Re: Stu Bykofsky's "Same-sex marriage is a bad idea" column:

When a president is running for a second term, he emphasizes his first term's many accomplishments. Obama cannot. He blames his failures on the EU money problems, Republicans' so-called stand on women's rights, the tsunami in Japan and the Congress, which the Democrats overwhelmingly controlled for the first two years of his administration. Now he speaks of Romney's wealth, his stand on women, his stand on gay-lesbian marriage, et. al.

We now are told of Romney's alleged acts as a teenager. We know nothing about Obama's past, except that he went to private schools as a teenager, then Columbia University and Harvard Law School. Nowhere do we know of how he got the money to pay the tuitions to these schools. Who can answer that question?

Sid Glauser

West Deptford, N.J.

In questioning the "millennia-old practice" of defining marriage as one man and one woman, Byko goes on in his article to suggest that, next thing you know, we'll have to accept "polygamy and polyandry" as well. Here, he has made an error: "Polygamy" is the generic term meaning that one has more than one spouse. What he more likely meant to write was "polygyny," that is, a man having more than one wife (while "polyandry" means that one has more than one husband).

But for me, the error doesn't stop with mere semantics. For one thing, the argument seeks to degrade same-sex marriages, suggesting that they cannot be accepted because they fall outside the definition of true marriage and as such are "wacky" or strange. But further, it suggests, too, that polygamous marriages are abnormal when, truth be told, they've been around for millennia, long before monogamy came along.

Steven C. Dinero

Associate Professor

Human Geography

Philadelphia University

Marriage provides the next generation. Gay marriage/civil unions do not. Marriage is the basic cell of society. Without it, kingdoms fall.

Contrary to what you say, the state has every reason to protect, nourish and regulate marriage. Without enough young to support the old, most of our systems must fail, e.g., Social Security, Medicare, etc. That is why marriage does need special treatment, such as schooling and recreation paid for by the community, tax incentives, etc. I agree, marriage is a sacrament, and is blessed by churches. The state must continue to do the same. One of the background issues both here and in Europe is that there are not enough children (a main reason for recent school closings). Were it not for immigration both here and in Europe, we would fall below replacement levels.

To predicate equality between marriage and gay marriage/civil unions is to nullify the unique position of marriage in the state. No one asks to be born heterosexual or homosexual. And everyone should be free to enter marriage or a civil union. However, marriage needs extra care and help from the state. Without marriage, historically understood, there is no state.

Daniel Quinn

East Norriton, Pa.

Even though I had suspected that the president was going to finally give his endorsement to the legalization of same-sex marriage after his re-election, I have to declare I was quite surprised at his gutsy move saying that he is fine with it right now.

Constitutionally, he may be correct, but he is now leaving himself open to all the folks who, under the guises of "morality" and Christianity, will be expounding their bigotries against him every single week, from now till Election Day.

And, when he heard of this, of course the first thing Mitt Romney had to do was to flip-flop and pander to those very people and say that if elected, not only would he not support the equality, but that he would also propose a constitutional amendment to, once and for all, codify their bigotry.

And then he went on to say, "If I would allow gay American citizens the right to marry, that would make a farce out of the sanctity of marriage. And two of my three wives agree with me. So the majority rules!"

Marc Golde

Merion Station, Pa.

I along with millions remain so proud of President Obama for continuing to lead in a bold and courageous manner despite vicious opposition and ideologically based obstruction. President Obama's evolution to support marriage equality is a seismic shift in our history and it was the right thing to do.

It is not just about gay rights, it is about fundamental fairness and equality. Religious beliefs are sacred and personal and must not stand in the way of progress. Our secular-based laws were designed by our founders to provide life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness to all people, and all people deserve the full benefit of our laws.

There was a time when it was tradition for women not to vote, for blacks to sit at the back of the bus, for whites to marry only whites, for gays not to serve at all in the military. Now President Obama has moved our country forward by standing up decisively on the side of equality and reframing what is traditional.

If the GOP truly cares for this country and all people, they will work together with this president to continue to move us forward and not take us back in history.

Stephanie LaMonaca

Philadelphia