I attended the state Judiciary Public Hearing on same-sex marriage earlier this week. Two bills are proposed to allow gays in committed relationships to get married.

I listened to Brian Brown, the first speaker, who is the director of the Family Institute of Connecticut which is an ultra conservative pro marriage lobbying group.

He is against giving homosexuals in a committed relationship, equal rights under Connecticut law.

"Marriage predates state marriage. It's a cultural institution," he said. "Marriage is a central part of our culture," he said.

Brown said it was necessary to have marriage to raise children in the right environment. He said kids do better with a mom and a dad. And should always be raised with one of each. That is the only way they will thrive proactively, he said.

Brown acknowledged during the hearing that the divorce rate is high. But he said his lobbying group would be working to strengthen the sanctity of husband and wife.

One African American senator recalled the civil rights movement of his generation and likened it to the struggle gays are currently fighting. He recalled the slogan that is now being pulled 'out of the closet' and dusted off.

"To end segregation will destroy civilization as we know it."

Another speaker from Southington couldn't hide her apparent homophobia.

While she said she could "understand" gays caring about each other she likened that relationship to having a childhood friend you love and respect.

She said marriage is more than that. She said that men and women 'complete' each other. "See how the bodies are created. Marriage is a natural union," she said.

This is the third time that I have attended these hearings. And while the language has been toned down by the religious right, it has never disappeared. And while the hysteria is gone, the urgency of such legislation hasn't.

Recently I began to receive letters to the editor on the topic. And due to a production error the name and community of one letter was omitted. I was accused of protecting this individual.

I applaud those who came forward and reacted so appropriately. I also find this opposing opinion a sad attempt to curtail the rights of American citizens.

There is one issue that most can all agree on. We are all created in god's eye. And are equal to him/her.

Why can't we all be equal to each other?