My view: Philosophical approaches to liberty, the same-sex marriage debate


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  • Linus Bountiful, UT
    June 26, 2012 1:58 p.m.

    Isn't it sad that GLBT activists can't be happy with society's tolerance. When I was young, sodomy was a crime. Such private behavior is no longer criminal. Couldn't you folks just take a generation or two enjoying your new-found freedom? Why must you leap all the way to preferential treatment and the hijacking of Society's most sacred institution? You have been offered "civil unions" in many locations. Even a civil union puts you ahead of a great many heterosexual couples. A large percentage of "committed" heterosexual couples live together without marriage or any other kind of formal, legal recognition. What make you better than they? Why can't you see that society has offered the advantages of marriage to encourage the creation of the best possible environment for the rearing of its most vulnerable and impressionable citizens. This is not just what society wants; it is what society needs.

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    June 26, 2012 7:56 a.m.

    Wasn't it Satan who hated the idea that people had the right to "choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee"; and sought to destroy man's agency by forcing us to act as we should rather than as we wanted to? What does Mero believe?

    Brigham Young said that he would only infringe upon someone's agency via a good word and a good example. What does Mero believe?

    If people don't have the right to sin, then their agency is infringed.

    Gays aren't looking for special rights anymore than Christians are asking for special rights in Saudi Arabia for wanting to build churches. They aren't asking to be free from consequences. They WANT those consequences. They aren't forcing us to label them as moral any more than LDS are trying to force Evangelicals to quit referring to us as a cult.

    Supporting Prop. 8 violated 1 Cor 10:29. This can't be explained away or ignored.

    Why do so many people wish to abandon what the scriptures say and then embrace Satan by denying agency via imposed force?

  • MoliterManus SLC, UT
    June 26, 2012 1:08 a.m.

    Where in the New Testament does Jesus condemn homosexuality?

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    June 25, 2012 11:49 p.m.


    Special rights and benefits? Who knows?

    The ones you guys protest, march, and call people racist for. The ones from legalizing marriage.

    People don't do these things without wanting something. Special rights and benefits.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    June 25, 2012 10:04 p.m.

    Re: ". . . you CHOOSE to do these things, therefore you CHOOSE to accept the legal requirements . . . ."

    Hmmmmmm. Your choices determine legal outcomes.

    Thanks for making my point.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    June 25, 2012 7:21 p.m.


    I do think its OKAY for you to disagree. It is NOT okay to deny us the same privileges and benefits that you partake of from our government through the legal contract of marriage.

    What you're saying with your last paragraph, is that it is OKAY for you to deny us OUR "freedom of conscience" but it is NOT OKAY for us to expect to be treated equally in the secular arena.

    As long as an organization (secular or religious) is taking public money then they can't discriminate against Americans (some of whom) are providing that money. When you get a tax break for a pavilion you rent out, you have to also rent to glbt Americans as well. When you start a business you have to abide by non-discrimination laws. There is nothing about "freedom of conscience" - you CHOOSE to do these things, therefore you CHOOSE to accept the legal requirements - that is where your conscience comes in. If you can't/won't accept those requirements, you do not accept the tax breaks or go into business.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    June 25, 2012 7:14 p.m.


    Please, what "special rights and benefits" are we asking for? We're asking for nothing more than what any heterosexual couple is getting from the state. There is nothing "special" about that. It's simply equal.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    June 25, 2012 6:09 p.m.

    Re: ". . . we're PERFECT exactly as we are."

    Then you're abnormal. Perfections is WAY more than 2 standard deviations from the norm. It's a matter of statistics.

    More importantly, whether you're perfect, or not, is really none of my business. It's a matter between you and God.

    Which is the point of the my post above.

    Do your thing. You have that "right." Just don't expect me or most Americans to bless it.

    It's dishonest to suggest LGBT are being denied rights. It's disingenuous to suggest some overriding morality prohibits holding an opposing position. It's shameful to assert that some past denial of legal rights justifies forced adoption of new "rights" that are unacceptable to humankind outside of declining civilizations.

    And, it's scary that LGBT activists assert it's somehow OK to deny Americans freedom of conscience to legislate acceptance of their thoughts, and the outlawing of ours.

  • worf Mcallen, TX
    June 25, 2012 4:52 p.m.

    It's peoples right to be gay or get married. I'd defend that, but I don't care to give special rights, benefits, or made to feel guilty for not finding it a desirable lifestyle.

  • Apricot Tree Brigham City, UT
    June 25, 2012 4:02 p.m.

    Ranch: I agree with you. We do have differing opinions. I am simply sharing my opinion and feelings here because I feel it is the place to do so.

