Comments about ‘Michael and Jenet Erickson: Rally for marriage, but treat all people with respect’

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Published: Monday, Jan. 27 2014 9:40 a.m. MST

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Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

I'm not LDS, but I stand with LDS prophet Monson, who, according to Mormons, speaks for God. My personal belief is that Pope Francis speaks for God and not Monson. Either way, nice to know I'm in agreement with these men(and the man they speak for). They have both stated only a man and woman should be allowed to marry.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

I don't worry about the pro-traditional marriage crowd getting violent (because there's no history of that happening in the past) but I do worry about the LGBT crowd getting ugly, confrontational, and violent (because there is ample history of that happening in the past).

Google "proposition 8 protest lds". Dozens of documented examples.

The intentionally confrontational protests planned and carried out by the LGBT community, vandalizing of temples and chapels, death threats to people who opposed the LGBT agenda (both in California and Utah)... there is a history of one side getting violent and confrontational... and it's not the traditional marriage crowd.

I hope the gatherings at the capital are tolerant and peaceful... but I'm not taking my chances. I won't be there (for my own safety).

Jeff in NC

You say "Freedom of religion is not freedom from religion. Religious and moral beliefs are no less entitled to inform the law than any other beliefs." I hope you mean that the establishment and free exercise clauses in the US Constitution do not authorize us to abolish religion entirely...you are wrong if you literally mean there is no avoiding codifying into law a religion's tenets. I agree that religious beliefs can be used positively in some occassions of enacting laws, but not EVERY occassion. You always will have to show reasonable grounds to tie everyone down to the majority's religious beliefs. In the case of marrige, permitting gay couples to wed would not mean your religious ceremonies have to follow suit, it just means your same-sex coupled neighbors will enjoy the same benefits and protections as you and your husband under the law of the land. You step right across the line of insults with your unsupported notion that gays cannot make good parents and are a danger to children. You can expect someone to give you an ugly label for expressing that in the "public square."

Values Voter

The article states: "Utah’s Amendment 3 defines marriage to mean the union of a man and a woman."

But it does substantially more than that. It forbids --ANY-- protections for same-sex couples, even though, according to a recent Deseret News poll, a majority of Utahns now favor civil unions (or an equivalent) for gay couples.

Amendment 3:
1. Marriage consists only of the legal union between a man and a woman.

2. No other domestic union, however denominated, may be recognized as a marriage or given the same or substantially equivalent legal effect.

Might not this state of affairs lead LGBT Utahns to feel disrespected?


Excellent article. It says well what I believe too. Thanks for posting it!

Salt Lake City, UT

The Constitution was not made up to allow one religious group to decide what another group's rights are! It is as simple as that. Being gay, I have some very strong beliefs myself, and they don't include the degrading ways in which some people's religion want to portray us! It does not matter how nice you are trying to be about this, because if we were to sit down and discuss what the truth really is, the religious views concerning gay people never have been and never will be good! In order to fit into that lifestyle we would have to accept some very degrading beliefs and they go against my own belief in what God intends for me! None of you would ever accept this being done to you. NONE OF YOU! Our constitution allows us to define our own marriage and make it as legal as any other marriage! When you refer to God and beliefs, it is always your own and you treat us as if our beliefs have no meaning! Why don't you live your 11th article of faith? Let us worship God our way!

Logan, UT

To Mr. & Mrs. Erickson,

In our civil society, both believers and non-believers can get marriage license from government. Even though marriage has religious significance to some peole, it does not to others, and marriage is not a religious institution in our civil society, is has to be decided by the law, not by a certain religious sect.

And even talking about religious freedom, according to Wall Street Journal, there are already more then half young evangelical Christians supporting SSM, the number is even higher among mainline protestants, and WSJ is hardly a liberal media. So for those believers who support marriage equality, how about their religious freedom?

According to DN news survey, majority Utahans support civil union for same sex couples, and according to Salt Lake City Tribune, 72% of Utahans support such compromise. However amendment 3 has made it impossible, which is why amendment 3 has to go.

