Court to allow Utah lengthier 'brief' in same-sex marriage appeal


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  • Azazael Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 3, 2014 4:16 p.m.

    To suggest that those with a different point of view have nothing to say is bigoted.

    It is ironic that there is so much close-mindedness when it comes to considering that there may be a case for traditional marriage.

  • peter irons san diego, CA
    Feb. 1, 2014 9:07 a.m.

    A brief response to those who claim that majorities of voters (even two-thirds of Utahans) have the right to enact any state constitutional amendment they like (such as those banning interracial marriage in many states, which the Supreme Court struck down in Loving v. Virginia in the '70s). The answer is in the Constitution you profess to worship: The 14th amendment provides that "no state shall deny to any person the equal protection of the laws." Article VI provides that "this Constitution, and laws enacted pursuant thereto, shall be the Supreme Law of the Land, and the judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding." Awkward wording, but the point is clear: provisions or amendments in any state constitution (including Utah) that deny equal protection, which Amendment 3 clearly does) are flatly unconstitutional. Don't like it? Then repeal the 14th amendment. Otherwise, keep religion out of the laws.

  • JeffreyRO555 Auburn Hills, MI
    Jan. 31, 2014 5:40 p.m.

    Quantity not quality, I guess.

  • Values Voter LONG BEACH, CA
    Jan. 31, 2014 2:03 p.m.

    "Singling out a single class from a field of equally disqualified classes is irrational and arbitrary. No amount of pages will help Utah explain otherwise."

    Excellent point. As it is now, if the paramount concern is stable child-rearing environments, Amendment 3 includes even the MOST reprobate opposite sex-couples, but excludes even the MOST exemplary same-sex couples.

  • Constitution Is King Brigham, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 2:03 p.m.

    @Objectified(Tooele,UT)...... You said "Non-married individuals have been able to adopt in Utah for many years."

    Yes, INDIVIDUALS many be adoptive parents. BUT two unmarried individuals can NOT BOTH be adoptive parents of the same child in the State of Utah. If Utah refuses to honor the legal marriage certificates of same sex married couples who migrate to Utah from another state where Same Sex Marriage is legal, then Utah can also refuse to honor the adoption paperwork showing two married gay people BOTH as parents of the same child. I wonder if Utah plans to post highway patrolmen at the borders to confiscate marriage certificates and adoption papers? Maybe they'll also have to check the gender of all individuals entering Utah to make certain they aren't the same sex. Border crossings into Utah could be painfully slow and awkward.

  • Stephen Daedalus Arvada, CO
    Jan. 31, 2014 1:35 p.m.

    As @Marco explains, Utah’s basis to appeal is narrow: did Judge Shelby err -- as a matter of law -- in granting summary judgment? The 10th Cir. will look at pleadings Shelby had before him and binding precedent to affirm or reverse.

    The lowest standard of review of a law that excludes a class of citizens from exercising a fundamental right (such as marriage, per SCOTUS) is ‘rational basis’ which asks whether the exclusion of that particular class bears a rational relationship to achieving a legitimate state interest.

    Utah may have a legitimate interest in encouraging procreation, stable child-rearing, etc. But critically, Utah failed to explain how a law that excludes a single class of citizens (all same sex couples) is rationally related to achieving those desired outcomes, when the law permits all other classes of couples that fail to achieve those same desired outcomes, as much if not worse, as Utah presumes to be case with same-sex couples (ex. opposite sex couples that are infertile, abusive, addicted, mentally ill (untreated), or neglectful).

    Singling out a single class from a field of equally disqualified classes is irrational and arbitrary. No amount of pages will help Utah explain otherwise.

  • Ariz Madison, AL
    Jan. 31, 2014 1:25 p.m.

    "Tell that to the bakery shop owner in New Mexico." The law in New Mexico was a state law against discrimination based on sexual orientation. In other words, a states right issue. I find it ironic that many who want to use states right as an avenue to cu off same sex marriage are not willing to allow room for other states to make the laws as they see fit. There is no way the Feds will invalidate these state laws on first amendment grounds. This was already tried with public accommodation laws based on race. The courts rejected the idea of being the arbitrators of what services are considered essential or which business domains could be considered "religious". You can't allow the wedding vendors to use religion as a basis for discrimination but not allow the car mechanic or any other business to do so.

    BTW, the NM case dealt with a photographer. The oft cited cases in OR and CO dealt with bakeries.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Jan. 31, 2014 12:36 p.m.


    While you're citing Mormon teachings, why not look at the Articles of Faith? Your missionaries bring these to our living rooms.

    11) "...allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may."

    12) "We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law."

    13) "We believe in ... doing good to all men; ... If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things."

    Let's look at these, in reverse order, and what they say to a naive layman like myself on the issue of allowing homosexuals to marry each other:

    I see goodness, praiseworthiness and virtue in every couple that makes a loving, lifetime commitment to care for each other. Can't you?

    I see the Circuit Court, with its training and judicial acumen, and appointment to the bench by the Executive and Legislature, has ruled on the law of the land. Can't you?

    I see how your religious beliefs differ from mine. I'm willing to forego enshrining my religion in the secular law. Can't you?