    Procuradorfiscal: Although I strongly believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, and that homosexual sex (not tendencies) is just as serious as extra-marital relationships in light of New Testament and Old Testament doctrine, I do beleive that a gay and lesbian person is just as abnormal as anyone else who has been struggling to find out who they are in this mortal world. You and I are abnormal in this light. In a religious aspect, we all have tendencies to act against God's will in some way or another. What we choose to nurture is a different matter.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    June 25, 2012 2:23 p.m.

    @Apricot Tree;

    If you believe that marriage is between a man and a woman then by all means, follow your belief.

    You have not right to define what marriage is for anybody else, only you and your spouse.


    Odin says that you're worshipping the wrong god.

    I have no idea why the DN let's your insulting comments through. We are NOT abnormal; we're PERFECT exactly as we are.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    June 25, 2012 2:09 p.m.

    Re: "I, personally, think it's extremely selfish to deny others the chance to have any rights and privileges that I am allowed."

    Me too.

    But LGBT already have EVERY right and privilege you or I have. It's the CONSEQUENCES of use/abuse of those rights they're demanding freedom from.

    LGBT can choose their thoughts and actions, same as you or me. But, they want to choose badly, then force me to tell them it's OK.

    The problem? It's not OK.

    They're free to hold ceremonies and call each other "Mrs. and Mrs.," to include one another in their wills, visit one another in the hospital, even -- to our collective shame -- adopt and rear children.

    But, that's not enough for them.

    They want to force us to tell them they're not abnormal.

    But, they ARE abnormal.

    They want to force us to change God's word.

    It won't change His mind.

    It really does boil down to philosophical approaches -- freedom of thought is ours, destroying freedom is theirs.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    June 25, 2012 1:44 p.m.

    So, if we set up laws that only allow people to do what they ought, does that mean we are also taking away their agency?

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    June 25, 2012 11:39 a.m.

    @mike richards

    if we do not have the right to do as we please, do we really have the right to do what we ought? let me put it another way, If we are restricted in our right to do what we want then doing what we ought becomes compulsory does it not?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    June 25, 2012 8:07 a.m.

    There has only been one "free man" in this earth's history. Because he always chose to do the right thing, because he always chose to think the right thing, because he was obedient to law, he was completely free.

    He never had to overcome appetites and passions because he did not even participate in the thought, much less the deed.

    He never had to worry that the consequences of his actions might hurt others, because he controlled his actions. He did nothing that hurt others or that hurt society.

    True freedom comes from self-restraint. Christ showed us that there is no freedom in giving in to appetites and passions. Christ taught us to love our neighbor, not harm him.

    Of the two examples cited in the letter, Acton's showed that he had an understanding of what Christ taught. He, "believed that liberty is not the power of doing what we like, but the right of being able to do what we ought."

    We can demand that we have "rights" to do as we please, or we can do the right thing and do what we ought.

  • Apricot Tree Brigham City, UT
    June 25, 2012 7:00 a.m.

    Might does not rule (even the Romans eventually fell)... but common sense, anatomy, spiritual manifestations and Biblical references (for many), and history do have powerful sway in people like me. When defining marriage and rights, it remains a divided issue, obviously.

    I can speak Donald Duck, and at times, I think I've even waddled...

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    June 24, 2012 11:35 p.m.

    Apricot, that doesn't hold up to even a mild examination.

    Don't waste your time with Mero's meaningless labels and mangled history.

    Consider - I believe that all US citizens, including citizens whose sexual orientation differs from my own, should live equally under the laws and enjoy the same protections of their civil rights. I believe that the equal application of the law is a moral imperative, and that denying my lesbian neighbors the right to marry constitutes a national moral failure as significant as Jim Crow. I am therefore, by your definition, being the "conservative" voice on this issue.

    You however, by believing that popular religious bigotries and tradition are sufficient reasons to create second-class citizens, would be the utilitarian here.

    You're essentially taking the position that "might makes right," and "we've always done it that way." Those exact same arguments were used in my lifetime to defend racist miscegenation laws.

    "Of course, my message will be translated by some into hate and bigotry, but it is not."

    Your protests notwithstanding, if it quacks like a duck and walks like a duck...

  • Apricot Tree Brigham City, UT
    June 24, 2012 6:39 p.m.


    "The utilitarian, believed that liberty is the right to do what one desires, with certain restrictions. Acton, ever the conservative, believed that liberty is not the power of doing what we like, but the right of being able to do what we ought."

    You represent the Utilitarian, I represent the Conservative. You are putting same-sex marriage on the same page as how much water I choose to use on my lawn. I don't believe these are the same rights. I think most Americans agree.

    I've always been impressed with America because the majority of Americans still have a limit and a 'line' that halts us from setting our standards into complete chaos.

    Of course, my message will be translated by some into hate and bigotry, but it is not. I simply view marriage as a relationship between one man and one woman. Gay and lesbian tendencies are real. I don't understand it, but one's sexual attraction is not an excuse to change history, definition of marriage, and anatomy.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    June 24, 2012 4:32 p.m.

