Comments about ‘In our opinion: Ruling in DOMA case needless, thoughtless, damaging’

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Published: Sunday, June 30 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, UT

The editorial is wrong on many levels, but the one that matters most is that DOMA created 2nd class citizenship status for millions of Americans. The court's decision affirmed that if our nation's constitution means anything it means that there are no second-class citizens, and that the majority may not vote away the rights of the minority.

Your marriages are not harmed one whit by either the DOMA or the Prop 8 decisions.

Forty years from now we'll look back on this and wonder how we managed to get so worked over this issue in exactly the same way that today we wonder how people 40 years ago fought against permitting inter-racial marriages.

Murrieta, CA

Gee, if the Supreme Court of the United States could just borrow someone from the DN editorial staff maybe their decisions wouldn't be so thoughtless. The judges are just so under-qualified.

Saint George, UT

Marriage not only lost, but children, our most important resource, took another blow. On a day the selfish celebrate, the children mourn. Into the coliseum they trod, another sacrifice in the uncaring search for fulfillment.

Salt Lake City, UT

Sad to say, I see a great deal more wisdom in this newspaper article than I see in the judgement of the Supreme Court. I think that they (the Supreme Court) had a chance to find the middle ground and come up with a win, win situation. But, instead of showing "supreme wisdom in handling this delicate subject, they showed only their dedication to "Supreme" political posturing". When I was young, the premise was that the Supreme Court was above party politics, but those days seem to be gone forever. Sad, Sad, Sad, My next door neighbor is Gay, and I am the religious father of 10 children from one wife. Neither one of us is happy with how the Supreme Court handled this issue. Why, because their political posturing had more to do with the outcome, than did any citation from the Constitution of the United States. It has been our common belief (my gay neighbor and I) that the Supreme Court is to interpret the law - not to create the law - we both fear for the future of our country if this trend is allowed to continue.

Boston, MA

Well, in the opinion of many non-bigoted people around the country, this ruling was Needed, Thoughtful and Healing.
Needed because the clash between DOMA and local state laws made a mess of commonplace things like filing income tax. A married homosexual couple in Massachusetts could file as married in MA, but had to file separately on their federal taxes. You would not believe how complex this turns out to be (my wife is a tax preparer). And that's just one example.
Thoughtful because striking down DOMA simplifies things because now the Federal government can harmonize with states. This is the American way. States are supposed to have a level of autonomy, and really, what business does the Federal government have in saying what constitutes a marriage? Marriage is a local thing. It's a family thing. The Feds do not need to be involved.
Healing because now there is one less government body passing judgement dividing families into "legitimate" and "illegitimate" camps. The march of history is against you bigots. Your words of hate couched in the language of religion will soon seem as antique as blacks waiting hand and foot whites.

Mission Viejo, CA

In several years time, the world will still be turning and we'll look back and think how petty it was to deny the rights and responsibilities of marriage to gays and lesbians. The News may claim this ruling was needles, but tell that to Edith Windsor who was taxed over $600,000 dollars in state and federal taxes because of the inequality of DOMA. Tell that to the thousands of soldiers who fight for our country and whose partners sacrifice along with heterosexual couples yet receive nothing when their partners are killed.
If you must blame someone for the sweeping decision, blame the Republicans in Congress who pushed the issue. They wanted a ruling and they got one. It's just a shame for them it wasn't the one they, nor the News wanted. I'm sure if the ruling had gone the other way, the News would be overjoyed and not criticizing the Court for making a "needless" ruling.

Salt Lake City, UT

"Historically, it has been our republican institutions of representative government rather than our unelected courts that have done the best job of balancing, tempering and accommodating passionate competing interests into accommodative policies."

Really? That would be "our republican institutions of representative government" that made it a crime, and prosecuted people, for engaging in homosexual acts? The "republican institutions" that made it illegal to marry if the person you loved was of a different race? The "Republican institutions" that put in place poll taxes, and segregation? The "republican institutions of representative government" that supported and made legal slavery and racism? "Historically".

