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Comments about ‘Religious, political leaders sound off on same-sex marriage before court hearing’

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Published: Tuesday, March 19 2013 3:40 p.m. MDT

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Truthseeker
SLO, CA

Re:Pianoman

"Southern preachers and slave owners believed the many references in the Bible permitting and regulating slavery (well over 100 verses), in the Old/New Testaments, were clear evidence that the institution was a part of God’s social and moral order. Abolitionist preachers argued in their sermons that the verses related to slavery in the Bible were a reflection of the cultural context and times in which the Bible was written and did not reflect God’s endorsement of slavery. They argued that there were “weightier” scriptures on justice, mercy and love that superseded those on slavery. This was the position that Lincoln himself adopted.

There are a handful of Scriptures that specifically speak of same-sex intimacy as unacceptable to God. Conservatives/traditionalists see these as reflecting God’s timeless will for human relationships. Progressives look at these same scriptures in much the same way that progressives in the nineteenth century looked at the Bible’s teaching on slavery. They believe that these verses capture the cultural understandings and practices of sexuality in biblical times, but do not reflect God’s will for gay and lesbian people."
(Rev. Adam Hamilton)

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

Re:Pianoman

"Southern preachers and slave owners believed the many references in the Bible permitting and regulating slavery (well over 100 verses), in both the Old and the New Testaments, were clear evidence that the institution was a part of God’s social and moral order. Abolitionist preachers argued in their sermons that the verses related to slavery in the Bible were a reflection of the cultural context and times in which the Bible was written and did not reflect God’s endorsement of slavery. They argued that there were “weightier” scriptures on justice, mercy and love that superseded those on slavery. This was the position that Lincoln himself adopted.

There are a handful of Scriptures that specifically speak of same-sex intimacy as unacceptable to God. Conservatives see these as reflecting God’s timeless will for human relationships. Progressives see these same scriptures in much the same way that nineteenth century progressives looked at the Bible’s teaching on slavery. They believe that these verses capture the cultural understandings and practices of sexuality in biblical times, but do not reflect God’s will for gay and lesbian people."
(Rev. Adam Hamilton)

PolishBear
Charleston, WV

The GOP may not embrace marriage equality anytime soon … but sooner or later they’ll have to come to grips with the fact that vilifying Gay Americans is no longer a vote-getter for them. Back in 2009 a CBS News survey found that while only 18% of Americans over the age of 65 supported marriage equality for Gay couples, 41% of American under the age of 45 supported it. That was FOUR YEARS AGO, and the generational shift in attitudes among young people toward their Gay friends and family members is accelerating.

30 years ago most Americans were not aware of any Gay friends, family members, or co-workers. Today most Americans ARE aware, and they have become dramatically more accepting and supportive of the Gay people and Gay couples in their lives. And social networking sites like Facebook have made the proverbial "closet" virtually obsolete. The Republican Party ignores this growing acceptance at their own peril. Jobs and the economy are important, yes ... but your friends and family members are PERSONAL.

SlopJ30
St Louis, MO

I agree with Jeff that it's not a complex question. What two consenting adults do that doesn't affect me directly (not in some abstract, "slippery slope" way) is none of my business. As an extension of that, if two adults want to get married and apply for a marriage license, it's none of my business. See? Simple.

Oh, and "but it's been this way for 200 years" is never an effective argument against change. When I hear the opposition using that, I smile from ear to ear, because it's a sure sign they're running on fumes. Out of ammo. Dead in the water. Pick a cliche.

By all means, let us retain sight of the original premise: who I marry is my business, and who you marry is yours. Who complete strangers marry is none of my concern.

John20000
Cedar Hills, UT

To Lane:

The phrase "separate but equal" has been used as a slogan for this type of argument for a long time. I understand why it is so powerful given its history. However, a critical analysis of its use associated with Prop 8 leaves the phrase hollow and empty. Gender separates humans into two categories male and female. Gender is not a superficial attribute of being human like the tint of one's peachish-brownish skin. I have no problem with gender-specified "separate but equal" public bathrooms. There are definable gender-specific needs. There are women health issues that men don't have. There are men health issues that women don't have. By writing this, I don't mean to imply that we can discriminate in some prejudice way against a certain gender. Of course, we wouldn't want to do that. That stated, "separate but equal" is a good standard for gender-related rights and benefits.

So, the only question left is whether a sexual relationship is gender-related. The answer is clearly yes. Therefore, laws can be "separate but equal" depending on which genders are involved (male-female, male-male, female-female).

Contrarius
Lebanon, TN

@John20000 --

"By writing this, I don't mean to imply that we can discriminate in some prejudice way against a certain gender."

Currently, a woman is allowed to marry a man. But a man is NOT allowed to marry a man. That's gender discrimination.

A man is just as able to love and commit to another man as a woman is. And since infertile people are allowed to marry, we know that the ability to procreate is NOT a valid exclusionary criterion for marriage. Therefore, there is no legally justifiable difference between a man and a woman in this context.

