Comments about ‘Linda & Richard Eyre: Defining marriage by what it does’

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Published: Wednesday, Jan. 8 2014 10:00 a.m. MST

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UTSU
Logan, UT

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.

ute alumni
SLC, UT

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

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

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.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

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.

Two For Flinching
Salt Lake City, UT

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...

Vince here
San Diego, CA

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?"

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

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

EDM
Castle Valley, Utah

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.

Ranch
Here, UT

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.

LibertyInLaw
Provo, UT

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?

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

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.

dev
Provo, UT

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.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

@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.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

@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.

Lagomorph
Salt Lake City, UT

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.

Lagomorph
Salt Lake City, UT

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.

Bob A. Bohey
Marlborough, MA

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!

UTSU
Logan, UT

@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.

1.96 Standard Deviations
OREM, UT

"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"

Daniel L.
Murray, UT

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.

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