Comments about ‘Utah attorney general to name outside counsel for same-sex marriage appeal’

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Published: Wednesday, Jan. 15 2014 5:05 p.m. MST

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Bob A. Bohey
Marlborough, MA

@Meckofahess: Without getting into another circular argument with an anti-equal rights proponent, you could not be more off base or flat out wrong in your exertions and time will prove this, you'll see.

LOU Montana
Pueblo, CO

Utah has a long history of wasting money on preserving the right to force their moral beliefs on others. I am glad it is not my money they are wasting. Just imagine what 2 million dollars could do for the schools or parks.

Go Big Blue!!!
Bountiful, UT

The state's annual budget is in the billions. This is a big issue with long-term implications for both social issues and with regards to state vs federal authority. It is money well spent. It is also Utah money, not CA or WA or AZ etc.

Alpine, UT

Why doesn't the state either join with Oklahoma or just let them carry the ball forward? It seems that a non mormon state would have a better chance of getting a fair shot with the supreme court.

Canada, 00


Your comments are the basis of this entire discussion. The definition of marriage, one man and one woman, is biological and should be recognized on biological design (anatomical function, sperm, ovum, behavior, etc). Heterosexuality and homosexuality are not biologically equal and, therefore, do not merit the same definition (i.e. "marriage") under the law. However, this basic foundational fact is always obscured by misdirecting the issue to the misnomers of "human rights", "bigotry","hate", "religion" and the ever present "wrong side of history." Biology has no interest in these labels. Unfortunately, biology is obviously not required study at law schools.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

Wealth transfer to downtown firm. Mavbe the church would spend another 30 million like they did in California.

Dammam, Saudi Arabia

The institution of marriage will be further eroded by diluting its meaning and redefining it. That means that the state of Utah could be building more prisons to incarcerate the offenders who will be growing up in broken homes.

I applaud the state of Utah. This is money well-spent. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Starry starry night
Palm Springs , CA

The fact that Utah's Attorney General in supposedly representing the people of Utah will spend millions of dollars trying to deny certain of its citizens their constitutional rights is deplorable. The government and law enforcement agencies of Utah represent all of the people, even the non Mormon ones. Am I the only person whe sees an abrogation of the tenets of separation of church and state here?

A Quaker
Brooklyn, NY

@GailFitches: Perhaps you're confused. Schools don't teach "pro-homosexuality." At most, they teach tolerance to all children, and then only at an age-appropriate level. For example, a grade-school might want to teach that while some girls act more like boys and some boys act more like girls, most will grow out of it on their own, everyone has their good points, and it's very, very bad to be mean to anybody or call them names or hit them. And if it's a religious school, you might want to add that God tells us to be nice to everyone.

As for all your other points, homophobic speech is protected speech. Homophobic action should not be. Everyone should be able to sit at the lunch counter.

Criticism of homophobic speech and the people who make it, is also protected speech. If you're going to speak ill of others, you'd better have at least as thick a skin as them.

And, being an equality-minded Christian, I boycott homophobic businesses.

By the way, your message says nothing about civil marriage.

Suggested reading: Romans 14

Saint Louis, MO

Whether you are for or against this issue, this should be an area of grave concern. We are a government "of the people, by the people, for the people". The conservative columnist, Charles Krauthammer, has stated that the country appears to be moving toward acceptance of gay marriage. However, that is the decision of the people and not of the executive branch of the government nor one judge who serves in the judicial branch. On this issue, Justice Anthony Kennedy appears to be the "swing vote" for common sense. However, he appeared to "duck" a similar issue in California when the Supreme Court refused to act sending the issue back to the lower appeals court without comment which upheld the overthrow of a similar referendum. Without a doubt, the appeals court has to rule and the interference by Eric Holder was, to say the least, on the rude side.

Houston, TX

@Linguist: "What they don't get to choose is their basic orientation."

Many disagree. The SSA activists want to crystalize their concept that people are born heterosexual or homosexual. So far, this cannot be demonstrated biologically (although there are some correllating gene combinations worth study).

I have observed that humans are born with a total versatility in this area. Nearly everyone is exposed to influences that lead in either direction. We make choices that lead to actions. If the actions are repeated often enough, they form emotional and physical habits. One day, they realize that their habits have carried them into a certain direction.

Many different choices and actions make up the habits that lead us to discover a sexual orientation. It is both simplistic and dangerous to assume that it was an inborn thing, and that the habits are at that point beyond our control.

Sugar City, ID

Will and Ariel Durrant said: “…sex is a river of fire that must be banked and cooled by a hundred restraints if it is not to consume in chaos both the individual and the group." If same sex marriage is legalized, what will happen when these restraints are no longer banked and cooled but are legalized instead? Since there are no long term (multigenerational) studies that show the effects of gay marriage on a human society, before we move in that direction we should try to anticipate what will likely happen. "Families" with multiple partners (e.g. 3 men and 2 women or polyamory) are anxiously looking forward to legalization of gay marriage because it will open the door to legalization of their relationships. There are several hundred thousands of these "families" in the US today. And we could also see 3 or more gay men or 3 or more lesbian women wanting legalization of their "families." After all, they claim to love each other. This of course will lead to even more venereal disease, divorce, child abuse and neglect, poverty, crime and social chaos—just what the Durrants warned us about.

