Quantcast
Faith

Linda & Richard Eyre: Defining marriage by what it does

Comments

Return To Article
  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Jan. 15, 2014 4:34 p.m.

    To "Kevin J. Kirkham" you are sidestepping the issue, which FYI isn't gay marriage specifically.

    FYI, the LDS web site only states that Brigham Young announced that blacks could not hold the priesthood, they never say why. Your reasoning falls under the unsubstantiated theories to explain this, meaning it is just somebody's idea and not the truth. The truth of the matter is that we don't know.

    The issue is that once the LDS leaders have been inspired to declare something and you choose to not follow their advice are you going against God's desires?

    Again, do we listen to the Prophet as he is inspired or do we ignore the teachings that we don't agree with?

  • GTOBoomer USA, UT
    Jan. 15, 2014 3:53 p.m.

    Procreation is a big deal, whether it happens or not. Should it happen, in heterosexual, natural marriage, the biological parent should be the same as the parent raising a child. With adoption, there is an assignment that should be permanent. The result should be stability, security, and an environment for possible children to establish identity.

    Consider a lesbian who married another woman in one state where SS marriage was legal. The marriage lasted only two years, and there was a child created by a sperm donor. Now the woman has moved on and has a lover who has born two children with the woman's brother as sperm donor. That's three children, two mothers, two sperm donors with no involvement in their lives and utter confusion. It's chaos we're trying to avoid. I know that things can get complicated in the heterosexual world, too, with ex husbands and lovers and kids with no secure home, but that's why moral conservatives are also against cohabitation and easy divorce.

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 15, 2014 3:32 p.m.

    Redshirt1701
    You are saying that the current Prophet is wrong and that he is leading the church to go against the scriptures. …Do we listen to the Prophet as he is inspired or do we ignore the teachings that we don't agree with?
    KJK
    The referenced verses condemn using subjective morality to justify infringing upon the rights of others. In the case of Prop.8, the gays DID have a right to marry in CA prior to 8 and thousands did. Our religious opinions were used to justify infringing upon that right. Please explain to me how that DOESN’T violate those scriptures. 2 Stake Presidents (1 is now a temple president) couldn’t tell me. Both signed my recommends when we were through discussing it. Recent postings on the Church's media site admit that the priesthood ban was due to Brigham Young's own personal beliefs and not revelation, so we know that prophets can and have promoted ideas as doctrinal without any scriptural or revelatory backing.

    Since we let drug dealers, pornographers and child molesters marry and raise kids, we surely can let loving homosexual couples do likewise. There is no objective reason to deny it.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Jan. 14, 2014 3:41 p.m.

    To "Kevin J. Kirkham" so waht you are saying is that you are going to use an unrelated scripture to support your desire to NOT do as the LDS church leaders ask.

    So tell us, who is right? The current head of the LDS church has said to support laws that uphold the definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman. You are saying that the current Prophet is wrong and that he is leading the church to go against the scriptures. Is that what you are really intending to say?

    You have not answered the question that I proposed. Do we listen to the Prophet as he is inspired or do we ignore the teachings that we don't agree with?

    Again, do you know something that the LDS Church leaders don't?

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 14, 2014 2:39 p.m.

    Redshirt1701
    The ("Church Statement on Definition of Marriage") makes it quite clear that the LDS church desires laws that define marriage as between a man and a woman. Since, within the US we are all entrusted with the public good, we should all support laws that maintain the definition of marriage.

    Or do you know something that the LDS Church leaders don't?

    KJK
    I know that D&C 134:4 and 1 Cor. 10:29 denounce those who let their religious beliefs prompt them to infringe upon the rights and liberties of others. I think we should "liken the scriptures unto ourselves" regarding this issue. Harold B. Lee and Joseph Fielding Smith both stated that if they say anything contrary to scripture, that we are to cling to scripture and ignore their own teaching. I think we should liken this counsel unto this situation and the aforementioned statement.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    Jan. 14, 2014 7:49 a.m.

    Completely irrelevant. I fear we're speaking two different languages. The issue at hand is public policy, which affects more than just Mormons, so falling back on scripture or proclomations, or LDS Church statements or policy is meaningless. As long as the laws on the books don't prohibit you from practicing your religion or defining marriage any way you choose, it's not your business to tell other adult citizens how they should define theirs.

    Allusions to "far far ranging impact for religious freedom" are designed to stoke irrational fear of imagnary bogeymen, which encourages compliance. The future impact of allowing SSM to take place is completely unpredictable, but I believe it would simply turn out to be another Y2K . . people flipping out over end-of-civilization fantasies, followed by . . nothing much. The world will continue spinning, the sacrament will still be passed, and you will still be able to attend temple sessions. Or maybe everyone will turn gay.

    Of course, to anyone who is always just going to fall back on "Well, the Brethren said X, Y, or Z" or "The Lord says your'e wrong," there really is no point to any of these debates.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Jan. 13, 2014 3:34 p.m.

