Comments about ‘LDS Church files brief in gay marriage cases’

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Published: Tuesday, Feb. 5 2013 6:30 p.m. MST

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Leo Femedlers
El Paso, TX

Constitutional. Nonconstitutional. Lowest divorce rate. Hmmm.

The point of defense is well written in the article "our members supported Proposition 8 based on sincere beliefs in the value of traditional marriage for children, families, society, and our republican form of government."

Traditional marriage upholds what we believe to be a LAW of God. In order for children, families, and society to prosper the laws of God must be upheld. It really is that simple. And yes, I understand there are many that believe otherwise and are vocal in their beliefs.

Another key word here is "belief". Belief precedes understanding. I have spent most of my life studying the laws of God and have come to believe that they are real. Understanding of them soon followed.

I am not a bigot. I believe and understand differently than proponents of gay marriage. I too will be vocal in my belief.

Pleasant Grove, UT

The underlying problem here is that we use the same word (marriage) for two different things. The first is the union of couples under religious auspices, that is, church marriages. For thousands of years, this is all there was, and the State wasn't involved beyond the extent that a particular religion controlled the State. The second, and more recent, is a civil marriage. This entitles a pair of people to State recognition for legal purposes and gives them rights such as tax breaks, inheritance rights, visitation rights, and the right to make decisions for each other when incapacitated.

The problem occurs when we conflate the two. In reality, churches needn't recognize a marriage as religiously valid. For instance, Orthodox Judaism doesn't recognize marriage between Jews and non-Jews. The Catholic church doesn't consider religious intermarriage valid. No one is requiring them to change doctrine or to consider gay marriages valid within religious parameters or to perform such marriages. A civil marriage only grants the same secular rights as are now given to non-gays. Unless churches are required to perform and recognize gay marriages, and they're not, why fuss about it?

Cedar Hills, UT

The fundamental question is whether there should be gender-specific laws at all. Is gender a superficial human attribute or is it significant enough to warrant specificity in our laws?

If gender is superficial, then there shouldn't be any laws with gender distinctions. Following this logic, there is no need for separated gender public bathrooms, locker rooms and showers, college dorms, military treatment, etc.

If gender is significant, then there should be separate laws governing male-female unions, male-male unions, and female-female unions (The likely three combos). Traditional marriage laws have been passed for years to govern the male-female union. Separate laws should be passed to govern male-male unions and still other laws should be passed to govern female-female unions. Of course, none of these laws should be discriminatory in nature (why would anyone want that?).

South Jordan, UT

@eastcoastcoug "For me, a good rule of thumb with anything is 'what if everyone did this?'"

Yeah, and if everyone grew up to be a heart surgeon we would go extinct because there would be nobody producing food, shelter, fuel, etc that keep us going. Does the fact that if everyone were a heart surgeon we would die of starvation mean that heart surgeons are inherently bad and immoral?

Nampa, ID

As an LDS person, I find it disturbing that we can call ourselves Christian AND preach tolerance. Christ did not preach tolerance. He didn't tolerate people and their actions, He preached love of the sinner and not the sin. So much for the church remaining neutral in political matters. If you don't believe this is a political matter, then you better inform your politicians not to have a stance, or let them take a stance and see if it is going to help them or hurt them get elected.

North, UT

Fern RL has come close to the real issue. There is a religious component to marriage and by legislating a definition of marriage; the state defines what religions must believe. This is a case of separation of church and state and the door swings both directions.

An acceptable alternative would be to separate the church from the state. The state would perform civil unions only. They would stop participating in the marriage ceremony which would be reserved for the religious component of this problem. The civil unions would be defined by legislation. The ceremony of marriage would be defined and performed by a non-state sponsored organization. The marriages would be recognized by the state as a civil union also and all of the laws associated with the state contractual union would be recognized by the state. The churches can protect the sanctity of their respective chosen marriage ceremonies and defined requirements.

This would result in a true separation of church and state.

