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Published: Saturday, Dec. 28 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

Marriage in Utah previously, had more than two people.

Even those who cite the 'will of the people' only cite Amendment 3 as the majority in 2004.

It's 2013.

But not only is the time a disparity, but even Amendment 3 factually changed the Utah constitution from 'two people' (Gender neutral) too….

'one man and one woman.'

So this 'millennium' of traditional marriage?

Try just 9 years ago.

Changed, by the very people who claim they are trying to 'protect' traditional marriage.

WestGranger
West Valley City, Utah

Judicial tyranny concerns a judge arbitrarily over-riding established law and a vote of the people. The gay marriage argument maintains that marriage is a civil right for gays. It does not pretend to be losing any religious liberty.It is important to note that the Mormon church is in full agreement that gays couple should have the same civil rights as men and women in a traditional marriage.However, the key difference of opinion is the extending of those rights to include gay marriage and thereby changing the definition of the institution of marriage for all of society.Social norms do change. There is a well established process to convert a social norm into a law. Aside from that there is no "slippery slope argument", simply the compelling argument that if gays have a right to marriage, why shouldn't that right be an inherent right extended to all human beings, polygamists included? Or should it depend entirely if the cause is sufficiently popular at the moment?

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

I get very confused when anyone from Utah talks about "traditional marriage"!

embarrassed Utahn!
Salt Lake City, UT

This well-written, persuasive letter will be roundly ignored by the majority here.
Self-righteousness, while frowned upon, is pervasive in Utah in my opinion.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

The truth is, it's about control. Whether we are talking about health care or marriage, repubs have no answer. They have nothing to argue against the Medicaid expansion. They just desire... Crave, control.

Which is what this is really about. The state knows it has lost. But they want to send a message to the Feds. And we the people are going to pay for it

RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

@WestGranger;

If the Mormon church supports gay couples having the same civil rights as straight couples, why did the Mormons vote to deny civil unions to gay couples?

If this isn't about religious liberty being taken away, why have the GA's been so vociferous about the religious rights being taken away (when, they in fact, take those rights away from other churches and individuals with Amendment 3)?

Please go read the 53 page ruling. It'll explain how your incorrect about the judge not following the law and arbitrarily over-riding the majority's wishes. BTW; the majority has never had the right to vote on the rights of the minority. Ever.

mark
Salt Lake City, UT

No, WestGranger, you really are missing the point. Judge Shelby is basing his argument on equal access to the law. The state of Utah issues marriage licenses, just like cities issue business licenses. A city could not refuse a business licence to someone based on their gender, right? That would be illegal and the courts would rule against a city that tried. Gender, as you know, is a protected class. The same principle applies to the state. The state cannot refuse a license that they issue based on gender. As long as the state issues licenses they have to issue it irrespective of gender of the applicant. The state cannot legally discriminated based on gender. And you cannot vote that away. That is what the judge ruled. And, frankly, there is no other way to look at the law, no matter what the Mormon church believes the definition of marriage should be.

So why doesn't this apply to polygamy? The state doesn't issue polygamy licenses. If it did it would have to issue them regardless of gender. Just like the state is not forced to issue gambling licenses, it is not forced to issue polygamy licenses.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

People wanting to support tradional marriage would do well to focus on treating their spouse with kindness and respect and appreciate the fact they have what they have. Doing this will also set a good example for their children which will help them.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

Any definition of marriage needs to take the well being of children into account. Children should have a mother and a father. No definition of marriage should that disallows children this advantage should be promoted by the state. Children have rights too.

Schnee
Salt Lake City, UT

@cjb
Children should have a mother and a father? You all like to say that gay people can't make kids through sex. Okay, so if the only things they can do to even get kids are adopt, in-vitro, or have children from a previous relationship, why is adoption allowed by single people, in-vitro allowed for single people, and why are children from a previous relationship being denied a step-parent? You don't use this argument for anything other than when you need an excuse to stop gay people from marrying.

Go West
Taylorsville, UT

Polygamy is still a male- female thing. We shouldn't use the term: traditional marriage. There's just marriage and it involves a man and a woman. It's funny that the very people who said, just about a decade ago, that marriage is irrelevant, are the same people who are promoting the idea to change the definition of marriage to include homosexuals.

mark
Salt Lake City, UT

Go West,

Again, you are missing the point. The judge did not rule on the definition of marriage. He ruled on equal access. If a state issues a license for something they have to issue that regardless of the gender of the applicants.

As far as the definition goes you don't get to define the term as far as rather it applies to a man and woman only, or also to same sex couples. And neither does a religion, nor a state. All the state can do if it issues a license for something is to issue it without taking the gender of a person into account. You might not like it, but that is the law, and that is what Judge Shelby ruled on.

As far as polygamy being a "male- female thing" -- it does not mater rather it is our not, the state does not issue polygamy licenses. So the ruling has no bearing on polygamy.

It seems that Ranchhand has read the ruling. I haven't, just articles on it. If I'm wrong in my assessment perhaps Ranchand could correct me.

