Comments about ‘Matthew Sanders: Let's take the pain out of the gay marriage debate’

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Published: Friday, March 29 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Layton, UT

great and thoughtful summary. would be nice if we could approach this issue with both sides coming together. sadly courts don't generally work that way. There's a winner and a loser and neither side is ever fully satisfied until they've ground the face of their enemy into the mud.

Sneaky Jimmy
Bay Area, CA

Mathew states a very nice sentiment but I detect a bias in his thinking. To remove all pain we all need to accept that gay people are born the way they are born. If that is the case then calling them sinners is supreme hypocrisy, similar to me being blamed for "Adam's transgression". Once you can get beyond the fact that being gay is not a lifestyle choice then it is easy to want everyone to have equal protection and the chance to live a chaste, virtuous life within the bonds of matrimony.

American Fork, UT

The love, the commitment, the religious significance, the shared property...none of these need be exclusive to heterosexual couples. This article is an endorsement of same sex marriage.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

Kinda boggles the mind to think that a small fraction of people clam to be gay, and less than a fraction of those who are gay stay together. Why wast the time and money on this issue.

Salt Lake City, UT

In his closing comment, MS states, "..the debate should focus on a legal status based upon sexual orientation, while preserving traditional marriage, households and families."

"A" legal status? He's obviously not advocating equality through marriage yet still seems to be in opposition to the position Elder Lance B. Wickman, Church General Counsel in an interview he gave along side of Elder Dallin H. Oaks on the Church's Newsroom site. Elder Wickman rejected offering legal rights that are associated with traditional marriage.

Is MS opposing Elder Wickman's position?

MS seems to be arguing for the status quo and therefore his idea about removing pain from the debate is baseless since the pain same-sex couples feel due to being denied the rights and protections offered traditionally married couples is still there. Their angst from being treated as 2nd class citizens is likewise present.

MS seems to be calling for civility, but the end result is the same.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

It would be nice if we could "take the pain" out of the issue. Sadly, Matthew leaves us with the pain intact. It's very hard to look at two people who love each other and say, "Sorry, even though you're both Americans, we can't let you have equal rights with the rest of us."

Salt Lake City, UT

*'Kept From a Dying Partners Bedside' - By TARA PARKER-POPE - NY Times - 05/18/09

'...the couples had prepared for a medical emergency, creating living wills, advanced directives and power-of-attorney documents.'

And yet, even with Living Will, Medical Directive, Power of attorney and emergency contact information...

Janice Langbehn was kept from the bedside of her dying partner, Lisa Pond.

They were together for 18 years.

Salt Lake City, UT

*’Catholic charities ends Illinois adoption civil unions dispute’ – By Sophia Tareen – AP – Published by the DSNews – 11/15/11

‘The group had wished to continue its state contracts, while also referring unmarried couples who want to be adoptive or foster parents to other agencies, citing principles of religious liberty and freedom of conscience.
The state of Illinois had said that longstanding practice is discriminatory, a violation of the new law, which allows unmarried couples — gay or straight — to legally enter into civil unions.’

**i.e. the catholic ‘charity’ advocated ONLY for civil unions...and THEN cited gay couples were not ‘married’ to deny adoption AFTER they had advocated AGAINST gay marriage!

Salt Lake City, UT

Stop the pain?

From our own Deseret news:

*'Boy, 15, reprimanded for backing traditional family in school paper' - By Joshua Bolding, Deseret News - 01/27/12

'He (Wegner) also quoted scriptures like Leviticus 20:13: "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to DEATH...' – article

Salt Lake City, Utah

What about religions who want to perform and recognize same-sex marriages? How does that fit into the arguments made in this editorial?

And what does the sexualization of children have to do with this? Are we now allowing Victoria's Secret to advertise in schools?

How does Billy having two mommies and Sarah having two daddies and Mark having one mommy and Julie living with her mommy but visiting her daddy and other mommy on weekends sexualize kids more than Robert living with his mommy and daddy? And how does preventing Billy's mommies and Sarah's daddies from marrying solve that? Wouldn't having them be married make it easier?

Salt Lake City, UT

Props to Sanders for attempting bridge building on a difficult issue. Let me try to open the dialogue further.

The components of marriage, religious and legal, are not necessarily separate. Some Christian churches perform marriages for same sex couples based on their reading of the biblical call to justice. In US law, the two are separate - a church can legally refuse to perform a wedding which violates is doctrinal teachings.

Sanders observes that religious persons are deeply torn because they want to be peacemakers and yet adhere to what they perceive to be unchanging standards. Are they maintaining those standards for themselves of asking other people to adhere to their standards?

He implicitly defines being gay as a flaw. Is that an accurate assumption? He also seems to see it as nothing more tahn behavior. Is that accurate or is it part of a person's identity?