The group Coloradans for Freedom -- a **conservative** group that supported the Civil Union Act just passed in Colorado -- published an official statement saying that "the Civil Union Act provides equality in treatment between any two adult individuals committed to each other and their government. Additionally, supporters for Coloradans for Freedom note that the bill promotes the conservative ideals of individual freedom, personal liberty, and sound public policy."

More and more conservatives are beginning to understand that SUPPORTING gay marriage is the right thing to do.

BYU Track Star
Los Angeles, CA

I remember how dividing Prop 8 was in Southern California in the wards I attended. I remember President Hinkley on video telling us how to vote on this proposition. There was no discussion on the merits or demerits on this issue, Only this is the way you vote. Period. Follow the Prophet and support the Bretheren.

We attend Church to become better people. I look at Church like a hospital in getting our souls healed. I heard of a fellow who had trouble with Alcohol. A Police Officer was able to get him to an A.A. Meeting. We are our Brother's Keepers, That was a turning point. This fellow was looking for something. The word is he was baptized into the LDS Church. Those sins of his former life we washed away, or so I am told. He passed away this week. People who knew him said he was a good man. The world knows him as Harry Reems. If there is a Golf Course on the other side of the Veil I hope we can play around...

Baccus0902
Leesburg, VA

@ John2000

It seems that you are running out of reasonable arguments to support your ideas. Therefore, you are making a political and social issue a matter of semantics.

The problem with that approach is that you forget that you are playing with the social status, economic stability, family structure and the achievement of happiness of a significant segment of the population.

Leave the tactics of the pharisees behind and embrace the pragmatism of Jesus.

I'm sure he would tell you a parable in which you would be forced to think of yourself as one affected by your rethoric. He would ask, what would you do if you love somebody but were not allowed to marry that person. He would invite your detractors to put themselves in your place.

I am not Jesus, but I think a little bit of empathy can go a long way on our search for understanding.

RedWings
CLEARFIELD, UT

Marriage is not a government institution; government took it over to make money on marriage licenses. Marriage is a covenant between one man, one woman, and God. That is what the Bible says.

If government gets out of "marriage" and offers "civil unions" to all, we have no issue of "separate but equal". "Marriage" then returns to where it belongs - in church. No LGBT people are suing for the "right" to be baptized into the LDS Church, are they?

This amazingly simple and fair solution will not happen while the extremes on both sides are more concerned with winning the argument instead of doing what is best for all. This is a fundamental problem in our country and will not be solved until people stop demanding everyone else to belive what they do and find a way for society to work for everyone.

I may disagree with my gay friends' lifestyle, but I do not find them "disagreeable" as human beings. They are God's children too......

LibraryMom
Provo, UT

The problem with the word "marriage" is that it has both legal and religious meaning.

It looks to me like the religious meaning came first, so my proposal would be to reserve "marriage" for religious rites and find another word for the legal status.

I would be in favor of giving gay couples the same relationship rights enjoyed by married couples ─ just without using the label "marriage". If for the sake of fairness, that means getting states completely out of the "marriage" business, that's OK with me. States could still maintain a formalized relationship registry and issue licenses to enroll. I've lived in countries where everyone is required to go through a civil ceremony, and then those who choose can have a religious ceremony as well (but a religious ceremony alone has no legal significance). It would be somewhat less convenient to arrange 2 events, but convenience isn't the most important issue.

If the insistence is on using the same word for both religious and legal statuses, then perhaps the agenda isn't really equality, but rather imposing legal pressures on religious institutions to make them conform their doctrines to changing social mores. I would oppose that agenda.

LibraryMom
Provo, UT

Interesting historical factoid:
Prior to the Civil War, people would say "The United States ARE ... (a free nation, whatever)". After the Civil War, they started saying "The United States IS ..." and that's when the power of the central government started to grow.

The problem isn't the 14th Amendment itself. If read textually, it's fine. The problem comes in with what's called "substantive due process", which happens when a court decides that what the actual language says isn't enough so additional rights have to be implied. Depending on the court, that can come to mean anything they darn well please.

The Left saw the potential a long time ago and for 5 decades has been working to enact Progressive policies through litigation rather than legislation. It looks like the Right is finally getting ahead of the curve, and maybe a court that favors text-based constitutional analysis will roll back the tide somewhat. IMO, that would be the best possible outcome of this case.

dwayne
Provo, UT

LibraryMom,

Lets start with a basic assumption which is that someone who was raised to value marriage and a family would seek to have a marriage and a family and as long as government is going to recognize "marriage" it violates gays rights to say that if only they were heterosexual they could have what they value as much, if not more, than straight people who are granted it.

"If the insistence is on using the same word for both religious and legal statuses, then perhaps the agenda isn't really equality, but rather imposing legal pressures on religious institutions to make them conform their doctrines to changing social mores."

