Comments about ‘Gay marriage debate is changing how Americans settle differences’

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Published: Friday, March 7 2014 10:45 a.m. MST

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Ross Douthat is an insightful columnist. I appreciate his attempt to bring sanity to our public conversation on this topic. That said, the real challenge for religious groups will not come from external societal pressure. Eventually, the RNC will go mute and the media will move on to other topics. How quickly that happens depends largely on when (not if) the Supreme Court holds that state marriage laws cannot discriminate on the basis of sex (i.e., if a man can marry a woman, a woman must be allowed to marry a woman).

The real challenge will come within religious communities as they attempt to hold on to a rising generation that supports gay marriage. For LDS, the pressure will come from the young woman who wants to serve a mission but fully supports her gay married brother. Or from the young men's leader who is happy to serve but skips over lessons on homosexuality because he thinks the lessons are wrong. Or the bishop who declines to discipline a married gay couple in his ward. That's where the real pressure will come from.

May you live in interesting times.

liberty or ...?
Ogden, UT

Wow I guess Gods commandments are now at the dictates of mobocracy and corrupt societies. which one should make legal next how about murder, theft,covetousnesss (Oh I'm sorry thats called social justice and pay your fair share while I don't mentality I believe its also called socialism)? The cries of past civilizations who decided freedom to do something means that it is all right means God must bow to our will now. These so called religionists and secularists who like to cherry pick the scriptures and freedoms they want but ignore the points they don't remind me of a saying. something about they despise those who do good,call good evil and evil good. every man walketh in his own way, after the image of his own god which likeness is in the image of the world. They say histiry repeats itself. Hopefully we'll wake up before we enter and ignorant secularist dark ages next

Here, UT

Religious conservatives had NO PROBLEM violating the civil rights of LGBT American by passing laws preventing marriage. Now they whine that we're not going to give them a pass to continue their bigotry as a business operator?

Give me a break!

Saint George, UT

The misery index just shot up another notch!

t-ville, UT

"...prompting conservatives to find new ways of framing the question"

This seems to be the primary concern of conservatives in lieu of generating new ideas for today's challenges and legislating accordingly.


the demand of people that their erotic and romantic activities, their orientations and relationships be sanctioned is now in our society on the ascent.

And yet, you have had no complaint when heterosexual relationships - both erotic and romantic - have been sactioned and celebrated.

Isn't that a little hypocritical?

West Jordan, UT

@Jamescmeyer: I had to read your first paragraph twice to make sure I knew which side you were on. As a straight person I'm not sure how you have been marginalized; nor can I understand how you think you need protection against mobocracy. What I have seen is my gay friends, family members and neighbors relationships marginalized in the name of religion, one in which they do not believe, and mobocracy rulings in voting to create an amendment against their relationship status. Perhaps the shoe should be on the other foot, so you know how it feels.

A Quaker
Brooklyn, NY

I'm having trouble accepting your assertions about the decline of religious liberty without laughing.

We Quakers have never been allowed to exercise our right of conscience regarding taxes to pay for war, never allowed to withhold that portion of our taxes that pay for armies and weapons, never allowed to specifically redirect it to the poor or medical research or any worthwhile social activity. We have to pay war taxes or go to jail.

In my borough of New York City, we have concentrated neighborhoods of Jews, of Moslems, of every religious and ethnic group. Jewish and Moslem neighborhoods have never been allowed to exclude Italian, Polish, or Hispanic food markets and restaurants, all of which sell pork. Hindu enclaves live cheek by jowl with meat-eaters. Buddhists must pay city taxes that support pigeon eradication programs and poisoning rats. The Sabbath laws observed by Jews are not enforced on others entering those Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods of Williamsburgh and Borough Park.

Religious rights end at the boundaries of our persons, our homes, and houses of worship. In a civil, secular society, it should be no other way.

