Comments about ‘Challenge to Utah's same-sex marriage ban’

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Published: Wednesday, Dec. 4 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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@Mayhem Mike: The "because [they] want to" argument is just as valid as the counter argument offered by the LDS Church and others, "Because we don't want them to." The right is Constitutionally protected by the 14th amendment which guarantees "equal treatment under the law" to all citizens. The line should be drawn in favor of liberty and should only discriminate when protecting a right for a specific group and not another group causes substantial harm. In fact, the "because [they] want to" argument trumps the "because we don't want them to" argument, which is based on nothing more than personal prejudice justified by the fallacious appeal to tradition; when one group asserts a right enjoyed by others, whether same gender couples or Mormons, it is the obligation of those opposed to present compelling arguments against. The "burden of Proof," sir, is yours, not theirs

mid-state, TN

@Tekaka --

"It brings in the connatation of a sexual dimenson to the relationship."

We already allow marriages between people who are never going to have sex -- for example, convicts in prison who have no visitation rights, quadriplegics, and so on. We also allow marriages that are never going to be procreative.

@Steven --

"contract law is discriminatory by nature."

Nope. Remember that, legally speaking, "discrimination" means treating similarly situated individuals differently **when there is no legitimate reason for doing so**.

"Utah does not allow a 12 year old "

Minors are not legally capable of informed consent. This is not discrimination -- it's an acknowledgment of immaturity.

"(polygamy) and that law too was discriminatory."

Anti-polygamy laws are not discriminatory -- they are based on the harm principle.

@Mayhem --

"Why, oh why, is it a constitutionally-protected right for gays/lesbians to marry and not for other groups (i.e., polygamists, three-somes, etc.) to marry?"

Because polygamy significantly increases the risk of harm. Gay marriage does not.

Look up the harm principle.

@Azkid --

"and make them more likely to embrace, rather than shun, this lifestyle."

Why would it be a bad thing for our kids to embrace a lifestyle of monogamy?

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

MayhemMike - The answer is a bit more complex than the word count allows but basically it depends on the legal standard applied (ie strict scrutiny, immediate scrutiny, or rational basis). Marriage is a fundamental right under the COTUS (strict scrutiny standard) - suffice it to say that almost any limitation on a fundamental right will be unconstitutional. Granted, gay marriage has been tested in courts under the lower standards in times past, but it is increasingly apparent that being gay is an immutable characteristic (even the LDS Church admits this now). So, limitations against SSM are nearly de facto unconstitutional.

The argument that being polyamorous is immutable is not as strong legally. I have no issue with polygamy being law (I'm happily married in the Temple, it doesn't affect me) but their hurdles are higher from a legal perspective. Regardless, it seems that polygamy will be deemed the law of the land eventually.

For these reasons, the limitation proposed by StevenSJarvis is dead on arrival in a court. He'd have to prove a harm in order to justify contractual limitations for two competent, consenting adults which opponents of SSM have failed to do in dozens of court cases.

Poplar Grove, UT

No, Utah law most certainly doesn't allow gay people to get a civil union. The constitutional amendment says gays can't be married or participate in any other legal procedure that simulates marriage. Your 100% mistaken.


@AZKID: Your appeal to history is both fallacious and inaccurate. It is fallacious in that the past does not equal the future. It is inaccurate in that at least one of the greatest civilizations in history, classical Greece, openly practiced homosexuality and flourished, while the Hebrews in Judea were still pretty barbaric and ended up conquered by the Persians and the Greeks.

If you believe that forcing someone with a natural same-gender preference into a heterosexual relationship just to please the dogma of your faith and your personal prejudice, then you and I have much different views of "happiness." To me, your argument is the same as not letting a person listen to the Missionary Discussions or attend a church meeting because his/her parents/friends think Mormonism is immoral.

Tom in MS
Madison, MS

AZKID, you are right on the money. Unfortunately, this is not the beginning of the problems; no, they started many years ago, and are continuing now. We are moving into that period where the "Constitution will hang as if by a thread," and we will be virtually powerless to do anything about it. Pres. Monson and Pres. Hinckley both have said to be prepared, and we wouldn't fear. With the current occupant of the White House having total disregard of the laws of the land and its Constitution, not fearing will be very difficult, whether prepared or not.