The agenda? My son is not an agenda. I will not let the mother of your children talk about my son that way. Let me be frank. This is personal and emotional and your agenda will make your family the enemies of mine. Our love for my son and our raising him to value marriage will not be denied unless your kids are denied it too. Your religious institutions already nearly drove my son to take his life. We wont let your evil churches deny him the joy of marriage.

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

@Chachi;

Here's why you're wrong.

1) Marriage between same sex couples creates the same familial relationship for them that it creates for you. Gays also have children and if it helps you "successfully" raise the next gen, it'll help gays too.

2) Separate is not equal; what about the needs of the children of gay couples, they don't matter?

3) Sorry, but polygamy has been one of the valid definitions of marriage for thousands of years (and in some cultures, marriage also included gay couples anyway).

4) Demanding that we use a different term to describe two different types couples is saying "my union is better than your union, so there".

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

@Pianoman;

Did you have to "earn" your marriage license? The fact that you haven't earned a Million yet is not a fairness issue; it's an issue about how smart you've been at making money. The Consititution says you can't restrict the "privileges" of citizens.

@Civil;

No child has ever been born of a sterile male and female couple either (without external aid). Should we ban their unions too? Why not call the same sort of union the same word for all people involved in joining together into a family unit?

@BYU Track Star;

I don't believe in your "prophet" or your church. I shouldn't be required to live by your churches rules. You're the one who believes, YOU should be the one to abide by their rules; they don't apply to anybody else (The First Amendment guarantees this).

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

@RedWings & LibraryMom;

And if MY church performs MY marriage for me, do I still get to use the word since it was done in a religious context? Or do you still oppose my using the word for my marriage to my partner?

You realize, I hope, that there are many religions who believe that GLBT marriages are okay.

(DN, your word counter isn't working properly.)

dwayne
Provo, UT

RedWings,

So your argument is essentially government should stop using a specific word and just create entirely new terms for the very same thing so religious institutions who are of the belief that marriage is between a man and a woman will be able to keep that word to themselves even if it denies those who value marriage as much, if not more, including non-religious and religions that dont share view marriage is a "covenant between one man, one woman, and God?" Sounds to me like you are just playing semantics here.

If anyone needs to change the name of something churches are not only able to do so but they are more able to do so without much problem. How about those churches call their marriages "church unions," "religious unions," or some other term that you come up with? They can do this without any consensus or argument with the non-religious or other churches who disagree with their ignorance.

The problem with what you are saying is that government should take sides here and deny those who legitimately value marriage the term and exclusively reserve it to those that want it limited to heterosexual unions.

LibraryMom
Provo, UT

@dwayne

FWIW, I am the daughter of a gay man, whom I love. But as someone who cares deeply about the rights of believers of any faith; I still think "marriage" should be the domain of churches, not governments.

What I said was that I'm willing to have the government NOT recognize "marriages" at all if recognizing only some forms would be unfair. I'd rather see nobody with a government-recognized "marriage" than give the government the power to define marriage. Again, the religious meaning came first, and it was co-opted by governments. The purpose of the First Amendment was to keep government out of religion, so let's do that.

suzyk#1
Mount Pleasant, UT

Same gender marriage or relationships are an abomination in the eyes of God. It all comes down to control of thought and action. God-fearing people and those living their lives following the teachings of Jesus Christ know what is acceptable to God. This type of belief or behavior is not acceptable and never will be acceptable to God. There will be consequences to those who choose to live their lives with same-sex partners - their choices and actions cannot be justified.

Mick
Murray, Utah

States have regulated marriage in many instances and homosexuals are not the only groups of people not allowed to marry who they want. Some states have not allowed people to marry multiple partners, polygamy or 2 men and 3 women. Most states don't allow the marriage of first cousins. No states allow the marriage of siblings or a father to marry his daughter. Some states have even stopped the marriage of those with certain diseases. If marriage is only about sexual love and that cannot be regulated by the state, all above instances should be allowed to go forward.

The reason governments regulate and care about marriage is the propagation of its society. The idea of not allowing sterile individuals to get married is unreasonable because most couples don't know they are sterile until several years after they are married. And the cost to the state would be too great to test every couple. On the reverse, all you sterility example commenters, would you allow a sterile brother and sister to get married because they love each other and they are consenting adults?

It is in the best interest of the society to protect traditional marriage.

Contrarius
Lebanon, TN

@suzyk#1 --

"Same gender marriage or relationships are an abomination in the eyes of God."

There are plenty of Christians who disagree with you. Whose version of Christianity should win?

@LibraryMom --

If the term "marriage" were removed from government purview altogether -- which would actually be a massive undertaking, given the many millions of civil marriage ceremonies that have been performed in this country over the years, and would practically speaking be completely impossible especially given that the same term is used in multiple countries -- but, if in some imaginary world the term WAS reserved solely for church use, would you be content when non-discriminating churches like, say, the Unitarians still went ahead and gave gay couples church marriages? Or would you try to prevent the Unitarians (or whatever church) from doing so?

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