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Court rules against gay marriage bans in 2 states

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  • Demiurge San Diego, CA
    Sept. 9, 2014 9:23 a.m.

    The religious argument boils down to "if we can't oppress, then we will be oppressed! Poor us!"

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Sept. 5, 2014 8:40 a.m.

    For those of you who still resist the notion that marriage equality is an individual right, or serves state interests, you have the opportunity to either: a) answer all your questions, or b) at least understand the strength of the case against banning gay marriage.

    Yesterday, the Attorneys General of 15 states that currently have marriage equality filed an Amicus Brief with SCOTUS, imploring it to grant certiorari in these cases, in order to strike down the laws of the remaining states that refuse to recognize or permit same-sex marriage.

    As these briefs go, it's concise (at a mere 20 pages), quite readable, and comprehensive. If you still wish to inveigh against same-sex marriage, you should at least familiarize yourself with the issue, so we can at least speak the same language, and not past each other.

    We're not permitted to post links here, although that would be most convenient, but if you're familiar with the Scribd website, it's posted there as document 238732314. It's the strongest argument yet for why the Supreme Court should take up this issue.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    Sept. 5, 2014 8:29 a.m.

    How many hundred letters--and any number of "In Our Opinion" pieces-- has the DN printed which use the phrase "the right to define marriage"? Lots.

    Would somebody show me ONE state statute which actually defines marriage? Here's my definition of marriage: A legal union of two previously unrelated adults, voluntarily entered, in which they pledge to live together and care for each other, as long as they both shall live".

    The only laws I know of (and this includes Utah's) do not define marriage--they treat the definition itself as a given, only setting out requirements (sex, age, consanguinity, not already married). Any law which is changed to allow SSM changes a requirement for marriage. It does not change the definition.

  • Ariz Madison, AL
    Sept. 5, 2014 7:39 a.m.

    "I'd like to hear an intelligent rationale for denying polygamy from any of the progressive commentators on this thread."

    I would like to see the anti marriage equality take a serious look beyond "if you allow this you must allow polygamy". Marriage between two people exists. Marriage among more than two people does not exists. You're asking to compare apples to the unknown. If you come up with specifics about such issues as intestacy, divorce, powers of attorney, insurance, the basic structure of the legal relationships for each person involved, etc. then we can have a serious discussion. Without a concrete definition of any arrangements we might as well be discussing if the a Tooth Fairy and Santa Clause should be able to marry.

    Remember the courts are dealing with the explicit bans on same sex marriage. If the same sex marriage bans were a side effect of laws dealing with polygamy the discussion might have some merit. But that is simply not the case.

  • koseighty The Shire, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 8:55 p.m.

    I would suggest anyone interested in this topic read the judges' decision. It is one of the best written and laymen friendly court decisions on the topic I've seen.

    He fully explains why Indiana and Wisconsin's arguments -- arguments VERY similar to Utah's -- don't pass legal muster. If you have a reason you think marriage equality should be banned, you will probably find it there, along with clear, concise reasons why it doesn't fly.

    I would post a link, but DN hates that. If you honestly want to know, I highly recommend googling it.

  • No H8 - Celebrate Salt Lake, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 6:01 p.m.

    @ Tekakaromatagi

    re: "Why can't a single mother living with brother not get the benefits of marriage? She loves her brother. Can't we call that a family. Is that love of less value in the eyes of the law as other kinds of love?"

    In the US, marriage establishes a legal family relationship where one did not exist before. A brother and sister already have a legal family relationship. Moreover, in some relationships society considers brothers and sisters to be actually family members. So that love is already recognized as valid in the eyes of the law.

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    Sept. 4, 2014 5:25 p.m.

    If we redefine our definition of marriage by calling it a lot of things that it is not then we've diluted the importance of the institution. If we extend marriage benefits to one kind of non-procreational union then we have to extend it to all non-procreational unions.

    Whenever people point out that two people of the same gender can't bear children, people point out the holes in the argument because in some cases opposite sex couples don't have children. Well there are holes in the arguments of the other side.

    Why can't a single mother living with brother not get the benefits of marriage? She loves her brother. Can't we call that a family. Is that love of less value in the eyes of the law as other kinds of love?