Holden, MA

Churches do not govern states, state governments do. State governments are supposed to separate church and state. Equal rights is a civil issue, not a religious one. To those who believe sexual orientation is a choice, I suggest that you search deeply within your souls to discover whom you are. Do not let others force their opinions on you. I was born gay and how do I know? I remember when I was born and I have not changed. I was brought up by heterosexual parents as a heterosexual which did not work for me. I followed the teachings, "Know thyself" and "Be true to thine self".
I translate that to "Know who you are and be that person".
I have been with my lifetime partner for 52 years, married 10 years, we are both retired, and I am also a Navy Vet.
We live a wonderful life and have many friends, gay and straight. We worked, paid/still pay our taxes, and follow the civil rules, and God bless the United States of America.

A Quaker
Brooklyn, NY

@Tekakaromatagi: That's some pretty bigoted statement about kids from broken homes.

In the last 90 years alone, we've had four U.S. Presidents who were from broken homes: Herbert Hoover, Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. Two Republicans and two Democrats. Death or divorce of parents, growing up with one parent or none, is no bar to great achievement in life. It's just another impediment to be overcome, and an intelligent society willing to invest in its citizens' welfare and education can lessen that impediment.

Seattle, WA

I'm curious about your observation that fundamental sexual orientation can be chosen or is fluid and that there is "total versatility in this area."
I'm a Mormon, great family, six straight siblings, never abused, never seduced by a man, never fooled around, have tried multiple relationships with women--yet despite all of that, my fundamental orientation has been fixed and constant toward other guys. I'm not perverted or sick or dangerous. I am perfectly chaste, but I still recognize who I find charming, interesting, and attractive and it's other guys. I know many other people who have the same experience--even those who have married women. They are still oriented toward men.
The LDS church agrees SSA is not a choice. Christian ex-gay organizations including LDS Evergreen and Christian Exodus have recently closed and been replaced by organizations that help gay people live chastely WITH their same-sex attraction.
What choice or habit do you think we all made to do this to ourselves? Why would you discount actual lived experiences of real people over your observations?

Salt Lake City, UT

@Gail Fitches
Those questions were asked before, but not by you. If you read farther you'd have seen responses to it.
1. Pro-homosexuality teaching? You mean teaching that families with two parents of the same gender exist? Nobody's getting arrested from that unless the parent is making a disturbance.
2. It'd be the business-owners fault for violating public law when it comes to business practice.
3. Catholic Charities was not forced to shut down, they voluntarily chose to shut down once they stopped receiving gov't grants since gov't grants were only going to groups that'd adopt to all couples. LDSFS still operates while not adopting to same-sex couples.
4. This isn't something that'd be a result of same-sex marriage becoming legal.
5. Also not related to marriage (that's an AIDS activism group) and those protestors could be arrested for trespassing or something like that if they refuse to leave.
6. That's vague.
7. Are those supporting same-sex marriage harmed when they're branded as supporters of Satan or evil?

Parker, CO

Years ago, Colorado voters tried to deny the rights of full citizenship for its homosexual/transsexual citizens, even going so far as to deny them the 1st amendment right to petition their government for redress of grievances. It was approved as a part of the Colorado constitution because the measure was presented as not giving "special rights" to some of their citizens, and the voters fell for that particularly silly argument. In a 6 to 3 Supreme Court opinion the court answered in part: "If the constitutional conception of 'equal protection of the laws' means anything, it must at the very least mean that a bare desire to harm a politically unpopular group cannot constitute a legitimate governmental interest." Romer v Evans. I don't think the citizens of Utah desire to harm those who have chosen SSM, but the actions of the AG indeed do. Live and let live. Colorado has civil unions - many understandably don't want to call it marriage. but Utah's constitution forbids civil unions as well. Maybe if an amendment to recognize civil unions were in place, the courts could reasonably back off, or maybe it has now gone too far for reasonable compromise.

salt lake city, utah

The attorney general's office is perfectly capable of handling the appeal itself. They have talent there.

If we do not trust that, why do we trust them to jeopardize people's liberties with criminal charges?

This is a waste of money.

Houston, TX

@Tiago -
I am not saying that SSA is a choice, but I am also saying that it isn't scientifically proven to be inborn. There certainly could be another governing influence that has not yet been discovered or explored.

I suggest that it is possibly formed by seemingly unrelated choices and actions as a very young child. For example, it is well known that children go through a series of transitions regarding which is their "favorite" parent. If something arrested that transition so that early on it stuck with a particular parent, that could be one of the contributing emotional habits that would enter the equation.

This is certainly an untested hypothesis, and is poorly defined. I simply give it as an example of the kinds of complicated factors that could be involved rather than genetics.

Seattle, WA

@gmlewis - Thanks. Yes, similar to autism, direct cause is not known but it seems to be immutable, which is the important thing to remember when deciding what choices we think people with SSA should make.

Related to other comments, an analogy that I think is parallel, but might be weak:
As a Mormon, I disagree with the Catholic idea of priesthood and that a priest must take a vow of celibacy. I would not become a Catholic priest.
- I am not opposed to a school acknowledging that celibate Catholic priests exist and teaching honestly about the good and bad things priests have done in the world. I have no fear that this will lead my nephews to join the Catholic priesthood.
- I would support a faithful Catholic friend who decides to join the priesthood and attend his ordination.
- Once he made the vow of celibacy, I would not try to set him up with women and get him to break the vow.
- I would serve a Catholic priest in my business and otherwise welcome him in society.
- I would oppose laws designed to limit a Catholic's right to become priests and make vows of celibacy.

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