Tad Walch">

10 areas where the struggle to define marriage is being waged

Published: Monday, March 7 2011 1:58 p.m. MST

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Some consider last week to have been a possible tipping point in the struggle over the definition of marriage in America. Gay advocates cheered Feb. 23 when the Obama Administration announced it would no longer go to court to defend the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act. Though the decision did not immediately affect any part of American life except the way four cases — two in Massachusetts, one in New York and one in Connecticut — are being litigated, speculation about the long-term fallout is anybody’s guess. What is clear is that the president’s decision was rare and that it sent traditional marriage advocates scrambling for a response. Here are 10 areas of American life, or American institutions, where the struggle to define marriage is most notable.
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Ridgely
Magna, UT

Someone explain to me how #7 The Boy Scouts, has anything to do with the definition of marriage?

Also shouldn't Academia make it onto the list SOMEWHERE as an area of conflict? Considering all of the material coming out of scientific research and peer review, the absence of Education/Science on this top ten seems mind boggling.

awsomeron1
Oahu, HI

WE lost Hawaii Last Week.

The Little Gov. Signed the Bill to allow Domestic Partnerships.

70% of Voting Hawaiians do not support Gay Marriage. Now only 35% of Hawaiians Vote to include all Hawaiians and REgistered To Vote military.

So it was shioved down our throats.

The Gov won the Election by wide Margin. Many Hawaiian Mormons Voted for Him, Knowing that this would be the Outcome.

Did they have a Choice. Yes and a fine one of Hawaiian Bloodline. A fine Repub Lt. Gov, just coming off 8 years of not having either House or Senate, with a Stagnet Centerist Female, slightly Pro Choice, White Female, Jewish, Gov.

A great Lady in her own right.

Did we have a Choice in 2002. No!!

The Dem Choice was So Vile, that evan the Block Voting Dems, crossed the line and went Repub.

For 8 years Gay Marriage remined Stagnent and Abortion remained Stagnent. It got No Better and no Worse. The Gays did Not get Married and the Keiki in Womb continued to be Aborted.

The Pro Life Non Profits mostly sat on their Hands.

The anti Gay marriage people the same.

I Vote, You Vote, that matters. No Change.

My_Comments
Salt Lake City, UT

#7 - What nonsense. The US Constitution does not give the Boy Scouts any rights. The constitution is a grant of power from the people to create a federal government to handle 19 enumerated powers. That's it.

The Constitution emanated from the people, and was not the act of sovereign and independent states. M'Culloch v. State, 17 U.S. 316, 4 L.Ed. 579, 4 Wheat. 316.

DOMA was and is geographically limited to areas over which Congress exercises exclusive legislative jurisdiction and has no effect whatever in within the 50 states of the Union. It is fairly irrelevant and whether it is defended in the courts or not is likewise quite irrelevant.

The real problem that almost no one will address is that the state has no business being in the marriage business. If they are then there are serious legal consequences because they are the superior party of interest since they granted permission for the marriage. They also exercise control the fruits of the contract (your children). People got married without marriage licenses for many years in this country and things worked fine. State involvement has been a disaster as it diminishes freedom.

DanO
Mission Viejo, CA

This is one of the most contrived propaganda pieces I've ever seen. Using "pro-marriage proponent" to describe Michael Medved? Guess what. Those who want marriage equality are also pro-marriage. The inclusion of the Boy Scouts is a total herring. Including it is the same as all the arguments such as Catholic Charities no longer offering adoption in Massachusetts. Of course, it's never brought up that that happened before marriage equality was allowed there. The other lie about the Church-owned but publicly licensed pavilion being "required" to host a same-gender marriage in New Jersey where marriage equality hasn't even happened yet. Last week's decision by the Supreme Court is undeniable proof that churches will not lose their First Amendment rights. If Westboro Baptists appalling protests are protected, so are the rights of other churches.

danny_slc
Springville, UT

mcbillay, you called this article "poor reporting". That is being generous. I would call it an opinion piece - editorializing -- and very unbalanced.

Blaine
Cedar City, UT

The headline refers to the "struggle to define marriage." That issue has been settled since man was created until very recently. Until recent years, marriage has always been defined as a formal relationship between a man and a woman (in some cultures and religions, more than one spouse of the opposite sex). The headline SHOULD have referred to the "struggle to REdefine marriage because presidents, politicians, and judges are moral cowards." Words have meanings.