    To "SlopJ30" read the statement from the LDS Newsroom. From the LDS web site, and their news releast titled "Church Statement on Definition of Marriage" the church has publically declared " we encourage all people of goodwill to protect marriage as the union between one man and one woman, and to consider carefully the far ranging impact for religious freedom if marriage is redefined. We especially urge those entrusted with the public good to support laws that uphold the timehonoured definition of marriage."

    That statement alone makes it quite clear that the LDS church desires laws that define marriage as between a man and a woman. Since, within the US we are all entrusted with the public good, we should all support laws that maintain the definition of marriage.

    Or do you know something that the LDS Church leaders don't?

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    Jan. 13, 2014 1:49 p.m.

    The Constitutionality debate just muddies the waters. Simply put, it's wrong, wrong, wrong to insist that others conduct their private lives in accordance with my religious views, or to design PUBLIC POLICY specifically to fit my church's doctrine. How is this confusing to so many LDS? Mental gymnastics and fallacious "slippery slope" arguments inevitably proceed until the debate has melted into a circular, yet somehow still shapeless mass of nonsense.

    Regardless of how you read the Constitution, the idea that citizens should be prohibited from engaging in behaviors that do not infringe upon the rights of others or cause demonstrable harm to others should be objectionable to anyone who values a free America. To be clear, the idea of two men getting married may be gross to you, but it in NO WAY infringes on your right to define YOUR OWN MARRIAGE. Questionable "studies" and "expert opinions" from either camp aside, if two adults want to marry, who am I to object? My "view" about someone else's marriage is irrelevant, unless you'd be OK with the government outlawing your marriage for whatever reason, as long as "the people" support the decision.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Jan. 13, 2014 12:48 p.m.

    To "Esquire" how does it subvert the concept of "freedom of religion"? Where in the constitution does it say that there has to be a separation of church and state?

    The constitution states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;" Where is the limit on religion?

    Unless you are anti-religious (which can be defined as a religion), what is wrong with a religion stating that they encourage their members to support laws that define marriage as being between a man and a woman only?

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Jan. 13, 2014 12:10 p.m.

    @ RedShirt, to say "when it comes to laws, you should follow the prophets who have said that we should support laws that define marriage as between a man and a woman" seems to totally confuse the separation of church and state. I'll not pontificate, but the comment reveals the problem with the issue, and the attitude subverts the concept of freedom of religion.

  • Free Agency Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 13, 2014 11:26 a.m.

    @SlopJ30

    Thanks for your answer. It all reminds me of Henry Ford's line when he was first manufacturing cars: (a paraphrase, but accurate) "The customer can have a Ford car in any color he wants, as long as it's black."

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Jan. 13, 2014 11:09 a.m.

    To "SlopJ30" you got a great response for what you should do about the couple down the street. However, when it comes to laws, you should follow the prophets who have said that we should support laws that define marriage as between a man and a woman.

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    Jan. 13, 2014 10:19 a.m.

    Free Agency:

    That has never happened in the history of the Church and will never, ever happen.

    But seriously, I've asked variations on that question from time to time as I've navigated my way through a lifetime of church membership and callings. As an Elder's Quorum instructor, I once asked if, in a completely non-religious setting, it was possible to have a deeply emotional experience (with non-Mormons) that felt exactly as the same as the HG's much-relied-upon "burning in the bosom." After much harrumphing, the answer was "yes."

    So how does one know if a strong feeling is just emotion and wishful thinking talking or an actual communicae from deity? The best the people in the class (a pretty stalwart bunch of LDS men) could come up with was "Well, if you were discussing religious topics, it was the Holy Ghost. If you were not, it was emotion." Oh. Allll righty then.

    To answer your specific question, the individual involved would ostensibly feel God was on their side, while other members aware of the situation would silently (or otherwise) judge them for being disobdient apostates and "pray for them."

  • Free Agency Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 13, 2014 9:50 a.m.

    @SlopJ30

    Loved your posting.

    As a non-Mormon, I've always wondered: when a Mormon has a dilemma and does what his/her church instructs--fasts and prays for divine inspiration, etc.--and then gets an answer, clear as a bell, but the answer differs from church doctrine, how does the church see that?

    I know that when I ask a question of someone (human or divine), I don't have any pre-expectation of what the answer will be. So again, how does the church treat the answer someone gets when it's different from the church's own position?

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    Jan. 13, 2014 9:16 a.m.

    I prayed and fasted for divine inspiration as to how I should deal with the gay couple down the street who wanted to get married. That still small voice, that burning in the bosom, The Comfortor, The Holy Ghost whispered to me "Thou shalt mind thine own business, champ. Seriously, this hath nothing to doeth with thee. Dost thou have any legit questions about thine own conduct or circumstances or that of your family? If not, I must bounceth . . people with real problems needeth me."

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Jan. 13, 2014 9:16 a.m.

    "1. The role of procreation and reproduction, replenishing the population."

    I suppose once you stop procreation and reporduction from happening outside of marriage, you can make this argument. In the end, it is just your preference, but it does not reflect reality. Never has in history.

    "2. The role of precedent and example for the next generation. Boys need a role model for being a dad, and girls need a role model for being a mom."