Salt Lake City, UT

DN2: Judge Bork's words are relevant here but not for the reason you give. Bork condemned liberals for "radical egalitarianism and radical individualism" thirty plus years ago. If he were alive to comment today would he have the same opinion? In the current healthcare debate, who would you say is taking the egalitarian individual side? Can we agree here that it is the "radical" right that is espousing that cause in the face of the view that individuals owe a debt to the society we live in....that no man is an island. Healthcare costs cannot be contained and canceling sick insureds cannot be changed without collective action.

Aren't you saying Bork's words apply today? How so to the ACA debate?

Salt Lake City, Utah

@ AZKID: No, actually, Utah law does not allow for civil unions.

To those of you arguing against Ranch's moral comment: There are a great many things that are morally relativistic or that at one point were considered moral but no longer are - examples include war and the death penalty (morally relativistic) or slavery (espoused Biblically, but no longer considered moral). (And if you try to justify slavery in the Bible by claiming "they treated their slaves better back then," than you are being morally relativistic.)

The sins of Sodom were greed, laziness, a lack of care for the poor and the stranger amongst them, and unjust judgements. These are lauded as virtues in today's society. The Ten Commandments speak directly against lying and adultery. Many who speak against homosexuality use lies in their arguments or have engaged in adultery. Many others who speak against homosexuality also speak against safety nets for the poor. All of this relies on moral relativism.

The second Great Commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. You can't do that if you are lying to or about them.

Clinton, UT

To Stalwart Sentinel,
Your comments is false. The LDS church does not admit that being gay is immutable. Admitting that one person may be born more susceptible to certain temptations is not the same as admitting they must be that way. The LDS has not ever said and they never will, that a person is just born gay. Science, although they have tried, still cannot prove this claim.
Further, the constitution does not protect ones right to marry, period. The pursuit of Happiness term is a term of art taken from John Locke and specifically referred to the right to own property...read for yourselves and not the propaganda issued by gays/lesbians. The Constitution itself states that all rights not specifically (key phrase here) setforth herein are reserved the states. The right to marry is not specifically set forth in the constitution, thus, each state can decide for themselves. Unfortunately, are judges do legislate because they twist and go beyond the constitution in order to approve or deny the laws they want. This was never supposed to be their function. We can lie to ourselves all we want, but just still remember the truth is the truth.

Sugar City, ID

Allowing gays to marry is a significant change in what is legal and socially acceptable. Since this is a relatively recent development, there are no long-term (multi-generational)studies of how this may affect society. People are already agitating for their right to have sex with children because they were "born that way." Or how about the hundreds of thousands of "families" that have multiple partners of each sex plus children. The social problems with these arrangements are obvious but how can they be prevented from being legalized if the criteria is that "we love each other and are committed to each other and want to live together." Will multiple partner families become a civil right? What will our society be like in a couple of generations with multiple partner families? What problems will their children have? How will this affect the spread of STDs? I hope the court can take into consideration the possible long term disastrous effects of changing the marriage laws and stick with one man and one woman. A change is a very slippery slope into social chaos, misery, poverty and disease.

Cedar Hills, UT

So here we are again with the "will of the people" vs the ideology of an activist judge. The national pattern has been the will of the people is thrown out in place of one judges opinion which is NOT based on constitutional law but rather the ideology of the judge. If the judge has sympathy toward the homosexual movement (as in California ) then he will always rule in favor of homosexual marriage. If the judge - on the other hand - is neutral and bases his opinion just on constitutional law then traditional marriage will win the day. America is seeing a disintegration of individual rights due to federal judges who decide to legislate from the bench which they should NOT be doing. Our constitutional government is melting away before our eyes and with it our individual rights as citizens and communities. I recall something that the Prophet Joseph Smith once said to the effect that the time would come when the constitution of the United States would hang by a thread.... I personally believe we have reached that threshold in America. So goes the constitution - so goes the United States and its freedom and liberty.

Here, UT


Actually, Utah BANS civil unions right alongside marriage to LGBT couples: See "Amendment 3" of the Utah Constitution." Anything that resembles marriage in the least way is banned in Utah.

Just because my family does not look like your family does not make it less of a family.

Additionally, what is "unprecedented" is that Americans are VOTING to take away the rights of other Americans.


Men just made up "God's Laws"; your god doesn't exist. "Believe it or not, it's true".


Our laws are not based on "morals", rather they're based on how we best work together as a society. There's nothing "moral" about that; unless you agree that treating each other well is a "moral" issue, which I might agree with.


Homosexuals are also "The People", right along with heterosexuals.


It is "moral" in many countries to mutilate the genitals of women. It is not "moral" in the USA. Hence, "morality" is relative. There are 1000's of examples.