The Scientist
Provo, UT

The author misses the most obvious outcome: those few religious people who stubbornly insist on discriminating against gays and lesbians will become less and less relevant. They and their organizations and their Churches will fade into obscurity.


Cedar Hills, UT

There will never be a gay marriage majority of states in the US. Nice try.

Salt Lake City, UT

"The real challenge will come within religious communities as they attempt to hold on to a rising generation that supports gay marriage."

Precisely. A different example would be female clergy. Generally nobody outside a church with no female clergy cares all that much, at least not enough to protest.

Riverside, CA

Douthat is dead wrong if he thinks Gov Brewer's veto of the AZ bill was any sort of veto of the right to exercise religious freedom. The bill wasn't necessary given we already have the 1st Amendment and was unnecessarily divisive and poorly drafted. Any attempt to construe it as surrender is ridiculous.

I have to hand it to the gay rights movement. It used to be -- my private life is none of your business (I agree). Now it's -- I have a Constitutional right to society's approval of homosexuality. I'm dumbfounded that so many judges are buying it.

slc, UT

"What we're talking about here is something entirely new in human history," Mohler said,

Actually public accommodation laws have ben around long before this debate started What we have not seen on such a large (or at least loud) scale since the days of segregation is this expansive view by some that religious liberties should allows people to discriminate based on their beliefs.

I know it. I Live it. I Love it.
Provo, UT

Giving your kindness or charity and giving your agreement are not the same.

God loves, yet commands the truth regardless. We have a responsibility to do the same. The quote at the end of the article is very damaging because it is loaded with the presumption that people are victims of Christians being unkind. Not all Christians are the same, just as not all gays are the same. But none of this, literally none, and no amount of policy or persuasion will EVER change what is true and the consequences of whether we adhere to it or not.

I am indeed sorry for every hurt feeling I could have avoided by acting with more kindness. I attest seeing people in pain. But I also attest seeing people in pain for the choices they made themselves that are wrong. That doesn't mean I start telling people that burning their hand on the stove is okay. I still tell people the truth because the truth needs to be stood for, otherwise more people would get burned.

Charity and agreement aren't the same.
Love people, but not the sin. There is nothing hateful about loving others.

LDS Scientist
Mesa, AZ

Are you suggesting that vengeance is a sound basis for public policy? By that logic, we should enslave white people because they once enslaved African-Americans.

Phoenix, AZ

"the same percentage now in favor of allowing gays to marry..."

Gays have always been allowed to marry... provided they marry someone of the opposite sex.

#10. I vote Democrat because I love the fact that I can now marry whatever I want. I’ve decided to marry my sister. - David Letterman

The Shire, UT

@patriot who wrote:
"There will never be a gay marriage majority of states in the US. Nice try."

Utah may well be the state that pushes the Supreme Court to to make it legal in all 50 states. Karma for spending so much time and money to influence other states' laws? :o)

Salt Lake City, Utah

@ LDS Scientist: How is telling people they can no longer carry on discriminatory policies vengeance? There is absolutely nothing vengeful about telling business owners they must treat all members of the public the same.

American Fork, UT

There is no longer an arbitrary outcome. Given a burden of proof, long held beliefs are failing to withstand judgement.

Provo, UT


No one is forcing any Christians or Latter-Day Saints to approve of homosexuality. The problem is that Christians in America are oppressing those that would use their own God-given agency to engage in homosexual activities, which includes gay marriage. Because religious entities want their states to strike down gay marriage, it is the religious orders' attempts to deny people of the LGBT community the freedom of choice. It may be the wrong choice. It may be a choice that will condemn one to eternal separation from God, but it is still their choice. I used to be a huge opponent to same-sex marriage, and now I am a huge opponent to banning same-sex marriage. As a member of the LDS faith, I've come to realize, that even though my God and my Church does not approve of homosexuality, one of the basic principles of the gospel is Agency, and attempts to ban gay marriage are attempts to strip away agency.

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