    Again, a stated preference. But I'm not convinced that reality reflects this. There are many heterosexuals who were raised in gay households who do just fine. What is the ideal male or female role model? I think we can all do better than the role models of the 1950s.

    As for the rest of the points, I agree with the writers that it can easily be argued that they can apply to SSM situations.

  • Free Agency Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 13, 2014 8:36 a.m.

    Everything said in this article is absolutely true--for Mormons.

    But it isn't the One and Only Truth for everyone. I recall a news story about a gay male who was in (and still is in) a deeply loving relationship with another man. One night he found an abandoned baby in a subway station. A New York City judge encouraged him and his partner to adopt the boy.

    Today that boy is a happy, healthy (and straight) young man. He apparently didn't need a "mother" and a "father." He needed one or two people in his life who gave him the qualities of mothering and fathering.

    There are many similar stories.

    It would be nice if the argument were no longer made that "society would fall apart" if gays were allowed to marry and have children. Gays are a small percentage of society--and when they choose to marry and have children, their goals are the very same as with straight couples: devotional love and family.

    Utah is an American state, not a Mormon state. Thus the Eyres' points have no authority to determine the rights of non-Mormon Americans who live in Utah.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 13, 2014 2:33 a.m.

    @ El Chango Supremo

    Marriage is a legal contract that offers many benefits and privileges. This is about a group of people who just want equality. I can promise you that nobody from the LGBT community gives a wooden nickel if you approve of their lifestyle or not.

  • El Chango Supremo Rexburg, ID
    Jan. 12, 2014 6:16 p.m.

    MJ Annie,

    You are a female. It took a male to procreate with you. You can't procreate with your female partner. It's not bigotry that's the problem, it's biology!

  • El Chango Supremo Rexburg, ID
    Jan. 12, 2014 6:14 p.m.

    Marriage is a religious institution that years ago was adopted & recognized by the government. It's not the government's place to change it!

    Gay marriage isn't about rights or taxes or anything else we commonly hear about. It's about the desire of homosexual couples to have their relationships/lifestyle be declared moral.

  • SLC gal Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 12, 2014 4:43 p.m.

    The issue is two - fold.

    First, legally, gay couples that choose to live as a married couple should have the same rights, and privilages of straight couples with regard to property, death benefits, etc... And if they want to divorce, why should they not be subject to the same lengthy miserable process that straight people have to endure?

    Second is religious. How long until the govt. rulings ignore the seperation of church and state, and require churches that don't belive in gay unions to perfrom such unions or else. Further more, the precedent this is setting is that a single judge can overturn a law that the people of this state voted on in an election. Fair, or not, is it right that a court can intervene on any law of their choosing, and overlook the wishes of the people of this state as expresed in a government election?

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 11:15 a.m.

    Pops
    The real question is whether the state should provide marriage benefits to gay couples that are not likely to reciprocate by taking on the obligations by providing the six "services" or benefits to the state so aptly enumerated by Richard and Linda Eyre. When the state doesn't issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple, it is because it has no reasonable expectation to receive anything in return.
    KJK
    Heterosexuals over 50 marrying provide no more "services" or benefits to the state than same-sex couples would.

    RedShirt
    Kids raised by same sex couples are more likely to think of themselves as gay, more likely to engage in homosexual behavior, and are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors.
    KJK
    If so, it might be because that if they really are gay, they feel safer to "come out" as gay rather than try to stay in the closet and be straight. They are also more likely to be raised outside of a religion which condemns homosexuality and therefore if the kid IS gay, they may feel safer coming out than would a kid whose family is active LDS.

  • oragami St. George, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 2:55 p.m.

    1.96 Standard Deviations

    It seems to me that you, and Hinkley for that matter, are ignoring Doctrine and Covenants 134:9

    "We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government"

  • oragami St. George, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 2:53 p.m.

    Fact: Homosexual couples currently cohabitate and have children.

    So, unless you propose removing those children from their families and homes, wouldn't they benefit from their parents being married, with all of the psychological, legal, and social benefits that are associated with the institution of marriage? Seriously?

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 8:05 a.m.

    To "Pops" if you want to go strictly by what is best for the state, then it should outlaw gay marriage. The DOJ has a study out there where they found that just the act of 2 gay people cohabitating there is a significant increase in the likelyhood of violence for them. When that violence occurs, it costs the state and local communities money to deal with the increase in crime.

    You also have the fact that if gays are allowed to adopt or rais children as a couple that their children are more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior. That risky behavior can lead to an incrase in teen pregnancies. Teen pregnancies lead to increases in poverty and dependance on state and federal resourcces.

    So, the best solution for the state is to deny gays not only marriage, but custody of children.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 10, 2014 2:08 a.m.

    @ Pops

    Should the state deny infertile couples the right to obtain a marriage license?

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 9, 2014 8:33 p.m.

    'Not naturally (unusual measures are required)….'

    Octo-mom. Eight children created through invitro fertilization. Single mother.

    John and Kate plus 8. Eight children, created for a married couple, also though invitro fertilization. Now, a divorced couple.

