Comments about ‘My view: The civil rights comparison with gay marriage deserves scrutiny’

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Published: Sunday, Aug. 18 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The only way the in which the marriage issue is the same as the racial issue is that they are both economic issues. The both have their root motivation based in greed. However, since almost every issue of difference in our society is based upon greed this is to be expected.

Behind all the propaganda, words and smoke, the object of the religious people is to defend and protect their favored position in the economy and the world in general. Gay people seem to want in on the favored position and to make it easier for people to be gay.

The best way to resolve this and other discrimination issues is to remove the favoritism given to groups and treat all people as Americans.

2 tell the truth
Clearwater, FL

Your "view" is worth precisely what I paid to read it, Michael. Which is ... absolutely nothing.

Thanks anyway.

American Fork, UT

Preserving marriage as only between a man and a woman does nothing to ensure the surest foundation for children. The old 'think of the children' excuse doesn't work here, and indeed if it were true then the opportunity to allow one more option to create a stable family, gay marriage in this case, is something you should be arguing for to ensure a foundation for children. Man/Woman marriage does what it does for children (I would argue it doesn't actually do much for them these days) and it is in our best interest if we can add to that.

Trenton, NJ

The three points made in the piece each totally avoid any and all of the strong legal parallels between interracial and same-gender marriage, which renders the piece largely irrelevant. Also, it is hard to take any piece seriously when it supports the conclusion "it's hard to imagine prominent gay-marriage advocates describing their movement as 'built upon deep-seated religious convictions'" by beginning with words of John Lewis, who is just one of a great many public figures who has done just that. The cherry-picking of songs, slogans and historical facts is also ridiculous. The assertion that denying civil marriage rights/benefits to same-gender couples is somehow necessary to protect children is completely unsubstantiated ... and in fact, contrary to most of the scientific evidence and views of the major mental health organizations. The desire to "preserve and strengthen families" applies to couples without children ... straight or gay, as well as couples with children ... again, straight or gay.

2 tell the truth
Clearwater, FL

Re: "What goes unsaid is that the most influential civil-rights leaders, "citing God and the Bible," opposed discrimination and segregation on religious grounds."


2 tell the truth
Clearwater, FL

Re: "First, laws prohibiting interracial marriage were designed to promote white supremacy. That's why a unanimous Supreme Court invalidated these laws for having "no legitimate overriding purpose independent of invidious racial discrimination."

Um, neither do anti-gay laws have any "legitimate overriding purpose independent of invidious [anti-gay] discrimination."

Re: "Unlike racial segregation, to which anti-gay laws are often compared, the traditional restriction of marriage to opposite-sex couples was not designed, in and of itself, to denigrate or harm same-sex couples."

And yet it does. It makes gay people 2nd class citizens by not treating them equally under the law. It denies them the 1,138 Federal "effects that flow from marriage". This causes actual, real harm to not only the couple but to their children as well.

Sandy, UT

My question is this: why is government involved at all in deciding who can and who can't be married? Could it be greed and control on their part?

Dammam, Saudi Arabia

I remember a couple of years back when I participated in a letter writing campaign. A black woman at the University of Eastern Michigan stated her view that the civil rights movement and the gay rights movement are not the same. She was forced out of her job. So she sought and gained employment in a city in Michigan. The local gay rights group tried to bully the city that gave her job offer to rescind the offer. Fortunately, they stood up to the bullies.

Well, it is a little like the civil rights movement. At the beginning of Jim Crow laws blacks were bullied into leaving jobs so whites could take over their jobs.

This was a good, well thought out peace.

Huntsville, UT

Laws promoting marriage as only one man/one woman are designed to promote heterosexual supremacy. These laws have "no legitimate overriding purpose independent of invidious sexual discrimination."

"But it's hard to imagine prominent gay-marriage advocates describing their movement as "built upon deep-seated religious convictions."

-- But it isn't hard to imagine them based upon deep seated Constitutional convictions. (Hint: The USA is NOT a theocracy).

"Do it for the children, do it for the children" -- What about the children of gays and lesbians? They just don't count, do they (what hypocrisy).

I guess we are going to have to ban marriage between heterosexual couples who refuse to, or can't have children too. If marriage is solely about "the children", then those who don't have them don't need it either.

Huntsville, UT

"I still hear people say that I should not be talking about the rights of lesbian and gay people and I should stick to the issue of racial justice, But I hasten to remind them that Martin Luther King Jr. said, 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.'" "I appeal to everyone who believes in Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream to make room at the table of brother- and sisterhood for lesbian and gay people."

- Coretta Scott King

Riverside, CA

Holding true to his profession's stereotype, the writer argues only one side of the discussion, conveniently overlooking the full context of the issue; and, through his intellectual dishonesty, he attempts to shift the historical reality that SCOTUS has affirmed a number of times that marriage is a basic, fundamental right "necessary for the pursuit of happiness" IRRESPECTIVE of procreation. Even worse, his stance lacks any substantive evidence that the one father and one mother ideal holds true and is upheld when considering the current context of marriage as it stands for ALL families (with and without non-biologically related individuals) - his position against same sex parented families being wholly inconsistent with the anthropological evidence as reflected in the Am. Anthropological Association's position statement on marriage. Naturally, we see his words being in direct contrast to NAACP's stance on this issue. Adhering to the stereotype, we witness a grand hypocrisy and utter lack of intellectual honestly in this writer's "arguments."

mid-state, TN

@Michael --

You're misrepresenting the views cited in your article references.

