Comments about ‘Utahns call for civility in contentious same-sex marriage debate’

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Published: Saturday, Jan. 11 2014 5:10 p.m. MST

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Bountiful, UT

I readily admit I don't understand two instances of great anger regarding marriage in our nation's history:

1) Why was there such visceral opposition to LDS polygamy, in the 1800s and leading up to statehood for Utah? Why was this such an offensive issue to everyone else?

2) people today thinking that gay marriage is a threat to... well... *anything*

South Jordan, UT

We are of the human race and we all need each other. Allow God to judge. In the interim, let's be kinder to each other. Sheesh.

Bob K
portland, OR

Well, an article saying folks should be civil, just after the church said the same thing!

Despite what the article says, the majority of "non-civil" comments I have read on related topics on the DN in past weeks, were from people in smaller towns and cities in mormon areas, not from Gays.
--- there have been far more comments insisting that mormon family doctrine, God, the Bible, and tradition should trump US laws and equal treatment of citizens were from those towns. Sometimes the writer mentions that he or she is lds.

So, respectfully, I suggest that a more needed article would explain to DN readers that no matter how strong their beliefs, a religious position cannot legally cause a situation of discrimination violating the US Constitution.

I also suggest to lds people, considering the longtime history, until recently, of shunning, bullying, and discarding of Gay kids in those same mormon towns, the Prop 8 and Hawaii issues:
--- a little bit of "letting the other side vent" might be a Christian thing to do.

As far as Gay rights in the USA are concerned -- the cause is winning.

I wish more effort were going into equality for lds born Gay.

Salt Lake City, UT

I agree that civility on both sides, and bridge-building will help. However, since it has been slow in coming prior to the court ruling, it may not be instantaneous afterwards. It would be nice to wake up and treat each other as God's children, even those who do not believe in the same worldview as we do. In many other countries, people kill and maim, groups are eradicated in genocide. Here, we can find ways to co-exist and get along. Let's get to work doing so!


The State of Utah has been asked to answer one question: How prohibiting same-sex marriage furthers the stated goal of promoting heterosexual headed households.

It is great to claim that your religion believes marriage was ordained of God to be exclusive between one man and one woman. But you need to recognize that not all religions believe that and that your religious beliefs are not a valid basis for infringing on the religious beliefs of others. (Some religions believe it is a sin to drink or smoke - yet those things are legal.) This is not to say you shouldn't vote according to your beliefs or conscience, but some things should never be up for a vote.

It is great to claim that thousands of years of tradition support one man one woman marriages and children being raised in those families. But this claim ignores history. Many cultures have had polygamy. Many cultures have had same-sex unions. Many cultures had children raised by wet nurses, nannies, tutors, sent off to boarding schools, or apprenticed out at very young ages. You cannot ignore/rewrite history and then not expect people to think you are acting with animus.

Fly Fisherman
Salt Lake City, UT

In the 80s, the famous Wendy's TV commercial with the old lady saying "Where's the Beef!" increased Wendys business by 10%, if I remember correctly. The short, to-the-point, one-line slogan frequently wins sympathizers.

For many years, cries of offensive slurs against gays lead to bigotry and sadly, bullying of gays. Some of that still happens today, which is hard to believe given how offensive and non-Christian it is.

Now, the position has reversed itself. Those that advance gay marriage realize this. "Hater!" "Bigot!" "Stop the H8!" are all very effective at winning sympathizers to their side, while being useless at representing their point of view.

What is so frustrating to me, a supporter of traditional marriage, is that so many people are affected by the offensive, disrespectful slurs.

I have tried to present my point of view with respectful discussion of the Constitution, the role of government, freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, freedom of religion, etc. only to be shut down EVERY time by cries of "H8er!" and "Bigot!". Rarely are the issues discussed. Hence, few truly understand the issues, but most take a side based on childish slurs.

Phoenix, AZ

For sure everyone should be civil when discussing the issue of same sex marriage. But, sooner or later a decision will be made and someone will be unhappy.

Marriage is a unique and historical institution designed to provide a family unit for perpetuating the human race. This has always been thought of as between men and women... sometimes one man and several women, but in today's society, between one man and one woman. But always between man and woman.

Now comes the gay and lesbian communities who think they need marriage for some other reason... association and companionship for those whom they say they love. This is indeed strange conduct to heterosexuals since it contemplates associations and intimacies thought to be off-base. Nonetheless, they feel strongly about it. In addition, there are hundreds of benefits accorded the married that are unavailable to those who are not married.

Sex marriage approval will bring myriads of problems to the human family... What about other combinations that must surely come to the fore such as polygamy, incest, family, sibs, close relative marriages? To be fair and equitable, these must also be addressed.

Wish us all the best in this endeavor.

I know it. I Live it. I Love it.
Provo, UT

Physical anatomy
Divine potential
What are rights
How we treat others

These things involve strongly held opinions from all of us. We came into this life together whether we like it or not. We can either bicker endlessly or put down our words of mass destruction and speak proactively and positively. I'll gladly defend that it is possible to express our different views with a positive attitude while showing respect.