    The 'traditional family' supporters did….

    nothing.

    As they did nothing to prevent these 'unnatural' families, we can take it that they are being selective about which 'traditional' families they do, and do not support.

    Traditional.

    What does that word even mean?

    We should prevent women from voting? Or practice human slavery?

    Time to move forward ladies and gentlemen.

    Unless you want to claim that you walk to work….

  • Pops NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    Jan. 9, 2014 8:19 p.m.

    Lagomorph wrote: "Then the state is going about it all wrong, because gay couples DO have children..."

    Not naturally (unusual measures are required), and not anywhere near the degree that heterosexual couples do. Then there's the issue of raising children without the benefit of gender roles - the state should exercise extreme caution on this aspect.

    Redshirt wrote: "To 'Pops' and 'LDS Liberal' actually it isn't 'all about the children'. In the religious world, ..."

    Well, there you go. We're debating the state's involvement in marriage, which is strictly a quid pro quo. Religious reasons for marrying are wonderful (and I subscribe to them), but the state needs to have blinders on and do what's best for the state. Which, in my opinion, is to NOT grant marriage licenses to gay couples for the the reason I've previously stated but will, for some inexplicable reason, now repeat: The state has no interest in extending marriage benefits to gay couples because, on average, the state stands to receive nothing in return from the gay couple, whereas, on average, it receives significant and long-lasting benefit from the marriage contract with heterosexual couples.

  • MJ Annie LAYTON, UT
    Jan. 9, 2014 4:36 p.m.

    Daniel L - I'm a lesbian with 4 biological children. Our kind actually do procreate. :-) Think outside the box, brother.

  • truth in all its forms henderson, NV
    Jan. 9, 2014 3:51 p.m.

    I don't understand why the homosexual community cant understand these simple 6 simple rules? If only they would give up the lifestyle that leads to happiness and instead embrace these six simple rules they would be so much happier. happiness in this life is to be achieved when in a family with a mother and a father.

  • Hordak Lehi, UT
    Jan. 9, 2014 1:58 p.m.

    I appreciate those who have shared comments and views civilly and respectfully. Families are the backbone of society. Families - not schools, not YMCAs, not government programs, not churches, have and always will be where the next generation is reared. It's silly to remove children from the argument under the premise that there are exceptions. Of course there are exceptions. It doesn't change the fact that society's best hope for a prosperous future is with families with a mother and father raising children as equal partners.

    I do disagree with the Eyre's on one point: Function #2. I'm a father of three daughters, no boys, and Function #2 suggests that mothers are there for the daughters and fathers are there for the sons. I think children of both genders learn valuable lessons and traits from both parents. In fact, I've read that mothers often have a greater influence on sons, and fathers on daughters than vice versa. I can see this influence in my own life. Men and women are different and children benefit from that, which is one reason why complimentary genders is so crucial to family life. Thank you!

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Jan. 9, 2014 12:45 p.m.

    To "Pops" and "LDS Liberal" actually it isn't "all about the children". In the religious world, marriage is an ordinance that joins a man and a woman in a sacred way according to their beliefs.

    In the LDS religion marriage, specifically temple marriage, is about receiving a priesthood ordinance that allows a man and a woman to receive the greatest glory and exaltation in the Kingdom of God. Marriage is about 2 opposites coming together and learning from eachother and learning to work together as a single unit. If they have kids, it just adds to the challenges that they will meet. Children are not a requirement within religion for marriage, they are just an added bonus.

    If you want to see how marriage benefits society, just look at successful marriages that may or may not have kids. The couples that have learned to look beyond their selfish desires help those in their neighborhoods and often act as caring rolemodels to their neighbor's children by serving the community.

  • Gildas LOGAN, UT
    Jan. 9, 2014 12:33 p.m.

    The real problem is that the federal government has challenged the rights of states once again and perhaps once too often; and this one could be the final defense of liberty or the last straw. We're supposed to be a union of states, not a centralized super state.

    Now the Superstate wants to "liberalize" the very definition of marriage and stuff it down our throats and make us obey their agenda. If we accept this we prove ourselves slaves as much as the Superstate proves itself a consummate and unrepentant tyrant.

  • Eowyn77 Cedar Hills, UT
    Jan. 9, 2014 12:10 p.m.

    I very much appreciate the point the authors make, one that is apparently lost on some. Before attempting to define marriage, it's in our best interest to look at what marriage accomplishes for society. What good things come of it that we should promote it? Without first acknowledging those good things, we expose ourselves to greater risk of unintended consequences in accidentally negating the good things marriage does.

    The majority of children in the US are born to married women, and statistically those children have the best outcomes. Unfortunately, fewer children each year are born to married couples. If marriage is benefiting children, why not acknowledge that fact and do what we can to preserve that function no matter how marriage is defined in the future? Not all marriages produce children, and not all children are born to married couples, but we cannot exclude children from a discussion of marriage without ignoring (potentially to our peril) an important function of the institution. To do so would be cutting off our noses to spite our faces.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 9, 2014 12:08 p.m.

