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

Return to article »

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

  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Most recommended
I know it. I Live it. I Love it.
Provo, UT

As for the courts, I posted about Loving v Virginia merely to show that the court may not recognize it as the same thing as they haven't in the past for various definitions.

I believe SSM proponents don't want alternatives and as in reality their liberty to act is protected already... I believe what SSM couples want most from all this is acceptance.

I've known people to leave the LDS Church because they can't do whatever they want and get a temple recommend. One of the biggest motivations for heated feelings, even violence, is that people want their choices validated, right or wrong. I may not accept the drink in someone's hand, but that doesn't mean I don't accept them. I not only do, but I want them to feel a warm welcome. Some members struggle with this (as we all have issues to overcome)... but in general members of the church generally feel the same way. Why? Because most of us were once in need of the same welcome.

Love & acceptance may not extend to our actions, but we do welcome and love everyone who comes in with that same attitude.

St.George, Utah

One individual's civility can be another individual's injured feelings.
One person's distaste may be looked at as hatred by another person.
One guy's religious miracle's are another guy's paranormal activity.
One family pushing their religious moral values, are to another family, the voice of cruel criticism, and misunderstanding.

Kearns, UT

I am sorry that you have had to deal with at least two uncomfortable situations because of you stance--that shouldn't happen. I would like you to know, however, that some of us on the other side have and do experience similar situations on a daily basis. It doesn't excuse the way you were treated, but hopefully you will gain more empathy for how gays and lesbians go through life.

I agree that this is more than a marriage issue; it's the desire to one day not have our sexuality be an issue. We, more than anyone, would love to go through a day--even a week--without hearing about this battle. We are tired of fighting for our safety and legal rights. Believe it or not, laws like amendment 3 and the attempts to keep LGBT citizens from enjoying employment and housing protections give some people unwritten permission to treat us in horrible ways.

Salt Lake City, UT


"I believe many of us 'weird religious heterosexuals' "

I am a heterosexual Christian myself.

"without hearing our concerns"

I am aware of your concerns, we've both written many posts the last couple weeks. Some things I can try and reassure you of (like that churches won't be forced to marry same-sex couples, after all we have non-discrimination laws based on religion but that hasn't forced churches to marry mixed-faith couples in their churches or temples) but other things... there's nothing I can do to reassure you, because my side considers it unacceptable to give up (like same-sex couples adopting).

Hurricane, UT

Here's something thoughtful from Alan Watts re: the ego-driven human need to be right, and how being right depends, for its livelihood, upon seeing others as being wrong: "[Life] must be lived in the spirit of play rather than work [...] no species, or party to a game, can survive without its natural antagonists, its beloved enemies, its indispensable opponents. For to 'love your enemies' is to love them as enemies; it is not necessarily a clever device for winning them over to your own side [...] This recognition is the absolutely essential chivalry which must set the limits within all warfare, with human and non-human enemies alike." Opposites depend upon each other: we know this in terms of language, and we know it when we, say, try to change others into what we want them to be. This perpetual process only reinforces "our" sense of rightness in contrast to "their" wrongness. So in the chivalric spirit that Watts describes, perhaps we should ALL thank each other for gettin' in the game!

Seattle, WA

This is such a passionate issue because it is motivated by love on all sides.
I know many people of faith oppose laws that make life easier for gays because they believe it will normalize the behavior, which will lead more people to be gay. They think that expressing strong public disapproval of homosexuality will motivate people to avoid sin and its consequences.
For me, the first thing to understand to have a productive conversation about this is that a homosexual orientation is not chosen and cannot change to heterosexual. Secondly, homosexual attraction is as deep, rich, and varied as heterosexuality. In my experience, faithful people who accept these two realities are able to have a much more compassionate and nuanced discussion on the topic than those who don't.
Unfortunately, I have seen too many examples where well-intentioned, good people have hurt their gay loved ones and pushed them into depression or out of their homes, churches, and lives while trying to "help" them. Shunning, marginalizing, and maligning gays will not change who they are. It will only keep them in the closet and on the fringes. It doesn't help anyone.

Leesburg, VA

@ windsor
City, Ut

"Once again, commenters here are proving that to say anything at all that is not supportive of same-sex or SSM, is considered by those who support them as 'uncivil"."

You are right!! Expect to compromise in anything less than equality it is "Uncivil".

Syracuse, UT

It's funny...and sad how right after this article comes out the comments here just go to prove the point of the article...


Human behaviorwise, sociologically or psyhologically predictable reactions have a few basics that are applicable for understanding each sides reactions. One "expert" has said that "all misery comes from thwarted desires."

Another,the 4 D's, demand, defer,defect, declare. Demanders will be met with deferral (no fight), defect (angry opposition,yell, hit, etc), declare (those famous "I" messages which could be merely finding the common ground to cooperate, which would be gay unions as the greatest chance of peaceful solution.

Psycholgists say there are two basic emotions, love and fear. From fear comes anger and hate. What does each side fear?

Another homily on people part of politics is "When you feel anger, the other's goal is power". So power to do what? Fundamentally change society or stop the change?

One poster said the gay cause is winning. IMO coming to a consensus is winning but other thasn that, the Duck Dynasty thing shows that the other 47% have reached critical mass.
If this issue is forced through, expect big changes like conservative civil disobedience just as if China or Russia conquered America. Obamacare forced through. People hate it. Not a good time for more forced or enforced change.

Mountain Fox
Davis, UT

I think a lot can be gained if the word "Marriage" was removed from the Union of two same sex couples, and call it something else so that they can get their benefits. Using the word marriage is a large burr in a lot of people's saddles. I personally believe that same sex activity is a sin, but love all of us sinners, and not the sin. We need to love these people and hopefully they will respect our values and beliefs also, God Bless.

