banning gay marriage preserves the
"sanctity" of marriage.  I'm straight, and married, but like you I'm
befuddled by the claim that banning gay marriage "defends" straight
marriage.  You and others have interpreted it as meaning "gays are so
icky that if we let them marry, straight marriage will be tainted by
association."  I just thought of an alternative (and no less bigoted)
interpretation: perhaps those who oppose gay marriage believe that gay
love is less real than straight love; that the way you feel about your
husband is less pure, or less real, or less loving, than the way I feel
about my wife.

If someone believed this - in essence, that gay love is fake - talk of
the "defense" of marriage would start to make sense.  The argument would
be that marriage is reserved for true love, not for whatever gays
feel for each other.  On the other hand, it could only be an argument
made by someone who had never really known a gay person.  Anyone with a
gay friend or relative knows that same-sex love encompasses the same
range of emotions as opposite-sex love.  To some degree I pity the
ignorance of someone who would think that gays cannot love like
straights.  But I suspect that this is the reason behind the "defense of
marriage" argument.

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