  • equal protection Cedar, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 12:20 p.m.

    @J.Chang The Family A Proclamation to the World "...marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children."

    The following religions are blessed with very special access to the CORRECT moral truth for which your religion is not privy. They all honor and perform same-sex marriages:

    Affirming Pentecostal Church International
    Alliance of Christian Churches
    Anointed Affirming Independent Ministries
    The Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists
    Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
    Community of Christ
    Conservative Judaism
    Ecumenical Catholic Church
    Ecumenical Catholic Communion
    The Episcopal Church
    Evangelical Anglican Church In America
    Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
    Global Alliance of Affirming Apostolic Pentecostals
    Inclusive Orthodox Church
    Metropolitan Community Church
    Old Catholic Church
    Progressive Christian Alliance
    Reconciling Pentecostals International
    Reconstructionist Judaism
    Reform Judaism
    Reformed Anglican Catholic Church
    Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
    Unitarian Universalist Church
    United Church of Christ
    Unity Church

    "In other news, the 9th Circuit just okayed punishing (religious) psychologists who disagree with SSM; ....."
    Tonight try "Praying YOUR own Sexual Orientation away" then come back in the morning and let us know how its working.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Jan. 31, 2014 12:10 p.m.

    @iron&clay: Can we please dispense with the ignorant fear-mongering?

    The "H" in HIV is "Human." It's a disease that anyone can get, not just from sex, gay or straight, but from improper medical practices or accidental exposure to someone else's blood. Worldwide, over 95% of all cases, and all deaths have been heterosexuals, which makes it a "straight" disease. It's epidemic in entire countries.

    Monogamous gay couples, just like monogamous straight couples, have little risk of HIV/AIDS, and lesbian couples have less risk than straight couples. If you're concerned about lowering the incidence of HIV, one of the best ways of promoting monogamy is to encourage marriage. Right now, the fastest growing segment of the American population with HIV is heterosexual senior citizens, who are apparently having a lot more unprotected casual sex than we thought.

    As for "the innocent children," why don't you worry a bit more about the innocent children currently rotting in orphanages, unwanted, with no one to even foster them? Or the 41% (1.6 million) of all American births annually out-of-wedlock?

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 11:57 a.m.


    "It was a two-thirds majority who approved the state's current definition of marriage defined as being between a man and a woman."

    It doesn't matter how many people "approve" of a violation of the Constitution, it is still a violation of the Constitution. You do NOT get to vote on other people's rights.


    I don't believe in your prophets. I don't believe in your "proclamation". I don't have to follow it, as I also have the freedom to choose which religious beliefs I'll follow. Stop trying to force us to live by your beliefs.

  • J. S. Houston, TX
    Jan. 31, 2014 11:46 a.m.

    Same Sex Marriage is illegal in Oregon

    Oregon state government recognized out of state SSM.

    "Slavery was abolished by the 13th Amendment, which became law after ratification by a super majority of states. The right to vote was guaranteed to women by the 19th Amendment"


    and yet, Mississippi did not ratify 13th amendment by 1995, 19th amendment by 1984. if slaves and women have to wait for a popular support in their own state, not from federal intervene, they have to wait long long time.

  • Objectified Tooele, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 11:45 a.m.

    @ Constitution is King:

    Your example is full of fallacies. Utah has never taken away anyone's adoption papers who were received in another state... especially because of the same-sex marriage issue being different between states. I would like for you to name even one example when that has happened. You can't, because it hasn't.

    Another made-up scare tactic scenario by ultra-left wing ideologists who can't make there case with pragmatism.

    Non-married individuals have been able to adopt in Utah for many years. Please do a bit more research before making such contentions again.

  • J.Chang duval, FL
    Jan. 31, 2014 11:31 a.m.

    The Family
    A Proclamation to the World

    ...marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His children.

    All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.

    The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity. Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ.

  • Objectified Tooele, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 11:20 a.m.

    @ Hutterite:

    I've been following arguments on both sides of this issue. I'm objectively convinced there is more "obfuscation" coming from the pro-SSM left side than from the pro-traditional side. Open-mindedness will almost certainly verify that... though both sides participate.

    @ yarrlydarb:

    Having lived in Utah and associated with a vast array of it's citizens in different regions, I can assure you there are more people in Utah who feel your very liberal stance is considered more "ridiculous" than those who might agree with what you contrarily feel is ridiculous in this matter.

    It was a two-thirds majority who approved the state's current definition of marriage defined as being between a man and a woman. Polls since that time vary widely, depending on the wording of any particular poll, making most somewhat questionable.

    Though your non-tolerant approach apparently keeps you from understanding it, there are definitely social and societal implications with this issue that need to be thoroughly addressed... much further than your single-purpose opinion is apparently capable of considering. As such, Utah's money will be well spent, regardless of the court outcome.

  • J. S. Houston, TX
    Jan. 31, 2014 11:17 a.m.

    "In other news, the 9th Circuit just okayed punishing psychologists who disagree with SSM; putting a gag order on them."


    California passed the law to ban conversion therapy because it is harmful. but that is only for minors, an adult who wants to change his sexual orientation can still seek for such "treatment", if he believes it will work (well, good luck with that). And that law only applies to California.