He portrays same sex marriage as a danger to children and preventing it as protecting children. Is that valid assumption? Straight couples marrying is not seen as sexual. Whey is allowing gay couples to marry "hypersexualizing"? Some children will grow up to be gay. Isn't opposing same sex marriage harmful to them?

Lebanon, TN

@George --

"a small fraction of people clam to be gay, and less than a fraction of those who are gay stay together. Why wast the time and money on this issue."

When Washington State legalized gay marriages, more than 800 gay couples were married IN ONE DAY.

When California legalized gay marriages, 18,000 gay couples were married in the THREE MONTHS that it was legal to do so.

In 2008, A public policy center at UCLA estimated that, if gay marriages were legalized again, more than **100,000** gay marriages would take place in that state within the next THREE YEARS.

When Massachusetts legalized gay marriage, more than 6000 gay couples married in the FIRST YEAR.

When Iowa legalized gay marriage, more than 2000 gay couples were married in the FIRST YEAR.

Yup -- there are plenty of gay couples interested in getting married.

In addition -- in states where gay marriages are legal, and in other countries with gay marriages, the gay divorce rate is about the same as the straight divorce rate. Remember that roughly 50% of all STRAIGHT marriages end in divorce. That's not a high standard for the gay couples to meet!

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

from the article --

Legal status.
Marriage is many things, at its most basic being a symbol of love and commitment, but it's largely a legal status with privileges of joint property, decision-making and inheritance. It has societal stature and acceptance as an institution and is seen as a demonstrative of stable, adult behavior.

Religious status....


The Supreme Court doesn't make judgements based on matters of Religion.
The interpret the Constitutionality of Man-made Laws.

Score - 1 gay marriage, 0 to those opposed.

Meanwhile --
What about those religions who support, recognize and even perform Gay marriags?
It's a myopic, steretypic, bias that assumes ALL religion and ALL religous folks oppose gay marriage.

The Skeptical Chymist

@george of the jungle

Probably about 3-4% of the US population is gay or lesbian (Wikipedia).

About 1.7% of the US population is Mormon (Wikipedia).

According to your way of thinking, the Mormon population is too small to deserve the civil rights that other religions have. I would prefer to be more careful making arguments based on the size of the affected population.

Civil rights are civil rights. It doesn't matter how small the population is, all groups deserve to be treated equally in the eyes of the law. One of the beauties of the Bill of Rights is that it states that certain rights are not subject to the tyranny of the majority. Eventually, I think the right to marry the person you love will be recognized as one that cannot be removed by the tyranny of the majority.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

I remember when Conservative kept telling us --

We're all for "equal" rights,
We're just against "special" rights.

OK - It's time to walk the talk.

Huntsville, UT


Why should the government promote your religious views over those of any other religion?

Why shouldn't the government grant FULL EQUALITY to GLBT Americans?

The word marriage means a lot of things, one of which is family. GLBT couples are family too. Sorry, but at heart, the entire debate hinges on bigoted ideas. You may not feel like a bigot but when your actions are those of a bigot, how else should your actions be termed? Fierce opposition to equality is bigotry pure and simple - no matter how deeply felt your personal views.

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

This article is thoughtfully written and I can agree with much of it. The author is far more candid than many who frame the debate around discredited notions that gay parents are bad parents or that same sex marriages somehow infringe on the rights of opposite sex couples.

Where I disagree is that marriage is an inherently religious institution that cannot be separated from its civil meaning. In fact we have done just that for centuries.

Mormons require much more to have a "temple marriage" than the civil law requires. When the civil meaning of marriage was changed to allow interracial marriage, it did not require the Mormons or other religions to change their requirements for solemnizing a union. The same thing is true in the states that allow gay marriage.

We can take the pain out of the gay marriage debate by accepting and respecting that separation of Church and State.

Huntsville, UT

My partner and I have been together over 14 years.

We own a home together.
We run a small business together.

But we're not allowed to get married.

My brother has been divorced and remarried.
My sister has been divorced and remarried.
My father and mother are divorced and both remarried.
Several of my neighbors have been divorced and remarried.

But I can't marry the person I've been with for over 14 years even once.

Don't you just love it?

Salt Lake City, UT

I'm so tired of this "let's wait and see" mentality with those opposed to marriage-equality.

Just sign for this article on the front page of the DesertNews for this article (although not in the article itself) says, "A right delayed is a right denied."

It's little comfort to know future generations will enjoy a right that the current generation is denied.


""Sorry, even though you're both Americans, we can't let you have equal rights with the rest of us.""

This canard needs to be laid to rest. Every man has the right to marry a woman. Every woman has the right to marry a man. That is absolute and unequivocal equality.

Those who use this phrase want something different. They want to change the marriage contract to be about sexual attraction. But it's never been about sexual attraction. The state is indifferent to sexual attraction. They don't attempt to assess the sexual attraction of those who apply for a marriage license.

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