Comments about ‘In our opinion: On gay marriage, Utah must protect its laws and democratic processes’

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Published: Saturday, Jan. 11 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

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Salt Lake City, UT

"created by an overreaching decision made by a single U.S. district court judge."

State laws that violate the federal constitution are supposed to be struck down. Otherwise what's the point of challenging any law?

"include not only a prohibition on performing same-sex marriages "

About that... for a newspaper that cares so much about freedom of religion, doesn't it bother you that churches can be hit with criminal charges for performing merely symbolic same-sex marriages?

Both Reyes/Herbert and Holder made the right decisions since Amendment 3 is currently Utah law so they can't recognize them but since those couples have marriage licenses the federal gov't post-DOMA does need to recognize them.

Bountiful, UT

Ten years ago I would have agreed with this article. Not today. I know too many loving, wonderful gay couples who deserve a strong, stable marriage as much as I do. Some people deserve loving family relationships, but others do not? Reminds me of Orwell's Animal Farm: All animals are created equal, but some animals are more equal than others. Really?

Chris N

If this is the case, then why do states no longer have Jim Crow laws? The answer is that courts have ruled that separate can not be equal in issues where a state law adversely affects a minority group. The constitution provides relief for a minority in the event that a majority, through democratic means, has forced beliefs or opinions upon them. The case in hand only serves the law firms that stand to benefit from a contract for taking this case through the appeals process. Meanwhile, the state stands to possibly lose several civil class-action lawsuits. It will be interesting to see how things go in the legal courts, but in the end it is the Utah tax payer who both foots the bill and the aftermath either way.

Salt Lake City, UT

'Democracy should be the preferred method of peacefully resolving political controversies when attitudes about marriage differ from state to state under our federal constitution.'

Funny that this article cites Democracy…

and advocates Amendment 3, passed in 2004.

‘70% of Episcopalians support accepting gays’ - SOURCE: Pew Research Center – 05/20/10 – DSNews.

'Poll: More Americans favor same-sex marriage' - CNN - 04/19/11

'Poll: MAJORITY backs same-sex marriage' – By Paul Steinhauser and Bill Mears – CNN – 06-26-13

'Same-sex marriage legalization seen as INEVITABLE to most Americans' – By Anjani Trivedi – TIME Magazine – 06-07-13

'Gallup Poll: Majority of Americans support gay marriage' - By Elizabeth Stuart - DSNews - 05/20/2011

I would be fine with anyone citing the will of the 'majority' from Amendment 3, if it did not pass in 2004.

Today, is 2014.

Democracy, also does not mean the majority run amok on the legal protections of the minority.

That, is Tyranny.

Salt Lake City, UT

This is really tough stuff, isn't it? The family is the basic unit of society, and it is the basic economic unit of society. I have always argued that the natural structure of society is the commune - family, extended family, clan, etc. It is very hard to raise kids with just one parent. Two parents are much better, both economically and socially. The most stable family type is probably that with 2 gender parents. That said, what about the sizable homosexual population? Are they to be denied family life? What about children in families with single sex parents? Are they to be denied the stability of sanctioned marriages? What if this life is the only life they have? These families have a whole lot on the line.

While I favor 2 gender marriages, I find it hard to join hands with conservatives because their views are so retrograde otherwise. I think to deny these unorthodox families legitimacy is a big mistake. Utah will rue the day it did this.

Baltimore, MD

Your article reminds me of American history and how the democratic process worked in the past

1.jews and otehr non xtians (which would probably have included Mormons, could not marry in a number of states,eg Maryland until 1864 because only a regular xtain minister could do a marriage ceremony

2. Blacks could not marry in the south until 1867. Then the marriage license came forth as a ssam like the poll tax because most blacks were destitute and could no pay the fee - re result of the democratic process etc.

3. Same with inter-racial marriage - at one time 41 of 48 states banned it. In 1967 Scotus trashed the last 16 with htose bans - to the howls of the conservatives claiming they could no longer protect the sanctity of the white race

The church has no business using religious beliefs to impose their beliefs on others. Many xtian denominations to same sex marriages which is their right and choice bu we are talking her about equality under the law and the 14th amendmen

How soon the Mormons forget they ended up in far away Utah because they were persecuted for their ideas, now they do the same to others. Shame on you.

San Antonio, TX

A complete waste of the taxpayers dollar. Your gonna lose HUGE!!!!!!!!!

Heber City, UT

"....promote the benefits of gender complementarity in marriage policy." What does this mean? Is this the new focus-grouped term the state should be using to describe what it hasn't been able to make a legal case for? This is a religious concept. It's certainly OK for this paper to promote it - even encourage legislation based on it. But religious marriage concepts get trumped by the Constitution as this stated learned in the 1880s.

Honolulu, HI

What is so benevolent about Utah trying to protect an unjust law that denies gay people marriage equality? The Church should tone down its sugar coated characterizations that this battle is a referendum on religious freedom and the protection of children. And by the way, if you don't think marriage equality for gay people is a civil right, then there will never be any room for reconciliation between the gay community and the Church.

george of the jungle
goshen, UT

We need to elect people with high standards.