    California has a system of direct democracy. voters can put referendum on ballot and vote down such law if them don’t like it. But this law's opponents could not even get enough signatures. Didn't that failure tell you something?

  • Constitution Is King Brigham, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 11:12 a.m.

    For those of you in favor of banning same-sex marriage, consider this case:

    One of Utah's large corporations has strong connections with the state of Iowa where same-sex marriage is fully legal. A legally married same-sex couple and their two children in Iowa are being transferred to Utah by the employer of the family's primary breadwinner. If they refuse the transfer, they will be unemployed. If the couple moves to Utah, Utah officials will greet them at the border and demand that they hand over their marriage certificate and become "unmarried". Utah officials will strip the adoption papers from the hands of the parents, and the children will be no longer considered to have two parents. This NIGHTMARISH example is what you are supporting when you support Amendment 3, banning same sex marriage in Utah. The ban against same-sex marriage is nightmarishly anti-family and DISMANTLES existing families moving in from other states.

  • iron&clay RIVERTON, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 11:03 a.m.

    It will obviously take a long, long, long, brief to list all the negative impact on innocent children, HIV/AIDS, and 1st Amendment rights that 'same sex marriage will have on society.

  • Constitution Is King Brigham, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 10:35 a.m.

    For those who are arguing "States Rights" to continue the ban against same-sex marriage:

    1. States do have a constitutionally protected right to make their own laws... BUT, those laws MUST be consistent with ALL parts of the US Constitution. The ban against same-sex marriage conflicts with amendment 14 of the US Constitution. States do NOT have the right to override the US Constitution.

    2. Who speaks for the State of Utah today??? Is it the voters from the distant past? or is it today's voters? A majority of today's voters now support marriage equality and that majority INCREASES weekly.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Jan. 31, 2014 9:20 a.m.

    @MontPugmire: Speaking for myself, as a proponent of marriage equality, you're entitled to be just as opinionated as you like, and say whatever you want. We have free speech in this country.

    But, by their words ye shall know them.

    If you consistently say bigoted things, you will become known as a bigot. This is not incivility. It's merely descriptive. Meanwhile, you're free to describe yourself as a "religious traditionalist," a "states rights advocate," or whatever makes you happy. But, unless you change your tune, you'll remain a bigot in the eyes, and free speech, of others.

    --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

    Regarding "people of conscience" being prosecuted for illegal discrimination:

    Imagine one of the followers of a Christian Identity Movement church, owning a business that only served those he considered ideal Aryans. No Hispanics, Asians, Blacks, Jews, Moslems, First Nations ("Indians"), Gays, Catholics or Mormons. That's his honest, conscience-driven belief, supported by his church. Should he be immune from nondescrimination law because of his religion?

    The courts say no.

    --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---

    We don't have mob rule in America. Not from pulpits, nor the ballot box. Guaranteed individual rights can't be trumped.

  • peter irons san diego, CA
    Jan. 31, 2014 8:55 a.m.

    There's a saying among lawyers and judges that "the longer the brief, the weaker the argument." I know the 10th circuit judges are trying to be fair to Utah's hired guns, but their prior briefs in this case, including the stay application to the Supreme Court, are unnecessarily prolix and convoluted. That's because the state's lawyers keep ditching tired old justifications for "traditional" marriage and floating new ones. The "responsible procreation" argument didn't fly, because it would deny marriage to infertile, elderly, or couples who choose not to procreate. Besides, lesbians can procreate through various means, so that argument fails. The brand-new argument against SSM is now called "gender complementarity" (anybody heard that term before?). In plain English, it means "it takes a mommy and a daddy to raise a child." The reason the state needs a longer brief to make this claim is that they will pad their brief with dozens of citations to dubious and discredited "studies" that are written by supposed "experts" but which lack scientific rigor, that is, matched samples of sufficient size and over a fairly long period. There just aren't any such studies that meet these criteria.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 31, 2014 8:25 a.m.

    "Tell that to the bakery shop owner in New Mexico."

    This sentence represents a confusion some commentators have.

    The refusal to bake a cake (or take pictures or do whatever) has nothing to do with the legality of same-sex marriage - as evidenced by the case in Oregon where same-sex marriage isn't legal.

    This also doesn't have anything to do with employment and housing non-discrimination laws such as the Utah one currently under debate - the couple was not seeking housing or employment from the baker.

    This has to do with public accommodation laws. If you have a business that serves the public, you must serve all your products to all the public on an equal basis. No, this does not mean you must start carrying products you don't already carry or violate the law by serving alcohol to minors. What it means is that if you make wedding cakes anyone has a right to buy a wedding cake from you.

    Public accommodation laws do not mean clergy has to marry anyone who asks because clergy don't serve the general public.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 8:19 a.m.


    1) What about the religions that think SSM is okay?
    2) States may NOT violate the US Consititution
    3) Denying us marriage affects OUR economic issue, not yours
    4) Marriage definition has change many times
    5) What about OUR families?
    6) What about OUR children
    7) Why should homosexuals be forced to support heterosexuality
    8) Yes
    9) Probably, given the historic discrimination and opprobium
    10) The 14th amendment says ALL citizens of the us (which includes homosexuals)
    11) Again, ALL citizens
    12) Civil unions are not allowed in Utah either.

