Comments about ‘Doug Robinson: Same-sex marriage: A topic too toxic to discuss’

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Published: Tuesday, Jan. 14 2014 11:25 a.m. MST

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Sneaky Jimmy
Bay Area, CA

I appreciate the call for civil dialogue but that dialogue must be based on truth and reality. You cannot have a discussion if one side believes erroneous information such as homosexuality is a choice. It is not a choice. Once a person can accept that reality then a discussion can take place. I believe most people are fair minded and want all people to pursue and obtain happiness.

Salt Lake City, Utah

If you want open honest dialogue, then start by acknowledging that marriage as it exists now is not the same marriage that has existed throughout thousands of years of history - even in the Judeo-Christian traditions marriage has changed over the years.

If you want honest discussion, you must first be honest about what you want to defend and why.

American Fork, UT

We're finally seeing pushback in areas where it is long overdue. This isn't a toxic subject; you're just used to being able to maintain an untenable position without challenge.

Salt Lake City, UT

The "If you don't agree with and 'accept' me then you hate me" assertion is the same kind of hypocritical nonsense as that used by people who insist that if you disagree with and oppose any of President Obama's agenda then you are racist.

It is the kind of non sequitur used by all sorts of people who fear actually engaging in real argumentation. Sadly, it inhibits the kind of productive argumentation that we so desperately need as a society, as anyone familiar with the operations of the Federal government in the last decade or so can easily see.

The whole idea behind the empirical method of science it an attempt to distance the advocacy of some proposition (aka, theory) and the investigation to determine its validity. That kind of objective, dispassionate approach to discussions of a variety of social topics is something I adore and hope will eventually, after all the other alternatives are found to be worthless, return as the preferred method.

But honestly, knowing human beings as I do, I'm not holding my breath while waiting.

provo, Utah

You can't discuss it? But aren't you?

The problem comes from the inability of some to realize that living their religion in a free society has nothing to do with someone else living YOUR religion.

With the demographics of the US changing, you better fight to keep religion OUT of politics or you are going to find yourself forced to live someone else's religion.

Seattle, WA

Thank you, Doug, for your balanced approach. It is possible to have good conversations even where people disagree. I love Larry Miller's approach. No matter where we stand, we can all listen more and be more empathetic.
People are usually ok with disagreement, but want to know they are understood. I am both gay and Mormon. I live my faith and don't act on my gay feelings at all. I think I understand both sides. I see examples where people disrespect the good intentions of religious people, but I honestly feel most misunderstood by my own people in the church. The most difficult thing for me is when people can't accept that a same-sex orientation is not chosen and cannot be changed or when they insinuate that I personally am dangerous, less worthy, or spiritually weak just for having these feelings, despite the fact that I am completely faithful.
To religious people who want to help make the conversation productive, I encourage you to follow Larry Millers's example and listen to people you know and trust who are gay. If you don't know anyone, look up and watch the Voices of Hope videos.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

"You can't touch this... doooo do do do".... (MC Hammer Circa 1990)

JoCo Ute
Grants Pass, OR

Aren't prejudices wonderful, especially when they are institutionalized by religions or states. Prejudices allow members of a large group to feel better and more worthy while at the same time creating a second class to look down on. We could even make them wear pink stars. Until the federal government stepped in the state of Virginia outlawed marriage between blacks and whites under the claim of states rights.

I've not seen one bit of information that says churches will be forced into performing gay/lesbian marriages. A marriage license is a government issued certificate. . . no different than a drivers license or a dog license. No religion runs the government.

Marriage between gay/lesbian couples no more threaten traditional marriages than traditional marriages somehow threaten gay/lesbian marriages.

Grantsville, UT

Cricket chirping. . .

Where are all the shrill voices vilifying Doug Robinson as a hateful, intolerant bigot? Maybe their absence is because Doug's commentary makes a lot of sense. Respectful dialogue on any topic is possible, but it takes both sides to make it happen.

Amen, Doug!

Beaverton, OR

I miss the days of dialogue when we could engage with people of different mind-sets. Larry Miller knew how to do it; I wish I did. Now it's all labels and name-calling when your beliefs represent a traditional stance. I believe in 'live and let live' but that is no longer good enough. Others want to force me to change my beliefs, and when I don't, there come the labels and slurs. Sheesh.

a bit of reality
Shawnee Mission, KS

I don't think the message from the gay community is that "if you don’t support everything they want or do, or the choices they make, then [you're evil]."

I think there message is this: if you are against same-sex marriage, don't marry somebody of the same sex, and this: if your religious beliefs inform you that it is sinful to sell cakes to certain Americans, you probably shouldn't be in the cake business.

Billy Bob
Salt Lake City, UT

This issue illustrates the difference between religious (including Mormon/other Christian), and secular viewpoints. For me and other Christians, there is no problem with saying "I hate sin but I don't hate the one doing it". There are many sins that people commit that are bad things to do, but relatively few that would make the one committing it is a bad person just because they commit a certain type of sin (drug abusers are usually not bad people all around, for example even though they are doing a sinful thing). For me homosexuality falls in this same sort of category.

