Comments about ‘Attorney for same-sex couples files brief in Amendment 3 appeal’

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Published: Wednesday, Feb. 26 2014 6:10 a.m. MST

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Here, UT

The state should ask for their money back. The lawyers they purchased to defend their position wrote up a real lemon; this rebuttal shreds the state's case to itty-bitty-pieces.

Salt Lake City, Utah

Ten years ago, during the Amendment 3 debate here in Utah, the LGBT and Ally community asked legislators not to include the second part, the part that states, "No other domestic union, however denominated, may be recognized as a marriage or given the same or substantially equivalent legal effect."

Legislators ignored those voices.

The LGBT and Ally community then asked voters to reject Amendment 3 because, by including that second part, it went too far. Sixty-six percent of active Utah voters decided that not only did same-sex couples not deserve marriage, their relationships deserve no legal recognition or protection.

Only by striking down Amendment 3 can any legal recognition and protections be given to same-sex Utah couples. And once it falls, there will be no chance of redoing it the way it asked for 10 years ago. That ship has sailed and it is not coming back.

John Kateel
Salt Lake City, UT

This is probably the most well crafted legal counter punch I have ever seen. They used every argument that the State of Utah created, turned it around, and used it against them. The plaintiffs are pro marriage, pro family, and pro Constitution. The State of Utah seems almost juvenile in comparison with their arguments. I cannot wait for this to go all the way to the Supreme Court for a 5-4 ruling in favor of gay marriage nationwide. It almost as if the State of Utah is intentionally and deliberately stepping into a trap. Like they are intentionally choosing intellectual martyrdom. Analogous to a lost cause final push. They would rather go down blazing than give up one inch. Thank you Justice Sotomayor for setting this up nicely so that this gets fast tracked to the Supreme Court.

Kearns, UT

Read the 10th Amendment to the United States constitution folks.

Midwest City, USA, OK

The state of Utah treats two people of the same sex as "legal strangers" for the same reason it treats a given group of three or more people, or a person and an animal, as legal strangers. States recognize marriage, a union of a man and a woman, for the benefit of that state in social stability and rearing children who will grow into productive adults, which benefits the state.

With the illegal and irrational push people have made to try and change marriage in Utah recently, they themselves have made it legally more confusing on those involved.


@ Flashback: US Constitution, Article VI, Clause 2: "This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; ... 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."

Amendment IX: "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

Amendment X: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, NOR PROHIBITED BY IT TO THE STATES, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE." (emphasis added)

Amendment XIV, Section 1: "... No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

The 10th Amendment does not mean what you think it means once you fully read it and the rest of the Constitution.

Sugar City, ID

For good reason, most Utah citizens desire a chaste society (i.e. one in which any intimate sex including outside of heterosexual marriage is discouraged). The advantages of a chaste society over a promiscuous society are very clear. The more promiscuous a society is the sicker it is: There is more divorce accompanied by expensive and tragic social costs (custody issues, poverty, abused and neglected children resulting in more crime, drug abuse, school dropouts, social maladjustment, violence, sexual perversion, etc.) Also, in a sexually promiscuous society there is more venereal disease, pornography and related sex crimes and psychological problems. Plus, promiscuity results in more abortions and/or unwanted children.

Given the high cost to society of promiscuous sexual behavior, should a state be forced to legitimize these behaviors through liberalizing marriage laws? Can’t a state or the people of the state for the good of the state, openly encourage chaste behavior and discourage sexually promiscuous behavior through reasonable laws and social pressure or expectations. Instead, those people who want to improve society through encouraging chaste behavior are branded by some mean spirited people as bigots.


@ Jamescmeyer: People and animals are not treated as legal strangers - animals are treated as property and people have ownership rights over them. Animals cannot consent to this ownership arrangement (nor can they consent to any other arrangement) because they are animals and lack the capacity for self-determination - unlike humans.

As for polygamy, there are many legal ramifications associated with the legalization of polygamy including the recognition of individuals as more than legal strangers within a relationship involving more than 2 people (e.g., what is the relationship of spouse 1 to spouse 2, how many spouses can each spouse have).

