Thomas Sowell's case against affirmative action is sound; his case against same-sex marriage is not ("Affirmative action and gay marriage are frauds," Commentary, Sunday).
It's true that marriage laws emerged largely to deal with fact that heterosexual couples have children. But this fact does not imply - contrary to Mr. Sowell's careless claim - that "the government has a vested interest in unions that, among other things, have the potential to produce children, which is to say, the future population of the nation." Certainly in a free country, the state has no business governing in any way or for any purpose people's decisions on having children.
Additionally, the "married couple" has become a legal entity with unique status under tax, property, insurance and estate laws. Being married also carries with it important, largely positive, social implications. The fact that gay couples cannot (by conventional means) have children is no reason to deny these couples such status.
DONALD J. BOUDREAUX Chairman Department of Economics George Mason University Fairfax