I believe one of the best ways us members of the LDS Church can contribute to this is to reinforce that we are not anti-gay but pro-family (male and female). I believe this is a beautiful bond which builds a family with unlimited potential. I also believe this potential is exclusive and unique to this one design. I believe this deserves special recognition and place in our society.

"Strong families, guided by a loving mother and father, serve as the fundamental institution for nurturing children, instilling faith, and transmitting to future generations the moral strengths and values that are important to civilization and crucial to eternal salvation."

I simply believe we should remember & cherish where we come from, who we are.

vacaville, ca

One thing to consider is that many people like to comment about such things in a divisive way just to get a rise out of others and see how many responses they can get from what they say. And because of the anonymous nature of the comment board they can get away with saying whatever they want. If they were to actually talk to each other in person they would probably be a lot more civil to each other. At least I hope they would.


When you target a group of people, try to deny their civil rights & brand them as sinners, don't be surprised if the response is not so polite.

Provo, UT

Our tolerance and respect for others and their beliefs does not cause us to abandon our commitment to the truths we understand and the covenants we have made. With serious moral issues involved, we cannot bend on matters of principle. But in such instances we can politely disagree without being disagreeable. We can acknowledge the sincerity of those whose positions we cannot accept. We can speak of principles rather than personalities.

Salt Lake City, UT

Civility is very important as is following the law. Open our hearts to what Utah has pressed to the Supreme Court of our country. It is what B.Y. said would happen. Utah has embraced polygamy for years and now is the time to recognize the law for SSM. Remember J.S. told all to obey the laws of the land (or leave) Articles of Faith 11, 12. Utah has led the nation to approve SSM nationally - although ironic, it is what has happened and we can be open to accept what Utah's actions have provided for same-sex marriages.

Provo, UT

I would follow this advice, but am conflicted about how to respond when even my attempts at a civil attitude earn derision and contempt. Civility is not capitulation.

Hooper, UT

From the sound of things, you would think the two sides are from different worlds.
Not So.
We are are all sons and daughters, perhaps even brothers and sisters, our likenesses are far more than our differences.
We all want and seek happiness.
And hopefully all can attain true happiness.
The difference is where each side searches for happiness.
One side seeks happiness in being treated equal.
The other side teaches it comes from following God's commandments.

So where do we go from here?
I believe there are many voices who have not spoken, and they want peace. Likely they know the true source, Jesus Christ.
Let us all remember who we are.
Most of us do not want contention
However, even if our voice is not wanted, we must stand for what is true.

Salt Lake City, UT

The problem is that my side sees anything less than full marriage equality as "separate but equal" at best or bigotry (perhaps both) and many on the other side refuse to even accept civil unions (after all Amendment 3 banned those too) frequently on the basis of either considering it acceptance of sin, or an acknowledgement of an "inferior" partnership. That's a very wide gulf that can't exactly be bridged.

The closest you're going to get to a settled agreement is same-sex marriage nationally with churches maintaining their freedom to pick which marriages they will or won't conduct.

Heber City, UT

I love Utah. I love the Constitution. I love my gay brother and his partner. I love the gospel. There are so many ways to start the conversation. It seems one good way would be to admit that perhaps gender roles, relationships and procreation beyond our limited existence are beyond our limited understanding. When we seek to understand rather than be understood we'll make progress toward commandments to love one another.

Provo, UT

If you start from the assumption of tolerating the sinner and insulting the sin/lifestyle, it is hard to see how the discussion can stay civil for long.

Considering how wide spread slavery still is in "The Civilized" World" -- should we be civil and polite in decrying and arresting those who own humans.

Glendale, AZ

@Maudine Though what you say is true (diversity of beliefs, etc.), it makes no difference--like-minded people (a group, BTW, who founded the state, escaping to a place where they could practice their religion) voted. The only animus I see is people who are trying to tell LDS members (some of them LDS themselves) that they are wrong in believing what they do, they are wrong to express it, they are wrong to vote their conscience on it, and that they are wrong to believe they have a right to do so. Animus? As I read the posts on DN and elsewhere, it seems that a vast majority of the animus comes from the supporters of SSM because of a difference in opinion and beliefs. You assume that LDS church members are the only denomination to have contributed to the 65% majority. You also assume that all homosexuals support SSM. I think that is wrong on both accounts. And in spite of your historical points, traditional marriage is still historically by far the most "traditional." Those of you who accuse the church of acting out of "animus" are looking for a reason to be offended.

Liberty For All
Cedar, UT

The problem is that that the voters approved the Proclamation to the World in 2004 and voted for it via Amendment 2 to be a permanent part of Utah's Constitution. Facts are what they are, it is not legal to destroy the sanctity of marriage. Folks are to focused on adult desires, but what about the poor helpless little chidden? Aren't they entitled to a say in the matter? Which parent. a mother or father should they be expected to do without? It is ungodly not to think about the helpless children who don't have a say in the matter.

Scottsdale, AZ

It's not so much a question of civility as it is of linguistics. It's like saying pro-choice when you mean pro-abortion. "Support traditional marriage" is code for "oppose same-sex marriage." The stories about people who "support traditional marriage," if read by a visitor from another planet, would immediately raise the question: "Why is that inconsistent with supporting other types of marriage, also?"

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