Marriage has many social benefits and married same-sex couples provide those same social benefits including the rearing of children into productive adults.

The recently filed plaintiff's brief shreds the Amendment 3 claims made by the state - and, by extension, your argument as well.

South Jordan, UT

"Amendment 3 is also unconstitutional, however, for an even more basic reason: Preventing same-sex couples from marrying does not rationally advance any legitimate governmental interest. Even assuming that each of the governmental interests proffered by the state is legitimate, there is simply no rational connection between any of those asserted objectives and prohibiting same-sex couples from sharing in the protections and obligations of civil marriage...The State's argument that barring same-sex couples from marriage is rationally related to fostering a child-centric marriage culture--and in particular, that eliminating that ban might undermine marriage and cause parents to be less committed to their children--has no footing in any reasonably conceivable state of facts."
This brief excellently exposes the absurdity of the State's arguments that no judge or court in this country has accepted.

West Richland, WA

"The state of Utah treats two people of the same sex as "legal strangers" for the same reason it treats a given group of three or more people, or a person and an animal, as legal strangers."

It is egregious statements like this - comparing marriage equality to the patently illegal activities polygamy and bestiality - continue to demonstrate the true nature of those promoting state-sanction discrimination: pure animus.

Polygamy = ILLEGAL in the United States.

Bestiality = ILLEGAL in the United States.

Homosexuality = LEGAL in the Untied States.


@JSB Stating same sex relationships are sexually promiscuous is archaic, offensive, and all around ignorant and belittling. And though I highly question the validity of your underlying argument, allowing same sex marriage would obviously reduce sex outside of marriage thus increasing your limited perception of chastity. If anything the stability of society would increase with such unions as all committed relationships would be encouraged.

Leesburg, VA

You wrote: "For good reason, most Utah citizens desire a chaste society (i.e. one in which any intimate sex including outside of heterosexual marriage is discouraged). The advantages of a chaste society over a promiscuous society are very clear."

It is ironic, but you and others who oppose SSM are advocating for a promiscuous society.

For two millennial due to the distorted teachings of Christ, homosexuals have been forced to live their sexual lives in obscurity. This situation have had men and women living double lives. Carrying as you mentioned venereal diseases and other social problems due to multiple unknown sexual partners.

The LGBT community is fighting for equal rights to live chaste, monogamous lives, to have a husband or wife and raised their kids as a normal family. Yet, you opposed that.

The fact that homosexuality is disgusting to you, it is your problem. Your disgust doesn't take away that we are asking to live just as you describe. Yes we are not heterosexuals, but faithfulness, loyalty, love, is the same for us as is for you.

If you really believe what you wrote, you may like to take a second look to both sides.

Dammam, Saudi Arabia

"No matter how deeply they care for one another or how long they have stood by one another, for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, Amendment 3 treats plaintiffs and other same-sex couples as legal strangers to one another," according to the court filing.

I love my Mom, I love my Dad, why can't I get marriage benefits from them? Am I legal stranger.

If one type of non-procreational union can get marriage beneftis then all non-procreational unions should be able to get the legal benefits. Or else we've created a new class of second class citizens.


@ JSB: Homosexuals cannot have unwanted children. Homosexuals in monogamous relationships - including marriage - are every bit as chaste as heterosexuals in monogamous relationships.

If you truly believed the rest of your post, you would be advocating for improved sex education and legal sanctions against those who violate their marriage vows - none of which has anything to do with prohibiting same-sex marriage.

@ Teka: Parents and children have a legal connection to each other - it is codified on a birth certificate or through adoption paperwork. Denying same-sex marriage often prohibits that legal relationship between one parent and their child.

As for your comment, "If one type of non-procreational union can get marriage beneftis then all non-procreational unions should be able to get the legal benefits." that is exactly the claim being put forth by same-sex marriage proponents - infertile couples, aged couples, couples where one party is in jail, are all allowed to marry even though they cannot procreate but the state wants to deny marriage to same-sex couples on procreation grounds. You are right - it does create second class citizens. (And FYI - relationships between parents and children are not "unions.")