    Pops: "Marriage IS all about children. That's why the state is involved in the marriage business."

    Then the state is going about it all wrong, because gay couples DO have children (as I noted previously) who do not receive any of the benefits of the state contract, while married straight couples do. It's a very inefficient way to allocate benefits and achieve a policy goal.

    Demiurge: "Lagomorph, you left out probably the number one way same sex couples can work around the impediment."

    OK, I'll bite. What is it (if you can be discrete enough to get past the moderator)? I can't believe I used up my last comment for this.

    I appreciate the fact that most commenters on this thread have accepted my challenge and kept the discussion in the civil realm without digressing into immaterial religious arguments. Keep it up.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Jan. 9, 2014 11:51 a.m.

    To "Kevin J. Kirkham" the kids with same sex parents have more than just marital status as a potential risk factor.

    Kids raised by same sex couples are more likely to think of themselves as gay, more likely to engage in homosexual behavior, and are more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors. Tell me, which of those is good for a developing child?

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Jan. 9, 2014 11:08 a.m.

    Cats says:

    "The article is very well and wisely stated."

    And then:

    "I can't believe the contortions people go through in order to try and justify something that is completely illogical and without merit."

    Oh, sweetie, the irony. The sweet, sweet irony!

  • gmlewis Houston, TX
    Jan. 9, 2014 9:04 a.m.

    Most of the comments have been focused on Same Sex Marriage as a right, and accuse the authors of denying them that right. The authors merely stated the positive outcomes of an ideal family, and stated the salient truth that society cannot survive if too few families meet all six outcomes.

    There are lots of less than ideal families, and we've learned to accept the eventual negative outcomes: divorce, family violence, emotional abuse, etc. This acceptance cannot change the reality that fewer and fewer families are ideal, and the world is catipulting itsself into a dysfunctional society.

  • Pops NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    Jan. 9, 2014 7:05 a.m.

    LDS Liberal hit the nail squarely on the head. Marriage IS all about children. That's why the state is involved in the marriage business.

    The debate shouldn't be about love, or sexual attraction, or equality, because those are all smokescreens. The real question is whether the state should provide marriage benefits to gay couples that are not likely to reciprocate by taking on the obligations by providing the six "services" or benefits to the state so aptly enumerated by Richard and Linda Eyre.

    When the state doesn't issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple, it is because it has no reasonable expectation to receive anything in return. It isn't a slap in the face of the same-sex couple nor does it relegate them to second-class status any more than denying a driver's license to a blind person relegates that person to second-class status. It is simply the state saying, "I choose not to enter into this contract because what you offer is not what the state is seeking."

  • Tony C Albuquerque, NM
    Jan. 9, 2014 1:50 a.m.

    These are the same old trite "traditional" arguments. In order to buy into them, one must also buy into the 50's sitcom family, where dad goes off to work, and mom stays home chatting on the phone and baking cookies all day in her sun dress. Mom then has dinner on the table by 5, and brings dad his slippers, a pipe, the evening paper and a martini. Women should be obedient to their husband always, and let the man handle the money and be given an allowance...if one wants to be "traditional". Infertile couples should be denied marriage licenses as well as those who have no intention to pro-create. A man should be able to annul his marriage once the kids are grown and the wife has gone through menopause, if marriage's primary purpose is procreation. Divorce should never be allowed until after menopause and all children have reached 18, right? No divorce for extramarital affairs, or irreconcilable differences, or physical or emotional abuse, because having a mother and father are all important regardless of their character.

  • Demiurge San Diego, CA
    Jan. 8, 2014 9:13 p.m.

    Lagomorph, you left out probably the number one way same sex couples can work around the impediment.

  • Demiurge San Diego, CA
    Jan. 8, 2014 9:11 p.m.

    The authors of this editorial were as usual messed up.

    Marriage is about one thing from the perspective of the state: a standard contract that regularizes rights of ownership of goods, inheritance, and survivorship for the two people entering the contract. In the old days it was also about cementing family alliances. When children are involved it includes custody rights. The state has also added in a bunch of benefits/rights such as hospital visiting, EofL decision making, and taxes to what the marriage contract will cover. That's it.

    It has nothing to do with who can make children or how those children are brought up. Children are the constant red herring in this debate, but SSM has nothing to with the children at all.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 9:10 p.m.

    @Cats
    " I can't believe the contortions people go through in order to try and justify something that is completely illogical and without merit."

    That's exactly what I'm thinking... except I'm thinking it when I read these things about how supposedly children deserving a mother and a father (in a state where single people can adopt) or how marriage is about having kids out (except that's not marriage, that's a honeymoon, and besides, infertile and old people can marry, and there's no requirement to have children).

  • Californian#1@94131 San Francisco, CA
    Jan. 8, 2014 7:47 p.m.

    -- "Utah would become the 18th state to allow gay marriage..." --

    When did Utah "allow" this?

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 5:50 p.m.

    Daniel L.: "Very strange and odd comments made. My favorite 'Furthermore, gay couples DO procreate.' One has to wonder if anyone actually payed attention in human biology class."