5
Orem, UT

my_comments
If the states have no right to regulate marriage, why did the feds demand that Utah refute polygamy in the state constitution before they could be admitted to the union?

davidb
Saratoga Springs, UT

Ok, so the President and Mr. Holder decide the DOMA is unconstitutional. SO WHAT? They are obligated to enforce laws that were passed by the legislature until they are deemed unconstitutional by the courts! That is how separation of powers works.

Original_Intent
Salt Lake City, UT

@5 - good question. Article I, § 8, clause 17 of the U.S. Constitution defines federal territorial jurisdiction as follows:

"To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the Acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings."

The land in North America that was not part of one of the states of the Union but was claimed/owned/controlled by the US government falls under Congress' exclusive legislative jurisdiction. In these federal areas Congress acts very much like a king with near plenary power. The narrow constitutional bounds for legislating in one of the 50 states or with regards to the rights' of citizens do not apply in federal territory. As soon as Utah was granted statehood the federal government would have lost its power to exercise exclusive legislative jurisdiction and Utah could have then made plural marriage legal.

Utes21
Salt Lake City, ut

5 you have a very good point, our politicians and goverment are ran by groups that have their own agendas. Obama has done very little to nothing to help the economy? Isnt this the biggest issue when he first started? Now its him and his administration pushing their agenda and creating their own rules. Our country is slowly becoming socialist. I hope we can have change in 2012 but if not get ready for chaos. If you think Obama is done he is only getting started. We can only blame ourselves if we dont vote.

22ozn44ozglass
Southern Utah, UT

The title of this article is misleading and does not represent what is actually taking place. The SSM advocates are not defining marriage. While various aspects have changed over time, one thing has not changed. Marriage has been for heterosexual relations between and a woman(in some cases more than one woman)in the context of a cival contract and often a religous ceremony.

SSM advocates want to redefine marriage to accomodate their lifestyle, and it is disengenious at best and an injustice to this debate to label it as defining marriage.

In 1987 the Gay Magazine the Guide published an article The
Overhauling of Straight America, by Marshall Kirk and Erastes Pill. It makes for some very informative reading and sheds a great deal of light upon how homosexuality has been marketed to the US public.

My_Comments
Salt Lake City, UT

@5 - To give you some perspective which I cannot provide in the limited space here please go to original intent dot org under education and read the treatises on common law marriage and federal jurisdiction.

In Meister v. Moore, 96 U.S. 76 (1877) the Supreme Court held that, "As before remarked, the statutes are held merely directory, because marriage is a thing of common right..." meaning that marriage is one of our unalienable rights and that states are without the power to criminalize common law marriage by requiring a license (government permission). Any marriage statutes are merely directory (optional) and citizens can choose to avail themselves of the privileges and disabilities or obtaining a marriage license or not without penalty.

In you question you talk about states and the federal government. They are two very different classes of government and the way they operate and what they can do in certain places is also different. The states may not trespass upon a citizen's unalienable rights, however Congress is not so constrained when legislating for their territories and possessions. That's why I will never live in D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, etc.

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

All Americans, regardless of their orientations, should be protected equally by all laws. If you believe otherwise, you can't claim to believe in American civil values.

The word "marriage" as a huge number of meanings.

The worst marriages in history have been the marriages between Church and State (One meaning of the word). Just look at the abominations they perpetrated.

Marriage has NEVER only been between one man and one woman until fairly recently in our history; additionally, some cultures allowed same sex marriages thousands of years ago.

And where would we be today without the marriage of wine and cheese? Hmmm?

Get real folks. The real purpose of these anti-marriage amendments, like amendment 3 in Utah, is to discriminate against people you don't like because they're not like you.

Equality should be our goal, for all Americans.

Jiggle
Clearfield, UT

"Religious leaders of various denominations affirm and preach that sexual relations should only occur between a man and a woman joined together in marriage".

This statement is a rather ridiculous argument for opposition to gay marriage by religion because religions don't have any authority on who has sexual relations with whom whether homosexual, heterosexual, married or not! Just because a religion doesn't approve of sexual relations outside of marriage doesn't mean people will wait until marriage to do it. If religions want to curb sexual relations outside of marriage....they should approve all sexual orientations so they can marry. People have sexual relations outside of marriage all the time and it's ridiculous for religion to think people will stop just because they disapprove. "Marriage" is only about sex to those who believe it is strictly for procreation. Many of us aren't in marriage strictly to procreate....many can't for a variety of reasons anyway....so we're probably in marriage for differents reasons and DIFFERENT DEFINITIONS. Defining marriage for oneself is a personal right, in my opinion, that every individual including homosexual must do for themselves. Religions, anti-gay_groups, and government should not define_marriage_for_all.

