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Matthew Sanders: Let's take the pain out of the gay marriage debate

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  • plainbrownwrapper Nashville, TN
    April 4, 2013 10:42 a.m.

    @4word --

    "Churches perform marriages by their own definition. (to gain the government's benefits, they would need the civil union license from gov't in addition to the marriage, just as it is now)"

    But 4word, this is **exactly** what I was saying in previous posts. I said:

    "That would be fine, **if** everyone who got married in a church without signing a civil contract (the marriage license) would be willing to give up all of their government-related marriage benefits"

    That's **exactly** the same thing you're saying now.

    There's a huge problem with trying this approach, though. Specifically, millions of people have already been married in this country in civil ceremonies, without the benefit of any church ceremonies. Do you really think that all those millions of people will agree to suddenly start calling their marriages something else, just because they didn't go into a church? That ain't gonna happen.

  • ManforGod Whitehall, OH
    April 3, 2013 3:10 p.m.

    All of this discussion is intended for one side to convince the other that sin should be left alone or acknowledged by our government. Well I for one do not wish to give in to people that deny what my God says as being truth. Nor do I care if they believe the way I do. Our government continues to slaughter the values that our constitution was founded on day by day.Our christian beliefs are being laughed at by those that don't share our values. Loving the sinner has nothing to do with condoning the sin !

  • 4word thinker Murray, UT
    April 3, 2013 12:56 p.m.

    amazondoc

    Not interested in talking in circles.

    From my first post (caps added), "Marriage is a religious institution, a union between a man and a woman, or HOWEVER ANY GIVEN CHURCH WANTS TO DEFINE IT for their purposes."

    But clearly you aren't really reading what I wrote, or you are purposefully twisting it, as the end of your last post shows.

    Simple

    Churches perform marriages by their own definition. (to gain the government's benefits, they would need the civil union license from gov't in addition to the marriage, just as it is now)

    Government licenses civil unions of a non-religious name, by the government's definition.

    This is the win/win solution. It preserves the integrity of the churches and it protects the legal rights of everyone. No one's rights are infringed.

    amazondoc can't give a good reason why this solution wouldn't work.

    Anyone else want to try?

    You're on your own. This is my last post.

  • amazondoc USA, TN
    April 3, 2013 11:21 a.m.

    @4word --

    "To get married at a church you must bring a marriage license, or the minister won't marry you"

    RIGHT. Because "marriage" is a civil contract -- which is what I've been saying all along. ;-)

    "We just legally refer to them as Civil Partnerships, or Unions, or Contracts, and not call them Marriages or partner Baptisms, or any other sacred religious rite name."

    I you're going to get rid of the term "marriage" altogether, then go ahead and give that a shot.

    But if you mean that you want to call heterosexual unions "marriages" and call homosexual unions something else, then that won't work. This country already proved, decades ago, that separate is not equal. If two things are called something different, then they ARE something different. And homosexual couples deserve the SAME legal rights as every other citizen, not some second-class imitation.

  • 4word thinker Murray, UT
    April 3, 2013 8:27 a.m.

    amazondoc

    "You just have to acknowledge the Constitutional principle of the separation of church and state."

    This is exactly the principle I seek to have upheld.

    "That would be fine, **if** everyone who got married in a church without signing a civil contract (the marriage license)..."

    To get married at a church you must bring a marriage license, or the minister won't marry you, so this is a mute point.

    Changing the name does not make any existing contracts null and void, nor did I suggest that any should be nullified. We just legally refer to them as Civil Partnerships, or Unions, or Contracts, and not call them Marriages or partner Baptisms, or any other sacred religious rite name.

    Again I ask, Why is this not an acceptable solution?

  • amazondoc USA, TN
    April 2, 2013 3:52 p.m.

    @4word --

    "Hmm, do I believe you, or do I look at the reality of how many churches are being sued over this issue?"

    You don't have to believe me. You just have to acknowledge the Constitutional principle of the separation of church and state.