Utah Businessman
Sandy, UT

It seems to me that, when there are two polar opposites on an issue, something in between is usually a reasonable position.
One extreme: anyone with SSA is some combination of “weird/crazy/evil/”, etc. and should be given basically no standing in society. Obviously, many fine people have these desires. To attach such labels to them and treat them with such contempt is obviously unreasonable and unfair.
Other extreme: the union of two people of the same gender is ESSENTIALLY THE SAME as a “marriage” between a man and a woman, and therefore should be considered, for all intents and purposes as a “marriage”. Anyone with an understanding of basic anatomy and sexual activity (not to mention the many other basic differences between human males and females) certainly knows that these two types of unions are VERY DIFFERENT. Is one ALL BAD and the other ALL GOOD? Certainly not! Do they have some common elements? Certainly! But that does not mean that they are basically the same—they are not.
Thus, I suggest that same gender unions be given a label of “civil unions” AND be given legal rights of inheritance, etc.

Los Angeles, CA

If you remove the word and documents supporting the word marriage you take away all tax breaks that straight people get, this is not equal.

Salt Lake City, UT


I think you express your point in a reasonable way. I think those on the conservative side are willing and able to listen to your concerns - especially if our views are not demeaned by angry emotions (that is not directed at you by-the-way). I have gay friends and associates too and I value their thoughts and I believe they value mine. I respectfully re-state my view that I believe there may be some common ground for both sides to seek, but it will require a lot of work, patience and a willingness to really listen to each side's concerns. If we can do that, perhaps a "win-win" solution can be identified that addresses the rights and needs of both sides. That would be my hope.

A Quaker
Brooklyn, NY

There are two sides here, but they are not equivalent, and it is false to treat them as equivalent.

On the one side is a minority slice of our population, about 1 in 20 by most counts, and those who support them in their quest. They are asking for equal treatment in law for their established lifetime partnerships. They ask for nothing special, no special favors, only to gain the right to legally register as spouses, and gain all the civil legal benefits that flow from that, especially regarding next-of-kin rights, property rights, guardianship rights, tax treatment, survivorship rights.

On the other side are representatives of the majority of our population, who by any accounting of property or civil rights stand to lose nothing by granting that right to the minority. For sentimental reasons alone, including heartfelt religious tenets, they object to sharing the institute of marriage in civil law with a group of people they call sinners, among other things.

If those opponents to allowing civil equality cannot see that they are not just being selfish, since they stand to lose nothing, but cruel, should we care that their feelings are hurt by those who point this out?

equal protection
Cedar, UT

re: "I believe many of us 'weird religious heterosexuals' may actually view a "legal civil union" approach with essential rights (hospital visitation, inheritance, etc)as a possible "bridge" to our concerns - a compromise if you will."

Gays will never be content to compromise and sit at the back of your equality bus with something like a "civil union." Like Rosa Parks, we will sit anywhere on the bus we darn well please whether you accept us or not.

South Jordan, UT

In spite of all the rhetoric, most Utahans just cave on issues. They hardly go to the polls, they take just about whatever Washington, DC dishes out, and they, like many people across the nation, would like to believe that SSM folk want only to get along, to let them get "married" and everything will be just fine.

In truth, the SSM folks want to transcend the mores so that what they say and do is "tolerant" and what anyone they don't like says or does, needs to be eliminated. Loss of reputation, job, income, anything and everything is acceptable. Don't think so-just look at what happened during and after Prop 8 in California, and other areas where people stood up for the value of traditional marriage. Laws are being changed to grant homosexuals "favored" status in many areas.

That won't be enough, of course. How long will it be before legislation is introduced in Utah to not only allow teaching of homosexual behavior in high school, but to be mandatory in elementary school?


These marriage should never have taken place. The judge who made the decision to allow same-sex marriages to occur was very soon afterward overruled by a higher court who made it clear that it was wrong for the lower judge to allow same sex marriage to be legal in Utah at all - given the fact that a majority of the population voted and passed an amendment to the State's Constitution defining what marriage is in an effort to avoid same-sex marriage. The higher judge stated that it would upset the population and that would not be good!
Hey, it is okay to be mad at what happened in the legal realm. It was unjust and unfair to the good people of Utah for same sex marriage to be allowed in the state that veheminately opposes such. It is my opinion that the move by the judge who allowed the marriages was in part retaliation against the Mormons for their highly effective efforts to fight same sex marriage in California. Any casual observer can surmise that it has become trendy to mock Mormons. (example: Book of Mormon Musical on tour everywhere.)

Dana the Barbarian
Merced, CA

What the Mormon church has shown on issue is that when they say:

"We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may."

it is a lie. It is actively trying to deny gay people the right to practice their belifs as they please when they deny them the right to marry. Now the LDS church claims it wants us to be civil while it tries to take away our civil rights.

Two For Flinching
Salt Lake City, UT

Calling one a "civil union" and one a "marriage" is the equivalent of "separate but equal." It's unacceptable.

The only people who can effect the sanctity of a marriage are the two people who are involved in it. SSM does not have any effect whatsoever on a heterosexual marriage, and vice-verse.

Mike in Cedar City
Cedar City, Utah

Commenting on an Op-ed on this issue in the other daily newspaper, I wondered why Judge Shelby did not initially stay his own order, and presented credible testimony that he could have done so, and his having done, so would have prevented some problems that have already presented themselves.

You would have thought that I had unleashed beezlebub or committed some horrific terrorist act from the responses that I got. They were amazingly mean spirted, making as they often did, derogatory remarks and false allegations about me. One commenter actually called me a liar, others questioned my qualifications to speak on the issue.

I understand why passion run high on this issue, but civil discourse is necessary if we as a state and distinct culture are going to be able to deal with this fairly and dispassionately.

to comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.
About comments