Comments about ‘Court rules against gay marriage bans in 2 states’

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

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Jeff Harris
Edmonds, WA

Judge Posner got it right during oral arguments when he said the marriage bans were derived from "hate ... and savage discrimination" of gays. There is no other motivation to deny same couples equal protection under the law. The rationalizations for the ban presented in Judge Posner's court and elsewhere simply don't hold up to scrutiny.

Red Corvette
St. George, UT

Definitely seeing a trend here.


As a child I watched the Klan march down Capitol Street in Jackson, Mississippi. I watched as people held up scripture quotes and complained that their religious freedom was being infringed, while protesting the integration of our school system. When the marched in protest of school busing because God created the races to be separate. Little by little our country has moved forward. One day my daughters will tell their children of the day that people fought against gay rights. And those kids will react the same way mine do when I tell them stories of colored drinking fountains. One day Chik-fil-A will be in the same place as Walgreen's for those old enough to remember.

J. S.
Houston, TX

Congratulations to Wisconsin and Indiana!

Huntsville, UT

Its a slow road to justice but its'a coming.

American Fork, UT

Jeff---Until you seek to understand the other side of the argument, your unqualified and biased opinions will not be taken seriously.

Understands Math
Lacey, WA

The 6th Circuit (Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee) will probably be the next to rule, sometime in the next few months. It will probably be the last Circuit court to rule on same-sex marriage this year. Next year will see rulings, probably first from the 9th Circuit (Pacific states, plus Montana, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona), and then the 5th (Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi). The 8th and 11th Circuits will be the last remaining ones.

And if all of the federal court stays expired right now, over 80% of the US population would live in equality states.

J. S.
Houston, TX

"Jeff---Until you seek to understand the other side of the argument, your unqualified and biased opinions will not be taken seriously."

Actually, Jeff was right.

Judge Posner, along with dozens of other federal judges understand the other side of the argument very well, and they have refuted those arguments again and again and again in their rulings.

Nowadays, it is the opponents' biased opinions no longer be taken seriously.


Jeff H:

I have no hatred in my heart for anyone, nor do I condone discrimination in any form. This is why I oppose SSM - it institutionalizes discrimination toward religious individuals and mandates that a certain view of morality be given preference over others. In states that have SSM, schools are required to teach certain moral views that I and many others do not agree with.

Judge Posner's comments and ruling show a clear bias and disposition in this case, just as did the judge that overturned Prop 8 in CA. To use this much vitriol from the bench shows a clear bias that would not be allowed in other situations...

Okemos, MI

To say that an entire state passed a law confining marriage to between man and woman is based on "hate" and "savage discrimination" is unfounded and irresponsible. Perhaps some people supporting the law actually hate homosexuals, but certainly many, if not the vast majority, do not. Casting a minority view to the majority (or everyone) is just one flaw in this opinion.

Live From the Swamp
Holladay, UT

The pro-gay marriage lawyers could not answer questions from the panel about where they would draw the line between who should be allowed to marry. Their answers were silly and discriminatory to other groups who advocate for an expansion of the term marriage.

I'd like to hear an intelligent rationale for denying polygamy from any of the progressive commentators on this thread. The Ivy-League brain trust I mention above could not do it.



What about the United Church of Christ and 21 other Christian denominations that have no problem with SSM? The United Church of Christ filed suit against the state of North Carolina saying that their SSM ban infringes upon their religious freedom to conduct same sex marriages. If it is legal, then each church can decide what they want to do. If it is illegal, then churches that support SSM (and there are many) are being discriminated against.

Daedalus, Stephen

Judge Posner taps the final nail in the coffin of SSM-bans with a sledge-hammer.

Unlike most of the trial courts and the 2 other Circuits, this opinion does not try to connect-the-dots between Windsor-Loving-Lawrence-Romer to stretch the fundamental right to marriage just a bit farther than what SCOTUS was willing to do in Windsor. Those other opinions seem persuasive to me, but SCOTUS (J. Kennedy really) could simply say, 'no, we didn't mean to go that far' in Windsor.

Instead, Posner builds an equal protection argument around the undisputed historic discrimination against gays and lesbians. The scrutiny for such 'suspect classes' is higher than rational-basis. But after he he tediously shreds WI/IN attempts to explain a even a rational connection between disparate treatment of gays/lesbians and the state's interests, he ultimately concludes that WI/IN bans could not even pass rational basis review.