    So, who is exactly being selfish--the gay couple who wants to be able to share their lives with all of the rights and privileges afforded by a legal marriage, or the married couple who wants to keep those rights and privileges for their own exclusive heterosexual marriage club? I, personally, think it's extremely selfish to deny others the chance to have any rights and privileges that I am allowed.

    While I applaud a group of immigrants who chose to leave behind their lives of coal mining in England, I don't think it is a fair comparison to homosexuality. Thousands of young women and men have been told they can change that condition, but it's not reality. How many youth constantly hear that it's their choice and lose hope when they cannot change. It's a very dangerous thing to tell them they need to keep at it because they aren't trying hard enough. Even your religious leaders--well, most of them--have stopped saying that homosexuality is a condition that can be changed or cured. Perhaps it's time to follow your leaders.

  • Gandalf Salt Lake City, UT
    June 24, 2012 4:03 p.m.

    Mr. Mero purports to reflect LDS church teaching on political matters. However, the church has taken the position that the LGBT community should not be discriminated against in employment and housing. What is your position on that Mr. Mero?

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    June 24, 2012 3:29 p.m.

    Apricot Tree: "What a dangerous principle it is to think that freedom is the right to do whatever we want - with no though of future consequences."

    And if I were to apply that argument to the number of children you have, the amount you water your lawn, the church you attend, the career you follow, or the fuel efficiency of your car, what would be your response?

    Or is the right to live your own life as a law-abiding citizen something you reserve exclusively for yourself and deny others?

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    June 24, 2012 10:58 a.m.

    ""We know how you personally benefit from gaining all of the privileges you seek. What we want to know is how society benefits?" In other words, selfishness isn't a right in a free society, ..."


    Is it selfish to want to protect our families and our loved ones?

    Not in the least. Society DOES benefit when ALL families are able to have the legal protections provided by marriage.

    The true selfishness is where you want to have your own benefits and deny those same benefits to others, which, in fact is BAD for society.

    Mero can twist any subject into pretzels.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    June 24, 2012 10:48 a.m.

    The people of Utah are "peculiar" in that many of us have detailed histories of our ancestors that go back more than two-hundred years. Many of us can give the exact date when an ancestor decided to change his behavior and act differently from other family members and neighbors. Most of us can look on both sides of that "date" and see what happened to other relatives who chose not to change.

    Many from my own family were poor coal miners in England. As far back as we have history, my ancestors were ppor. They lived poor. They acted poor. They spent their time in the mines and in the pubs. Most of them literally ended up in the "poor house" with others who had nothing but old age to show for their lives.

    The difference was that those who decided to change left behind the poverty and the lifestyle. The had the "faith" to become better than they had been. Generations of my family are better off because a few miners knew that they were not born to be poor miners.

    What "choice" will we use our agency to make?

  • Apricot Tree Brigham City, UT
    June 24, 2012 9:36 a.m.

    Mr. Mero - good article. I see this 'rights' issue much different than Martin Luther King days. In those days, rights were peacefully obtained. Much different than the bitter, angry, and spiteful methods of Gay/Lesbian 'right' promoters. This really worries me.

    What a dangerous principle it is to think that freedom is the right to do whatever we want - with no though of future consequences.

    I firmly believe that gays/lesbians have tendencies that are very real. There are many things out there that conflict. It is easy to conclude that over the last ten years there has been quite a socially constructed movement to promote homosexual behavior. How much of this is motivated by love, peace, and futuristic thinking is still to be determined.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 24, 2012 9:33 a.m.

    Looking at it a little further, rather than stopping at whether or not society benefits from extending 'privileges' to gays, we should ask whether it would at all be possibly harmed by doing so? Harmed, not offended or tied up in the semantics of what someone thinks marriage is. Selfishness shouldn't be elevated to the level of rights, but in the case of our society it may already be so.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    June 24, 2012 7:48 a.m.

    The conflict extends to other issues as well, and including gun rights, and among others.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    June 24, 2012 6:54 a.m.

    More rancid pablum from Mr. Mero.

    He's not even talking about giving gays and lesbians the right to marry, he's talking about whether or not they are entitled to any civil rights at all. Incredible.

    Contrary to Mero's assertion, suicides among gay teens as a result of their being stigmatized and bullied are not irrelevant anecdotes, they are profoundly important to the discussion. They are a tragic, statistically significant reality.

    The evidence that being gay is genetic is approximately equivalent to the evidence that being left-handed is genetic. No single gene has been found that controls a person's handedness. Does that mean being left-handed is an acquired "deviant" behavior? Of course not.

    The truth is that while no single gene has been identified as responsible for determining one's sexual orientation, there is abundant credible research that hints strongly that sexual orientation is determined through a combination of genetic factors.

    Mr. Mero can always be counted on to promote repressive, retrograde philosophies that appeal to the worst of our history and our nature.