That's the group that has "historically" "done the best job of balancing, tempering and accommodating passionate competing interests into accommodative policies"? Really?

This editorial is a joke.


The Deseret News and all of Utah should get used to the fact that gay marriage is coming to Utah.

The fact that the DN (meaning the Mormon church) believes that these decisions are 'needless, thoughtless and damaging' is totally irrelevant to that inevitable outcome, not to mention that your conclusions are subject to serious dispute.

Within very few years the children of traditional marriage in Utah will have the children of same-sex marriage as friends, playmates, classmates and even pew-mates. They will see with their own eyes that these families and children are fine and that gay couples and their families are just folks. And they're going to begin to wonder about a lot of other things that they've been taught by their parents and their church and their leaders and concept of "morality."

America and the world have huge problems, including problems with society and family and with children and growing up. This is not one of them.

To the degree that marriage is the foundation of society, gay marriage will only add to it and strengthen it.

You and your church would probably be better off worrying about the coming legalization of polygamy.

portland, OR

Oh, yes, extending the dignity of marriage is certainly "needless, thoughtless and damaging". It no doubt makes perfect sense to you that the military can't notify a LEGALLY MARRIED SPOUSE if their military husband or wife is killed or injured because the federal government decided to encode discrimination. You find it perfectly reasonable that a LEGALLY MARRIED WIDOW be penalized with heavy inheritance taxes. And that is because of how much you love and respect us so much and not because you're homophobic. Sure we believe that. And are you going to penalize opposite sex couples who can't or don't have children because the only reason (according to you) for marriage is procreation? Of course not, because that absurd argument is only dragged out when you try to justify denying gays the dignity of marriage.

New York, NY

The path towards freedom is still full of potholes. The people who claim that their God is the only one want to impose their beliefs on others. They feel that God has told them they are the only path . While the churches want freedom for themselves, they want to restrict the freedoms of others.
Their God is vengeful and closed minded The right to practice freedom is not allowed. The harms they perceive make them want to tell people what they think is the way to live. My opinion is that I would like for all the religions to stay out of my life. If Jesus came back to earth he would be disgusted at the humongous churches and the big salaries paid to the leaders..My religion says that we must help the poor and the sick. Same sex marriage is allowing people to live their lives as they see fit.All I ask is that you do not try to harm me as I would not try to harm you.I am not a homosexual butI believe that people should not be denied the right to live as they see fit.

Durham, NC

A mostly thoughtfully written opinion with many valid points - up to this statement;

"Historically, it has been our republican institutions of representative government rather than our unelected courts that have done the best job of balancing, tempering and accommodating passionate competing interests into accommodative policies."

I could not disagree more with this statement. Congress has been one of the most weak kneed organizations when it comes to the protection of rights by minorities - no matter how you define that minority. The most discriminatory have emerged out of legislatures.

This ruling was no surprise. The Supreme Court has a long and consistent reputation for ruling that actions between two consenting adults will be legal. There are many things we final "legal", that we still should be apposed of on moral grounds - drinking is one of those. Being allowed to do something does not make it moral or immoral. We don't need laws saying adultery is illegal to know it is wrong.

Government should not be the tool to enforce religious laws... it is a far too dangerous path to head down.

tucson, AZ

Well said. The tactic of characterizing someone with whom you disagree as being motivated by prejudice, malice, ignorance or just plain stupidity in the context of any policy debate, including same-sex marriage and immigration reform, has the very predictable result of dividing on superficial grounds rather than uniting on common substantive ground. Setting up those with whom you disagree as straw men (or women) recipients of these kinds of simplistic argumentum ad hominem attacks is intellectually immature if not outright dishonest, and ultimately serves no useful purpose. Such attacks certainly do not materially advance the cause for which they are employed, and only make it that much more difficult for constructive discussions to occur.

Highland, UT

This article is beautifully written. I agree 100%.

Stephen Kent Ehat
Lindon, UT

Over twenty-six pages of dicta, Justice Kennedy refers to children only four times and each and every time he does so it is only in a very minor, tangential way while he otherwise directs his attention to expounding the rights and desires of adults.