Salt Lake City, UT

I have always done my best to respect the people around me. Almost everyone I have come to love, including all of my family, are LDS. What has been done to gay people is no family value! I lived with it all of my life and as much as I have ever known anything, I know that God is fine with it. After all, He created me. Even the Church admits that we have no control over it. You see, you want to portray as something that we are not, which is your right. Don't expect us to accept it. We will live our lives the best we can and we don't need your approval for that. I wonder how well any of you would do if people talked about your intimate life in such degrading ways. My personal life is mine and the least people can do is give the respect that they so demand for themselves. As hard as it can be, I will not pretend to be someone that I am not. But I will do my best to respect your beleifs

Jonathan Eddy
Payson, UT

Let's face it. Marriage, when regulated by a government entity really has nothing to do with morality. It's about finances. It's about benefits. Tax benefits. Health benefits. Insurance benefits.

Take away government and corporate benefits, and who really cares if you are married or not? Who? People with religious convictions that are trying to manifest devotion to divine providence and his plan for the safety and happiness of man. People that believe in the sanctity of the marriage union and the act of procreation. A man that loves a woman and a woman that loves a man. Two that want to serve each other according to the will of divine providence. People that believe in bringing children into the world because this is a beautiful world. People that believe that families are the strength and power of society.

Listen, it's time to take marriage out of the hands of government. Give it back to the churches where it belongs and stop all of this silliness.

Manti, UT

Seems like only yesterday liberals were calling marriage an outdated conservative institution. Now they all want in on it. Go figure?

Ogden, UT

Bingo, and very well written. The LDS Church is pursuing this issue as if the proposals were about redefining Temple marriages rather than civil marriages. If I'm not mistaken, LDS doctrine plainly states that marriages performed outside the temple are null and void in the eternities. Why they are pursuing this with such fervor I do not understand. There are many civil laws that run counter to LDS doctrine, but the Church is not battling those.

The problem here (and this is plainly visible in many of the above comments) is that the LDS Church and many of its members are taking their belief system and projecting it onto society at large as if they were inviolable truths. If there were a clearly demonstrated harm, I could understand this. But it is driven by religious rather than rational evidence-based arguments. That's harder to swallow, particularly when their stance involves keeping civil rights from another group.

provo, UT

I support every Americans right to share their own opinion. Here is mine: I firmly believe that the LDS church will one day realize they were on the wrong side of history when it comes to gay marriage. As a life-long member of the LDS church, and as a divorced gay man with children, I must say that the stance they are taking is driving a wedge between many faithful Latter Day Saints and their religion.

My children, my parents, and many of my siblings, while they do not necessarily agree with my lifestyle, are seeing the true joy I have found for the first time in my life. Many of them no longer agree with the church's stance on this issue - they love me and want me be to be able to share my life with the person I love.

I cannot wait for the day that marriage equality is the norm in this country (mark my words...it will happen). I will be the first in line to publicly declare my love and commitment to the man I love. My extremely faithful LDS children, parents, and many friends and family will be there celebrating with us.

Salt Lake City, UT

Homosexuals are trying to legislate "rights" that nature never bestowed. All the laws in the world won't make hetero- and homosexual unions "equal." A homosexual couple will never be able to bear natural children. That is why comparing "mixed race" and "same sex" unions is ludicrous.

I fully support same-sex couples having all rights they should be naturally entitled to: The right to employment without discrimination, the right to housing, the right to visitation, the right to convey or bequeath one's property, the right to make health and end-of-life decisions for a person who has chosen to give them that right, and the right to bundle all of those rights: just not to bundle those rights into an exact copy of the rights of married, heterosexual couple. No logical, rational, fair, objective person can ever say that being a hetero- and homosexual couple is the same thing. Until the difference between those unions is acknowledged, we should not, nay, cannot agree on what the similar rights should be.

Liberal Ted
Salt Lake City, UT

Sorry but as we are not a country run on theocracy, we are also not a country run on atheism, socialism, humanism etc.

We are a Republic.

Religion has rights in this country along with other organizations and people. Gays do not have a right to force their will on Religion. Religion has a right to stand up for their beliefs and ability to freely worship. No one can take that away. I haven't heard of a religion that opposes gays being able to rent or buy a home free of discrimination. I haven't heard of religion talk about forcing gays to not practice their lifestyle. I have heard from religions of eliminating discrimination against members of the gay community and make sure they feel more welcomed. However, religion is not going to bend and start preaching that acting on gay feelings and emotions is appropriate. Or change their mind that man and woman is the only form of marriage. Just as they're not going to give approval for adultery, murder, taking the Lords name in vain etc.