    I paid attention, even have a graduate degree in biology. Gay couples produce children in the same ways that straight couples do. Many have children from previous heterosexual marriages that they were in prior to coming out (perhaps due to social pressures to conform or due to thinking marriage would "cure" them). Others have children using the same techniques that infertile straight couples use: artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization, surrogacy, etc. Some adopt. Other than adoption, these techniques yield children that are genetically related to at least one of the members of the parent couple. It fits the definition of procreate. The anatomical noncomplementarity of same sex couples is not an impediment to procreation. (Well, it's a bit of an impediment, but there are technological workarounds.)

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 4:42 p.m.

    I just want to be content. In this day and age of advertizing I have to use what I have the most effective way. I can't afford to make mistakes. I'll only live once. Life is the most important thing in life to me. I'm content to be a Dad.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 4:01 p.m.

    The article is very well and wisely stated. I can't believe the contortions people go through in order to try and justify something that is completely illogical and without merit. The family has functioned successfully for thousands of years and is not in need of legal redefinition.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 3:35 p.m.

    "In a religious paradigm, society doesn't do the defining — God does. And if a person follows his or her religion, he or she accepts God’s definition."

    Which is fine, inside the context of the particular church.

    "1. The role of procreation and reproduction"

    There is no requirement to procreate attached to marriage and same-sex couples can still help with continuing the species through in-vitro and adoption.

    "2. Boys need a role model for being a dad, and girls need a role model for being a mom."

    Kids need role models for being parents. It's not like we have gender specific roles where a mom/daughter need to know how to sew and a dad/son need to know how to change oil in a car.

    3-6 are arguments for same-sex...
    "Of course, advocates of same-sex marriage will argue that same-sex unions can accomplish the last four. "
    Yeah... that.

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 3:26 p.m.

    The problems with the idea of using children as an excuse to deny SSM are:

    * Marriage is allowed for senior citizens who won't be having/raising kids. BTW, how are straight senior couples sufficiently different from same-sex senior couples to warrant denying marriage to the latter?
    * Marriage is allowed to straight couples who are infertile. BTW, how are straight infertile couples sufficiently different from same-sex couples to warrant denying marriage to the latter?
    * Marriage is allowed to straight couples who don't want kids. BTW, how are straight couples not wanting kids sufficiently different from same-sex couples not wanting kids to warrant denying marriage to the latter?
    * Marriage is allowed to straight couples who are infertile, but adopt kids. BTW, how are straight infertile couples who adopt kids sufficiently different from same-sex couples who adopt kids to warrant denying marriage to the latter?

    Those same people never address the objective harms and risks which the kids in same-sex families face due to their parents not being married...yet those same people are quick to tell people how important it is for the kids that their straight parents be married rather than just living together.

  • Daniel L. Murray, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 3:10 p.m.

    Very strange and odd comments made. My favorite "Furthermore, gay couples DO procreate." One has to wonder if anyone actually payed attention in human biology class.

  • 1.96 Standard Deviations OREM, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 2:58 p.m.

    "God-sanctioned marriage between a man and a woman has been the basis of civilization for thousands of years. There is no justification to redefine what marriage is. Such is not our right, and those who try will find themselves answerable to God.

    Some portray legalization of so-called same-sex marriage as a civil right. This is not a matter of civil rights; it is a matter of morality. Others question our constitutional right as a church to raise our voice on an issue that is of critical importance to the future of the family. We believe that defending this sacred institution by working to preserve traditional marriage lies clearly within our religious and constitutional prerogatives. Indeed, we are compelled by our doctrine to speak out."

    President Gordon B. Hinckley, October 1999 General Conference, "Why We Do Some of the Things We Do"

  • UTSU Logan, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 2:45 p.m.

    @LibertyinLaw

    My point about marriage is:
    It doesn’t matter whether they have child, want to have child or not. Procreation is a possible product of marriage, not a requirement, for those couples who can not or choose not to have child, procreation is not the purpose of marriage either.

    Authors' procreation argument does not stand scrutiny.

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    Jan. 8, 2014 2:04 p.m.

    All I can say is a HUGE thank you to the countless citizens of UT. who have worked tirelessly with seemingly endless financial resources to promote discrimination and relegate members of same sex unions to second class status. Your actions have directly accelerated the long overdue change needed to give same sex couples the same rights as heterosexual couples. Same sex unions will be legally recognized sooner rather than later in all 50 states thanks to the "countless" citizens of UT. Have a great day!

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 12:45 p.m.

    LibertyInLaw: "@Pagan (and others): Defining marriage as an institution that is protected in part to nurture children does not suggest that individual marriages must have children. That logic doesn't hold. The debate is over how we define the institution of marriage, not the quality of any one relationship."