Somewhere in Time, UT

Well said. Right on target. Utah has the right to determine its own marriage laws in accordance with the will of the people. The Supreme Court made this clear when it struck down the Defense of Marriage Act. That is that the regulation of marriage is a matter for each state to decide and not for the federal government or courts to impose. This country is based on the rights of "We The People."

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

It is ridiculous to call for support of "Utah laws" without discussing the merit of those laws!

Ogden, UT

The state of Utah and the DesNews fail to recognize the fact that states' rights are limited by the fact that they cannot violate other provisions of the US Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land. In fact, Section 3 of the Utah Constitution states "The State of Utah is an inseparable part of the Federal Union and the Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land." Utah's right to define marriage is limited by the provisions of the US Constitution. Utah's definition of marriage violates the 5th, 9th and 14th Amendments of the US Constitution.

The federal constitution trumps the Utah constitution. When a provision in the Utah Constitution violates the US Constitution, it will not prevail. That is what happened in the Kitchen v Herbert decision, and why Judge Shelby's decision was correct and well-supported by the Constitution, precedent, and the law.

Kearns, UT

Oh, how soon we forget our own history. Do we not remember that the Utah State Legislature passed a law in 2011 requiring schools to teach that the U.S. is a compound constitutional republic and not a democracy? One of the key components of a constitutional republic is the protections of minority rights; we just can't vote or legislate unconstitutional laws.

I honestly understand the LDS Church's stance on this issue, and I understand people's religious convictions, but we need to also allow room for people who are different. We get that many people in Utah consider us to be vile, godless heathens; we read the comments on here. I truly believe, however, that you will come to a different conclusion once you allow us to have the same legal benefits and protections that many of you take for granted.

Huntsville, UT

Utah does not have the right to discriminate against US Citizens. Period.

Judge Shelby's ruling was accurate, just and well within the law.

Bountiful, UT

I applaud the Deseret News' strong stance in protecting democracy. In this state, where the term "compound constitutional republic" is preferred over the term "democracy" by many in the Legislature, standing up for the will of the people is very welcome.

If the Legislature is now similarly minded, perhaps we'll see the threshold for citizen initiatives lowered. Unlikely, but the general sentiment is appreciated.

However, if there's one thing we've all learned from the gun debate is that even the majority can't deny fundamental rights to the minority. The courts have consistently stood up for the Constitution, and individual rights.

Eric Holder's announcement yesterday sets up a classic legal showdown: We'll see a newly married same-sex couple in Utah file their 2013 federal tax returns jointly, and also file them jointly for the State of Utah, and their tax rate in filing jointly will be lower than if they filed separately.

The State of Utah will seek to enforce their tax laws and force the married couple to file separately, and litigation will ensue, based on unequal treatment under the law.

Utah, of all places. This is historic.

Charleston, WV

Should the State of Utah have the right to "protect its laws and democratic processes"? That depends.

It would be great if all of Utah's voters were so well-informed about the Constitution of the United States (specically the 14th Amendment) that they knew that there was no justification for denying law-abiding, taxpaying Gay couples the same legal benefits and opportunities that Straight couples had always taken for granted. THEN perhaps they would not have approved Amendment 3, knowing that it clearly conflicts with our Constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the law.

I would rather not believe that, in approving Amendment 3, Utah voters acted out of any sense of fear or animosity toward their Gay neighbors. Perhaps they felt they really were upholding "traditional values." Nevertheless, federal judge Robert Shelby had no choice but to overturn Amendment 3 as unconstitutional. No one ever said the "democratic process" was foolproof. But if there's a light at the end of this tunnel, it's the fact that if Amendment 3 was put to a popular vote TODAY, it's passage would be doubtful.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

The premise of this editorial is wrong. Democratic processes cannot "undo" any person's individual rights. If you want to, argue for the benefits of "traditional marriage." But don't pretend that any majority can deprive anyone of his or her rights under our Constitution. That wrong-headed view of democracy has led to much suffering in our history.

Salt Lake City, UT

The American Constitution: Godly or Godless?

"Despite ... intermittent controversies implicating the Constitution, the more usual
response of religious people to the nation’s founding document has been unqualified
support. Given the successful history of the Constitution in action, this fact should come
as little surprise. By crafting a document that took seriously the fallibility of human
nature, the Founders created a government that has withstood the political passions that have destroyed so many other regimes throughout human history. By refusing to sanction even the hint of an official state religion in their new Constitution, the Founders encouraged the conditions necessary for religion to flourish free from government regulation.

Finally, by recognizing the need for civic virtue in order to make their constitutional system work in practice, the Founders opened the door for religion to act as a vibrant moral force in American public life". From - Religion and the Constitution by John G. West


Those Utahns are married. You can't change that. Let it go and spend the 2 mil somewhere useful.

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