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Published: Tuesday, Dec. 24 2013 4:00 a.m. MST

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Wilf 55
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Thank you for an excellent overview, Eric Schulzke. You seem to leave the answer open to your question "What comes next for Utah marriage law?" But in fact you leave little doubt that SMM will have to be accepted. In countries that legalized SSM years ago, the matter became a non-issue. It actually revitalized the concept of marriage and its desirability. It improved tolerance and respect. As so many discriminatory traditions of the past, the rejection of SSM will pass and the world will be better for it. Churches, of course, keep the freedom to refuse to marry certain people, for whatever reason they deem valid from their doctrines.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

I think it's the judge should alienate the entity [evil]. Set the standards and we comply to that standard. I guess The grass bends with the wind.

DRay
Roy, UT

Given Scalia's track record, someone ought to ask him what's next?...regarding a range of issues. He seems to be right on the money with his predictions, and my respect for the Supreme Court wanes just as it has for Congress and President who gave us the ACA. Wonder where Scalia thinks all this will lead this country to, and what we can do, if anything, to return respectability to these high offices?

Jeffsfla
Glendale, CA

I am trying to see both sides of this debate. I understand people are uncomfortable including gays and lesbians into their faiths and receiving the happiness to marry whom they wish. But from a legal perspective, this issue can only be resolved one way and that is to legalize same sex marriage in all 50 states. I hope the traditionalists can find a way to accept this inevitable conclusion.

Hugh1
Denver, CO

The author’s circumspect approach in presenting the same-sex marriage matter is a welcome addition to the dialogue that is unfolding – no matter what side of the issue you find yourself on. So then, “what comes next for Utah marriage law?” The Supreme Court gives every indication that it is willing to make the affirmative ruling, given time, and Justice Ginsburg heads a faction that doesn’t want to get too far ahead of popular sentiment. Remember that the south is still smarting from The War of Northern Aggression. Interestingly, and I missed this one, Utah and the Mormon Church have a far more pragmatic and uniform understanding of popular mores than the socially conservative “Duck Dynasty” states, even if both equally oppose same-sex marriage. As counterintuitive as it may appear, Utah’s uniquely consolidated social fabric provides an ideal opportunity to simply change the law. Utah is struggling to identify irreparable harm to the majority from same-sex marriage, but it comes up empty handed every time it tries. Let’s face it, this train has left the station and Justice Kennedy is onboard. It’s legacy thing and only a matter of time.

LeslieDF
Alameda, CA

That photo of all the people waiting to marry and I fainting remember back several years to a phrase:
"And besides, gay people don't want to get married."

Married Christmas to all.

LeslieDF
Alameda, CA

Excellent article on both history and events that bring us to today. Thank you Eric Schulzke.

In all of this, I hope the courts, defendants and plaintiffs, and the people, come to understand the differences of animus (hostility), hate and bigotry, against mistakes in judgment and personal beliefs.

Wisdom requires that understanding. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, if not also wisdom.

ReadMineFirst
Ft. Collins, CO

Mr. Schultz: Thank you for this well thought through and informative article. Historically, our Founding Fathers were careful to make sure that "Big Government" was limited in it's power. Please see below. Although I am not a Utah resident, it is crystal clear to me and I am sure to this whole nation, what the majority of Utah residents support. The Founding Father's would agree with Judge Scalia.

Here’s what James Madison said in the Federalist Papers #45

“The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite……The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.”

Contrariusier
mid-state, TN

Good article.

Readers, pay special attention to this section:

-----

"The question presented is whether a state can do what the federal government cannot — i.e., discriminate against same-sex couples … simply because the majority of the voters don't like homosexuality,” wrote Judge Timothy Black in the Ohio decision, citing the majority in Windsor and Scalia’s dissent. “Under the Constitution of the United States, the answer is no.”
[....]
Rosky understands the confusion surrounding the Windsor decision, given its apparent emphasis on state authority to define marriage. But every time Kennedy’s decision nodded in the direction of state control, he said, “they also said that every state law governing marriage must comply with federal constitutional guarantees.”

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State law MUST comply with the US Constitution. That isn't tyranny -- it's the way our country works.

Gay marriage is here to stay. Get used to it.

EJM
Herriman, UT

Finally an article that explains the constitutional issues that resulted from DOMA. All the posters who have been trying to come across as constitutional scholars who kept pointing to this ruling, or that ruling, or this amendment and that amendment, as justification for their beliefs I say this: nothing is simple when it comes to looking at interpreting the Constitution. This issue will end up before the SCOTUS. They didn't want to deal with this last summer. They won't be looking forward to dealing with it next summer.

EJM
Herriman, UT

One more thing: if the SCOTUS is going to deal with this issue then eventually polygamy and polyandry will be deemed as essential civil rights as well. It will allow those individuals currently in spiritual marriages the freedom to come out of their closets as well.