@Tom in MS;

Oh boy, the "White Horse" prophecy. I'm impressed.

Billy Bob
Salt Lake City, UT

I think it should be left up to each state to decide. Seeing as it is not against the United States constitution to allow it or to not allow it, I don't see why a federal court should even be involved. If the people of Massachusetts (for example) want to allow it and the people of Utah (for example) don't, then let each state have laws accordingly. I guess the tricky part is whether or not Utah should recognize homosexual marriages done in Massachusetts. Once again, let each state decide. The federal government should stay out of this discussion, and that includes the Judicial Branch.

mid-state, TN

@BYU9293 --

"The LDS church does not admit that being gay is immutable. "

But it does specifically acknowledge that "individuals do not choose to have such attractions".

"the constitution does not protect ones right to marry, period"

SCOTUS has affirmed many times that marriage is a basic civil right:

-- Loving v. Virginia: "Marriage is one of the 'basic civil rights of man'..."
-- Zablocki v. Redhail -- "the right to marry is of fundamental importance for all individuals"
-- Skinner v. Oklahoma -- a person, being cut off from "marriage and procreation," would be "forever deprived of a basic liberty."
-- Turner v. Safley -- invalidated a prohibition on marriages by prison inmates under privacy rights
-- Meyer v. Nebraska -- the liberty protected by the 14th Amendment "without doubt…denotes not merely freedom from bodily restraint but also the right of the individual to ... marry, establish a home and bring up children..."

@JSB --

"People are already agitating for their right to have sex with children because they were "born that way.""

Look up the harm principle.

Pedophilia, bestiality, polygamy, etc., all significantly increase the risk of harm. Gay marriage does not.

If you believe otherwise, please present some evidence. Be specific.

Twinkie the Kid

(Sarcastic post)

While we are on the topic of equality, we should legislate against the law of gravity. Everyone should be equal and measured to weigh 150 pounds. Truly this is social justice!

Too many people get made fun of and are second-class citizens that weigh over 300 pounds. We cannot let this old-fashioned gravity stuff get in the way of our enlightened society. All people should be equal and weigh the same.

Gravity, go take a hike! Repeal the law of gravity! It is unconstitutional and making people unequal!

cohoes, NY

Did the the killing of DOMA make it unconstitutional for a state to hold a vote on the issue?

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

Thanks, Contrariuserer

BYU9293 - Sorry, incorrect on both assertions.

Re: marriage - As pointed out already above, it is quite simple to find that there are at least 14 SCOTUS cases in which marriage is deemed to be a fundamental right, some more explicit than others. Are you unable to look them up? So, you keep your John Locke/activist judge theory and I'll side w/ the SCOTUS; we'll see who wins the day. Deal?

Re: LDS on being gay - From the LDS' own website dedicated to dealing w/ same-sex attraction, we read, "[e]ven though individuals do not choose to have such attractions, they do choose how to respond to them." In other words, since it is not a choice, they are born gay but the Church does not condone acting on said desires. Just as straight people are born with opposite-sex attraction but the LDS Church does not condone acting on those desires until marriage.

You finish by saying, "[w]e can lie to ourselves all we want, but just still remember the truth is the truth." Honestly, given your commentary, I cannot express in words the irony of such a statement coming from you.

Pasedena, CA

To "Sneaky Jimmy" you are wrong. The state cannot do anything to prevent 2 gays from getting married. They can go to any preacher or even set up their own ceremony so that they can be married. These legal battles are to force the state to grant them the legal benefits of marriage. In other words, the gays have been holding out on getting married so that they could get benefits.

To "AZKID" the gays want to do more than normalize their behavior. They want to destroy marriage. See the video titled "Lesbian Activist's Surprisingly Candid Speech: Gay Marriage Fight Is a Lie to Destroy Marriage" at The Blaze.

To "Ranch" is your definition of a family based on the legal benefits granted by the state or is it defined by your attitude? You and your ilk define it by the legal benefits. What prevents your ilk from finding a preacher to perform a wedding ceremony and declare you married to whoever you want?


Billy Bob says, I think it should be left up to each state to decide.

Fine. I'm sure most couples would be willing to travel to Vegas to marry.

Let each State decide if they will grant marriage licenses to gay couples. But a State does not have the right to say that people married in one state are no longer married once they cross state lines. If you are married, you are married.

Here, UT

@Billy Bob;

Just for you, directly from the US Constitution:

Article 4 -
Section 1 -
Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof

Amendment 14 -

1. ... No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

(last post)

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