  • ThinkAndAnalyze Taylorsville, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 6:57 a.m.

    24,000 words is a lot of ammunition to give Father's Rights groups who call the State "hypocrite".

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 4:53 a.m.

    To 1978 5:33 p.m. Jan. 30, 2014

    "No one is demanding that mormons have to participate"

    Tell that to the bakery shop owner in New Mexico.


    Baking a cake is providing a product It is NOT participating in a wedding.

  • Mont Pugmire Fairview, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 4:37 a.m.

    The need for civility in the Amendment 3 is made perfectly clear by the angry words of those from the gay and lesbian community as they comment about this and other articles. I get the sense the 'civility' to them means they can say anything they want while those of the overwhelming majority who voted for the amendment are supposed to stay quiet or just say nice things. Abraham Lincoln once said that calling a dog's tail a leg does not change the fact that the dog only has 4 legs. For centuries, both scriptural and will of the people laws, have correctly stated that a marriage is between a man and a woman. Oh, and by the way, the first amendment actually has NOTHING to do with this disagreement nor is it right for a single liberal judge to be able to so cavalierly disregard the voice of the people. Truth be told: The greatest danger in this issue is that such judges can so easily undo the will of large majorities in the general populace.

  • equal protection Cedar, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 3:05 a.m.

    @AZKID ".....the consequences of redefining it" and educate yourself .......those who feel that we must fight, argue, and persuade in favor of the traditional definition of marriage."

    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. Understand better?

    The "redefinition argument" is complete nonsense!

    @Jeff29 "Those of you citing the 14th Amendment and equal protection clause need to stop repeating things you hear on TV and read on the internet and go study the history..."
    Windsor (DOMA) was decided from the 5th and 14th Amendments (due process and equal protection). If due process and equal protection are good enough for SCOTUS, then obviously must be good enough for all.

  • Peeves Portland, OR
    Jan. 31, 2014 1:33 a.m.

    The LGBT's want everyone to believe this is about hate when in reality it's about believing you have a right to choose who you are and what you do, but you don't have a right to make others be the same as you.

  • LiberalJimmy Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 31, 2014 12:08 a.m.

    @Hospitality...My I ask whose God you are referring too? Do you believe everyone prays and will answer to your God or "Prophet"? Possibly my God is upset (so to say) in regard to the treatment of his gay children because after all EVERY ONE is God's children. Wouldn't you agree with this basic Christian principle and belief?

  • Starry starry night Palm Springs , CA
    Jan. 30, 2014 11:49 p.m.

    Jeff29 says..."my guess is that when this is all said and done, the Court will rule that it is a States' Rights issue."

    I disagree. The court has been maneuvering the chess pieces for years now. They are building the case for their ultimate decision which will establish the right for same sex couples to marry everywhere. The fact is that marriage equality exists for nearly 40% of the population now, nationwide. Our system cannot function under a patchwork of laws in which a legally married couple from NY with children are suddenly un-married with questionable parental rights in Pennsylvania or Utah. The courts have consistently ruled in favor of marriage rights not restrictions.The constitution trumps states rights. Precedent has always come down on the side of expanding rights and the same will occur here.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    Jan. 30, 2014 11:31 p.m.

    Yes, the Bible is full of patriarchal "traditional marriage," complete with consorts, incest, slaves, polygamy, and offering your virgin daughters to bands of strangers. Why, some of the Muslim countries still execute rape victims as temptresses, with traditional public stonings.

    But, if you want to make "traditional marriage" to mean a monogamous male-female marriage, and to solely reserve the word marriage for that, I offer a compromise.

    Adjectives. We have them in English. They modify nouns. You can make nouns mean almost entirely different things by slapping different adjectives in front of them. In this way, you can fully display your contempt for people you disapprove of, or love for those you approve of, with great specificity, and everybody can still get married.

    Besides this neologism (neophraseology?) of "traditional marriage," we also have:

    Temple marriage.
    Church marriage.
    Justice-of-the-peace marriage.
    Wedding chapel marriage.
    Contract marriage.
    Arranged marriage.
    Civil/City Hall marriage.
    Hollywood/Celebrity marriage.
    Country-club marriage.
    Catering-hall marriage.
    Religious marriage (various).
    May-December Marriage.
    and now,
    Gay/Lesbian/Same-Sex/Intersex/Trans Marriage.

    Whatever happened to Eloping? Can we use that word for something?

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 11:26 p.m.

    @ Hospitality

    We have a secular nation, therefore your religious beliefs are completely irrelevant when arguing in the court of law. You are free to believe whatever you want, but you do not get to force others to live by those beliefs.

    @ SoCalChris

    Judge Shelby and dozens of other judges before him? You act like the 13th and 19th Amendment were easily passed. Both of those events were met with extreme resistance. The Civil War speaks for itself, and Women's Suffrage went on for about 70 years before they finally won out. No those rights weren't discovered, they were fought for. Unfortunately for the "traditional" crowd, freedom and expansion and rights always wins out in the end.

  • Linus Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 11:25 p.m.

