Comments about ‘George Will: Marriage debate forces Supreme Court into unknown territory’

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Published: Sunday, March 17 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Mike in Cedar City
Cedar City, Utah

If the "equal protection" argument holds up in the Supreme Court for legalization of same sex marriage, it may well open the door for those that argue for legalization of other forms of marriage, like polygamy. Now, who might be worried about that eventuality? I wonder?

Maudine
SLC, UT

The only people trying to use social science in the marriage debate are those who are trying to prohibit same-sex marriage - and if the claim that there is not enough evidence to support same-sex marriage is to be believed as accurate, you must also accept the reverse claim that there is not enough evidence to prohibit same-sex marriage.

The arguments for same-sex marriage hinge on treating all couples and families the same by allowing marriage regardless of the genders of the two individuals involved.

And before the same old arguments are brought up -

There are physical reasons for limiting marriage between closely related individuals (although marriage is allowed if they cannot procreate).

Marriage between more than two people raises policy issues that do not exist when there are only two people.

Children, non-human animals, and inanimate objects cannot consent to contracts.

EJM
Herriman, UT

Too bad more of our posters online don't make comments on George Will's columns. He is thoughtful and rational. Maybe that's why. He makes sense and that scares them.

George
New York, NY

two things Mr Will first just because the mountain of research we have spanning back almost three decades on this subject does not agree with you does not mean it is not conclusive. Second it is not the responsibility of those seeking equality to prove that their behavior will not cause a harm to society, claiming they have such a responsibility is ac-an to claiming it is your responsibility to prove that your choice to drive a car instead of ride a bus does not cause a social harm before we let you drive.

George
New York, NY

@mike
If people want to make a case for polygamy then I say they should have their chance but to use that as an argument against gay marriage is simply a red herring just as it was when that argument was used to oppose interracial marriage.

@EJM maybe you should actually respond to maudine's post that was present when you posted your comment because right now the fact that you ignored it kind of makes your comment rather hypocritical.

10CC
Bountiful, UT

Haven't we seen this movie before, with interracial marriage? There was plenty of doubt about the effects that change would unleash.

RAB
Bountiful, UT

The Federal government should legalize gay marriage. That way, the government will finally officially proclaim that all American people support and approve of sexual intimacy between people of the same sex. We will finally legislate morality, but not in favor of religious people. Because that is what our government is for. It's purpose is to reject the moral beliefs of one group of Americans in favor of the moral beliefs of another group of people. I hope they pick my moral beliefs next.

Or, I suppose we could eliminate the need for government-endorced same-sex marriage and instead find a way to give gay couples all the applicable legal rights they deserve without proclaiming that all Americans support the morality of homosexual intimacy. Nah. If comments I keep reading are to be believed, gay people won’t be able to love each other if we do that. We would suddenly all become hateful and intolerant of gay people and demand that all gay couples be sent to prison for having loving committed relationships that are not officially recognized and supported by the government.

At least that is what same sex marriage advocates apparently want everyone to think.

Tolstoy
salt lake, UT

@RAB
Look up the history of seperate but equal and get back to us.

amazondoc
USA, TN

I think it's important to reread Will's last paragraph:

"If California's law is judged by legal reasoning, rather than by social science ostensibly proving that the state has no compelling interest served by banning same-sex marriage, the law may still be overturned on equal protection grounds. But such a victory for gay rights, grounded on constitutional values, and hence cast in the vocabulary of natural rights philosophy, would at least be more stable than one resting uneasily on the shiftable sand of premature social science conclusions. "

He's actually arguing AGAINST the social science arguments, and FOR the legal/Constitutional arguments. And I think that's a good thing. Banning same sex marriage IS unconstitutional, and we don't need to look any farther than that.

Christian 24-7
Murray, UT

Redefining marriage to include homosexual couples means that every mother is being told that she isn't really important to her children, and every father that he isn't really important to his children. Under such a ruling each parent is totally replaceable. (Natural rules of reproduction deny such a suggestion.)

So our society is being asked to validate the small homosexual minority at the cost of invalidating the vast majority, including all parents and every child who depends on those parents.

The child, the parent, and the spouse in me finds that outrageous and abominable!

Mike in Cedar City
Cedar City, Utah

George, you misunderstand my intent. I was just trying to point out that in this state (Utah) the fear and opposition to same sex marriage may be based upon more than religious dogma or fear of change. I agree with your comment, but I can't help but wonder if the Supreme Court will consider the implications of any decision based upon equal protection that finds denial of same sex marriage to be unconstitutional. In Utah, given its religious history, any expansion of the definition of lawful marriage is potentially very explosive.

Tolstoy
salt lake, UT

@amazondoc
I don't see it as one or the other the social sceonces support the legal arguments in that they prove there is no known social harm to allowing gay marriage which really is the only real possible legal argument rhere is to restricting gay marriage.

amazondoc
USA, TN

@Christian 24-7 --

"Redefining marriage to include homosexual couples means that every mother is being told that she isn't really important to her children"

You could just as easily say that allowing brunettes to marry means that every blonde is being told that she isn't really important to her children. Neither is true.

