Comments about ‘Mormon Parenting: Don’t call gay unions ‘marriage’’

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Published: Friday, May 24 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

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Gilbert, AZ

I agree 100%

mclean, VA

I mean, we have made the issue so complicated and convoluted! Can't we simply preserve a word and a definition that has been in place for centuries? A word that is the name and the symbol for the single most important relationship on earth and the creator and facilitator of the basic unit of our society and our civilization? Of course we can, and we must!
And preserving the word and what it has always meant has nothing to do with prejudice or tolerance or homophobia or equality!

Columbia, SC

So if we just need a new name for same-sex marriage how about we use the term "sealing" :)

While I oppose same-sex marriage for religious reasons I'm finding it harder to oppose the practice from a strictly legal standpoint. In a society where we allow people to redefine their genders through medical procedures it's strange to draw the line when it comes to defining a marriage between a man and a women (the concepts of being a "man" or a "women" proceeds the concept of "marriage" by a couple minutes).

At this point the propagation and legal acceptance of same-sex marriage across the country is inevitable (it may take a few years and some states may hold out indefinitely but broad legal acceptance has strong momentum). I'm more concerned about 1) protecting the religious rights of those faiths and persons that fundamentally oppose same-sex marriage (the Church would close the temples before allowing a same-sex marriage to be performed should the law require such a practice); 2) protecting homosexual people from being bullied or discriminated against in society; and 3) helping homosexual people feel loved and supported within the Church.

Somewhere in Time, UT

A homosexual relationship will NEVER be a marriage no matter how many laws are passed or how much some people try to redefine it. Marriage is between a man and a woman and that's all there is.

Lebanon, TN

"Because that is not what “marriage” means."

You don't get to define the parameters to suit yourself.

Marriage has actually meant many different things through the ages -- including polyandry, polygamy, same-sex unions (yes, in several different cultures), forced and slave alliances, and so on.

"with the likelihood or at least the possibility of procreation."

Infertile couples have always been allowed to marry. As the justices of the Supreme Court themselves pointed out, a marriage between two 60-year-old people has NO possibility for procreation -- yet it is still a marriage.

"Marriage has always meant that"

Only in your imagination. The reality is very different.

"Why should we redefine or change the meaning of an ancient, important word?"

If you're seriously interested in the origins of the word "marriage", then look it up. "Marriage" is from the Latin word "maritatus" -- which had several meanings even back in Roman days, including "given to a man" (reflecting the property status of women), "to couple", and "to mate". None of those definitions require participants of the opposite gender.

Heck, Romans themselves had same-sex marriage ceremonies. You think *they* didn't know the meaning of the word?

Mount Pleasant, UT

To: CATS - I could not have said it better..you are exactly correct and that will never change no matter how hard they try or no matter how much they want it. It is what it is...marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman.

Saint George, UT

A rose by any other name is still a rose! A Christ centered marriage will always be between a man and a women.

Provo, UT

That sounds about right to me, especially with all the provisos at the beginning. One thing is certain: the full symbolic character of marriage cannot be maintained while eliminating the form of procreative complementarity. And if it were all about adults, then maybe it would not matter so much. But I cannot re-imagine my own life--as a child or an adult--in terms in which "father" and "mother" were unimportant distinctions. This point really gets me. Of course children will find themselves in all sorts of familial arrangements, and all of them should be recognized and supported. That includes legal and neighborly support. But does it really help children to erase the one means by which society recognizes, as I believe every child can recognize, that a father and a mother together is a unique good?

My only hang-up here is that the issue has become so politicized that children caught in the cross-fire may not be able to come out unscathed. This bothers me a lot. It would have been much less cruel if this matter had been decided once and for all nationally, whatever the outcome.

Far East USA, SC

"Marriage means a committed union between a man and a woman, with the likelihood or at least the possibility of procreation. "

So, you would not call it a marriage if a 60 year old couple wants to tie the knot.

You would not call it a marriage if a 25 year old woman has medical problems which make it impossible for her to conceive.

Hey, I'm just using the definition that you provided.


The Eyre’s are correct that the word “marriage” is whatever society decides. But as our daily speech expands to include phrases such as “Sarah and her wife”, “Tom’s Dads say he come to the ballgame”, and “hey, did you hear that Jim and Harry are engaged” – it is inevitable that “marriage” will include same-sex marriages.

Look at a similar example - are Mormons included in the word “Christians”? Increasingly the answer is “yes”. This change came because society’s views of Mormons have improved and society is happy to let Mormons decide which titles they are known by. Freedom is a default impulse for Americans.
The same process is happening with gay marriage. Though some outliers remain, society’s views of gay couples has improved such that we are happy to allow gays to decide which titles they are known by.

As a Mormon, I am appreciative that society allows me to call myself “Christian”. As a Mormon, I am happy to allow my wonderful gay friends and family to call themselves “married”.


To be pointed: Baloney! Just because a WORD has long meant certain things, doesn't limit its future use and evolution. Zane Grey used the word "ejaculated" to mean the same as the word "exclaimed," we use today.

