Christie Jessee (2/24, Letters, “Same-sex unions”) cites a lack of masculine or feminine parental influence for children of gay couples as justification for gay marriage bans. However, even if it were true that fatherless or motherless families are less than ideal, that is no reason to deny gay couples equal marriage rights.
If only those who would be ideal parents could marry, no one would be married. We don’t grant or deny heterosexual couples the right to marry based on their presumed level of fitness as parents. Why make an exception for gay couples?
Many gay couples already have children, and many make excellent parents despite whatever challenges such families must face. The welfare of these children is better served if their parents have the right to marry than if they do not. We are doing these children no favors by treating their parents as second-class citizens.