For instance -- in that article in which you claim that gay people are opposing gay marriage, that's not actually what most of them are saying at all.

One of the sources is actually saying that he cares about the *legal* rights of marriage and not the religious rights.

Another is saying that he's more worried about being murdered by homophobes than about getting married. (A very telling statement, btw.)

Yet another is saying that he opposes all marriage in general because it leads to divorce. (It doesn't have to make sense -- that's what he said.)

That's a far cry from your claims.

And as yet another source in that article states:

"So when I hear LGBT people saying the same thing: 'I don't think gay and lesbian people should get married', is it different from slaves saying: 'I don't think slaves should have the ability to get married'? It is internalised hatred, bred by oppression. Why would you want to deny someone of your own sexual orientation the ability to get married? No one [will be] forcing you to get married."

Brigham City, UT

From the article: "... as one gay-marriage advocate acknowledges, 'Unlike racial segregation, to which anti-gay laws are often compared, the traditional restriction of marriage to opposite-sex couples was not designed, in and of itself, to denigrate or harm same-sex couples.'"

The "gay-marriage advocate" mentioned goes on to say: "Today's ruling [striking down DOMA] reflects the growing public understanding that DOMA and other laws that treat gay people unequally, while they may echo long-standing beliefs, now simply lash out at one group for no good reason: 'DOMA's avowed purpose and practical effect are to impose a disadvantage, a separate status, and so a stigma upon all who enter into same-sex marriages made lawful by the unquestioned authority of the States.'"

From the article: "... it's hard to imagine prominent gay-marriage advocates describing their movement as 'built upon deep-seated religious convictions.' Indeed, it has often been hostile to religion. To be sure, some of that hostility stems from perceived, and sometimes very real, denigration by some religious adherents."

It's no wonder, then, is it, if they don't build their movement upon the convictions of those who denigrate them.


Rep John Lewis:

""I've heard the reasons for opposing civil marriage for same-sex couples. Cut through the distractions, and they stink of the same fear, hatred and intolerance I have known in racism and in bigotry." This made gay marriage the kind of issue most political candidates dread--not because they don't know where they stand, but because no one likes being branded a hater."

“In President Obama's interview with Robin Roberts, he described the kind of steps many Americans have taken on the issue of same sex marriage. Once people begin to see the similarities between themselves and others, instead of focusing on differences, they come to recognize that equality is essentially a matter of human rights and human dignity. The President's growth reflects the growth of many Americans on this issue. I am glad to see more Americans, including President Obama, empathize with the struggles of same sex couples and express willingness in state after state to give their unions the same legal rights as other married couples.”

Eric Samuelsen
Provo, UT

This article was written by an attorney, not a scholar. Does he cherry-pick evidence, to present his side most convincingly. Of course he does. But I do sense good will in his comments.
But he's wrong. If one of the main functions of marriage is to provide a stable environment for child rearing, then obviously gay couples are as capable as straight couples of providing such an environment. And reasons for discrimination disappear.

Ernest T. Bass
Bountiful, UT

Why should straight couples have more legal rights and gay couples?
That is why it's a Civil Rights issue.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Most gay parents I know, have children from their previous heterosexual "marriages".

They are THEIR children, regardless how you slice, dice, and skew hypothetical situations.

Tell me how one accounts for denying them their rights as biological parents?

Salt Lake City, UT

The problem for conservatives is that they have been so dismally wrong on so many issues: Jim Crow laws, segregation, the Civil Rights Act, interracial marriage, etc. But now, presumably they've got it right on gay marriage. Somehow I don't think so. Gay marriages will be recognized in Utah within five years. Is it better for kids to have two parents of different genders? Yes, I think so. But can gay marriage work for kids? Yes to that also.

Salt Lake City, Utah

If children were only born once a couple was married, and if parents of children stayed married until death, and if people without children were never married, than this article might have a point.

However, the truth is that many children are born to parents that are not married - heck, some children are conceived and born with only one "parent" such as when single women choose artificial insemination.

Many parents with children divorce - some remarry and have more children - some have more children with someone other than their spouse while still married to their spouse.

Many married people have no children - some because they choose not to, some because they can't.

Nothing in this article reflects real life - which invalidates every point the author tries to make.

Which is why these very same arguments failed in the Prop 8 trial.

(As for the whole "religious foundation for support" argument - this is about civil, i.e. not religious, rights - a religious reason is not needed.)

Los Angeles, CA

The author is correct that the comparison between the struggle for racial equality and the gay rights struggle is not an exact one, but the three examples given are uninteresting. The author talks about civil rights leaders' religious convictions, but many gay rights proponents base their position on an underlying conviction that 'all men and women are created equal'; whether one interprets 'creation' in a religious sense or simply in the sense of 'being born' is not terribly important. The underlying belief in equality is the same, whether its source is a chapel or not.

A political comparison far more interesting to a Utah audience would be between the marriage equality struggle and the early Mormon struggle to defend their own non-traditional marriage views. I'd be interested to see a thoughtful comparison of the arguments used by the early Utah settlers to defend their one-man-multiple-woman model in the federal court system, and an analysis of why that model ultimately lost in the Supreme Court of the 19th century while the same-sex model is currently winning in the same forum 150 years later.

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