Marriage, at the core of its meaning, means simply a union, a combining. It used widely to mean much more than your narrow: "Marriage means a committed union between a man and a woman, with the likelihood or at least the possibility of procreation." And, Webster also says,
"b: the mutual relation of married persons : wedlock
c: the institution whereby individuals are joined in a marriage
2: an act of marrying or the rite by which the married status is effected; especially : the wedding ceremony and attendant festivities or formalities
3: an intimate or close union


I agree with the Eyres too. 100% And this...

**Why do different types of people want to be labled the same? If you're different in some aspect, why not just be different? Why would a left handed pitcher need to be called a righty? Isn't he a lefty? Is it derogatory to call him a lefty? He's a lefty - he's not the same as a righty - and he was born that way! Gays want to be recognized as different, but then in the same sentance, they want to be the same. WOW, it's starting to get confusing in here, people. In high school, it was funny to me to watch people who didn't like the popular crowd try to arrange a group of non popular kids to hang together...just so they could feel popular in that group.

Lebanon, TN

@banderson --

"A rose by any other name is still a rose! A Christ centered marriage will always be between a man and a women."

Many gay people are Christian. And quite a few Christian denominations are happy to perform gay wedding ceremonies in their churches.

Gay marriage may not fit YOUR definition of "Christ centered" -- but many other good Christians disagree with you. And, fortunately, your view doesn't get to win just because you say that it should.

American Fork, UT

It's perfectly acceptable for a mormon parent not to call a gay marriage a 'marriage'. But I'm going to.

Fender Bender
Saint George, UT

WHO should we allow to define marriage?

Most Utahns consider themselves conservatives who believe in smaller, less intrusive government. So why should we want the government to be in charge of defining "marriage"? Who here wants the nanny state telling us what we can and can't do?

Sure, the government has a legitimate interest in inter-personal relationships for some reasons (to ensure children are cared for by capable and responsible adults, to ensure that assets of the deceased are passed on to friends and family in an orderly manner and in accordance with the wishes of the deceased, etc.). The government has traditionally piggy-backed on the definition of marriage for legal terminology because it was convenient. But marriage covers a lot of ground, including areas of sexuality and spirituality - areas the government should keep its nose out of.

Clearly, it should be the role of individuals and religious organizations to define "marriage" according to the dictates of their own conscience. Let's stop using "marriage" as a legal definition. Terminology such as "legal guardian" and "next of kin" can be utilized for legal purposes.

Gallup, NM

Fail. This article fails. I am a man. My wife is a woman. We got married knowing that we could not conceive children. According to this article my wife and I aren't married. And what we have should not be considered a marriage. Fail.

South Jordan, UT

I am pro-traditional marriage. I think we all agree that Family is important, particularly where benefits to children are concerned. However, I see merit to the idea that gay-marriage might be considered a stabilizing force in an otherwise destabilizing world. The contention is rather simple: children are going to come into the world regardless of marital relationships. Homosexual couples can already conceive (though it is through non-traditional means such as surrogacy, in-vitro, etc.).

As such, shouldn't we provide additional stability for their children? Are we comfortable denying their children the apparent benefits of nuclear families in good conscience simply because of who their parents are?

I don't think this idea necessarily impinges on marriage in its current (admittedly sub-optimal) state. An argument can definitely be made for idealized marriage, but as long as our society fails at the ideal (and may indefinitely) perhaps we should seek to improve rather than prohibit stability.

An argument can be made for more research prior to codifying any "new" marriage, but it doesn't change the status quo. Homosexual people can have children. Should their children be afforded marriage stability?

Far East USA, SC

I really think there is an easy fix for this issue.

Change the name of a Marriage License to a Union License. This is required to prove a union, whether Male/Female, Male Male or Female Female.

If you want a marriage license, get is from your church, but it has no real legal meaning and is in no way required.

Whats wrong with this?

South Jordan, UT

The word and concept of "marriage" is certainly not the creation nor the exclusive realm of Christianity, America, nor heterosexuality. The definition and practices surrounding marriage have even changed throughout the comparatively short history of the LDS Church. The opinion expressed in the article is sincere, but is based on a few false premises:

1) The definition of "marriage" has always been the same (False)
2) Potential ability to conceive children is required (False - consider two older/infertile individuals. Further, consider that children are born to gay couples all the time - fertility is not an issue, and with blended/non-traditional families even within the Church, it is silly to limit "marriage" to two people who can conceive with one another).
3) "Marriage" is the exclusive property of one narrowly-defined set of beliefs (False - marriage practices vary widely - to insist otherwise is ignorant. Polygamy is a clear departure from this current narrowly-defined set of beliefs, and cannot be disavowed by the LDS Church).
4) Words must have narrow definitions (False - we use Car to describe a number of very different things - train cars, automobiles, trucks, etc. - broader definitions do not damage perception - we know the difference).

Davis, UT

As an active LDS Member I find the argument against using the word "Marriage" for same-sex couples a bit ridiculous. How many times have we been up in arms when the world says we aren't "Christian"? We freak out. "Yes we are...we have all the qualifications of a Christian religion....it's in our name!" Imagine if we were told that we can believe in Christ but had to call ourselves "Jesusites" or something like that. It's close enough right? No. I believe the same applies here, whether or not you agree with same-sex marriage you can't just say "we will give them their own special word for marriage so as not to sully my version of marriage"

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