    When the Eyres present procreation as their first function of marriage, it is relevant to observe that procreation is detached from marriage (some married couples do not have children, some unmarried couples-- and singles-- do). Marriage is not a prerequisite for procreation, nor vice versa. As to the definition of marriage as an institution, even the ultraconservative, pro-traditional family, predominantly LDS Utah legislature recognized that marriage as an institution is about more than facilitating procreation when they legalized first cousin marriage in 1996 (but made infertility a mandatory precondition for such marriages). The arguments then mirrored those of gay couples today: they are in love and should be recognized, it is a hardship to make them travel to states where it is legal. As a policy mechanism, civil marriage can have multiple purposes, including promoting social harmony by providing state benefits and status to committed couples.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 12:22 p.m.

    Given that so much of the anti-SSM argument here devolves into invocations of Sodom and Gomorrah, Leviticus, and the Proclamation on the Family, the Eyres are to be commended for steering discussion of a civil issue back to the civil realm. I hope commenters here continue to follow their lead and leave the religious arguments for some other forum.

    That said, they readily concede points 3-6 to gay couples, leaving only the first two as relevant. These, it turns out, are not supported by Utah family law and fail as compelling arguments against SSM.

    #1: Procreation is not the exclusive domain of married hetero couples in practice or law. Procreation is not required of married couples-- procreation is even PROHIBITED by law for some couples. Furthermore, gay couples DO procreate. Anyone present at the County recorder's office on Dec. 23 would have marveled at all of the children there watching their parents marry.

    #2: Utah law apparently does not see gender role modeling as a significant purpose of marriage. Single people are allowed to adopt. Divorce is allowed. Single parenthood is allowed. Children get gender modeling in the larger community, not solely from parents.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 11:18 a.m.

    @Pagan: RE the American Academy of Pediatrics. Appeal to authority fallacy. This is a decade-old policy statement, not backed up by any research. '

    I would be happy to read your counter-claims…

    if you had one.

    But since you do not, again that's…

    "In most ways, the accumulated research shows, children of same-sex parents are NOT markedly different from those of heterosexual parents."

    - AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS (AAP)
    - 'Coparent or Second-Parent Adoption by Same-Sex Parents' - POLICY STATEMENT - PEDIATRICS Vol. 109 No. 2 February 2002, pp. 339-340 - Pulished: 02/01/10

    There, I gave a Quote, Source, Title, Date, Volume and Page.

    Redirecting your opposition to do your research and due diligence is not research.

    But, if the Deseret news is going to start allowing web links, I would be happy to do that as well, to further support my claims.

    While others fail to do so, with their own claims.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 10:47 a.m.

    @dev
    Regnerus admits that the foundation of his study is too weak to draw the conclusions that many have made:
    Regnerus’ study was not about parents who openly identify as gay or lesbian. It was not about same-sex couples in long-term relationships raising children together. Regnerus even admits “this is not about saying gay or lesbian parents are inherently bad,” because he knows has no foundation on which to make such a claim. This was a study about unstable couples, possibly in sham marriages, who may have dabbled in same-sex relationships outside of their original marriage at a time when there was no recognition for same-sex couples anywhere in the country. In others words, the study’s results have zero implication for conversations in 2012 about out, committed same-sex couples who are already raising children.

    Children are NOT the foundation of a marriage, unless you want them to be.

  • dev Provo, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 10:07 a.m.

    When making arguments in favor of your position, avoid reliance on logical fallacies and tendentious "studies".

    @Pagan: RE the American Academy of Pediatrics. Appeal to authority fallacy. This is a decade-old policy statement, not backed up by any research. It proves nothing more than that a majority of an AAP committee agreed with this position. Professional associations are notoriously susceptible to political manipulation. One could easily cite a contradictory viewpoint by the American College of Pediatrics. (http://www.acpeds.org. Search for "traditional marriage").

    "Zero research shows any factual harm to children raised by LGBT couples." In fact virtually all of the "research" done that purportedly shows "no harm" to children of same-sex couples comes from biased or seriously flawed studies. The first really extensive, methodologically rigorous study done on the subject was by University of Texas sociologist Mark Regnerus in 2012. It found that children whose parents had a same-sex romantic relationship while the child was growing up suffer deficits compared to children raised by their own married biological mother and father. Yes, association is not necessarily causation, but at a minimum results show that there is ample reason for concern in allowing same-sex marriage.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 9:59 a.m.

    Re-read this carefully.
    All 6 points targeted "children",
    and had little to nothing to do with "MARRIAGE" at all...

    ======

    1. The role of procreation and reproduction, replenishing the population.

    2. The role of precedent and example for the next generation. Boys need a role model for being a dad, and girls need a role model for being a mom.

    3. The role of nurturing, facilitating the emotional growth of children and helping children develop into responsible adults.

    4. The role of providing a lasting identity, something permanent in our lives as everything else changes — jobs, locations, etc.

    5. The role of instilling values. Other institutions may help, but the buck stops with the family, wherein values are applied as well as taught.

    6. The role of offering joy and fulfillment to individuals at a level beyond what is obtainable elsewhere. Children should receive unconditional love within families, and parents are refined and completed as people through the selfless love they give to their children.

  • LibertyInLaw Provo, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 9:17 a.m.

    Love the article. Thank you.

