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Comments about ‘Mormon Church joins other faiths in signing letter on marriage’

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Published: Tuesday, Dec. 7 2010 11:34 p.m. MST

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Dekka17
Sydney, NSW

I find it very sad that Bishop Burton would sign a document that supports discrimination against gay couples and their children. As the GLBTI Community works to achieve the same rights as all families, the activities of far right wing groups and sadly my Church, the LDS Church, continues to be fearful of something that doesn't exist. The gay community don't want to rid the world of marriage, this is a delusional thought by old men from many faiths who claim to talk for God.
I'm still to have anyone articulate to me in a clear and concise manner why a gay couple joining as one in what some would like to call marriage in any way denigrates the same activity by heterosexuals. Do you feel less married because ther are gay couples in some countries married? I don't think so.
I'm almost tired of writing comments at the end of these ludicrous articles. But, I feel a voice for sanity needs to be heard, so I continue to comment.

Arithon
Provo, UT

The vast number of people represented by the 26 signatures on this document is staggering. It is refreshing to see the issue of marriage written in clear and simple language. I agree that there is a unique love between husbands and wives but I believe there is a lack of recognition of the unique love between homosexual men and women. For this issue to move forward, religious and civil leaders need to address the reality of this unique love in the same clear and simple language. The love between homosexual men and women also deserves to be recognized and expressed in a legal manner. All Americans are entitled to the pursuit of happiness and to me, love is the ultimate expression of happiness. To deny someone's love based on sexual orientation goes against this principle. A lasting resolution to the issue of marriage can only be achieved if we as individuals seek a clearer and more knowledgable understanding to both sides of the issue; not simpy the side we are on.

OnlyInUtah
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I applaud this inter-faith action.

We cannot, and we must not turn our backs on the institution of marriage as being the union of one man and one woman.

Progressive
Salt Lake City, UT

Did Bishop Burton pencil in "in this life at this time"? If not the LDS commitment is disingenuous.

Edmond Dantes
West Jordan, Utah

Would this document invalidate Abraham's marriage to Hagar? Was she a wife or a concubine? What about Jacob (Israel)? Does this invalidate his marriage to Rachel? Historically, there have been many types of marriage. Most prominent is marriage between one man and many women. It is still very common in the world today. What about Brigham Young's wives? I'm not saying these churches are wrong, but I am saying that their stances have changed in the past. Marriage between one man and one woman is and has been the standard, but there has also been another standard for a few others in the past.

PolishBear
Charleston, WV

To all those who opposed marriage equality for Gay couples: Is it just the word "MARRIAGE" that you are concerned with? Often I hear it said, "Let Gay couples have their legal benefits, just don't call it MARRIAGE."

OK, then. Let's suppose there's either a Supreme Court decision or a Constitutional amendment saying that Straight (i.e. heterosexual) couples can get "married," and Gay couples can have "civil unions," but otherwise all the legal benefits would be the same at all levels of government.

Would you support that? And if so, what you have you won? All you have for yourself is a word, whereas Gay couples have essentially all the legal benefits that go with that word. And they will say, "We got married in Cancun," or "We got married in Niagara Falls," because there won't be any language police roaming around forbidding them from using the word in conversation.

And if you can't support "civil unions," what Constitutional justification can you make for denying law-abiding, taxpaying Gay couples the exact same legal benefits that Straight couples have always taken for granted?

silas brill
Heber, UT

Just as the Deseret News editorialized that the demise of marriage has been exaggerated, so it is with the notion that marriage is under attack and in need of protection, given the desire for same-gender couples to become married. But you all don't get it. You all don't get it that homosexual couples are not a threat to marriage or anything.

KM
Cedar Hills, UT

Arithon
I enjoyed reading your sentiments. I also have empathy for the plight of homosexuals. Having said this, I don't believe that God has ever said that marriage between homosexuals is acceptable. We cannot make God in our image, rather, he has made us in his image. So he makes the rules, not the other way around.

Marty22
salt lake city, Utah

The Church's removal of the phrase "same-sex relationships 'distort loving relationships'" was a step in recognizing that homosexual relationships are about more than sex. Some are--as are some hetero marriages by the way--but many, if not most, are about the same deep feelings of love and intimacy than we expect to see in marriages between a man and woman.

As I recently read statistics on LDS divorce rates and marriage dissatisfaction among the young I couldn't help wondering how many of those are due to the shortened courtships and quickie marriages to avoid sinning and becoming "unworthy" thereby often marrying someone who is little more than a stranger and with whom they have little in common save the Church and a desire to be "good Mormoms" and marry in the temple.
Reports of engaged BYU co-eds dancing in their apartments singing "I'm gonna have s*x; I'm gonna have s*x" make me wonder what the true goal of those temple marriages is.

Maybe we'd better quit questioning other people's motivation in their desire for marriage and examine our own.
Martine Smith

Marty22
salt lake city, Utah

I meant the statement "distorts loving relationships" was removed from the Church's Handbook of Instructions.

Seek to understand
Sandy, UT

Arithon didn't say anything about homosexual marriage. He/she was speaking about the love between homosexual people and the need for acknowledging it, and perhaps coming to understand it, instead of rejecting it based upon our own beliefs.