    Utah exists as a state only by agreeing to a narrow and universally popular definition of marriage. There was a tortuously protracted struggle on the part of this territory's citizens to legitimize a more inclusive definition of marriage. Even the great emancipator, Abraham Lincoln, labeled the expanded definition of marriage as one of the "twin relics of barbarism" polygamy and slavery). Polygamy offended the moral sensitivities of the nation's majority.

    Isn't it ironic that Utah is again the focus of the nation. Many are invested in forcing Utah to accept a broader definition of marriage, even though it offends the moral sensitivities of the state's majority. It is now evident that the "relics of barbarism" are not twins, but triplets!

  • EDM Castle Valley, Utah
    Jan. 30, 2014 11:01 p.m.

    The fight against gay marriage is getting awfully desperate. It's come down to stall tactics.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 10:35 p.m.

    Leaders of this state many years ago have claimed monogamy led to the downfall of civilizations like Rome. Turns out marriage views do evolve.

  • SoCalChris Riverside, CA
    Jan. 30, 2014 10:31 p.m.

    "The Constitution exists so the majority can't force their will upon the minority. Otherwise slavery would still be a reality and you wouldn't be able to own land, or vote."

    Slavery was abolished by the 13th Amendment, which became law after ratification by a super majority of states. The right to vote was guaranteed to women by the 19th Amendment, ratified again not only by a majority but a super majority. These rights weren't magically discovered in the Constitution (the way Judge Shelby discovered SSM).

    Where are these rights supposed to come from if not from the People? Or from God?

  • BrettlyBlue SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 10:12 p.m.

    How can it be a states rights issue. Say a gay married couple moves here from CA...the minute they cross the state line, per Utah are they now not married? If one gets sick...does the once married spouse no have no say? Waht about the children...who then are their parents.

    You see, it CAN't be states right because people have the freedom in the US to move from state to state...and in order for that legal marriage to continue, marriage has to transcend state lines.

    Not sure how the SC could rule otherwise.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 9:54 p.m.

    @ Razzle2

    There is a difference between not supporting something and discriminating against people....

  • Hospitality SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 9:51 p.m.

    The state's attempt to re-define marriage is a breach of the understood "wall" separating church and state in America. Marriage is a religious institution that has pre-dated and out-lasted all states, even those states which protected religion. The state lacks the power and authority to re-define marriage, which it did not create. Churches do not have to recognize any civil union as marriage, though many have chosen to recognize the civil union of a man and a woman as marriage, and the state has called it by that name because of tradition. Anyone is free to invent their own religion, but they cannot force others to accept it. The state needs to keep to it's own side of the wall, and remember it's place. All the rest is just quibbling and useless debate. Leave marriage alone, and call sexual license what it is.

  • Hospitality SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 9:50 p.m.

    Who on planet earth is so presumptuous as to believe that they have the authority to put asunder what God has joined together, namely, a man and a woman in marriage? No lawmaker, nor king, president, ruler, nor magistrate has authority to change the definition of marriage. God alone has that power.

  • Hospitality SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 9:49 p.m.

    Before there was a Supreme Court, before there was a Constitution, before there was a Revolution, before we had a country, before any of us were born, since the dawn of time, there has been marriage. It has always meant the union of a man and a woman. Call any other union whatever you will, but do not call it "marriage". Throughout the ages, sexual license has not required that the definition of marriage be changed. You can do whatever you want; no one is stopping you; you have that right. But do not destroy marriage by calling something "marriage" that is not marriage. Marriage will never go away, just as God and Religion will never go away. Civilizations come may and go. Governments may come and go. But no legislature will ever succeed in getting rid of God and Religion, from which came true marriage. That's why we as a people, and as individuals, are still here to discuss this. Everyone one of us was born of a woman united with a man.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 9:43 p.m.

    "They are not martyrs for the conservative cause."

    Even if they weren't planned in advance, they have become martyrs for the cause. Just think of the organizations and talk show hosts that are using these cases to fight any proposed laws to promote equality. We have some of those organizations using these few--and they really are few--cases to scare people into fighting an anti-discrimination bill here in Utah. It would be interesting to see if these people who lost their businesses because they made poor business decisions are receiving money from some of these foundations.

    What it really comes down to is the people lost their businesses because they made poor decisions--they chose to discriminate against somebody, and word got out. They suffered the consequences of their choices. Perhaps others have learned a valuable lesson and will treat all of their customers with more dignity and reap the rewards for their kinder way of doing business.

  • Razzle2 Bluffdale, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 9:30 p.m.

    Florist in Washington, baker in Oregon. I'm not being trivial, it's just there are more examples of the courts getting into our daily activity.

    And it is even more bizarre. Same Sex Marriage is illegal in Oregon, yet it is illegal not to support it.

    The people and the courts going in different directions again. "just go along with it, it does not affect you" you gullible Americans.

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    Jan. 30, 2014 9:26 p.m.

    To Really- " Personally, I believe these some of these "protests of conscious" have been planned out in advance to gain publicity for the anti-marriage-equality folks to have some talking points. It's just a scare tactic to divert people away from the real issues of equality."

    Seriously? I hope you're kidding. If not, you better re-think that. These people lost their business- their livelihood. They didn't plan it out on purpose. They are not martyrs for the conservative cause. That's a bogus line of thought.

