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

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Larry Chandler
CEDAR CITY, UT

It is a legitimate concern of a church to feel it should not be required to perform a same-sex marriage. But is the solution to tell another church that chooses to perform these marriages that they cannot? Freedom of religion should apply to both.

Mormon Ute
Kaysville, UT

The mistake our country made which has given the gay marriage movement traction is tying benefits to spousal relationships. Without that there would be no basis for overriding the will of the majority.

That being said, it is time to move on and focus our efforts on preserving religious freedoms which are coming increasingly under attack. While some of the commentors on this article have expressed the view that religions should remain free to sanction whatever marriages they choose, there are those out there who are actively seeking to take away tax exempt status of religions that don't sanction gay marriage. There are also those who are seeking to remove the legal recognition of any marriage performed by a religion that doesn't sanction gay marriage forcing those married within those religions to also have a separate civil ceremony that would be legally recognized. Those encroachments on religious freedom represent intollerance and its worst and must not be allowed. We would be regressing back to times before this country became free, if we allow such things.

Contrariusiest
mid-state, TN

@EJM --

"so those individuals currently in loving, committed polygamous relationships are going to be denied their civil rights all because of a few bad apples?"

First you'll need to prove that the harms of polygamy are do to only "a few bad apples". I gotta warn you there is a lot of research against you there.

Drunk driving laws punish the drivers who are able to drive safely while drunk. Why is that? It's because the vast majority of drunk drivers DON'T drive safely.

If you want to change either drunk driving or polygamy laws, you'll have to prove that the preponderance of risk is on your side.

"When we have any type of civil union that fails there is always going to be harm done"

Every type of driving has some degree of risk. But sober driving is much less risky than drunk driving -- so drunk driving is illegal, and sober driving isn't.

Tad
TOOELE, UT

@macferran: you are correct and in error at the same time. Your point that states have the right to set limits on marriage is valid, the state cannot not apply those limits in a discriminatory way. Using your business example, the state may say that a child cannot own a business or enter into a contract, just as it can say that a child cannot marry, but the state cannot prohibit a person from owning a business because of sexual preference; likewise it cannot deny marriage on that basis. Your analogy actually argues in favor of Judge Shelby's ruling.

Tad
TOOELE, UT

@Mormon Ute: "Our country" didn't make the mistake, merely perpetuated it. Under the levitical law, rights of inheritance, etc. were determined through marriage, resulting in the custom of the barren widow becoming the wife of her dead husband's brothers. (See Luke 20) This was the basis of Jesus teaching the "they neither marry nor are given in marriage," in the life to come. The legal aspect of marriage has always been about the duties of support and the rights of inheritance and common property, though not always in the forms we see today. The threat of divine wrath was a priestcraft trick to enforce the duties and obligations of marriage. In the perfect world of Heaven, these protections are unnecessary.

Interestingly, Jesus teaches this lesson right after he teaches that we should, "render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's..." The argument for removing tax exemptions stems from the churches' meddling in Caesar's domain when they should not. But then, these same churches don't think that Matthew 7 applies to them, either.

How did Jesus put it, ... "Let him who has ears to hear"?

Filthy Kuffar
Spanish Fork, UT

CSH 85:

@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.... "

I think you just proved the case against gay marriage. Gay marriage does not provide a way for man to exist, and it certainly does not provide for mans survival as they do not, or cannot procreate on their own. Therefore that basic civil right does not apply in the Constitutional sense to gay marriage.

sherlock holmes
Eastern, UT

The marriages/civil unions seem to be going ahead.

How to handle divorces/uncivil unions will be next on the plate.

LBGT, welcome to the world.

Contrariusester
mid-state, TN

@Filthy Kuffar --

"...that basic civil right does not apply in the Constitutional sense to gay marriage."

Ehhhh, no.

The Supreme Court has upheld marriage rights for individuals regardless of procreation. For instance, convicts in prison with no visitation rights can still marry, as can sterile individuals and women past the age of conception.

This point was even explicitly addressed during the Prop 8 hearing.

Breyer -- "there are lots of people who get married who can't have children."

Kagan -- "suppose a State said that, Because we think that the focus of marriage really should be on procreation, we are not going to give marriage licenses anymore to any couple where both people are over the age of 55. Would that be constitutional?"

Scalia -- "I suppose we could have a questionnaire at the marriage desk when people come in to get the marriage -- you know, Are you fertile or are you not fertile?" "I suspect this Court would hold that to be an unconstitutional invasion of privacy..."

Ginsburg -- "...we said somebody who is locked up in prison and who is not to get out has a right to marry, has a fundamental right to marry, no possibility of procreation."

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

' I think you just proved the case against gay marriage. Gay marriage does not provide a way for man to exist, and it certainly does not provide for mans survival as they do not, or cannot procreate on their own. '

7 billion humans on earth.

That is after, MA allowed gay marriage in 2004.

LGBT have been in every aspect of human history. From two-spirits in the ancient planes of America to Geisha's of Japan.

To claim that after 2013 years of history and 7 billion humans on earth (up from 6 billion) that gay marriage will stop the 'survival' of the human race? This claim that has no merit.

Ever.

