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Mailbag: Marriage has evolved over the years

February 24, 2010

Mel Wolf suggests that gay couples should just shut up and be happy that we have domestic partnerships available (“Domestic partnerships are still available,” Feb. 13).

His letter (not his first on this subject) hit your pages at the exact time I was domestically partnered with software to do our returns, one for me and one for my life mate of 44 years, because we are not allowed to file joint federal returns, which results in our paying more than married couples in the same bracket.

Wolf is correct that we have the option to protect our separate estates with wills, trusts and medical powers of attorney. This, of course, assumes the laws under which they are drawn remain static, which is often not the case, resulting our updating regularly at a cost of about $1,000 each. We also travel often and must always have these documents with us because our California Domestic Partnership is worthless outside California.

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As far as Wolf’s idea of what marriage should be (from his comments, evidently for procreation only), I suppose he would also ban anyone incapable of producing offspring, including anyone past the age.

Yes, I know that is preposterous, but I would suggest he or anyone else with that mind set read up on the history of marriage throughout the ages. You will find that marriage among the elite of America, until fairly recent history, has been about money, prestige and title, with the woman little more than chattel.

This system still operates in many cultures. In Europe, marriage was commonly a business arrangement between two families, with the woman legally bound to marry an unwed brother of her deceased husband should he die. Child marriages were commonly arranged between families, often before the child was born, and the pair seldom met before their wedding day.

Laws and customs evolve, Mel. For me, it’s a bit sad that some people’s minds don’t.

JIM CARROLL

Burbank

American consumers blowing in the wind

The media now feasting, in a frenzy, on Toyota is effecting a distortion of a fact immutable in character and confirmed by 50 years of history: Cars built by Toyota are overwhelmingly sound and innovative in design, efficient in performance and have proven tough, reliable and lasting.

They are now, as has every other car brand in the past, encountering dysfunction in thousands of their cars — thousands out of millions.

The fickle nature of American consumers, steeped in deep hypocrisy, and inherently equipped with the shallow loyalty of an audience in a tennis match, helped this foreign brand eclipse even the largest U.S. automaker, shouting loud to buy American from the driver seat of their Toyota, Honda and Mercedes.

They now, like sheep, rush to another part of the meadow, as dictated by the invisible shepherd, just as they’ve done before, and as they will again.

Burbank


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