    To Laura Bilington- MN is liberal save for a few pockets of conservatives. It's been carried by the dems in the last 4 elections. Minneapolis and St. Paul are very liberal. I lived there for over a decade.

  • Marco Luxe Los Angeles, CA
    Jan. 30, 2014 9:24 p.m.

    1. An appeal must by law be focused on an allegation of legal error in the court below. Requesting added space to present "vast amounts of social science material to fully... explain how traditional marriage serves Utah's interests" is inappropriate for an appellate court. UT had a chance to argue social science at the trial court level, but failed to show how it is rationally related to the legal issue.

    2. "Explain[ing] how traditional marriage serves Utah's interests" misses the point entirely. No one says raditional marriage doesn't serve Utah's interest [in stable families(?)]. UT must argue how restricting a civil contract from a minority group promotes a legitimate government interest. How does barring Ann and Beth's civil marriage provide any benefit at all to anyone else, especially since they're already living together and raising a family? This is not a zero sum game. We can all win with greater equality & respect.

    3. The outside lawyers are showing a poor quality of work. I guess politics demands this waste of money and resources. Utah's taxpayers will thus soon ensure marriage equality for all six states of the 10th Circuit.

  • Constitution Is King Brigham, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 9:20 p.m.

    Half of the money being used to pay these bigoted one-sided heavily biased lawyers is coming from Utah tax payers who support same-sex marriage equality. The state should have hired an independent attorney who had no biases in the case (one way or the other), but who had a high level of US Constitutional Law experience. An unbiased, independent attorney would have said "I have no biases in this case, one way or the other, I'm just here to make certain that this case gets a constitutionally fair hearing. It doesn't matter which side wins as long as the process is constitutionally sound and the judges are informed as well as possible in order for them to make a fair decision.".... Shame on Utah leadership for employing a highly biased attorney using OUR tax dollars.

  • LiberalJimmy Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 9:17 p.m.

    @Chris B...As a fellow Catholic we both know one cannot cherry pick which commandments and Gospels we adhere too. "Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone". Are you ready to cast that first stone my friend? Personally, I am not.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 8:31 p.m.

    "And there it goes. It's not really about marriage is it? It's about forcing your will on others."

    Actually, the baker, photographer, or florist who refuses to do business with anyone based on their convictions are the ones attempting to impose their will on others. I have been to many LDS temple marriages, and not once did we consider to photographer as being part of the wedding party. In fact, the photographers, cake decorators, and florists weren't in any of any wedding pictures that I have seen. They were contract workers that provided a service for the couples getting married.

    I know it's difficult to admit that sometimes we need to be compelled to treat others better than we are often treated. We don't have to agree with how other people live, but we cannot deny them a service that we offer every other customer because of that disagreement. Sometimes we get too hung up on being right about moral issues that we forget about the basic principle of treating others with dignity. Let's treat others with kindness and leave the judgments to God.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 8:06 p.m.

    @ Mom of Six

    The Constitution exists so the majority can't force their will upon the minority. Otherwise slavery would still be a reality and you wouldn't be able to own land, or vote.

    SSM does nothing to you, or your marriage. They deserve the same rights you and I enjoy.

  • jcobabe Provo, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 8:04 p.m.

    How interesting to see the remarks of those who seem so anxious to inform me about what I am "welcome" to. It is unfortunate that promoters of secularism seem not to understand that they are not in charge of granting such permission, even within the presumptions of a pluralistic society. I believe we still live under a democratic government where the rule of law prevails. Under the US Constitution, any laws not specifically circumscribed therein are rightfully the domain of States, and belong to the people. This principle has been tested and reaffirmed in the Supreme Court numerous times.

  • Cowboy Dude SAINT GEORGE, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 7:45 p.m.

    Really??? "If I were a bakery shop owner..."

    And there it goes. It's not really about marriage is it? It's about forcing your will on others. "If you are a bakery owner than you must do business as if I were bakery shop owner."

    By the way, the bakery shop owner was in Washington. It is a photographer in New Mexico that actually WAS forced to participate.

  • Canyontreker TAYLORSVILLE, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 7:20 p.m.

    Laura Bilington "And if you read the DOMA arguments, you already know that civil unions aren’t equal."

    And if you read the DOMA arguments, you already know that DOMA was a Federal law over a state issue. There was no ruling on civil unions being equal.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 7:18 p.m.

    "Tell that to the bakery shop owner in New Mexico."

    If I were a bakery shop owner, I would focus on doing my best work for every customer that comes through my doors; it's not my business telling others I will not do business with them because I disagree with their choice of marriage partner. I would bake and decorate the best cake possible and have it delivered to the proper place with extra time for the happy couple to enjoy their day.

    I don't see how the baker is actually participating in the wedding any more than he/she would participate in any of the birthday parties, baptisms, bar mitzvahs, showers, bachelor parties, or myriad of other events for which that they make cakes and other baked goods. Personally, I believe these some of these "protests of conscious" have been planned out in advance to gain publicity for the anti-marriage-equality folks to have some talking points. It's just a scare tactic to divert people away from the real issues of equality.