Salt Lake City, UT

Help Me Obi-Wan, I don't understand.

If Same Sex couples want to be treated just like any other couple with regard to marriage, why does DesNews (in this case) and media in many other cases identify the "couple" as either lesbian or gay?

If uniformity of treatment is the goal, why is there some kind of clarification of the couple in question? To be truly uniform, we could add heterosexual to male and female couples to match, or go along with, the gay or lesbian explanation. Or we, as a society, could use the old hat title of homosexual/heterosexual and drop the gay/lesbian titles.

It seems to be a conflicting goal, the quest to be included in the population as just folks, and then constantly trumpeting a rather obvious anomaly, culturally speaking.

I find it hard to form an opinion of a person as a person, when immediately their sexual orientation is thrust into the forefront of the process of getting to know someone. We don't seek strangers political party preference, favorite baseball team or what vehicle they drive or food preferences. Why the constant proclamation of their sexual orientation?

Greeley, CO

@TheTrueVoice - You say that polygamy is illegal so the argument that making SSM legal changes things the same way legalizing polygamy is illegitimate. You also point out that homosexuality is legal in the US. The thing about legality/illegality is that it is constantly in flux. Homosexuality used to be illegal. Furthermore, SSM is to homosexuality as polygamy is to sleeping with multiple heterosexual partners. Why is polygamy illegal? When the law was written people decided that marriage should be between one man and one woman. SSM was not legalized at the time. In fact, homosexuality was still illegal back then. So try again to explain why legalization of SSM should not lead to the legalization of polygamy. I am not in favor of polygamy but feel the need to point out the flaws in your argument.

salt lake city, UT

Wow. As my old debate coach said, make an argument, support it with facts, speak clearly and leave out the jargon. Now granted, the State asked their attorneys to defend the undefensible but their argument, facts and clarity is extremely weak to the arguments the SSM attorneys have laid out. We're going to lose.

Something to think about
Ogden, UT

The State of Utah continues to use the same rhetoric used by the pro-slavery and later pro-segregationists.

I am against SSM. I'm against it on the basis of my religious upbringing. As a result, I'll choose not to participate in a SSM. They same way I choose not to drink alcohol, encourage an abortion, smoke, etc...


It's obvious to me that SSM couples are being discriminated against. My wife and I recieve benefits from the government that they do not recieve. On those merits, constitutionally speaking, I believe they should recieve those same benefits.

Rather than sounding archaic, those 'traditional marriage' advocates should be telling their legislators to remove the gov't benefits they are given as a result of their marriage. Then gays and lesbians would have no constitutional arguement.

Like that will happen! They love their 'married' status at tax time!

Salt Lake City, UT

This fight for LBGT rights has been unquestionably a fight of the decade(s). However when you look at all the great people who pay taxes, support out economy and live lives that are exemplary, you have to wonder why those people do not have the same rights as others? I know of no LBGT people who have attacked religion. They have attacked the false discriminatory precepts of religion.

This is the same fight that Blacks had years ago even against the religion prominent in this state. There are so many similarities. Civil constitutional rights have been denied. LBGT people have been murdered (Mathew Shepherd for one). All the time we as a community have put up with this dishonest behavior, turning our heads aside and putting ourselves above these "other people". They are the ones that are so far above us! We need to look at our own homes, families and stop acting so unchristian.


@Strider303 The sexual orientation is stated in the article because it is what the article is about. Writing "two nondescript people want to get married but can't because of the law" doesn't really provide much in way of explanation. Obviously it is imperative to tell their sexual orientation or the article wouldn't make any sense.

And it is the goal of these couples to have "uniformity of treatment." Same sex couples do not introduce their spouse as "Have you met my gay husband" or "This is my lesbian wife." It is simply husband and wife.

And a final point, your perspective comes from a heternormative viewpoint. Gay people aren't rubbing their orientation in your face. A heternormative world view accepts the heterorelationship as default and anything different is very noticeable because it is novel. As same sex relationships become more accepted there won't be a need to continue to proclaim them.

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