    Really and honestly and truly, the Supreme Court is not going to involve itself in the internal workings of churches. They are there to support the Constitution and the laws passed under that constitution. And the millions of American citizens who have been married down at the clerks' offices over the years will be relieved to know that their marriages really are legally valid, even without the benefit of a church involved.

    "call legal relationships something that represents what they are, like civil unions or civil contracts."

    That would be fine, **if** everyone who got married in a church without signing a civil contract (the marriage license) would be willing to give up all of their government-related marriage benefits -- you know, like inheritance, tax benefits, Social Security spousal benefits, that sort of thing. How well do you think that will go over with John Q. Public? ;-)

  • 4word thinker Murray, UT
    April 2, 2013 1:44 p.m.

    @amazondoc

    Hmm, do I believe you, or do I look at the reality of how many churches are being sued over this issue? I believe reality instead of you.

    You say all they are considering is a civil contract. Well then let's call it a civil contract, not a marriage.

    Marriage is a religious institution, was a religious institution before the USofA existed. The concept of separation of church and state would dictate that the state yield the regulation of marriage back to the churches, and call legal relationships something that represents what they are, like civil unions or civil contracts. Then those relationships can be defined by the state, because they are a creation of the state.

    This is the win/win solution. It preserves the integrity of the churches and it protects the legal rights of everyone. No one's rights are infringed.

    Why is this not an acceptable solution?

  • amazondoc USA, TN
    April 2, 2013 9:13 a.m.

    @NormalGuy --

    "Loving vs Virginia indicated that a minority group was being targeted. "

    Women make up 50% of the population, yet gender discrimination has been a well-established legal principle for years.

    The Supreme Court has already drawn parallels between Loving and gay marriage. I'll side with their legal expertise over yours. ;-)

    "Gay marriage has no such precedent."

    Actually, it does. Did you know that at least two Roman **emperors** married men? Same-sex unions actually have a long history in many cultures. One good book on them is "Same-Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe", by historian John Boswell.

    On a related note: recall one of the traditional heterosexual marriage vows. Specifically the one that goes "whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God".

    Do you remember who originally said that in the Bible?

    Ruth said it -- to **Naomi**. Yup, These traditional wedding vows were originally spoken by one woman. To another woman. In the Bible.

    @4word --

    In this context, marriage is actually a civil contract. The Supreme Court is not hearing cases about religious rites, I promise you.

  • 4word thinker Murray, UT
    April 2, 2013 9:00 a.m.

    It is simple.

    Marriage is a religious institution, a union between a man and a woman, or however any given church wants to define it for their purposes.

    Civil Union is any relationship the Civic Authorities, or government, defines it to be, and it is the only union recognized as a legal union subject to tax advantages, or any other legal privileges bestowed on such a union. Marriage is not a recognized legal union, and the word 'marriage' never appears in the legal document or laws anywhere.

    Problem solved.

  • Normal Guy Salt Lake City, UT
    April 2, 2013 1:58 a.m.

    @amazondoc

    Loving vs Virginia indicated that a minority group was being targeted. Since men and women are found in equal supply neither side can complain that they are being unfairly restricted to who they could marry when compared with opposite sex - completely different than the complaint raise by blacks in the case you mention. Additionally, interface marriages has been allowed in other countries for hundreds of years prior to Loving vs Virginia, giving the court the precedent needed to overturn the law. Gay marriage has no such precedent.

  • amazondoc USA, TN
    April 1, 2013 3:57 p.m.

    @NormalGuy --

    "Both genders are restricted to marrying the opposite gender so both genders are treated equally."

    **Both races are restricted to marrying members of their own race, so both races are treated equally.**

    Sound familiar?

    That one got thrown out by Loving v. Virginia, way back in 1967.

    @eastcoastcoug --

    "I would like to know the position of those favoring Gay Marriage on Polygamy and Polyandry."

    This question has already been answered many times. Just look through some of these comment threads for details on why gay marriage is not at all the same thing as polygamy.

    And, incidentally, the courts are quite able to tell the difference between the two.

