I was once of like mind as Jane Mower (letter, “Parallel between Snowe, gay marriage question,” March 27) when it comes to the question of marriage equality. I have since changed my perspective and would like to comment on some of her remarks.

* The dignity of marriage cannot be available to people of “every status” if the law prevents people of “every status” to marry.

* If civil unions do not make a “family” any less loving, and we have been told “marriage” sets the parameters of family, are not civil unions de facto marriages?

* Mower probably has not walked the halls of today’s schools where children are insulted because of their parents’ “status” or when those children have to hide that status because it is not accepted. The negative effects on a child’s self-image and sense of worth pale in comparison to most other burdens.

* Civil unions are not on a par with marriage — there is no “if.” If my memory serves me correctly, married couples have more than 600 rights that civilly unioned people do not have. (See http://equalitymaine.org). Something is being done about this gross discrepancy; it is called marriage equality.

* This is not a “gay-rights” issue. It is a “human” rights issue.

There is an oft-quoted expression: If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then it is probably a duck. If all 600-plus of those inequalities could be eliminated, wouldn’t we just be fooling ourselves by calling it anything other than marriage?

Given that the highest court in our land already has ruled that separate but equal is no longer legal, I am surprised that anyone could make the argument for two separate but equal social statuses.

Dr. Mark Morin, Waterville