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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Kearns, UT

Thanks 1aggie and Testimony. People like you give me hope that things will change.

Riverside, CA

BYU Convert,

How is retaining the traditional definition of marriage denying anyone free agency??

I have compassion for anyone with SSA and I support civil unions. But SSM has less to do with allowing freedoms and more to do with how gay unions are recognized by society. It's about insisting that homosexuality be viewed as every bit as normal and healthy as heterosexuality.

So free agency now includes a right to have society view your choices a certain way?

Springville, UT

There are implications to changing the definition of marriage to make those who have a different sexual orientation feel equal.
1. Will churches have to marry same gender couples if they marry opposite gender couples? Will they stripped of their legal authority to perform marriages if they refuse?
2. Will religiously affiliated adoption services be forced to place children in same gender homes, even if they have a religious objection to it? Who decides? The church or the state or the federal judges?
3. Will people be prosecuted for discrimination if they refuse to provide floral services, wedding planning, photography, cake decorating, or a venue to a same gender couple due to a religious objection?
4. What goes on a birth certificate of a child? Do we put mother and father for a biological birth and parent 1, parent 2 or mother 1, mother 2, or father 1, father 2 for adopted children? (That is supposing that we don't start cloning or forcing 2 eggs or 2 sperm to reproduce.) That isn't so farfetched if marriage includes the right to children. Do we just all turn into a generic parent?
5. Do we change the custom of a wife taking on the husband's name? It won't work any more.

Philadelphia, PA

SuziQ, you have questions, I have answers!

1) No, and no.

2) Forced, no. Not if they use their own money. If, however, they need state funds, then in a state that has nondiscrimination laws, they can't get any if they discriminate. Look at Massachusetts. LDS didn't accept state funding and still runs adoption services per its own doctrine. Catholics refused to operate without state funds, or meet the law's requirements, and so closed their doors.

3) If it's covered by nondiscrimination laws, then yes. Otherwise, no. Many services in many states are not covered.

4) Depends on who the legal parents are at the time of birth, or what the court orders at the time of adoption.

5) Some cultures keep the wife's name. In this country, it's quite prevalent in the Religious Society of Friends. In Catholic Spain, the upper classes carry up to 32 names, honoring both sides of their families for 5 generations.

West Richland, WA

@SoCalChris: "It's about insisting that homosexuality be viewed as every bit as normal and healthy as heterosexuality."

Has a gay couple come up to you and said: "We 'insist' you view us as healthy and normal"?

I am doubtful this has ever occurred.

When the 10th District Appeals in Denver strikes down Amendment 3 next month, you will still be free to view homosexuality as "unhealthy" or "abnormal". When SSM becomes law of the land, you will still be free harbor ill-will about them, and still retain animus towards them.

The only difference - the *sole* difference - is that they will finally obtain the *same* rights you currently enjoy. That's it. They are not gaining "special rights" - just the *same* rights all free Americans enjoy regardless of race, ethnicity, religious belief, gender or orientation.

Spanish Fork, UT

I am in favor of same sex marriage because I don't want to live in a theocracy. I am LDS and I can say with good conscience that I don't believe that God would punish me, or anyone for that matter, for selling a wedding cake, dress/tux, or anything of that nature to a gay couple. If that were the case, any LDS person who owns a store or restaurant that has alcohol, tobacco, coffee, or even iced tea is going to be in trouble when they get to the other side.

Riverside, CA


So if I don't think homosexuality is perfectly fine and dandy, I have animus and ill will toward gay people? Good grief. I don't think divorce is a good thing or obesity is a good thing and have no ill will toward divorced or obese people. As I've already said I have compassion for gay people. I've had gay friends and close relatives. I treat them all with kindness and respect. I don't fault anyone for having SSA.

Please be honest enough to admit that this is about more than rights. Civil unions can accomplish that. It's about saying heterosexuality and homosexuality are equal in every way and legally indistinguishable. Obviously, that's the PC view, and many judges are buying it. I don't want that taught to my school kids.

Vernal, UT

To answer your question regarding my earlier comment, I would like to remind you that the devil is very cunning. He can use subtle ways to push evil practices and attack the ways of God. Things can start small and subtle, but as time passes, they can become large and horrific. That's just the way the devil works. Eventually, some of the terrible deeds you listed above may happen to us.

Bountiful, UT

It is striking how forcefully and how quickly understandings change in the Information Age. It took 100 years after the Civil War for blacks to be guaranteed the right to vote. We've seen a reversal in public thought on gay marriage in 10 years.