RAB
Bountiful, UT

Interesting how people think they can have it both ways in their attempts to criticize the LDS Church. They want to criticize the Church for having once supported a non-traditional form of marriage, yet they also want to criticize the Church now for supporting traditional marriage. Obviously, since the Church cannot win no matter what it does, there is no point in listening to these people.

The LDS Church has always believed in traditional marriage between a man and a woman. It just allowed men to participate in more than one of them at a time. Since plural marriage has existed before, it cannot be called non-traditional. Same-sex marriage however, has never occurred before and redefines marriage for everyone.

WestGranger
West Valley City, Utah

@RanchHand When gay activists met with Mormon leaders they were pleased to discover that Mormons neither hate gays, nor are against civil unions. Mormons leaders were supportive of Salt Lake city ant-discrimination laws.I suggest you furhter investigate the actual position of the L.D.S. church and not hearsay.

It is about religious liberty being taken away, but its certainly not being taken away from gays.
The ruling ignores the SCOTUS ruling that left the marriage issue to the gays.The minority have rights, however, they do not have a right to impose their ideological opinions in a way that imposes their beliefs on the majority or that limits the rights of others. You, nor any special interest group does not determine what is a right.There are rules and laws that allows the people to have a say and the judicial process is just beginning.

WestGranger
West Valley City, Utah

@mark To me the point is that if the state is forced, because of an inherent right to marry, to issue marriage license to one special interest group, gays, then why not another? Why would equal access not include polygamists? So the state can legally discriminate against certain people? A male or female marrying a person of the same sex has no federal precedent as being a gender discrimination issue. ,. Judge Shelby is ignoring the recent Supreme Court ruling that left the marriage issue to the states. The state of Utah is not a city. It has a state Constitution that has been invalidated by a sole judge. And yes, the people of a state can vote concerning this issue. That is what the SCOTUS ruled. As SCOTUS determined there is another way to look at the law, no matter what either the Mormon church or pro-gay activists believe,the issue should be left to the states.
So why shouldn't the gay marriage argument also apply to polygamy? So polygamist don't have rights too? Strange. The state doesn't issue polygamy licenses, nor did it issue marriage licenses to gays before this single judges ruling.

mark
Salt Lake City, UT

WestGranger. Are you intentionally trying to not understand?

Shelby's ruling is dealing with equal access to the law. Perhaps you don't understand what a protected class is. Gender is a protected class, just like religion and ethnicity. That is what the law says. You might not like it, nor agree with it, but gender is a protected class in this country. It is the law. The government cannot, legally, discriminate against people because of their gender. They have to be blind when it comes to gender. You understand that, right? That really isn't up for debate. It is federal law that states must follow.

Now, I realize the state isn't a city, I was just using business licenses as an example. The point is that a government entity cannot refuse to give someone a license, of any kind, including a marriage license, based on gender. It would be unconstitutional, just as you can't refuse a license based on race.

Polygamy is a different issue. Again, the state does not issue polygamy licenses. The license they do issue is for just two people. Groups of people are not a protected class.

Lagomorph
Salt Lake City, UT

WestGranger: "It is about religious liberty being taken away... The minority have rights, however, they do not have a right to impose their ideological opinions in a way that... limits the rights of others."

This paper has made religious liberty a paramount virtue and turned secular corporations like Hobby Lobby into a cause celebre over the very indirect religious effect of the contraceptive mandate in the ACA (no one is forcing these companies or their employees to use or even pay for contraceptives, only to make insurance coverage for them available to employees). However, this paper has been completely silent on direct government intervention into religious practice by churches. Many churches in Utah (Quakers, Unitarians, etc.) have no religious objection to homosexuality and would gladly conduct same-sex marriages, but they have been prevented by the government from doing so (until December 20). So whose religious liberties were being taken away by the majority and whose rights were being limited? Why weren't these churches allowed the free exercise of their faith?

Kimber
Salt Lake City, UT

You are right...polygamy doesn't help people to be more accepting. It is, in fact, the opposite. They often believe that all other beliefs but their own are worthy of acceptance. They are known for warning their people that the outside world is sinful and that their people should avoid it at all costs. Polygamy is not an example for anyone's equal rights because it does the opposite for women.

Bob K
portland, OR

cjb
Bountiful, UT
"Any definition of marriage needs to take the well being of children into account. Children should have a mother and a father. No definition of marriage should that disallows children this advantage should be promoted by the state. Children have rights too."

A-- this is convenient for you, but you ignore the many children needing adoption who languish in mediocre or poor situations, because they are not young, cute, white, and healthy. Did the Gay couple who adopted 7 Black boys (most of them related) offend you too much? It seems that the boys are happy and well adjusted, even though they got a late start.

B-- your "ideal" precludes divorce. I am going to guess that 10 thousand times more kids live with divorce than live with one or more Gay parents.

C-- every reputable study shows that 2 mothers is the combination of parents most likely to raise successful kids, perhaps because Gay men tend to adopt troubled kids more.

The World is not made of candy.

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