In doing this, Posner creates a Windsor-independent argument to overturn SSM-bans nationally, but as a side-effect, he also reduces all the offered rationales to below the rational-basis standard.


Definition of a legal term is not a "ban." Why do we continue to use the word "ban" in describing a law that defines what marriage is? Certainly the definition might be construed to prohibit something, but why would the prohibition be limited to one thing - in this case, same sex marriage? It also prohibits someone from "marrying" their child, dog, computer, neighbor's wife (or wives), etc. Why is the word "ban" not associated with plural marriage or marriage of minors - or who knows what.

Why don't the headlines read, "Court rules that Wisconsin's definition of marriage is unconstitutional?"

Might it be because one group feels slighted by the definition? I would agree that the use of terms such as "hate" and "savage discrimination" are hyperbole that indicate a certain political belief, when used to describe a legal definition of a condition which has previously been called "marriage."

Salt Lake City, UT

Redwings---Sorry you feel your religious right to treat people like dirt is being infringed upon.SSM does not affect you in any way, unless you are gay.


@Live From the Swamp,

Personally I support polygamy, polyandry, and polyamory. Most of those I have met that support SSM do as well. I am also old enough to remember people saying that if we allowed interracial marriage (against the will of God) that it too would lead to incest, polygamy, and people marrying their truck or dog. They were wrong then too.

I would like to hear why a woman cannot have her name on her child's death certificate, having raised it since birth, and it is not considered animus or hate.

west Jordan, UT


"In states that have SSM, schools are required to teach certain moral views that I and many others do not agree with"

I would like to see your reference for this statement to so if this has ever happened, I doubt schools teach much of anything about SSM or whatever.

But just because you and "many others" disagree with it does not mean you can legally mandate your beliefs onto "many other" people that don't believe the same way you do. There are also 20 or more christian denominations that also teach the moral views of treating all of God's children equally and not to discriminate against same sex married couples as you do. So who's beliefs do we make laws on?

You can say that this judge's ruling "shows a clear bias" if you want but when all the other judges rule the same way based on the Constitution and the laws, you can't really call that Bias anymore.

Columbus, OH

RedWings: "I have no hatred in my heart for anyone, nor do I condone discrimination in any form. This is why I oppose SSM - it institutionalizes discrimination toward religious individuals and mandates that a certain view of morality be given preference over others."

Wow, there's a pretty impressive twist in logic. If you refuse on the grounds that sanctioning SSM would give one morality precedence over another, than you must also oppose the current setup. The thing is, when society decides on a rule, it mandates a preference for that rule. One view of morality sees murder as justified, we've given preference to another morality. There's no way out of that bind.

So what's left? We know that denying SSM gives rights to some citizens not afforded other ones. Additionally, granting SSM in no way requires those who aren't gay to participate in it--there is, therefore, no infringement of rights. Answer seems pretty obvious to me, as it has for the judges in 22 out of 23 court cases.

Two For Flinching
Salt Lake City, UT

@ RedWings

if SSM is legalized how does that change your moral beliefs?

Not allowing SSM is discrimination. Nobody is discriminated against if it were to be legalized because you still have the choice to not enter a same-sex relationship. You can still live your life however you see fit.

Daedalus, Stephen

@Live From the Swamp: where to "draw the line between who should be allowed to marry...[what is the] rationale for denying polygamy?"

Paraphrase of 10th Cir. when Utah raised the slippery slope concerns: when a plaintiff files suit challenging the constitutionality of a ban on polygamy, we'll deal with it then.

The judicial system slowly but methodically deals with the slippery slope...a polygamist can file suit anytime to get the wheels turning. Success not guaranteed however.

IF I were an attorney defending a state polygamy ban against the argument that a pro-SSM SCOTUS decision should allow a guy to marry multiple women if they all consent, here goes:

Unlike SSM, which maps directly onto the existing 2-person model of all common-law and statutory rights, obligations, benefits in which the word 'married' is used, there is no existing framework for civil/contractual joining of more than 2 adults.

A ban on marriages consisting of 3+ adults (of any gender, orientation, or race) would avoid costs, time, and uncertainty of a massive rewrite of state/federal statutes and decades of new case-law interpretations. Thus the ban is constitutional under both rational basis and heightened scrutiny.

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