Never does Justice Kennedy refer to any purported benefits that will accrue to children who are raised by a couple whose relationship by definition necessarily excludes one of the sexes. Instead, he only catalogues what he views as deleterious effects of DOMA:

—He speaks of "the urgency of this issue for same-sex couples who want[] to affirm their commitment to one another before their children" (p. 14);

—He mentions how DOMA "humiliates tens of thousands of children now being raised by same-sex couples," makes it "difficult for the children to understand the integrity and closeness of their own family" (p. 23), and "brings financial harm to children of same-sex couples" (p. 24);

—And he says, "DOMA instructs . . . all persons with whom same-sex couples interact, including their own children, that their marriage is less worthy than the marriages of others." (p. 25.)

He otherwise is silent about benefits of SSM for children.

Castle Valley, Utah

Good grief, DN editors. This is one of your most irrational, illogical opinions to date.

Everyone supports traditional marriage! Who doesn't? Those who would deny same-sex couples the right to marry in the name of "supporting traditional marriage" are just fooling themselves. It amounts to nothing more than animus and malice (even if they refuse to recognize it.)

"Dialogue"? What sort of dialogue can there be when one side states that homosexuality, by itself, is unnatural and "wrong", when it's just a fact of nature?

Legislation over court rulings? What's the difference, really, if gay marriage happens via either route. It's here - that is, if you really are advocating for honest respect of gay people as you suggest in this piece.

Richland, WA

It is clear that many advocates of same sex marriage believe that religious doctrine.is an insufficient excuse for failing to wholeheartedly embrace same sex marriage. The Washington Attorney General is prosecuting a florist for the crime of declining to do special flower arrangements to celebrate a same sex wedding ceremony, even though the couple was able to procure substitute services. Presumably the same would apply to a wedding band or caterer or photographer that declined to participate. The AG in our state did.not even recognize First Amendment rights with lip service let alone real respect. The couple was not harmed.in any material way, their only harm was to be told that not everyone in their community endorsed their actions. On the other hand, the hate of state government calling for the state to hate the florist is in the tradition of totalitarian governments through history.

Paul H
West Valley, UT

An opinion. That is all that the supreme court gave us. Opinions are not inherently right or wrong. This is just their official response to the popular thinking of the day that reflects their political will.
Opinions don't change reality. We all have our own opinions. When people use their political power to force their opinions on others then it creates a false and temporary reality but it doesn't change right or wrong.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

Oh sat does the Star-Spangled Banner yet wave over the land of the free and the home of the brave? When you get married, your liable for their debt

The Skeptical Chymist

In the DOMA case, the issue that was decided was whether the federal government can constitutionally give federal benefits to legally-married heterosexual couples, but deny them to legally-married same-sex couples. Justice Kennedy found that there is no legitimate cause for unequal treatment in this regard. To deny federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples would indeed be unequal treatment. Regardless of how the opinion was worded, the correct decision was reached.

mid-state, TN

"against those who cherish how traditional marriage unites men and women for the benefit of children."

One More Time: gay marriage does NOTHING to damage straight marriage. NOTHING. The vast majority of marriages will ALWAYS be straight marriages. The ONLY thing that these rulings do is to increase the number of people who invest in the TRADITION of stable, monogamous relationships.

"He suggested that fundamental liberty interests are at risk but couldn't elucidate the history and tradition normally required to assert vigorous judicial protection of unarticulated liberties."

You're kidding, right?

"Equal protection" rights are in our Constitution. That's easy to look up.

As for marriage itself -- from Loving v. Virginia: "Marriage is one of the 'basic civil rights of man,' fundamental to our very existence and survival. Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535, 541 (1942). See also Maynard v. Hill, 125 U.S. 190 (1888). "

"supporting traditional marriage is not the equivalent of disparaging, injuring, degrading, demeaning or humiliating homosexuals."

The **US House Report** on DOMA clearly stated: "Congress decided to reflect an honor of collective moral judgment and to express moral disapproval of homosexuality."

That's a very clear admission of animus, made by the House itself.

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