People who look at things with a secular viewpoint, however, seem to think that if I hate the sin that someone commits, then I must hate the person. That is not true. If that were the case, I would hate everyone (including myself) because I hate all sin and everyone is a sinner. This secular viewpoint is what leads to hate from the people who support same sex marriage. Few, if any LDS friends and acquaintances that I know hate homosexual people. The hate, at this point in the issue, is coming mainly from the supporters of SSM.

Poplar Grove, UT

Here's what I don't get. Let's say a baker in Mississippi refused to make a cake if the delivery address was to an LDS chapel. This newspaper would be fully supportive of the Southern Baptist owners of that bakery, since their beliefs say that the LDS church is a cult, and they don't do business with cults. Or would that be religious discrimination? Then tell me what the difference is, except that you DO choose your religion, and you don't choose your sexual orientation.

City, Ut

I was wondering if Larry H. Miller then changed his mind and allowed Brokeback Mountain to play in his theaters?

Or did he stick to his guns and the Gays and Lesbians let him have his standard without more complaint, out of respect to him for his willingness to meet with them and learn about their feelings?

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Kalindra is right... the definition of "marriage" has changed throughout time.

Back in the Bible era of Solomon and King David Polygamy was normal. Now it's not.

I'm pretty sure they even had same-sex marriage at some times in the Bible, in some areas (like the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah for instance). But that's the problem... Many Christians don't want to live in Sodom or Gomorrah ... and they don't want to have to leave the United States.


I think Christians will find a way to tolerate same-sex marriage (IF it is mandated by the courts or the Government)... they already have in many States. But don't expect them to like it.

If what the GLBT community is wanting and waiting for is for all Christian people to accept same-sex marriage as "normal"... it will probably never happen.

IF they can be satisfied with the Government mandating that these marriages be legitimized... I think everybody will find a way to be OK with it, but still not embrace it as "Normal" in God's eyes.


I think the definition of "Marriage" will continue to change as these groups get their way.

Provo, UT

As a happily-married, hetero-LDS, I understand the position many of my fellow members and leaders have take. But I do not agree with continuing to deny same sex couples the benefits of marriage equality. It seems like mingling religious influence with civil law to favor our own religious views on marriage at the expense of their rights (D&C 134).

We can say we "love" our gay and lesbian fellow-citizens, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, etc., but it is just talk so long as we continue to support discriminatory laws that continue to make those "beloved" people into second class citizens.

The Apostle James wisely called on believers: "Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith BY my works".

The same goes for "love". Showing our fellow citizens our "love" without the works of marriage equality rings hollow. But there are many of us who will show our "love" BY supporting marriage equality.

Abandoning the false notion of "supporting traditional marriage" as a euphemism for being against marriage equality is a start! I support BOTH!

We would hope for no less if the tables were turned against us.

Salt Lake City, UT

The thing that I find odd is how some in the LGBT community want to rally around the concept of people living how they want and leaving everyone else alone, then turn right around and throw down litigation (the article mentioned several cases) on anyone who lives "how they want" by refusing to make wedding cakes or take photos. Part of "living how you want" might include speaking out against gay marriage. You cannot have both sides of the coin.

Do I hate gays and lesbians? Who knows. It all depends on what you define hate as. If you mean "has a moral opposition to homosexuality," then yes, I guess it is "hate." But, I have never, nor ever will, go out and throw stuff at and abuse gays. Why would I? It is not morally proper to do so.

@Noodlekaboodle:We once took our dry cleaning to a certain shop. We came back to pick it up and were told that it had been sent to a different place because "You are Mormons." So I went to the other business, paid for my cleaning, and have not been back to the first place. No more to be said.

Orem, UT

Lots of people don't "choose" to be tempted by a particular sin.

Some people naturally have a bad temper and are easily prone to violence. That doesn't excuse assaults.

Many heterosexual people are naturally attracted to members of the opposite sex who are not their spouse. That doesn't excuse adultery or fornication.

Lots of people are easily hooked on drugs or alcohol. That doesn't excuse bad behavior with those substances either.

Just because a person did not consciously choose to have same-sex attraction does not give them free license to commit acts that defy God's laws under the guise that they don't have any choice but to do so.

Just like with every other sin, you have a choice whether to obey God or not, but realize that there are consequences whether you acknowledge them now or not.

San Diego, CA

There's a lot to like here. I agree that civil dialogue is necessary, and all too uncommon.

However, civil dialogue has to be based on accurate understandings of fact. This piece circulates some incorrect facts. The New Mexico case was not based on marriage provisions, but on anti-discrimination laws. (New Mexico was not a state with legalized same-sex marriage.) Many of the stated fears about same-sex marriage aren't about marriage laws at all, but about anti-discrimination laws. It's important to remember that they are not the same thing.


I think Jesus was pretty clear on our marching orders in this life. He said that we should love one another as he has loved us, and that we should not judge one another. What I dont understand is how so many professed followers of Christ can, in light of these two commandments, justify all of their hate for the gay community and passing judgment on their "lifestyle." It is not my job to judge, only to love God's children -- all of them. God will take care of the rest.

Who knows, we might just be surprised who we run into in the afterlife!

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