It is not a conflict for faithful LDS people to love, support and acknowledge homosexual people and their relationships. We should view those relationships as choices made using the agency we treasure and based upon conditions we certainly do not yet understand.

We are commanded to love, show charity, and refrain from judgment. As long as we are living up to our own covenants, we really should not be judging about others and how they choose to live their lives. In fact, I believe it is required of us that we love, support, and honor those decisions without rancor, judgment or contention.

My dream is a world where faithful LDS will see they are not asked to judge in these cases. We should support the church's position on marriage, AND civil unions should be common in every state, encouraging homosexuals and allowing them to create the best life they can with our love and support.

JLFuller
Boise, ID

Supporters of homosexual rights may legitimately claim American law protects the life style. I think most Americans agree on that score. However to claim it is authorized in Christianity ignores the biblical prohibition of homosexual behavior. Practitioners are on their own and under our current law, marriage is not an option. Most people will acknowledge that legitimizing long term homosexual relationships as a civil union is about as far as they are willing to go. Calling a marriage raises homosexuality to a level equal to what God has ordained and that is too far for most people.

Ann Amberly
Greenbelt, MD

This is a very important document, and the LDS Church is to be commended for signing it. (Especially since it commits the Church to a definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.) Marriage was meant to be the symbol of peace between the two halves of humanity. That is a special good offered to human society, obtainable in no other way.

That having been said, Why are there NO women signatories of this document? Why isn't Sister Beck's signature o this document? If we are to support marriage, our support must mirror that marriage was meant to be an equal partnership between men and women. Until the men that support marriage "get" this, their efforts will be less than effective.

PolishBear
Charleston, WV

DEAR KM:

I just wish that GOD, in His wisdom and omnipotence, would be just a bit more media-savvy in this day and age. I mean, were talking about the same God that allegedly created the Universe (just 6,000 years ago, according to some people), flooded the entire Earth, parted the Red Sea, and whose Earthbound avatar came back to life after having assumed room temperature for three days. Why does He insist on taking such a hands-off approach? We have one Book which has been translated and re-translated, interpreted and re-interpreted, until hardly anyone can agree on what it means. We have dozens of Christian denominations, each with its own unique take on what God expects of us. Wouldnt God be a little more effective in getting us to behave decently toward one another if He would just put together a website or a television channel or at the very least a 1-800 number? There is a wide variety of contemporary social and economic issues (including Gay marriage) I sure would like to get His opinion on.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

For your consideration...

how can one 'defend' marriage (one man and one woman), and then deny it to others? (gay couples)

Discuss....

sky2k1
Saint George, UT

Simply stating my opinion here... but could it be that religions are protecting marriage (apart from religious beliefs) so that they won't be forced to change in the future by the government? Taking the LDS church into account, the government was going to take away the temples had they not discontinued polygamy. And the Lord took away polygamy to keep temples (read the official declaration). Couldn't it be that some day, if Gay marriage was legalized that they would take legal action against religions and threaten to do something to them? So not only are religions protecting their beliefs, they are protecting themselves too. And don't say gay's wouldn't take legal action against the laws and religion, they already have. It would and will happen again in my opinion.

Demisana
South Jordan, UT

Got a question. A husband and a wife have a child, that child gets automatic protection, because the law recognizes the relationships of mother and father automatically.

So if a legal gay marriage is in effect, and the couple gets a child (infertility assistance through surrogacy for men, or one partner's pregnancy for women), how will the legal protections work for the child? Will both men automatically get father status? Will the second woman automatically get mother status? Or will every couple have to go to court to register the second parent, and cut off the natural parent? What if, years down the road, the child wants the mother or father relationship that the law or the courts ignored/denied in the first place? What if the natural parent wants their relationship back to the child? On what logical basis can the natural relationship be denied? What a tangled mess will be created. Let alone after the inevitable divorces, and resultant realignment of relationships.

Society's interest in marriage has nothing to do with love or romance. It's because of the protections offered to the family, as the most stable, basic unit of society.

mammalou
Somewhere in the USA, UT

BRAVO!!!!

I'm glad to see all faiths standing together on this one. Those of us that share these beliefs have just as much right to band together and fight our cause as the GLBT society. No longer can we or should we remain passive about something that is equally important to us. Politicial corrects is going to far.

Ridgely
Magna, UT

Line One: "Marriage is the permanent and faithful union of one man and one woman". OK, that's a nice sentiment but how many actual marriages ever live up to that ideal?

What's notable about this open letter (which is clearly aimed at the gay and lesbian community without ever mentioning them) is what it doesn't say. Primarily how will this group organize against, or punish those who don't fit their exclusionary vision of "marriage" or "family".

If this is just another dog whistle call for anti-gay political organizing by religious groups, then the LDS Leadership is going to eventually have to explain where they draw the marriage line in the sand (with clarity instead of flowery abstractions, and how far they are willing to go to impose their views on others outside of the LDS Church.

Judging from the jumbled statements coming from LDS politicians, blogs, and writers (Richard Eyre, Des. News 12/3/10) recently, they should start with a concrete statement on civil unions.

Hemlock
Salt Lake City, UT

This is an affirmation of marriage as defined in holy writ and secular experience. Other commitments (gay commitment) are not excluded, but they are not marriage. Calling a duck a goose does not make it so. And failure to specifically note the LDS subset of marriage is not disingenuous.

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