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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Kevin J. Kirkham
Salt Lake City, UT

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.

Salt Lake City, UT

"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.

Somewhere in Time, UT

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.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

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.

Salt Lake City, UT

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.)

San Francisco, CA

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

When did Utah "allow" this?

Salt Lake City, UT

" 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).

San Diego, CA

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.

San Diego, CA

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

Tony C
Albuquerque, NM

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.


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."

Houston, TX

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.

Here, UT

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!

USS Enterprise, UT

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?

Salt Lake City, UT

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.

Cedar Hills, UT

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.


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.

USS Enterprise, UT

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.

Lehi, UT

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!

truth in all its forms
henderson, NV

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.

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