  • Canyontreker TAYLORSVILLE, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 7:16 p.m.

    Laura Bilington "And neither Iowa nor Minnesota (who sent Michelle Bachmann to Congress--albeit with 51% of the vote) are hotbeds of liberalism."

    Correct. Michelle Bachmann was elected by the people for the people. SSM was forced on Iowa by the courts against their own law.

  • Canyontreker TAYLORSVILLE, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 7:10 p.m.

    AZKID "I was appalled when I recently saw a graphic showing where gay "marriage" was fully legal. There was Utah in blue, along with the liberal states in the Northeast and a few others. Utah was, plainly and simply, targeted by the gay activists..."

    What? Do you realize that only Maine, Maryland, and Washington were voter approved?
    Six of those "liberal" states you call out had laws against SSM. It was the courts that overturned the law. 39 states all with laws for one man & one woman nearly 4/5 of the country.

    They want you to think that popular decision is changing. Don't fall for it.

  • get her done Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 6:09 p.m.

    More words do not mean more truth.

  • Hugh1 Denver, CO
    Jan. 30, 2014 6:04 p.m.

    @Mom of Six

    I believe that moms and dads, once they understand the inevitability that some of their children will be gay, will stop treating them differently. What's a parent to do when they hear their teenager's tearful confession, "Mom and dad, I think I'm gay?" Even though only five percent or so of any given population is gay - 1:20, a middle of the road estimate - we are talking about many, many families. The choice here is not one of substitution i.e. that a straight couple will have a child instead - the State's intention is that the child is not to be born to or raised by a gay married couple. The State's enforcement is through discriminatory social contracts (banning gay marriage) and equally discriminatory economic policies. If you're child, "comes out" to you, the answer is always, "I love you just the way you are." It's easy enough to research the Massachusetts gay-marriage prototype, it's ten years now. Why speculate on the outcome? It's hard to argue with facts - even with 24000 words.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    Jan. 30, 2014 5:51 p.m.

    Lovely Deseret, you don’t need 30 pages to say 1)religious issue--this isn’t a theocracy. 2) states’ rights--you don’t get to discriminate against anybody without presenting compelling evidence that this is necessary (we’ve always done it this way” is not evidence). 3) Economic issue--huh? 4) how do you define it? A union of two consenting unrelated adults. 5) what is best for families? To have two parents who love and are committed to their kids. 8. Forced to support homosexuality--huh? Nobody’s forcing YOU to do anything. 8. Loving vs Virginia ruled that marriage to the person you chose could not be abridged because they were of a different race. 9&10&11-Look, you can’t legally discriminate--that isn’t rocket science. And if you read the DOMA arguments, you already know that civil unions aren’t equal.

  • Jeff29 Draper, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 5:35 p.m.

    Those of you citing the 14th Amendment and equal protection clause need to stop repeating things you hear on TV and read on the internet and go study the history and intent of the Amendment. I'll give you three little tidbits: 1) It was passed only because all States in the South were required to ratify it after the Civil War. 2) It is widely recognized as the most poorly written Amendment to the Constitution. 3) Equal protection under the law referred primarily to punishments given after people broke the law (if it meant equal rights, there would have been no need for the 19th Amendment).

    I think there is little question that this will eventually reach the Supreme Court as neither side will accept an adverse ruling from a lower court. I suppose the Court could refuse to rule on it, but my guess is that when this is all said and done, the Court will rule that it is a States' Rights issue.

  • 1978 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 5:33 p.m.

    "No one is demanding that mormons have to participate"

    Tell that to the bakery shop owner in New Mexico.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    Jan. 30, 2014 5:31 p.m.

    AZKID,gay marriage (not "marriage") has been legal in Massachusetts for ten years. Please tell us how the state has gone to the dogs since all adults in MA have been able to marry the person they loved.

    And neither Iowa nor Minnesota (who sent Michelle Bachmann to Congress--albeit with 51% of the vote) are hotbeds of liberalism. But please tell me, how are marriage equality laws "punishing" the people of Utah? If you don't agree with gay marriage, then marry someone of the opposite sex. End of problem!

  • speed66 Heber City, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 5:16 p.m.

    Extra long brief....the courts must be familiar with Utah's customs.

    Gay marriage is coming and its fun to watch everyone fall all over themselves trying to rationalize their arcane beliefs. Your religion nor any other can dictate what others can do.

    No one is demanding that mormons have to participate but, they also don't get to dictate to others what they can do. Individual liberty is a central tenet of our history and our rights, popular vote is secondary...as it should be or there would be no mormon church.

  • Lane Myer Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 5:07 p.m.

    Mom of six:

    I would make the argument like this: (leaving out the hate, btw)

    We have been taught since we were young that homosexuality is wrong. We have been taught that you need to repent when you have sinned. To allow gays to marry (with all the same connotations that temple marriage has in the law) would not allow gays to repent without breaking up a family. Also, my prophet has told me to fight against it and I will obey. It is something that sounds so different to my idea of what life should be like that it cannot be right nor should it be allowed by law.


    Does that sound better?

