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Published: Tuesday, Feb. 11 2014 12:15 a.m. MST

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Schnee
Salt Lake City, UT

When the law is being challenged on the claim of it violating the US Constitution it is up to the defenders of that law to prove that it is Constitutional.

As an example, consider something that presumably most who oppose same-sex marriage also support, the DC gun ban. When that was challenged in the courts it wasn't up to gun rights advocates to prove that getting rid of the law would be beneficial, it was up to gun control advocates to prove that the ban was constitutional.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

False.

No one needs to prove that same sex marriage is better than traditional.

All that needs to be proven is whether or not preventing same sex couples from being married is in violation of the Constitution. It has been done several times. That's sort of what equality is all about. Discrimination is never good.

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

You are missing the point of same sex marriage. It doesn't threaten "traditional marriage" or replace it, it merely adds the BENEFITS of marriage to a whole new segment of society.

Bringing more love and stability to society should be a conservative value, don't you think?

GZE
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

You misstate the nature of your opponent's argument. No one is opposed to traditional marriage. I have never heard anyone say anything about changing traditional marriage one iota.

This is a civil rights issue. Those of you who "support traditional marriage" (which is code for oppose same sex marriage) wish to deny your fellow citizens their full civil rights.

And you are right; the Court has ruled; the writing is on the wall. Marriage equality is coming.

Stephen Daedalus
Arvada, CO

Actually, the burden now is on Utah, as the proponent of Amend 3, and not the SSM plaintiffs. The issue is not whether there is any rational reason for encouraging "traditional marriage".

Utah spent most of its opening brief on the point that the pro-creative, stable-child-rearing, biological-parent rationale for restricting secular marriage to one-man-one-woman is a legitimate state interest. In fact, Judge Shelby's summary judgment analysis assumed that was all true.

So to prevail at the 10th Cir., Utah must convince the panel that Judge Shelby erred in finding that there was no rational basis for the exclusion of a single class of citizens (gay couples) from the benefits/privileges of secular marriage, in Utah's pursuit of all those (presumed) legitimate state interests, when, by law, all other classes of couples which similarly don't measure up to those same standards(physical/emotional abusers, substance abusers, infertile, elderly, adoptive parents) are not excluded.

Utah must persuade the 10th Cir. that the logical disconnect of the isolated exclusion of gay couples and the state's presumed legitimate state interests is, as a matter of law, rational.

5thGen
Holladay, UT

More snide and condescending comparisons. Yes, Jim, gay people just want to get married so they can have a "prolonged free-for-all party" where we can all play with our "trendy new toy". Anti-gay marriage folks never seem able to resist getting a dig or two in.

And Jim, I don't believe there's any such thing as "anti-traditional marriage" - you're just making that up. Supporting gay marriage doesn't mean you're against traditional marriage - it simply means you support marriage equality.

Henderson
Orem, UT

I'm not sure this letter writer understands how the Constitution works.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

Consider the source...

Funny that the letter writer quotes the "Family Research Council" in the Deseret News,

since they have stated that Mormons are a non-Christian Cult,
and just recently trashed the LDS Church for supporting the Boy Scouts.

Speaking of "Burden of Proof",
other States and Countries have legalized non-Traditional marriage...
Traditional Marriage has not been hurt in the least.

BTW -- Polygamy is considered Non-Tradiational.

FreedomFighter41
Provo, UT

Oh really? So the burden of proof now falls upon gay rights activists? Where was this thinking when I advocated for greater gun restrictions (like background checks)? Even a majority of Americans supported those. Yet, the right demanded that I provide the "proof" that background checks would lower gun violence. The people who wanted to restrict one's right to hear arms needed to provide proof.

Had this remained consistent, it would be the people desiring to restrict gay marriage who needed to provide proof. Now it appears that the shoe is on the other foot.

Ranch
Here, UT

"Opponents of traditional marriage values appear to have their priorities reversed. "

We're not "opponents of traditional marriage", we're advocates of marriage equality. There is a huge difference.

Equal does not mean "superior", it means "equal".

"The FRC, along with the state of Utah, has no obligation to further demonstrate the virtue of traditional marriage."

Incorrect. If you're going to deny equal treatment under the law to citizens of this country, you'd better have a darn good reason - and you need PROOF of it. YOU need to prove that allowing LGBT couples to marry is detrimental, not the other way around.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

The burden of proof?

So if 100 studies are done and 99 show that gay marriage has no negatives and 1 study does, will repubs disregard the 99 studies as they've done with global warming?