Also, procreation is somehow not a requirement for marriage for my straight friends. My example? Octo-mom. 8 children, zero husband.

If you want to deny marriage equality due to procreation? Fine.

We will begin with every straight couple over the age of 60, in divorce.

You are confusing one 'should' be married to have children.

As example by human history, one CAN have a child, without in fact, being married.

Should vs. can.

Standards applied to others, but never to one's self?

Know the difference.

RedShirtCalTech
Pasedena, CA

To "Pagan" since you are loving the Massachussetts stats, you should also mention that they have the lowest marriage rate. When you compare marriage rate to divorce rate, they are about average, meaning that what few marriages there are end in divorce about 40% to 50% of the time.

To "Contrariuserer" if gay marriage is good, what about a group of 4 or 5 gays that want to be married in a polyamourous relationship. Are you going to deny them equal treatment to gay couples?

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

Nicely done Eric! This is the type of analysis that has been missing from this story. You give readers, regardless of how they feel about same-sex marriage, an excellent insight into how the Windsor case clearly opened the door for Judge Shelby's ruling.

I would only add that Kennedy has been chipping away at Baker v Nelson for more than a decade and Windsor now replaces it as the ruling precedent for these cases. Kennedy is clearly moving Sexual Orientation into the realm of a protected class.

In any event, those who are blasting or praising Judge Shelby should really direct their letters to Justice Kennedy. I suspect we'll be hearing from him again in the appeal of Kitchen v Herbert. I'm already looking forward to Justice Scalia's opinion.

EJM
Herriman, UT

@contra: you still have not proven with statistical evidence the harm polygamous relationships cause. And that is because the issue of polygamous relationships dont go before the courts since legally they don't exist. The evidence is overwhelmingly anecdotal. TV shows such as The Sister Wives portray polygamous relationships the same way that shows like The Kardashians show heterosexual monogamous relationships. Full of ups and downs, pitfalls and struggles, joys and happiness. It will only be a matter of time before polygamy and polyandry have their day in the sun. The same arguments used for same sex marriages will be used to justify the legalization of polygamy and polyandry. When that day comes all will rejoice.

digitalcamotim
Council Bluffs, IA

and we can ronald reagan for this result--he appointed Kennedy to SCOTUS--and he was the most homosexual friendly POTUS until obama--why he considered a conservative icon never ceases to amaze me--

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

@Filthy Kuffar

"...it certainly does not provide for mans survival as they do not, or cannot procreate on their own."

So the only reason for marriage is to procreate? My wife and I cannot and have not procreated on our own. I guess our marriage is null and void in your eyes - it sure is to our "faithful" neighbors.

Does anyone know a good divorce lawyer? If I follow Filthy Kuffar's logic, I'm going to need one.

Contrariusester
mid-state, TN

@RedShirtCalTech --

"...what about a group of 4 or 5 gays that want to be married...."

A few drunk drivers may be able to get home safely even while drunk. But that doesn't mean that drunk driving should be legalized.

Similarly, a few folks may be able to conduct polygamous unions without harm. But that doesn't mean that polygamous marriages should be legalized.

@EJM --

"you still have not proven with statistical evidence the harm polygamous relationships cause. "

I don't have any statistical evidence of the harm that drunk driving causes, either.

So what?

If you believe that polygamous marriages are not harmful, then provide YOUR evidence.

I've got plenty of studies that say otherwise.

"...the issue of polygamous relationships dont go before the courts... "

"...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.

Reason??
Farr West, UT

Sadly, the institution of marriage, regardless of it's origin, has for sometime belonged to Ceasar. Consequently, if Ceasar wishes to change it, he will. The question is: will we all render unto him that which is his???

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

@digitalcamotim

"and we can ronald reagan for this result--he appointed Kennedy to SCOTUS--and he was the most homosexual friendly POTUS until obama--why he considered a conservative icon never ceases to amaze me--"

Quite possibly the most offensive thing I have EVER read in the the reader's forum. Why is being "homosexual friendly POTUS" a bad thing? Why can't conservatives be "homosexual friendly?" Shouldn't we all be friendly with each other when it comes to civil rights regardless of our political leanings?

And, if equal treatment under the law is the end result, then thank you "ronald reagan." - signed a heterosexual LDS male.

RedShirtCalTech
Pasedena, CA

To "Contrariusester" are you saying that no matter what the arrangement is, polygamy is always more harmful, regardless of the genders involved? I would really love to see your data on this one.

To clarify, you are saying that you would deny a group of 5 gays a plural marriage because of unrelated information.

freewill
duchesne, UT

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of happiness does not come from Government, Either people empower themselves or government will empower it's self. Government grants privileges, Every time somebody asks for a privilege, government gets more powerful. The gay community didn't empower themselves, they empowered government! Will Christian catering company's be forced to cater to weddings they don't agree with now?

Back Talk
Federal Way, WA

It any action taken by a State or Federal Government the appears to "demean or stignatize" another group or party unconstitutional, then I dont see how the Supreme Court will eventually be ruling that calling Homosexual relations (whether or not inside a state sanctioned marriage)is unconstitutional and qualifies as hate speech.

That would mean the government will say that you can believe anything you want but you will lose your tax exempt status as a religion if you demean any particular group.

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