    If a child living with a parent and the parent's same gender partner is hurt by them not being able to 'marry' then children in the relationship of a sister not being able to have the benefits of marriage with her brother are also hurt.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 5:11 p.m.

    @RedWings;

    Do you see the hypocrisy of your statement: "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."

    You're complaining about us asking for equality by stating that our "morality is being given preference" over others, yet, you intend that your own "morality" be given preference over ours.

    @Mikhail;

    What other purpose are these state amendments if not to BAN SSM? Seriously.

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    Sept. 4, 2014 4:43 p.m.

    Red Wings
    How can you make these statements with a "straight" face?

    You have determined what is acceptable to religious people, and you have failed to heed the voice of the many sects of Protestant Christianity, the majority in Judaism, and even a sizable Catholic population that don't have a problem with same sex marriage.

    Yet you have induced yourself and those like you into some sort of victimhood that says that even allowing same sex marriage to occur to people you neither see nor associate with, somehow violates your religious freedoms. Somehow I think you really wish to possess the power to discriminate when it suits your purposes.

    No one is telling you to get same sex married. No one is going to force your church or temple to officiate same sex weddings. Why is it you insist on making nice gay couples lives all the more difficult than it already is? To you get off on that?

  • Dragline Orem, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 4:36 p.m.

    @Redwings
    When you call yourself a victim of SSM because "it institutionalizes discrimination toward religious individuals and mandates that a certain view of morality be given preference over others," you remind me of that scene in the movie Lincoln where Alexander Stephens complains that slavery was a right of the South and that "we won't know ourselves" if slavery laws are overridden.

    Lincoln responds: "If we submit ourselves to law, even submit to losing freedoms, the freedom to oppress, for instance, we may discover other freedoms previously unknown to us."

    Let me say that to you Mr. Wings...Just like the 13th amendment, allowing SSM may take away your right to oppress and discrimiate, but you may find other rights/morality apart from discrimination that you can uphold...such as "Judge not lest ye be judged," and "Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."

    Freedom, Freedom. It's good for all of us.

  • USU-Logan Logan, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 4:35 p.m.

    @Mikhail

    Here is the text of Wisconsin Amendment 1:

    Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state.
    A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state

    It is the same thing as Amendment 3, that 2nd sentence, "A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state" makes it clear that not only it bans gay marriage it also bans civil union.

    You can argue it also bans polygamy or all kinds of things, but when the WI state legislature passed that amendment, did any congressman argue that the purpose of such amendment was to prevent polygamy? NO, they made it very clear that their original intention was to ban gay marriage.

  • Daedalus, Stephen ARVADA, CO
    Sept. 4, 2014 4:24 p.m.

    @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.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 4:17 p.m.

    @ 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.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    Sept. 4, 2014 4:15 p.m.

    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.

  • YoungPuppy west Jordan, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 4:15 p.m.

    @RedWings

    "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.

  • FatherOfFour WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 4:12 p.m.

    @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.

  • mcclark Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 4:06 p.m.

    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.

  • Mikhail ALPINE, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 4:01 p.m.

    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."

  • Daedalus, Stephen ARVADA, CO
    Sept. 4, 2014 3:52 p.m.

    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.

  • FatherOfFour WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 3:33 p.m.

    @RedWings,

    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.

  • Live From the Swamp Holladay, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 3:27 p.m.

    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.

  • JHP Okemos, MI
    Sept. 4, 2014 3:21 p.m.

    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.

  • RedWings CLEARFIELD, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 3:04 p.m.

    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...

  • J. S. Houston, TX
    Sept. 4, 2014 2:52 p.m.

    @mufasta
    "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.

  • Understands Math Lacey, WA
    Sept. 4, 2014 2:42 p.m.

    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.

  • mufasta American Fork, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 2:28 p.m.

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

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 2:24 p.m.

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

  • J. S. Houston, TX
    Sept. 4, 2014 2:11 p.m.

    Congratulations to Wisconsin and Indiana!

  • FatherOfFour WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 2:00 p.m.

    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.

  • Red Corvette St. George, UT
    Sept. 4, 2014 1:59 p.m.

    Definitely seeing a trend here.

  • Jeff Harris Edmonds, WA
    Sept. 4, 2014 1:55 p.m.

    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.