Comments about ‘In our opinion: Agreeing to disagree’

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Published: Sunday, May 29 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, UT

Denying a basic civil right to law-abiding American citizens because they don't share in your religious beliefs is not "agreeing to disagree." It's more like, "My way or the highway."

You are attempting to force your own religious rules on people who do not share your religion. You therefore shouldn't be surprised to be on the receiving end of criticism for arguing that position.

Genuinely "agreeing to disagree" would be for those who don't want to marry someone of the same sex to have the right to not do so, and allowing those who do to follow their hearts and participate in the same civil rights and public expressions of commitment that you take for granted.


I appreciate the point you are trying to make here, but there are a few logical inconsistencies I take issue with. Mainly, "agree to disagree" is basically a one way street. If we are going to agree to disagree, than go ahead and perform only straight marriages at your church and my church can continue to officiate both gay and straight marriages and the state can recognize them all equally - we can agree do disagree. Instead Peter and others campaigned to force everyone else to live by their religious beliefs and take a right away from gay couples in California and take religious freedom from my church.

Furthermore, while I am against someone losing their job over a political position, this was a very unique case. Peter was not a sales person or accountant. He was an ambassador for the IOC. One of the job requirements is to represent the values of the IOC. This includes equality for all people (right there in the bylaws). By taking the position he did, Peter actually came into direct conflict with the values he was sworn to represent in his role. In this case, an amicable split is best for both sides.

Zona Zone
Mesa, AZ

I thought this was a calm, pretty evenhanded approach to this issue. Disappointed to see the scathing attacks ensued. There clearly can never be a dialog on this issue.

In My Humble Opinion
South Jordan, UT

Blue and sptsjunkie, the central point of the editorial wasn't which position is right and which is wrong, it is that the debate should be civil, and a person shouldn't be pressured, intimidated or punished for their position. Clearly, Vidmar was pressured.

On a separate point, the "right" you feel should be granted or say has been taken away -- the right to marry -- was for a moment in time, in a specific place, and historically has not recognized as a right. The pairings you speak of, by their very nature, have and never will produce offspring. That makes them different than marriages from the beginning of time. Whether those unions should receive all or some of the same benefits as a heterosexual couple (such as the rights of visitation, bequest, inheritance, employment, shelter, rent, own, etc.) is a debate of our day, maybe THE debate of our day -- and everyone should be able to participate in that debate freely and without reprisal.

Lifelong Republican
Orem, UT

The poster above said, It's more like, "My way or the highway."

Yep that is exactly what the pro gay marriage crowd says.

Don't disagree with us or we will force you out of your job even though you were doing an excellent job.

Sandy, UT

I like Peter Vidmar and wish him the best but it's easy for me to see why many would feel he is not appropriate for the job. If Peter were to happen to believe certain members of society due to race are unable to marry we would never say in this day and age that it's fine to disagree. Better yet, if Peter were to say single parents, divorcees, former child abusers, etc. should not have the right to remarry or raise kids, we'd also likely chase him out of the position. I'm not saying being gay is analogous to any of the above but I do feel putting it in this context allows us to more easily understand what those who believe in and support gay marriage are saying. They feel marriage is a fundamental right and opportunity and see any opposition to that as denying basic rights to a segment of Americans, which is very un-American. I initially disagreed with their position but after doing my own study and research have come to agree and even feel Peter is best moving on.

Centerville, UT

The editorial is dead on! Suggesting that the position of disagreeing is somehow "forcing" religion or views on the rest of society is exactly how I feel about the "gay agenda". I'm willing to "agree to disagree" but it sounds like many in the gay community are not. Surprise surprise.

Orem, UT

Gestapo tactics are alive and well in America. No opposition will be tolerated, period. In the words of "Blue," it is "my way or the highway." Peter knows this well.

Salt Lake City, UT

Well,in "my" social organization we don't agree with the traffic laws. We maintain that it is our "right" to exceed the speed limit because it is in our bylaws. One of our members has a different opinion - he/she believes that we should obey the law because it was established by a majority vote of the people and because that majority believe it is in the public interest to have speed limits in order to protect the lives and rights of others, as established by long held traditions and by majority vote of "all" the citizens of society in general.

Well, baloney on that! Let's get rid of the bum. It is our right to exceed the speed limit and anyone who does not agree with us should be vilified and fired - and that includes the Chief of Police, the County Sheriff and all those police officers who hide along the highways and try to catch me when I drive faster than the posted speed, etc., etc., etc.

Ballot Box??? Why should I agree with a Ballet Box? I am right and the majority is wrong.

Salt Lake City, UT

Marriage reflects the natural moral and social law evidenced the world over. As the late British social anthropologist Joseph Daniel Unwin noted in his study of world civilizations, any society that devalued the nuclear family soon lost what he called "expansive energy," which might best be summarized as society's will to make things better for the next generation. In fact, no society that has loosened sexual morality outside of man-woman marriage has survived.

Analyzing studies of cultures spanning several thousands of years on several continents, Harvard sociologist Pitirim Sorokin found that virtually all political revolutions that brought about societal collapse were preceded by a sexual revolution in which marriage and family were devalued by the cultures acceptance of homosexuality.

