Comments about ‘Louisiana ruling breaks pro-gay marriage streak’

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Published: Wednesday, Sept. 3 2014 4:00 p.m. MDT

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Farmington, UT

What a pity that Judge Feldman doesn't sit on the bench in Salt Lake City. Then this interim mess that was created when Judge Shelby refused to grant a stay, knowing it would be appealed and eventually heard by the US Supreme Court, would have been avoided. No matter how this turns out Judge Shelby isn't going to look very brilliant in legal circles.

Riverton Cougar
Riverton, UT

It's nice to finally see the right decision being made, and I hope the Supreme Court makes the right decision when the case gets to them.

I am not anti-gay or a gay hater, so do not define me that way. I just see marriage as a holy, sacred union of a man and a woman (as God has defined it) and I find that calling two homosexuals who want to get married to each other as a different thing from what a marriage is or should be. Go ahead and hate me and be intolerant of my beliefs, I will not compromise my standards.

Murray, UT

@toosmartforyou You realize Feldman is the only Federal Judge to rule in favor of upholding a states "right" to limit civil rights? The rest have in ruled in against state bans on SSM. Also, it's not Shelby you should find issue with, it's the AG's office who showed clear incompetence with not being prepared.

@Riverton Cougar You have every right to have those beliefs. The issue is using the institution of Government to limit civil rights. Since Married couples have special tax and property ownership rights that non-married couples do not have, the states are preventing same sex couples from having these same special rights.

American Fork, UT

It'll come to Louisiana; It'll come to Utah.

Jeff Harris
Edmonds, WA

In his ruling, Judge Feldman tells us that the state has a rational basis for denying same-sex couples equal protection under the law, because the state believes that denying gay couples the freedom marry will somehow provide children with two biological parents. He doesn't tell us how denying marriage to gay couples will or could accomplish this, but he insists that this is a rational basis for denying gay citizens equal protection under the law.

Utah's Attorney General Sean Reyes and his sidekick, Gene Schaerr, should have been so lucky to find a judge who didn't need to make any rational connection between the so-called objective and the content of the law.

Judge Feldman's notion of a rational basis is completely irrational. It is doomed to fail on appeal.

Frozen Fractals
Salt Lake City, UT

I wonder if Louisiana allows single parent adoption like they do in Utah. That'd wreck that whole "children deserve a mother and father" argument...

Regardless, marriage is not about children. There's no requirement that a couple who gets married must have kids nor is there a requirement that kids can only be born in marriages. So that argument is completely worthless.

As for the slippery slope argument, he acts as if same-sex marriage would be the precedent but we already have the precedent when the courts imposed interracial marriage on the states. The only reason people against same-sex marriage ignore that detail is because they generally approve of inter-racial marriage and don't want to suggest that Loving vs. Virginia should've gone the other way.

PJB Newsgram
Chicago, IL

@Jeff Harris You have turned the issue upside down. The reason marriage is "one of the 'basic civil rights of man'" according to Loving v. Virginia is that marriage is "fundamental to our existence and survival." Marriage between a man and woman is one of the most universal institutions that transcends a particular religion and is essential to our existence and survival, while marriage between two people of the same gender is not essential to our existence because of biological realities. If the reasoning for the right no longer exists, then how is it a fundamental right? There is a distinction between race and behavior, since race does not change the basic notion of existence or continuation of mankind. I would say more fully that civilized existence is most likely obtained by children being raised by their biological parents and it is rational for societies to incentivize the maintenance and creation of such a unit. Also under rational basis review the interest only needs to be conceivable, not necessarily proven.

Saint George, UT

Thank you, Louisiana!!!!

@PJB Newsgram. Eloquently and succinctly stated. Thank you, too.

Karen R.
Houston, TX

I am disappointed to learn that this judge put forth such weak and irrational arguments, but then I don't know what I'm expecting - there are no strong or rational ones. Most disappointing, though, was to learn that he equated gay marriage with incest. I expect more objective thinking from a federal judge, but this just goes to show how a deeply ingrained bias can derail even the most analytical of minds.

I don't agree that animus underlies most opposition to SSM, but beliefs like the one revealed by this judge definitely have a corrosive, dehumanizing quality to them. I wouldn't believe him if he sincerely denied viewing homosexuals as inferior beings. It's in this regard that I think the opposition to SSM is no different from that seen to interracial marriage. For many, a homosexual orientation is viewed like black skin was back then - as a marker of intrinsic inferiority.

I think prejudice can exist without animus and I think one can sincerely fail to recognize it for what it is. But this does not mitigate its harmfulness. And when you're being harmed, it feels indistinguishable from animus.

Karen R.
Houston, TX

@ PJB Newsgram

While the concept of marriage may be a fundamental part of our form of society, it certainly isn't required for the human species to survive. Also, the suggestion that allowing 3-5% of the population to marry would threaten the capacity of the remaining 95-97% to procreate at a sustainable level is just plain silly.

lost in DC
West Jordan, UT

Glad to see at least one judge recognizes biological facts

A Quaker
Brooklyn, NY

There's clearly a reason "no other federal judge has ruled that way at the trial level." Judge Feldman conducted a "Rational Basis Review" of the State's supposed justification for the ban, but left out the rational analysis part.