    Just recently, the Supreme Court of British Columbia reconfirmed the constitutionality of Canada's ban on polygamy. In their decision, their chief justice wrote (in part), that "women in polygamous relationships faced higher rates of domestic, physical and sexual abuse, died younger and were more prone to mental illnesses. Children from those marriages, he said, were more likely to be abused and neglected, less likely to perform well at school and often suffered from emotional and behavioral problems."

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    April 1, 2013 8:33 a.m.

    I would like to know the position of those favoring Gay Marriage on Polygamy and Polyandry. Is there ANYONE who should not be allowed to marry?

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    April 1, 2013 8:22 a.m.

    What if someone wants to marry 3 women they love, and perhaps bring another man and a teenage boy into the marriage?

    If this is about being able to marry whoever we love, who and how many can we marry???

  • Normal Guy Salt Lake City, UT
    March 31, 2013 10:54 p.m.

    The gender discrimination nonsense again? Both genders are restricted to marrying the opposite gender (the one through which they could procreate with) so both genders are treated equally. All the arguments here have been posted hundreds of times and, as usual, those for changing the definition out-number those for keeping it 2 to 1, despite this newspaper being in an area where traditional marriage is supported 2 to 1. We get it, many of you are frustrated and vent in the comments section every time the DN has an article that even mentions those with same gender attraction.

    The Supreme Court is looking at this the right way. Marriage to another of the same gender is different than the marriage that has gone on since recorded history. We have thirteen years of history of a countries experimenting with it - way to short to know what it will do to families, the building block of society. Civil unions provide the neccesary rights. No changes should be made to the definition of traditional marriage until we have decades more information.

  • Contrarius Lebanon, TN
    March 31, 2013 2:01 p.m.

    @Mr. Bean --

    I missed this one in my earlier post:

    "Everyone has the right to marry... provided they choose someone of the opposite sex. That applies to EVERYONE. How could that be discriminatory under the law?"

    **Everyone has the right to marry... provided they choose someone of their own race. That applies to EVERYONE. How could that be discriminatory under the law?**

    Sound familiar?

    "Protected groups" are minority and/or oppressed groups that either can not change themselves -- e.g. because of race, gender, age, disability, or orientation -- or groups that share unbendable beliefs that are fundamental to their religion.
    '
    Polygamists are not born -- nobody is born married, and you're not actually a "polygamist" until you're married -- and they are not biologically different from anyone else. So the only excuse they could have for being a "protected group" is religion. And courts in both the US and Canada have already proven that they can easily tell the difference between gay marriages and polygamy. For instance, just recently British Columbia's Supreme Court reaffirmed that Canada's ban on polygamy is constitutional -- because of the known dangers to women and children that often go along with that practice.

  • Contrarius Lebanon, TN
    March 31, 2013 6:46 a.m.

    @Mr. Bean and Alfred --

    "Are you saying polygamists can marry?"

    Of course not. One more time:

    Some people are already allowed to marry men. Other people are NOT allowed to marry men. The distinction is based solely on gender. That is called "gender discrimination". Gender discrimination is unconstitutional. Therefore, marriage discrimination is unconstitutional.

    

In contrast: NOBODY is allowed to marry multiple partners. NOBODY is allowed to commit incest. NOBODY is allowed to commit bestiality. Therefore, there is no discrimination. These laws ARE constitutional.



    Further, in re bestiality and children: neither children nor animals are capable of giving informed consent. Consent is a fundamental component of all contract law. It can not be removed from our legal system. Therefore, children and animals will never be eligible for signing marriage contracts.



    Further, in re polygamy: unlike gay marriage, polygamy has very practical dangers. Women have always had less power in society than men; therefore, it is easy to take advantage of/subjugate/abuse women in polygamous relationships -- as we have seen repeatedly with the polygamous sects in court. Gay marriages have no such proven, concrete dangers.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    March 30, 2013 8:27 p.m.

    @Alfred;

    Polygamists are already allowed to legally marry at least the first person of their choice.

  • Alfred Pheonix, AZ
    March 30, 2013 6:50 p.m.

    @Ranch:
    "Marriage is a civil right. Gay, straight, it doesn't matter."

