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Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Re: “Decriminalize cohabitation in Virginia,” Feb. 2 editorial “Short takes”:
I am aware that the 1877 law making “lewd and lascivious cohabitation” illegal has been flouted through the years, to the extent that such conduct has become practically the rule rather than the exception in the eyes of many people.
Regardless of the case, I am saddened by your flippant treatment of the institution of marriage, implying that those who support it are “puritanical” and living in the Victorian “eponymous age of sexual repression.” Your attitude is an affront to those who regard marriage as a sacred union with both religious and civil elements.
For centuries, marriage has been the basis of family life for many people of various religions and cultures. As a legal contract, it grants certain privileges and imposes certain responsibilities on the part of those involved.
Unfortunately, since it involves imperfect people, marriage is not a perfect institution, and many unions thus end in failure. But despite its shortcomings, marriage is not some relic from the past, but should be promoted as part of our present and future.
LOUIS M. NEWTON
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