    Now, go read the constitution. Go read the Iowa Supreme court ruling on gay marriage, go read Prop8 arguments before the district judge. Think about walking a mile in the shoes of those two young men in the picture accompanying this article, especially since they are raising a child.

    Here are a few questions:
    What does the constitution say about equal treatment under the law? Why would you deny that child_the_most stable environment possible to grow up in - which is having his parents married?

  • dalefarr South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 30, 2014 4:54 p.m.

    This is an important case. The Court made the correct decision in allowing the State to say what it wants to say and present its side of the case.

  • Mom of Six Northern Utah, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 4:43 p.m.


    Come on...come on....that is not what this is about. Please, you must come up with a little bit more precise argument than that. This is not about hate. This is about a minority group trying to redefine what has been marriage for thousands of years. This has never been a right of this minority group, yet somehow the majority must conform or we will be labeled as bigoted and silenced because we do not agree with what the minority wants to label as a new definition of marriage. I think the vast majority of people here in Utah would be fine with civil unions as long as it is not equated to marriage. Paint it any way you choose but an apple and an orange are not the same, neither will gay marriage ever be.

  • yarrlydarb Ogden, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 4:35 p.m.

    The primary and basic belief in all of Christianity supports mankind's agency to make personal choices. As soon as mankind begins to exercise control of personal choice (not including illegal acts that cause harm to one's fellow man), then mankind, in all effect, endeavors to dictate and make legal the fallacy that, "All personal choice shall be allowed and protected except for this, that, and the other, ad infinitum."

    At that point mankind eliminates agency to choose altogether as it would be effectively destroyed.

    The state of Utah can decide to pursue it's ridiculous stance, spending countless millions, which will surely end in a futile battle.

    How about using the countless millions for public education where, historically, the state "stacks 'em deep, and teaches them cheap?"

  • AZKID Mapleton, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 3:51 p.m.

    I was appalled when I recently saw a graphic showing where gay "marriage" was fully legal. There was Utah in blue, along with the liberal states in the Northeast and a few others. Utah was, plainly and simply, targeted by the gay activists in an effort to punish the state for the predominant view of its population and dominant religious group. I find this to be reprehensible behavior on the part of those activists. Therefore, I applaud the court in giving this matter a full and complete hearing in the light of all legal and societal considerations. May truth, right and morality (and state's rights) prevail!

    And for those who may not understand the grave societal implications this issue and think it is merely a matter of bigotry, or some small group's rights etc., go Google "marriage what it is why it matters and the consequences of redefining it" and educate yourself with some scholarly research on the matter. It may not change your mind, but you might at least be a little bit more tolerant (oh, the irony!) of those who feel that we must fight, argue, and persuade in favor of the traditional definition of marriage.

  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Jan. 30, 2014 3:01 p.m.

    My 24 000 would read like this :

    Neither evolution, science nor religion can define what marriage is all about.
    A daughter that loves her mother or a son loving his father can be measured in neither words nor in any family proclamation, but in the very lasting bond for a life long secure and loving attitude toward others. End of Case.

    (You want a stable society trust in a thousand years first, any other union must be on a scientific test run for some years before being approved)

  • Vanceone Provo, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 3:01 p.m.

    In other news, the 9th Circuit just okayed punishing psychologists who disagree with SSM; putting a gag order on them. They stated that speech against homosexuality is really conduct, not speech, and therefore the state can criminalize such conduct.

    All that's left is to shove ministers into mental health professional category and boom--religious leaders in jail.

    Add this to the ever growing list of "how could SSM possibly hurt you?" lists.

  • koseighty Logan, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 2:45 p.m.

    @truth in all its forms
    "How do you write its against my religion in 24000 words?"

    Quote large swaths of Isaiah?

  • LovelyDeseret Gilbert, AZ
    Jan. 30, 2014 2:28 p.m.

    The brief needs to be long because 1) there is the religious issue, 2) there is the states rights issue, 3) there is the economic issue, 4) there is how do you define marriage now issue, 5) the what is best for families issue, 6) the what is best for children issue, 7) why should a state be forced to support homosexuality issue, 8) is marriage a civil right issue, 9) is homosexuality a protected group via the constitution, 10) does the 14th amendment refer to homosexuality? 11) when did equal protection refer to homosexuality, 12) does civil unions give the same protection?

    Imagine having to put that all in 30 pages.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 2:07 p.m.

    "one of the most important and debated legal and policy questions of our time"...only inasmuch as you feel entitled to an outcome in your favour. Besides, how many words does it take to say you feel it is an affront? There's going to have to be a lot of obfuscation around a bare bones argument.

  • One of a Few Layton, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 2:02 p.m.

    Paid by the word.

  • Values Voter LONG BEACH, CA
    Jan. 30, 2014 1:39 p.m.

    Will Schaerr and his team be citing Regnerus?

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Jan. 30, 2014 1:37 p.m.

    Brevity is the soul of wit...

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 30, 2014 1:18 p.m.

    Its nice to know that Mormon Prophet Monson(who speaks for God according to Mormons) and Pope Francis(who speaks for God in my religion) both agree with me that God only wants a man and woman to be able to marry

  • truth in all its forms henderson, NV
    Jan. 30, 2014 1:09 p.m.

    How do you write its against my religion in 24000 words?