    Are you saying polygamists can marry? Even to underage females? There's a person serving an extended jail sentence who would like you to press that point on his behalf.

    Any marriage other than the traditional man/women would open the Pandora's box to all combinations of marriages including polygamy, sister/sister, brother/brother/ brother/sister, father/daughter, aunt/cousin, you name it. If you're insistent on same-sex marriages you should be equally insistent on dozens of other marriage combinations.

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

    Just think... if you don't marry you'll have no worries re divorce.

    Besides, you don't have to be married to live together and shack up.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    March 30, 2013 4:54 p.m.

    @Summer;

    What good does that do? Even if I go up to Washington to marry, I'll be legally single the moment I cross the state line on the way back home.

  • Mr. Bean Pheonix, AZ
    March 30, 2013 4:35 p.m.

    @The Skeptical Chymist:
    "Civil rights are civil rights."

    Everyone has the right to marry... provided they choose someone of the opposite sex. That applies to EVERYONE. How could that be discriminatory under the law?

    "It doesn't matter how small the population is, all groups deserve to be treated equally in the eyes of the law."

    Would that include small groups such as polygamists and pedophilians?

    "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."

    The Bill of Rights says nothing about marriage.

    @RanchHand:
    "My partner and I have been together over 14 years... But I can't marry the person I've been with for over 14 years even once."

    Sounds like getting married is a sure-fire way to guarantee divorce. Is that what you seek?

    @Open Minded Mormon:
    "It's about sharing and caring. It's about - hopes, dreams, laughs, tears, struggles, successes, highs, lows, sharing lives together, not ever having to be alone."

    Ain't it the truth. That's what polygamists keep insisting. And those who would engage in pedophilia as well.

  • wrz Pheonix, AZ
    March 30, 2013 4:12 p.m.

    @Pagan:
    "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."

    I think she is pulling our collective legs. Who was it that kept her from the bedside of a dying friend? She doesn't say. With the legal documents she had prepared there must surely have been one that said she had a right to be there. In any event, all she had to do was to ask the person or persons in charge to let her be there to say good-bye.

    "They were together for 18 years."

    Eighteen years is certainly long enough to prepare the necessary papers that would have allowed her to attend.

  • Summer Salt Lake City, UT
    March 30, 2013 12:28 a.m.

    @RanchHand,

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

    Who is preventing you from performing your own private marriage?

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    March 29, 2013 9:55 p.m.

    the feds have no business with this...just let each state decide and be done with it. Enough already!!!

  • Ranch Here, UT
    March 29, 2013 5:07 p.m.

    @Pops;

    "My religion forbids...:"

    --- Whatever your religion forbids is totally irrelevant in the context of civil law. The First Amendment guarantees that whatever you believe, you're free to believe, but you are NOT free to force others to live by the dogmas of your version of religion.

    "The problem with creating a thing called "gay marriage" is that the victims are future children, whom few are willing to protect and defend. They are the future of civilization."

    --- You clearly don't care about the future of the children currently being raised by same-sex couples. I guess they just don't matter.

    @Charles;

    Having children is not a requirement for marriage.

    Marriage is a civil right. Gay, straight, it doesn't matter.

  • @Charles not from utah, 00
    March 29, 2013 3:49 p.m.

    The behavior of homosexuality never has been and never will be equal to that of heterosexuality. If the understanding of that statement is not obvious to you then I'm not sure much else will help you in this discussion.

    Someone said marriage is about love. Actually, the state doesn't care who you choose to love but they do care about how children are brought into this world and the best place for them to be raised. That is with their mother and father. It is the standard. Just because some in society choose not to adhere to that standard does't mean the standard should be lowered.

    If it is all about love, then 2 guys and a girl, or 3 girls and a guy, or 1st cousins or fill in the blank, should all be allowed to be married. No exceptions if it is just about love. But that's not the case. The argument is for those who engage in homosexuality to have their behavior accepted as normal by society when biology and anatomy 101 tell them it isn't.

    Homosexuality as marriage is not a civil right.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2013 3:17 p.m.

    @Pops
    "Every man has the right to marry a woman. Every woman has the right to marry a man. That is absolute and unequivocal equality."