When marriage loses its unique status, women and children most frequently are the direct victims. Giving same-sex relationships or out-of-wedlock heterosexual couples the same special status and benefits as the marital bond would not be the expansion of a right but the destruction of a principle. . If the one-man/one-woman definition of marriage is broken, there is no logical stopping point for continuing the assault on marriage.

Olathe, Kansas

Same-sex marriage is not a right. This whole question has nothing whatsoever to do with rights. It is a question about how marriage is defined. Marriage laws at the moment are not discriminatory at all. Anybody, regardless of their sexual orientation, can get married. It's just that the marriage must be between a man and a woman if it is going to be a valid one and recognized under statutory law.

Not even all possible heterosexual combinations are valid under the definition of marriage. Men cannot marry their mothers, sisters, or daughters. Women cannot marry their fathers, brothers, or sons. People cannot marry more than one person of the opposite sex at the same time.

I repeat that this issue has nothing whatsoever to do with rights. Those who demand same-sex marriage want legitimacy for it. I think it is clear they will settle for nothing less.

Kyle loves BYU/Jazz
Provo, UT

No one is being denied a civil right. I'm sick of hearing gay marriage called a civil rights issue. It's your behavior that makes it so you can't get married. It's not the color of your skin or your gender that is causing problems, its your sexual behavior. If you want to live together thats fine but marriage is between a man and a woman.

Gay people can't have children. I guess nature is discriminating. Even if gays can change common law they will never change the laws of nature.

ute alumni
Tengoku, UT

glbt...they have all the tolerence in the world, as long as you go along with their way of thinking. the more in your face they are the more the vast majority of people will dig in their heels. having vidmar step down is really going to help their cause....in what way? the 1.8% that are gay (according to the latest reports) will continue to throw temper tantrums until the 98% of straights put their collective foot down and say enough is enough.

Hayden, ID

If you disagree with a gay person, you are a homophobe and hate them, right?

Orem, UT

As usual, any news article or person who puts forth any effort to defend the traditional definition of marriage and resists efforts to change what society accepts as a "family", will be pilloried by many who advocate gay marriage.

As the first two comments here show, they will be painted as religious bigots who would deny basic human rights and are "forcing everyone else to live by their religious beliefs".

Like it or not, every adult (man or woman) in this country has the same right - find one adult person of the opposite sex who wants to marry you and get married.

We can all argue until we are blue in the face if gay marriage is a whole new "special" right or just a reinterpretation of this existing right. We can also argue all night about if gay marriage will change the basic fabric of our society or if it will have absolutely no effect on traditional marriages.

Neither side of this argument will budge on those two issues. Like the article states, we should agree to disagree and use the legislative and judicial system to promote our views and have some respect for the other side.

Tooele, UT

@Blue 12:22

You said - "You are attempting to force your own religious rules on people who do not share your religion. You therefore shouldn't be surprised to be on the receiving end of criticism for arguing that position."

Ironic comment, considering groups like Americans United for the Separation of Church and State are quick to go after any church congregation which says anything political on the right, while totally ignorning liberal churches which engage in many more political issues than any conservative church ever has.

In other words, it's okay to force your religion on others, so long as your religion meets the standard of political correctness.

@sptsjunkie 1:57

You said - "...agree to disagree is basically a one way street."

You're absolutely correct. The one way street is simple. The right must be tolerant and open to everyone, while the left can be as intolerant, hateful and hurtful as they want.

The right says, "Agree to disagree" while the left says, "You disagree with us and your a close-minded, bigoted, neocon idiot."

Yorba Linda, CA

I'm afraid I'm not going to give up my first amendment rights to please people who spent quite a bit of money to strip me of my right to marry.

1. I will not spend money at the business of a pro prop. 8 donor.
2. I will question the wisdom of putting a pro prop. 8 donor in a position of power.

Both of these things are well within my rights of free speech and I refuse to give them up under the guise of "agreeing to disagree".

Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

No one has established that two people marrying one another even if they don't meet the requirements is a basic human right. Peter Vidmar believes that marriage is between a man and a woman. This is not something that is specific to his religion. 80% of the world's cultures have the same view.

History doesn't repeat itself but it does rhyme and but what I see in the arguments about gay marriage rhymes with McCarthyism where people were being fired because they weren't politically correct with the standards of the time.


Riverside, CA

The IOC does NOT support equality for all based on your definition. Events are segregated -- by gender. To hold the belief that marriage should retain its age old definition of a union of a husband and wife is no more bigoted, hateful or radical than saying than men should compete against men and women against women.

Morgan, UT


Your arguments do not hold water...you state that 'agreeing to disagree' is not a stance which can be taken. The only position you will accept is your position, which by defination is not working together.

You have your point-of-view but do not allow the opposite point-of-view to be part of the decussion. Shame on you.

Peter's position was and has never been part of his leading of the IOC team. You are jumping from one lilly pad to another without any connectability.

You should reflect on the things you have stated and re-evaluate.

Plain and simple, your attitude does not help with either sides position.

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