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Who said "gays can't make good parents"?

I re-read the article and didn't find it. That would make it a strawman (something nobody actually said, something ridiculous, something that's easy to poke holes in, but again something nobody's actually saying or thinking, just something you are assuming they would think/say).


I think religious tenets (not necessarily any specific religion, but still religious tenets) are used when making laws all the time. (not literally every time, but frequently).

Murder is against the law (thou shall not kill).
Theft is against the law (thou shall not steal).

I really don't think it's all that unusual for religious tenets to be manifested in our laws. I really don't see the need to get aggravated over it.

It's not like making murder or theft illegal forces their religion on you...

Gay marriage may be in a different category... but still... there's usually no big problem with religious tenets influencing our laws (till gay marriage and abortion came along).

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Mormons aren't the only people who have issues with the gay lifestyle. Bringing up the 11th article of faith makes it seem like Mormons are the only people with issues on this... they aren't.

But if you really think people are not allowing you to practice your religion because they won't let you redefine "Marriage"... then maybe you have a good point. If this is part of your religion then we should back off.

We should not be passing laws preventing anybody from exercising their religion.

Murray, UT

SSM proponents had their time at the Capitol. Now it is one man one woman marriage proponents' turn. Will they be harassed? SSM marriage rallies weren't. Will they afford those with a different the same courtesy?

We will see Tuesday night.

American Fork, UT

"marriage between a man and a woman is a social and religious practice that transcends culture and time". No. It's a legal contract that transcends mythology.
As for 'Freedom of religion is not freedom from religion.' Sorry. Religion is free to make its' case and all, but it is not a major condition of our society, and it doesn't get to impose itself on us. If it does, I have equal claim (none) to demand that it be my religion as opposed to yours, because yours is mythological hooey. Laughable and fabricated. That's why religion has to be kept in check.

Values Voter

@ 2 bits

Your comments strike me as lacking in historical perspective. Also, you might have more of a point if LGBT Californians and LGBT Utahns had a 20-plus year history of focused and intense efforts --in law-- of trying to prevent/outlaw/ or nullify LDS Temple marriages. Its a terrible feeling to have an aspect of your personal life placed on a ballot for all to weigh in on, and votes can be cast FOR ANY REASON, good, bad or indifferent -- I don't recommend it.

About the above mentioned historical perspective, if I remember correctly, there are specific examples in Mormon history where members --at times-- had simply had enough and felt moved to defend themselves. Who can blame them?

2 bits
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Re: "No. It's a legal contract that transcends mythology"...

Even if you throw out the religious aspect... biology seems to support the traditional definition.

Biology isn't "Mythology"... is it?


Values Voter,
I don't know if my comments lack historical perspective. They reflect the history I'm aware of (but I don't claim to have knowledge of everything).

I'm not sure which comments you're referring to. If it's the one about there being history of violence in the GLBT protests... If any of the results I got when I googled attacks on the LDS community by the LGBT community (in California and SLC)... are incorrect or fictitious... please let me know. They were reported by the national media (not just local sources).

I try to be historically correct... but everything I post is just my opinion.

Salt Lake City, UT

"While we affirm that being for marriage does not mean being against anyone"

It does when you actively try and ban same-sex marriage; that involves directly being against someone.

"genuine concerns for family, children, and religious liberty."

You're trying to tear apart families. You don't care about the fact that single people can adopt in Utah (what makes a single person or even a single gay person adopting okay but a same-sex couple adopting bad?). Your religion is not required to perform or recognize same-sex marriages just like they don't have to perform interfaith marriages in the temple despite the nation having anti-discrimination laws based on religion. You have concerns, and I'll assume they're genuine... but they seem baseless or built on double standards (like the adoption matter).

"pro-traditional marriage crowd getting violent (because there's no history of that happening in the past)"

They did in France a few months ago. I would expect the LGBT side to be angrier though because their side has their rights suppressed while the other side literally has nothing to lose.