    And in 1960 every white man had the right to marry a white woman and every black man had the right to marry a black woman. That's equal too but we still declared it nonsense nonetheless.

  • Pops NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    March 29, 2013 2:41 p.m.

    "Why should gay marriage be any different?"

    My religion forbids:

    Murder
    Theft
    Assault
    Rape
    Kidnapping
    Slander
    Libel

    All perfectly illegal, under the law, for the same reason that gay unions should not be recognized as equivalent to marriage - it's about the preservation of society. The problem with creating a thing called "gay marriage" is that the victims are future children, whom few are willing to protect and defend. They are the future of civilization.

  • Contrarius Lebanon, TN
    March 29, 2013 2:20 p.m.

    @Pops --

    "Every woman has the right to marry a man. That is absolute and unequivocal equality.

    **Every person has the right to marry another person of the same race. That is absolute and unequivocal equality.""

    Sound familiar?

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    March 29, 2013 2:21 p.m.

    Speaking about canards....

    Pops
    NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    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.

    ==================

    Agreed - sort of, at least that part about "never been about sexual attraction".

    Marriage is about Love.
    A profoundly deep, enduring committment of friendship that knows no bounds.

    It's about sharing and caring.
    It's about - hopes, dreams, laughs, tears, struggles, successes, highs, lows, sharing lives together, not ever having to be alone.

    To those of you who keep defining marriage strictly by sex - YOU are the one's dragging it's true meaning through the gutter.

    To you, I say - Thanks for NOTHING!

    I hope the courts see to it that all mankind - regardless of race, sex, age, color, religion, orientation, ect. - can all be allowed the same opportunity of being as happily married, as I have been.

    Tear down the wall...[Pink Floyd]

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    March 29, 2013 1:41 p.m.

    My religion forbids me from:

    smoking,
    drinking,
    gambling,
    pornography,
    buying on Sunday,
    Piercing my ears,
    wearing Tank-tops,
    Watching Monday Night Football,
    working on Sunday,
    or participating in an abortion (except in the cases of rape, incest, life/health of the woman, viability of the fetus, ect.).

    All perfectly legal, under the law.

    I don't need the rest of American Society to obey and follow my religous beliefs,
    I chose to obey those additional restrictions, without feeling any need to pass legal legislation and force everyone else to do likewise.

    Why should gay marriage be any different?

  • Mukkake Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2013 1:26 p.m.

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

    Don't you just love it?]

    A greater irony is that I know of many gay and straight people who get married to a person of the opposite sex purely to help them get employment/residency/citizenship in this country, some of them even get paid to do it, and then promptly divorce once the process is done.

    So here in America, marriage to bypass immigration, and profit from it, is legal, but marriage based on love and commitment is not.

  • Pops NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    March 29, 2013 1:21 p.m.

    ""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.

  • Mukkake Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2013 1:12 p.m.

    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.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    March 29, 2013 12:51 p.m.

    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?

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    March 29, 2013 12:45 p.m.

    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.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    March 29, 2013 12:42 p.m.

    Matthew;

    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.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    March 29, 2013 12:33 p.m.

    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.

  • The Skeptical Chymist SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 29, 2013 12:33 p.m.

    @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
    March 29, 2013 11:45 a.m.

    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.

  • Contrarius Lebanon, TN
    March 29, 2013 11:21 a.m.

    @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!

  • glendenbg Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2013 11:16 a.m.

    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?

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    March 29, 2013 10:17 a.m.

    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?

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2013 10:14 a.m.

    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

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2013 10:13 a.m.

    *’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!

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2013 10:13 a.m.

    *'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.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    March 29, 2013 10:03 a.m.

    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."

  • lds4gaymarriage Salt Lake City, UT
    March 29, 2013 9:47 a.m.

    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.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    March 29, 2013 9:42 a.m.

    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.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    March 29, 2013 9:31 a.m.

    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.

  • Sneaky Jimmy Bay Area, CA
    March 29, 2013 8:57 a.m.

    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.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    March 29, 2013 7:06 a.m.

    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.