OLD-GUY
Central Utah, UT

You can define all kinds of words, and we do. In fact there are penalities for using certain words to mean something else. A DOCTOR is defined as someone who meets certain training requirement. Even if you are a nurse (and a good one) you can't call yourself a Doctor.

To those who say that they are a policeman, without being properly commissioned run the risk of running up against a real one and having to deal with a judge (also define word) and may end up in jail (another defined word.)

Sure, we could redefine Doctors to be horses, policeman to be doctors and jails to be coffee houses. Marriage has been defined by precident, religious and government as man and woman in a legal or religious contractual committment.

If gays want"equal rights"under the law, then accept civil unions and work to get civil unions authorized for legal matters like inhertiances, health care, etc .... but don't try to re-define marriage. You are loosing more friends than you are making!

Once I met a monkey that seemed to have quite a crush on me, could you make your re-defination of marriage apply too.

Ridgely
Magna, UT

..."Here are 10 areas of American life, or American institutions, where the struggle to define marriage is most notable"...

So why isn't the massive Inter-Generational Gap / Demographic Shift mentioned in this article? Unlike our diminishing generation of seniors, a growing percentage of young people are more tolerant and inclusive of GLBT Americans, they don't agree with anti-gay discrimination, and they don't scapegoat gays and lesbians for the dwindling relevance of "traditional marriage".

I just don't understand what purpose did this incredibly flawed Deseret News Top Ten List actually serve?

Jiggle
Clearfield, UT

Marriage traditionalists insist that by using the term "marriage," gay rights advocates are essentially hijacking a term that has been associated with a long-standing religious ceremony. For marriage traditionalists, there can be no such thing as "gay marriage," because it is a contradiction in terms.

Today, however, marriage offers its participants much more than just a public recognition of a romantic, sexual, or religious union between people. There are considerable economic benefits to being married that cannot be denied by anyone. Although many conservatives condemn gay marriage, they're often willing to concede to "civil unions," state-sanctioned, universally recognized contractual living arrangements that allow two cohabitants of any sex to enjoy the same fundamental economic rights as married couples, such as tax, retirement and death benefits. Nevertheless, gay advocates rightly insist on not being denied the right to call their unions "marriage."

I have to laugh every time people approve civil unions simply because they can't stand the homosexual unions being called "marriage" as if they own the word marriage and its meaning....like the "word" is sacred! The only difference between a civil marriage and a religious marriage is the religious or non-religious ceremony.

Considering
Stockton, UT

"So why isn't the massive Inter-Generational Gap / Demographic Shift mentioned in this article? "

We do hear a bit about the age gap on homosexual issues. We see the same gap on a lot of social issues. We heard about this gap for 20 years or more depending on the issue at hand.

But the age at which the gap manifests is not rising to match the increasing age of the population. If 25 year olds were supportive of some social agenda 10 years ago then we might expect that today, 35 year olds would be equally supportive. But they aren't.

Why?

Because most people tend to GROW UP at some point and their views mature with them. "If you are younger than 25 and not a liberal....If you are older than 25 and not a conservative..."

Young people hold all kinds of wild ideas. Then they grow up, get jobs, start paying taxes (instead of just getting taxpayer funded services), marry, have kids, and start thinking about the world in which those children will raise their grandchildren.

And the idea of redefining marriage loses most of its luster.

Led Zeppelin II
Bountiful, UT

I never thought in my life time we would have topics like gay marriage. I graduated from high school in 94. I did not know a single gay person who I knew was gay.
People had more respect for each other than and minded their own buisness. Now it is shove it down everybodys throats. I am certain that any decent gay person is embarrased by the protestors and extremists who are forcing gay marriage on everybody. And also embarrased by the anger,hatred,and hostility.
What these people are doing is not good for decent people whether they are gay or strait.
Homosexuality is and will always be a sexual perversion. It is now hate speech to speak the truth. I dont hate gays. I do not like sexual perversion. It is dangerous and destroys human beings.
Bush and Obama are 2 of the worst Presidents this country has ever had along with Wilson and FDR. Bush did one thing right. Stood up for marriage. Even Bill Clinton did despite all his beliefs for gay special rights.
We need to stand up for truth and right whether we are called biggots and haters or heros.

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