Seattle, WA

Thank you for this balanced article. I hope readers will check out the two links mentioned. Those are excellent resources to help bring more empathy and understanding to the conversation. They include words from LDS leaders and videos showing actual LDS people who experience SSA.
I think those videos help us realize that people dealing with SSA are our people--our family, friends, and neighbors. For productive discourse, I hope we will frame the conversation less as some epic battle of "us" vs. "them" and more of a family discussion where we listen, seek to understand and to be understood, and show genuine care.

Salt Lake City, UT

I appreciate the Ericksons' attempt to empathize with the LGBT community's history of past victimization. I appreciate their view that standing for traditional marriage does not necessarily imply accepting a general animus towards gays (although this is the case for a great many opponents of marriage equality). I appreciate their call for respectful discussion and civility. I am grateful for the opportunity to accept their invitation.

Ericksons: "It is the means by which an innocent, vulnerable child is united to his or her mother and father and becomes entitled to their mutual love and care."

This is the crux of the matter. Current marriage law is a very blunt and inefficient instrument to achieve the desired end. The civil benefits of marriage are not afforded to some parents while they are bestowed upon nonparents. Remarkably, some couples must be certifiably nonreproductive to marry, and they get the legal benefits. And finally, the innocent, vulnerable children of same-sex couples are denied the benefits of married parents. It's a crazy way to run a policy. The benefits are not delivered to the proper recipients.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

"On Jan. 28, Utahns are invited to “Stand for Marriage—Stand for Amendment 3” at the Utah State Capitol Rotunda at 7 pm. Opponents of Amendment 3 have called for a rally on the Capitol steps a few hours before."

Sounds like a good night to stay at home and watch TV.

Salt Lake City, UT

To the gay community, please help us understand how biology and anatomy keep getting in the way of your logic?

I was at the park recently and saw a bunch of wild ducks. There were about a dozen pair of mallards. I noted in each case that the pairs were a drake mallard and a hen mallard. Curious how those wild ducks were paired up that way.

Biology and anatomy are just a couple of reasons why same-sex marriage doesn't resonate with everyone!

Homosexual life style clearly is a choice some decide to pursue (and some sincerely feel in is not a choice -I understand that too). I believe many heteroxexuals might be willing to accept your choices as long as they don't infringe upon our rights. For example, we have a right to not have a bioligical male be legally enabled to enter into a women's rest room or locker room.

If you truly want us to understand your needs and desired rights, try showing some understanding of our needs and desired rights too!

Values Voter

@2 bits

I appreciate your civil tone, I'll do my best to respond in kind. (My post was directed to your original comment on top).

I live in California. I had both my "No on prop 22" and my "No on prop 8" signs vandalized and/or stolen. I'm aware of a prop 22 bumper sticker being vandalized on LDS church property, in the parking lot, on a Sunday. (A police report was filed). Based on that knowledge, do I then go and draw conclusions about all (or even most) of the other side? -- No. I simply conclude that those are unfortunate, but predictable results of hotly contested political campaigns. I guess what I'm saying is, a.) Mormons too often have a habit of considering themselves the injured party without really acknowledging the hurt and damage they've caused and b.) they too often don't acknowledge that bad behavior occurs on both sides.

Jeff in NC

@ 2 bits

You ask me "Who said 'gays can't make good parents'? I re-read the article and didn't find it." Well, what do you think Ms. Erickson meant when she says "At the same time, we also invite opponents of Amendment 3 to walk in our shoes and to understand our genuine concerns for family, children, and religious liberty." If she thinks gay couples make good parents, what other "genuine" concern could she possibly have for children in all of this? They aren't the ones getting married. She mentions children two other times in the article in a similar way, that to oppose gay marriage protects the children, all very Putin-esque and quite insulting. Maybe if she had a study that supported her position, like the several studies that have been relied on by judges to battle anti-gay marriage laws in court that say the exact opposite.

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