Louisiana argued successfully in court that marriage is the institution that can make a family. And yet, Louisiana has legal same-sex co-parent adoption. So, clearly, the State claiming it needs to restrict marriage to heterosexual couples for [mumble, mumble, think of the children, mumble] reason, is being completely dishonest. They have no interest at all in preventing children from being adopted by unmarried same-sex couples. They already allow that, as long as the couple files two separate sets of adoption papers. That fact alone blows the State's supposedly "rational" reason completely out of the water, or in this case, into the swamp.

The judge erred in ignoring pertinent facts, accepting an irrational argument under Rational Basis review. He also erred in basing his order primarily on the dissenting opinions (losing side) of four higher-court cases. Read the opinion. It's comedy gold.

Two For Flinching
Salt Lake City, UT

Are people really going to side with the South when it comes to a civil rights issue? Good luck explaining that to your grandchildren

Salt Lake City, UT

This really needs to be the decision that makes it to the supreme court for deciding gay marriage, because it logically addresses concerns of those who do not approve of gay marriage. All we have seen up to this point is a bunch of judges rubber-stamping the pro-gay marriage decisions.

Somebody needs to call up Utah's attorney general and tell them this is how the case needs to be approached. Sorry gays, but when the day is done, sexuality is a behavior, and the courts will have to come to terms with that fact. There is no 'gay gene' and the shallow arguments for it don't address the other initials in your movement - the B's T's and Q's. I know it's hard to believe, but I'm not anti-gay. Just that the arguments behind gay marriage need to be half way honest.

Leesburg, VA

>>Judge Feldman's notion of a rational basis is completely irrational. It is doomed to fail on appeal.

Perhaps, but for that to happen, the higher courts now will have to do something they've skirted to date -- explain *on legal grounds* why a state's claim of "legitimate interest in limiting marriage to couples who could biologically have a child" is irrational. Arguments about unequal tax breaks, etc. are a weak foundation because such thing are often justifiable *if* there's a rational, defensible, overriding state interest. So Feldman's ruling will drive the higher courts to focus heavily on the law and logic to make sure that judgements in favor of same-sex marriage aren't just “a pageant of empathy; decisions impelled by a response of innate pathos.”

That's what Feldman essentially admits he's trying to do, and it's as it should be. Making sure the focus stays on logic and the law will ensure that any final ruling, whatever it may be, will be on very strong legal ground.

Bountiful, UT

It looks like the Supreme Court will decide this eventually.

It is wrong to believe that opposition to gay marriage is in any way a defense of traditional marriage. How someone could believe this is a testament to the ability of someone to say something out of left field and others will blindly believe and follow because they don't bother to think the issue out.

However, unfortunately gay marriage and gays being able to adopt children who could otherwise have had a mother and a father seem to be tied together. Adoption somewhat allowed even without gay marriage, but it will only get worse. How people could get so uptight about what gay relationships are called and not care about gay adoption is evidence to me how illogical and unthinking people can be sometimes.

seattle, WA

Seems to me many people equate biology with religion with civil rights.

Just because its usually takes one male and one female to make a baby, does not make such a scientific fact an element of religion. It is fact, and religion is belief. And just because a religious belief comes from the elders or books of the religion does not make that belief a basis for law in secular society. We are not a theocracy yet, so that one's particular religious practices and outlooks do not dictate what civil law could or should be. Ignorance is no excuse in the eyes of the law, and some views are just plain ignorant regarding secular government and, indeed, science.

Farmington, UT

@ mcdugall, I didn't say I agreed with either Feldman or Shelby or what I think will eventually happen or what I think should happen. I only said that Shelby is the only magistrate in the country that refused to grant a stay pending appeal and that he created a real mess for those caught in the transition from legal, to being stayed, to being in question should it be over-turned. Why were all the others judges in the country that have ruled upon it then stayed their ruling but Shelby didn't? I happen to know people that fit into that problem and I don't feel they deserved such treatment. Shelby blew it, plain and simple, by refusing to grant a stay. That's all I'm saying.

Huntsville, UT

Riverton Cougar says:

"It's nice to finally see the right decision being made,..."

--- Bigotry and discrimination are never the "right decision".

"...(as God has defined it)...be intolerant of my beliefs"

--- The US is not a theocracy, your god and beliefs have no standing or relevance. They apply to you and you alone, no other citizen has to adhere to your "beliefs" or your "god".

PJB says:

"...marriage...is essential to our existence ..."

--- Uhm, no. SEX is essential to our survival, marriage is not. Marriage has nothing to do with sex.

technos says:

"...addresses concerns of those who do not approve of gay marriage. "

If you don't approve of gay marriage, don't have one. Simple. BTW, religion is also a "behavior" (and it's protected).

Ogden, UT

@technos 12:35 a.m. Sept. 4, 2014

One's sexuality is not a behavior, although one's sexual behavior relates back to one's sexuality. I have been straight all my life, even as a child before I knew what my reactions meant. I was straight as a teenager even though I was celebate prior to marriage. I have been straight throughout my married life. If my husband were to die and I didn't remarry, I would be celebate AND I would still be straight.

Sexuality address the gender to which a person has a sexual and affectional affinity. Behavior addresses the actions a person takes as a result of that affinity. They are two separate things.


the arguments behind gay marriage need to be half way honest.


The arguments are totally and completely honest. Only a lack of true understanding of the subject would cause a person to reach a contrary belief.

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