J. S.
Houston, TX

@EJM

Unless fundamental Mormons or Muslims can prove that, a husband with 4 wives and one of the 4 wives, these two people are equal in such arrangement, I don't see court will go with their way.

From Ted's Head
Orem, UT

Many mainstream LDS folks see homosexual intimacy--whether married or not--as a sin and that's not likely to change. So why did the LDS Church fight against gay marriage? Because they had to fight evil (aka sin) wherever possible and apparently they believe that gay marriage will threaten traditional heterosexual marriages. I don't believe that the LDS leadership sees SSM as any more heinous than adultery or fornication or other sexual sin...all are wrong in their God's view. The rising LDS generation and those that follow will not have the crutch of past social norms (now cast as discriminatory) to channel their behavior and will have to decide on their own how they will live. This is a both a good thing and a bad thing. Good in that those that hold true to their faith will be stronger for their enduring a new social norm that labels them "bigots," and bad in that many will not be strong enough to hold to the iron rod and be lost in the mist. Ironically, the biggest challenge they will face is to be Christian towards those who are their enemies.

Macfarren
Dallas, TX

Marriage is not a Constitutional issue. It is a state-regulated institution. Siblings can not marry. Nor close relatives. Nor children. Therefore it is not a matter of 'human rights' open to anyone who simply wants to become marry, it is a matter of the state setting the parameters of the institution of marriage, just as it does when ones forms a business under the laws of the state. It is not a question of limitation, for indeed, there are limitations already. It is a matter of what those limitations should be.

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

"segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever"

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

What comes next? Let's look at examples. Massachusetts was the 1st state to allow gay marriage in 2004. Instead of projected 'consequences' of gay marriage, lets' take a factual look at what actually happens after gay marriage...

*'After 5 Years of Legal Gay Marriage, Massachusetts still has the lowest state divorce rate...' - Bruce Wilson - AlterNet - 08/24/09

*'TEN YEARS later, 85 Percent of Massachusetts voters say NO HARM from Marriage Equality' – Alternet - 09/27/13

'Massachusetts now has the lowest divorce rate in the nation, same-sex families now enjoy full legal protections…'

Now, let's look at NY. I will even use cause and effect.

Cause…
*’Same-sex marriage could be boon to N.Y. tourism’ – By Harriet Baskas – MSNBC – 07/07/11

Effect…
*’NYC reaches goal of 50 million tourists’ – By Samantha Gross – AP – Published by DSnews – 12/20/11


The facts are clear.

J. S.
Houston, TX

@From Ted's Head

In the South, people used to believe "segregation is God's will" and interracial marriage is unnatural, un-Godly. Southern Baptist Convention was established because they would rather split from national congregation so they could continue to support slavery and segregation.

Looking back, our religious communities have moved forward quite a lot in terms of racial equality, and I don't see much negative impact, I doubt there will be much negative impact on marriage equality either.

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

@Macfarren

"Marriage is not a Constitutional issue"

I believe the US Supreme Court would disagree with you. I am more inclined to accept their opinion over yours.

Loving vs. Virginia, 1967: "Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival.... "

Contrariuserer
mid-state, TN

@EJM --

"...eventually polygamy and polyandry will be deemed as essential civil rights as well."

Here we go again.

Individual rights are always limited by harm.

Polygamy, incest, etc. all convey a significantly increased risk of harm compared to other forms of marriage.

Gay marriage does not.

It's a very simple distinction.

Look up the harm principle.

"...the constitutional right to marry properly must be interpreted to apply to gay individuals and gay couples (but) does not mean that this constitutional right similarly must be understood to extend to polygamous or incestuous relationships....the state continues to have a strong and adequate justification for refusing to officially sanction polygamous or incestuous relationships because of their potentially detrimental effect on a sound family environment. ..." -- In re Marriage Cases, slip op. at n. 52, 79-80.

Justice Bauman of the Supreme Court of BC, reaffirming Canada's polygamy ban: "I have concluded that this case is essentially about harm,"... "Polygamy's harm to society includes the critical fact that a great many of its individual harms are not specific to any particular religious, cultural or regional context. They can be generalized and expected to occur wherever polygamy exists."

EJM
Herriman, UT

@contra: so those individuals currently in loving, committed polygamous relationships are going to be denied their civil rights all because of a few bad apples? Where is the harm when two or more people truly love each other? Explain to me that one. In every type of relationship we enter some are going to succeed, some are going to fail. Why shouldn't people in polygamous relationships have that equal opportunity to succeed, or to fail? When we have any type of civil union that fails there is always going to be harm done, in some form or fashion. Society hasn't stopped people from being married just because marriages haven't always worked out. So why deny polygamous relationships this same opportunity?

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