Comments about ‘Richard Davis: History shows public opinion often changes quickly’

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Published: Wednesday, Jan. 29 2014 12:00 a.m. MST

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liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

Around 2010 national polls started to show a majority of Americans favoring same sex marriage, with younger people having approval rates of over 60%.

The attitudes cited by Mr. Davis all appear to continue towards unanimity, and given the attitudes of the young it looks like the gay marriage issue will be no exception.

Furry1993
Ogden, UT

A song from SOUTH PACIFIC says it well:

You've got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You've got to be taught
From year to year,
It's got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff'rent shade,
You've got to be carefully taught.

You've got to be taught before it's too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You've got to be carefully taught!

And then, when people learn the truth -- learn to get beyond the "how it's always been" indoctrination from friends and family -- they see more clearly wrongness of the prejudice and discrimination they have been taught and, in the process, turn themselves around. That was true with race and women's rights, and it is now true with GLBT issues. When gay people came out of the closet, and their character and worth was recognized, the prejudice and discrimination started to melt away. Hopefully that will continue.

Jamescmeyer
Midwest City, USA, OK

This is one of the reasons I worry over the measures people take to force an altered definition of marriage on others. It's not only about preserving marriage, it's about safeguarding their own interests; if they're able to force this change by bending, ignoring, or altering the law without any consensus or rightful process, what's to stop things from shifting against their favor in the future through the same bending or undue altering?

Marriage also has a unique trait not shared by the examples this article has listed; marriage is a universal concept transcending time, location, and culture. There have been deviances and exceptions, but the core of unifying man and woman has been the same for all time. This is entirely unique to marriage. Along this line, there are powerful civil and moral reasons and incentives for preserving marriage; another element not shared by previous upheavels.

Finally, it's interesting to note that in highlighting smoking as an example, and looking at the enrollment and hiring standards that we have now favoring some on the basis of sex and race, that these changes aren't all "liberal" in their ideal sense.

Eliyahu
Pleasant Grove, UT

@Jamescmeyer
"This is one of the reasons I worry over the measures people take to force an altered definition of marriage on others."

By all means, let's return to the longstanding definition of marriage that dominated for thousands of years, the union of a man and one or more women. That definition also used to include arranged marriages, marriages where the bride was exchanged for livestock, and marriages where one or more partners were barely into puberty. Historically, the definition of marriage as one man and one woman is fairly recent and still does not encompass even half of human societies. The billions of adherents to Islam, as well as many smaller groups of people believe that marriage includes polygamy, and many people in other cultures don't think the bride should have much say in the decision to marry. Do we accept their views, or do we "force an altered definition of marriage" on them?

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Up until the past century, women were the legal property of their fathers up until the time they married, then they became the legal property of their husbands. They generally had very little say in who they married. Allowing women to choose their own husbands would have seemed a radical proposition to previous generations.

GZE
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Actually, Mr Davis, the shift has been painfully slow - it has taken a generation. But we are now at the tipping point.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Every person must ask himself/herself, what life is all about.

If it's just a carnival ride where the thing that counts is the fuzzy bears you take home, then why bother to do anything except "eat, drink and make merry"?

If it's the process that we learn to live comfortably with someone of the opposite sex, accepting the differences that create the synergy that makes a family; if it's the process of raising children, sacrificing for them because we know that they are the spirit offspring of our Creator and that He has allowed us to take them into our home for teaching, for example, for guidance; if it's the assurance that if we perform that task properly, that our Creator will grant to us the great privilege of live together forever as a family, then life has meaning and is worth setting aside personal appetites and personal passions.

Just because many people want a carnival ride doesn't mean that the carnival hawkers should destroy the family. Popular opinion does not trump eternal law.

NedGrimley
Brigham City, UT

Eliyahu: Your response brings up an interesting, yet simple, question. Should a line be drawn? Should there be relationships that are allowed and some that are not? Or should we allow ANY relationship to be classified as "marriage" with all of the related "benefits" it provides?

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

"Just because many people want a carnival ride doesn't mean that the carnival hawkers should destroy the family.
Popular opinion does not trump eternal law."

So are you suggesting that Marriage is a carnival ride?

First you used popular opinion to discriminate, now that the tide is turning, popular opinion is bad?

You see, people do teach their children even without religion, good and bad, but as a teacher I didn't
teach my children bigotry like my father did, because at the time certain races were inferior according to this particular religion and he didn't believe that the races should blend, He was wrong.

Women have been property before the 20th century as pointed out earlier, this is the only consistent theme to marriage.

Sorry Mike, your eternal laws were written by men, too, it is only your opinion that they are correct.

Lagomorph
Salt Lake City, UT

Jamescmeyer: "Along this line, there are powerful civil and moral reasons and incentives for preserving marriage..."

There are powerful civil and moral reasons and incentives for extending marriage to same sex couples as well.