George Carlin said it best: if you don't like gay marriages, then don't have one.

Nobody is forcing anybody to do anything they don't want to do. We are simply insisting that **everyone** should be treated equally, in conformation with the US Constitution.

"The child, the parent, and the spouse in me finds that outrageous and abominable!"

And you are within your rights to find it outrageous and/or abominable if you desire.

However, you do NOT have the right to violate the principles set forth in the Constitution. And one of those principles is equal protection under the law.

@Tolstoy --

I agree with you that the social sciences arguments mostly work in our favor. However, I also agree with Will that they can be slippery arguments to deal with, and that depending on the Constitution is a more stable foundation for our position.

Tolstoy
salt lake, UT

@christian
I am a father and I do not see how gays being allowed to marry and give their children a more stable home invaladates me as a parent. I guess maybe I am not insecure enough to think other parents being effective means I am worthless.

Christian 24-7
Murray, UT

Tolstoy,

So if you were replaced with a second mother, your children would suffer no loss? How sad that you think so little of your parental contribution.

I don't know you at all, but I think your children benefit from having you, their father, in ways that having a second mother could never adequately fill.

I think you and a bro raising your children could not provide the quality of upbringing that you and your wife could.

This is assuming that everyone is giving their best to the children, which is the ideal we should be shooting for.

amazondoc
USA, TN

@Christian 24-7

"I think you and a bro raising your children could not provide the quality of upbringing that you and your wife could."

Look at it this way -- I believe that children are better off in homes with Democratic parents than in homes with Republican parents. That doesn't give me the right to ban Republican marriages, does it?

Or -- I believe that children are better off with parents who finished high school than with parents who dropped out. Do I therefore have the right to ban dropout marriages?

Both times, the answer is an obvious "NO". Our personal beliefs do not override the civil rights of others. We are not given carte blanche to violate the US Constitution just because we think we could do something better than somebody else does it.

Tolstoy
salt lake, UT

Christian
Again, I am not so insecure in my marriage that I think if gay marriage is legalized my wife is going toe leave me for another women. I do however know based on the research that two mothers or two fathers can be just as effective at raising their children as my wife and I.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

Does it strike anyone else as strange that Mr. Will is promoting extreme caution regarding a policy that MAY prove harmful to society (because, in his words, the science is inconclusive); and yet when it comes to an issue like climate change, that logic is completely turned on its head (by conservatives)?

If we should proceed with caution regarding gay marriage until the science is more conclusive, why do we get the inane chants of “drill baby drill” from the same folks regarding a matter of public policy when not only the consequences of our actions in that area are likely to be much more harmful (i.e., the planet vs. two lesbians living next door), but the science is actually way more conclusive that our actions are harmful?

Gay Marriage – science inclusive = do NOT act

Climate Change - 97% of climate scientists think we are causing climate change = ACT recklessly (i.e., burn even more fossil fuels).

Why does the logic of caution apply to one policy but apparently not the other?

What am I missing here?

Maudine
SLC, UT

@ Christian: Here is the main problem with your argument: Marriage is not required for raising children.

The options for the children being raised by same-sex parents are not heterosexual parents or same-sex parents - the options are married parents or unmarried parents. Prohibiting same-sex marriage does not prohibit same-sex couples raising children - it prohibits those parents from being married.

A lesbian is not going to "go straight" because she cannot marry the woman she loves. Same-sex couples who want children are not going to decide not to have children because they are not married. Allowing same-sex marriage is not going to cause straight couples to divorce and enter into same-sex marriages. (Unhappily married bisexual individuals may divorce and may hook up with someone of the same sex, but that can happen with or without same-sex marriage.)

Nothing that you are saying has any bearing on the marriage debate.

Christian 24-7
Murray, UT

amazondoc

If you want to talk constitution, where does the constitution give anyone the right take another couple's child? It is not a right, any more than marriage is a constitutional right. Neither is addressed in the constitution.

Incidentally, marriage is a religious institution, the oversight of which was seized by the government. Religious marriage definitely existed in this land before it was a country with a government. Religionists, for the most part, would be satisfied if marriage were given back to the churches and the 'state' licensed civil unions instead, which would cover all the monetary and legal issues for all couples, heterosexual and homosexual, and even other types of relationships, without prohibiting the free exercise of religion guaranteed by the first amendment. Those churches which approve of homosexual marriages could perform them. This is a reasonable, fair, and respectful of all rights and freedoms compromise. But the homosexual community rejects this compromise. It doesn't allow them to oppress all religions into performing their marriages.

The religious people are a group that you also seem to wish to deny the rights you so adamentely insist be given to everyone else. You promote hypocrisy, not equality.

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