Lets just admit that no amount of studies is going to change religious peoples' minds on this issue.

Kalindra
Salt Lake City, Utah

When a claim to a right is advanced, those claiming the right don't have to prove access to that right nor that the right provides a benefit to society - those wishing to limit or restrict the right must prove a legally valid reason for the limitation or prohibition.

Contrary to claims by Utah, they do need to prove a connection between the prohibition on same-sex marriage and the claim that it promotes heterosexual unions and the bearing of children.

There is no proof of that. Areas with civil unions have more heterosexual couples partaking of "marriage light" but areas that just have marriage - available to heterosexual and same-sex couples - have not seen a decrease in heterosexual marriages. (Some areas may have a continuation of a trend of declining marriage rates that started before same-sex couples were allowed marriage, but the rate of decline has not increased.)

There has been no decline in fertility rates, no increase in out of wedlock child-bearing, no non-economic increase on child poverty.

Prohibiting same-sex marriage does not further the goal of heterosexual marriage and allowing same-sex marriage does not negatively impact heterosexual marriage or child rearing.

Utefan60
Salt Lake City, UT

I am still scared of the connection with the Family Research Council. I don't want my children being taught creationism. I do however want them to understand the bible as far as it is translated correctly, and to further their education in all areas of science on philosophy. New truths are being discovered every day in this world and to restrict their brains to a limited scope of the world like the Family Research Council does is unacceptable to me as a parent.

J Thompson
SPRINGVILLE, UT

It looks like same-sex advocates have got the cart before that horse - again. The Supreme Court left the decision of what constitutes "marriage" to the States. Utah's Constitution defines marriage as being only between a man and a woman. Utah has fulfilled its obligation, according to the Supreme Court.

The equality argument is total nonsense. We are not equal. Stand in front of a mirror with anyone and see the differences. Saying that your are "equal" does not make you equal. There are differences. There are differences in our duties. There are differences in our paychecks. There are differences in our education. We are all different. Some are trying to force a convoluted definition of "equality" on society.

Those who use the 14th Amendment's "equality" clause, haven't even read it. "or deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws." The Supreme Court told the States to make the "laws" about marriage. Everyone in Utah has equal protection to marry someone of the opposite sex according to the LAW.

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

"We're not "opponents of traditional marriage", we're advocates of marriage equality. There is a huge difference."

That is exactly why this terminology is used. Some do it out of weakness, but the device was created very purposefully.

It's used to not just simplify the issue (erase all the grey areas and possible points of agreement), but to create an "us or them" mentality.

Tribalism is a very primate instinct and if you want to win an issue you need as many people on your side as possible.

Thus you have, pro life, anti gun, anti traditional marriage. The one place Dems have used it effectively is with anti global warming.

In my opinion this is what has happened to Congress, the tea party has turned it into a tribal contest, and you don't cooperate with the other tribe, you destroy them.

EDM
Castle Valley, Utah

Jim,

Even if we were all to agree that "traditional marriage" is optimal, how does the prohibition of gay marriage advance that?

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

From the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech..."

Many of us believe that part of the Constitution allows individuals to be able to think and do as they please so long as their actions do not harm or adversely effect others. And they may call it what they please.

If one believes that the Constitution trumps state law, it is up to the state to show cause for the apparent violation of the First Amendment protections.

Tyler D
Meridian, ID

Still waiting to hear a sound argument against gay marriage that does not involve religion (which is irrelevant since our government is forbidden to pass any laws respecting an establishment of it) or what essentially boils down to the “it’s just yucky” argument.

And truth be told, I get the 2nd argument. But I also don’t understand how people like brussel sprouts, yet I don’t have anywhere near the hubris to suggest people shouldn’t be allowed to eat them.

And thanks to those who have pointed out the hypocrisy of those who claim they simply “support traditional marriage.” I too would be against anyone who does not support traditional marriage. When you find someone that fits that description (they appear to be non-existent among gay marriage supporters) please let us know.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

J Thompson.

The Supreme Court's decision to allow the states to define religion, is like Henry Ford's quote "People can have any color car they want, so long as it is black".

The Supreme Court decision is in effect, "states can make any law they please, so long as their law doesn't violate the Constitution".

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The really sad part of all this, is that churches and religious organizations have done themselves harm by trying to force others to accept a single definition of marriage when it really doesn't matter.

Children matter, and need the protection of traditional parents, society and even government. Yet the churches and religious organizations refuse to separate the two issues. As a result, children may be the losers no matter which way it goes.

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