If the civil public policy goal of marriage is to incentivize stable homes for raising children and thus improve their life outcomes, then gay couples should be allowed to marry. A sizable portion of gay households has children. SSM gives those children the many documented benefits of married children. If you want to improve children's lives, you should support SSM.

Marriage incentivizes long term monogamous relationships. It provides a public health benefit by disincentivizing promiscuity and thus reduces the incidence of STDs. SSM would extend this public health benefit to the LGBT community. If you want to improve public health, you should support SSM.

If your concept of morality includes justice and equitable allocation of civil benefits to all people, then SSM fits within your moral sensibilities. If you want to embrace justice, you should support SSM.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

Since so many people (for reasons unknown) get so upset at naming gay relationships marriage, gay people should be given something else with most of the rights and responsibilities of marriage, but call it something different. Bonded? Hitched? Garried?

I say most of the rights and responsibilities not all, .. because children who can have a mother AND a father ought to have a mother and a father.

Lagomorph
Salt Lake City, UT

cjb: "...gay people should be given something else with most of the rights and responsibilities of marriage, but call it something different."

Sorry, but Amendment 3 explicitly prohibits recognition of any same sex relationship that approximates marriage. Interestingly, recent polling shows very strong public support for same sex civil unions (on the order of 75%). It would be instructive to know how many of these people voted for Amendment 3 and didn't understand its full implications or have changed their views since then. However, as noted in the Perry case, same sex civil unions set up a second class status that still does not pass constitutional muster.

cjb: "...because children who can have a mother AND a father ought to have a mother and a father."

How does this apply to infertile straight couples who use assistive technologies (sperm or egg donation) to conceive? Does the resulting child call the gamete donor Mom or Dad and the active parent sits on the sidelines as irrelevant? Or is this a case where a child can't have a mother and father? If the latter, then how are gay couples any different?

Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

Some changes has been more difficult than others. Most of my students are stunned to learn that the University of Mississippi was occupied by thousands of U. S. Army troops (including members of the 101st Airborne) all so one African-American could get a degree.

While nobody would suggest the Gay Rights debate has been completely without violence, it pales in comparison to the slavery or the Civil Rights movements.

Maybe we are getting better about evaluating social change after all.

Tolstoy
salt lake, UT

@ cjb: Many people get hung up on this idea of a mother and a father and limiting marriage based on that idea.

Allowing same-sex couples to marry is not going to increase the number of people who identify as gay, it is not going to cause gay people to have more children, it is not going to reduce the number of heterosexual couples who marry.

Prohibiting same-sex couples from marrying is not going to decrease the number of people who identify as gay, it is not going to cause people who identify as gay to marry someone of the opposite sex, it is not going to decrease the number of children born to gay couples, it is not going to increase the number of heterosexual marriages.

Claiming that you oppose same-sex marriage because children deserve a mother and a father is a red-herring. It has nothing to do with the reality of marriage.

Ranch
Here, UT

@Jamescmeyer;

The definition of marriage you use today is an "altered definition of marriage" from what it was just a century ago. It's time to let go of the fears of yesteryear and embrace the future (and, just an fyi, nobody is going to force you to get gay-married).

@Mike Richards;

Life is not about waiting for some reward in the "next life". It's about living the life you have been given today. Reference Jesus' parable of the talents for an example. Live the life you've been given, grow it, enrich it, don't put it on hold and wait for something better to come along.

Your implication that we are "destroying the family" is offensive in the extreme. YOU are destroying OUR families!

Sal
Provo, UT

The decline in support for traditional marriage mirrors the decline in spirituality in America. As fewer Americans actually read the Bible and attend church their morals concerning adultery and chastity also decline. Americans are inventing their own religions hoping God agrees with them instead of attempting to uphold God's laws.

equal protection
Cedar, UT

re: "force an altered definition of marriage on others."

Marriage is simply not defined by those who are excluded. Otherwise, why would we allow opposite sex felon child molesters and spousal abusers to civil marry? Interracial couples wanted to participate in the institution that traditionally did not allow them to marry. There are no Interracial marriage licenses. There are no Felon Marriage licenses. There are no infertile marriage licenses. By being allowed to participate and/or strengthen the existing institution, there is only ONE marriage license for all. Nothing has been re-defined.

Even "traditional voting" was NOT re-defined by allowing women the right to vote.

The "redefinition argument" is complete nonsense!

equal protection
Cedar, UT

In Windsor, the Supreme Court explicitly recognized the “equal dignity” of the “intimate relationship between TWO people, a relationship deemed by the State worthy of dignity in the community. . . .” The government does not have a right to interfere with their rights to file taxes jointly,
- Same-sex couples have a right to receive benefits under the state public pension system, to adopt or serve as legal guardian of a partner’s child, to receive inheritance protections, and to make medical decisions for a partner. In light of Windsor, restrictions and disabilities of vile animus imposed on gay and lesbian couples simply cannot stand.

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