    A few thoughts in response to previous comments:

    @UTSU: The "definition" you provide is a vow people take, not a real definition. If marriage is legally just a grouping of people who care for and are committed to each other how is that different from siblings who live together or a polyandrous relationship? Marriage as a social institution has always meant more than that.

    @Pagan (and others): Defining marriage as an institution that is protected in part to nurture children does not suggest that individual marriages must have children. That logic doesn't hold. The debate is over how we define the institution of marriage, not the quality of any one relationship. Redefining marriage as an institution changes it long-term, in terms of law, education, expectations, etc.

    As far as the "no harm done yet" argument the same thing was said about no-fault divorce in the 1970's. After a generation of children damaged by easy divorce laws those "expert opinions" turned out to be rubbish. Can we really afford to take a chance on such a radical re-definition of an institution that has worked, even if imperfectly, for thousands of years?

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 9:04 a.m.

    1) Prohibiting same sex marriages will NOT result in more live births.

    2) Precedent, example for the next generation. LGBT youths need role models too. Loving committed, MARRIED, LGBT couples can provide that role model for LGBT youth.

    3) Nurture. Thosands of LGBT couples already raise, nurture and provide loving, stable homes for thousands of children in this country, helping these children develop into responsible adults.

    4) Denying LGBT couples marriage, DENIES "something permanent" in the lives of their children.

    5) Values? Seriously? Bigotry and discrimination are not values. LGBT people are every bit as "moral" as the authors of this article.

    6) Joy, fulfillment and unconditional love. All things that LGBT couples can provide their children.

    Denying marriage to LGBT couples actually PREVENTS some of what the authors seem to consider essential to the lives of children.

  • EDM Castle Valley, Utah
    Jan. 8, 2014 7:43 a.m.

    Even if the authors' six "indispensable functions" are true, gay marriage does nothing to prevent these functions from occurring each and very day throughout the world.

  • CHS 85 Sandy, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 7:20 a.m.

    Positive fertility test results should be submitted when an application for marriage license is completed.

  • Vince here San Diego, CA
    Jan. 8, 2014 1:14 a.m.

    ute alumni,

    Are these "activist judges" the same ones that the State of Utah made appeal after appeal?

    At what level are they not "activist judges?"

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 8, 2014 12:25 a.m.

    The author's argument is that infertile couples, elderly couples, and same-sex couples shouldn't be allowed to marry since they can't have kids. Also, divorce need be illegal because kids (the apparent reason marriage exists) need both a mother and a father. Heaven forbid something should happen to one of the parents, leaving only one to raise the kids. As a society who defines marriage by "what it does" I think we can all agree that the kids should be taken away and re-assigned to a family who still has both a mother and a father...

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 10:26 p.m.

    Majority of what I got from this letter was the 'think of the children' defense. That somehow the human race will 1) Stop having children with marriage equality and 2) We will stop raising them.

    Counter points:

    # 1: Factually 7 billion humans on earth. Up, from 6 billion. If marriage equality was a threat, and LGBT have existed in every facet of human history, that number should have been zero.

    10 years ago, when marriage equality hit America.

    Human history, since God created the 1st LGBT couple.

    # 2:

    "In most ways, the accumulated research shows, children of same-sex parents are NOT markedly different from those of heterosexual parents."

    - AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PEDIATRICS (AAP)
    - 'Coparent or Second-Parent Adoption by Same-Sex Parents' - POLICY STATEMENT - PEDIATRICS Vol. 109 No. 2 February 2002, pp. 339-340 - Pulished: 02/01/10

    Zero research shows any factual harm to children raised by LGBT couples.

    And until every child on earth is no longer up for adoption? The claim of 'whats best for the children' is moot.

    As LGBT couples do not have 'accidental' babies they put up for adoption.

    You are thinking of those who 'traditionally' make babies.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 10:23 p.m.

    Procreation:

    False.

    There is no requirement in marriage to have children currently. So forcing it as a requirement upon LGBT is a double standard and is not equal treatment under the law.

    Examples of the next Generation:

    False.

    Kim Karsashian was married for x7 weeks with zero outrage from 'traditional marriage' supporters.

    Nurturing children:

    False.

    Gender and orientation play no effective role in raising a child. As supported by the American Acadamy of Pediatrics.

    Identity:
    Values:
    Joy:

    What does this factually mean? Ideals are great, but this is a shopping list. You cannot fabricate reasons to be against gay marriage before the supreme court. There has to be factual reasons, not just opinion supported by random words you claim to be a factual case.

    'The consequences of not carefully and correctly considering the impact of our actions…'

    Once again, we have examples of life after marriage equality:

    *'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

    How truly sad that some continue to fabricate reasons against marriage equality.

  • ute alumni SLC, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 9:14 p.m.

    utah did not "gay marriage. it was jammed down Utahans throats by an activist "judge".

  • UTSU Logan, UT
    Jan. 7, 2014 5:31 p.m.

    To the author,

    Marriage is that two people take each other as legal spouse, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do them part.

    It doesn't matter whether they have child, want to have child or not. Procreation is a possible product of marriage, not a requirement, for those couples who choose not to have child, procreation is not the purpose of marriage either.