Dallas, TX


Since when did one (the state of Massachusetts) become a good sample size? We have fifty states this union and about thirty of them have banned same sex marriage in some form. Clearly the prevailing attitude is that gay marriage is WRONG. Oh yeah, and what were the percentages of Proposition 8 (what percentages were for/against? I think you may be on the wrong side of the fence, but I think most of us like it that way.

layton, UT

For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh(Mt 19:5)

Ephesians 6:2,3. Honor your Father and Mother”[not Others or mothers],which is the first commandment with a promise. God distinguishes father and mother from all other persons on earth, chooses them and sets them next to Himself, occupying the highest place in our lives next to God.

Salt Lake City, UT

Marriage reflects the natural moral and social law evidenced the world over. As the late British social anthropologist Joseph Daniel Unwin noted in his study of world civilizations, any society that devalued the nuclear family soon lost what he called "expansive energy," which might best be summarized as society's will to make things better for the next generation. In fact, no society that has loosened sexual morality outside of man-woman marriage has survived.

Analyzing studies of cultures spanning several thousands of years on several continents, Chairman of Harvard University’s sociology department, Pitirim Sorokin. found that virtually all political revolutions that brought about societal collapse were preceded by a sexual revolution in which marriage and family were devalued by the culture’s acceptance of homosexuality.

When marriage loses its unique status, women and children most frequently are the direct victims. Giving same-sex relationships or out-of-wedlock heterosexual couples the same special status and benefits as the marital bond would not be the expansion of a right but the destruction of a principle. .

Say No to BO
Mapleton, UT

To the posters here who are hanging their hat on The Family Proclamation, it carries less weight than you might think. It is NOT revelation, but rather "a guide that members of the Church would do well to read and to follow." That's how President Packer characterized it in his printed remarks from general conference in 2010.

South Jordan, Utah

The filing of the amicus brief is a demonstration of too little too late. If the Church was going to invest its legal resources, it should have done so at the trial level. The lawyers who defended prop 8 at trial failed to put on a case.

Suburbs of SLC
Cottonwood Heights, UT

@Liberal Ted
"Gays do not have a right to force their will on Religion. Religion has a right to stand up for their beliefs and ability to freely worship."

Right, but that's not what is happening here. Gay marriage would not be 'forced' onto religions. They needn't perform it or endorse it. And no one (all right, there are a few who are talking about tax breaks, but I think they are in the minority and in the wrong) is suggesting that religion's can't continue preaching against homosexuality - just as they continue preaching against adultery, even though that is legal.

"In fact, no society that has loosened sexual morality outside of man-woman marriage has survived."
Until opponents of same-sex marriage can show me that they are just as passionate about fighting divorce and single parent homes, then I don't think they have a moral ground to stand on. Whatever threat homosexuality poses to the institution of marriage - and I'm not saying there is no threat, it is certainly a dramatic change that could have unforeseen consequences - they pale in comparison to the damage heterosexuals are already foisting on this institution.

very concerned
Sandy, UT

You are correct. Our nation is not a theocracy. But it is free. People and organizations are free to express their opinions and even try to influence laws. These are serious issues and people have a right to speak and act on them (in a legal manner).

@Claudio & Emajor
Sometimes, *fear of making a mistake* IS a good reason not to do something. I am a bit weary of having the gay marriage proponents compare same-sex marriage to, say, the equal rights amendment. I think they are apples and oranges. One, (equal rights based on race, creed, religion, etc.) has struck the hearts and minds of people in a universal way. The other (equal rights for gay marriage) seems to have only struck a single philosophical note, justifying a behavior that is, at best, quite distasteful. I believe that people seem to accept it because THEY do not want to SEEM intolerant or be labeled *homophobic*, not so much because it strikes a basic human chord, but that people do not seem to know where to turn, and therefore, take a noncommittal approach because they are not sure. Just my observation.

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