I feel for those clinging to their historic understandings, even as those understandings are changing under their feet, often within the churches they've attended their whole lives.

I can see the legitimate desire for religious people to not want to be persecuted for not wanting to support a gay marriage, including florists, photographers, etc, but even if they are successful at carving out exemptions, the inertia of social change means others will exercise their freedom of association, and the Rosa Parks boycott strategy will emerge, and with the speed of information, those businesses will suffer, quickly, as even heterosexual couples will want to distance themselves from what is increasingly viewed as bigotry. Florists and photographers who don't have the equality sign will be bypassed.

The Internet is a catalyst for social change, and it's not a gradual process.

Springville, UT

@ Testimony

If the weight of social change is any indication, there will be no religious exemption for anything including ministers and religiously affiliated organizations. A same gender marriage will be exactly the same as an opposite gender marriage, even though it isn't the same biologically or socially. There will be consequences, even unforeseen one such as the designation of parental names on birth certificates or who will regulate adoption. If religious organizations had to fight over birth control, don't you think there will be a fight over adoption? Especially for a couple that cannot produce children naturally.

It's ironic that President Obama just announced this week that our families have been weakened by the lack of fathers in homes. He even said that he had suffered from the lack of a father. Same gender marriage will provide two fathers or two mothers. His administration is encouraging Attorney Generals in every state to not enforce state marriage laws if they do not include same gender ones. What is the real message?

Springville, UT

The definition of marriage has always been a man and a woman who have the biological capacity to reproduce. It has included designation of parentage, inheritance, certain privileges and certain responsibilities between spouses and to children. It has to be sanctioned by the state and only allowed to be broken according to rules of the state. It is so fundamental that changing the definition to include same gender couples cancels out the previous definition of marriage. In fact, it is no longer marriage as we have known it. Marriage becomes merely a designation that allows two people who love each other to declare that they are now legally joined, same gender or opposite gender. In fact, if the term marriage includes any person who wants to join with another, maybe it will also include many of one gender or another gender. Who will regulate this? Good question. How will this affect the stability of families and society? We don't know. And apparently we don't care.

Bob K
portland, OR

My reply to folks who have bought into extreme right wing rumors, such as this person:
Medical Lake, Washington
"I appreciate BYU Converts view point. And indeed, he does make a good point.
... I am concerned that there might be a deeper agenda. I honestly worry that the next step will be to coerce religious organizations to recognize and perform gay marriages in spite of their doctrine and policies. There has already been talk of threatening religious groups with denying them their tax exempt status if they continue to hold out against gay marriage"

-- All one has to do is THINK and see that one has bought into a ludicrous idea. No court and no legislature could get away with telling a religion whom they must marry. That talk concerned wedding facilities rented out to the public.

---If you think, you realize the real threat to lds and catholic churches is that their own members will not put up with their Gay children being treated as being in a lower class status, and not allowed to marry in church like their siblings.

Joining the 21st Century is not going against God

Provo, UT


Denying same-sex marriage denies people of the LGBT community basic rights afforded to you as a heterosexual--basic rights most heterosexuals take for granted. It is unfair to treat gay people as subhumans, and yet the denial of Utah to pass the non-discrimination law and continued attacks against the LGBT community by religious organizations demanding their unions to not be recognized by the IRS, by employers for insurance benefits, by people who have housing and employment restrictions based on sexual orientation essentially relegates their status below that of their heterosexual counterparts, and yet most of the LGBT community--most who struggle with same-sex attractions--have endured unfathomable amounts of psychological and social damage throughout their lives, no heterosexual could even begin to relate or truly understand. Many and have come to accept their lot in this life with their SSA. Some wish to be rid of it. Some wish to embrace it. It is the choices of they who are afflicted, not the choice of the majority who still afflict them.

Provo, UT

I would hope a florist would not deny a gay person a bouquet to put on a best friend's grave.

I would hope a baker would not deny a gay person a cake to give to his/her mother on her birthday.

I would hope a photographer would be open to taking pictures of a gay person with his or her friends.

I would hope a church would allow a gay person to worship with them.

Would a business deny a gay person to do these basic things because they are gay? It very well could happen because of increasing homophobia among Christian conservatives who have strongholds in the South and in Utah and Arizona. It is frightening to me how relegated to subhuman status many of the heterosexual persuasion view people who live with homosexuality of whatever degree. Whatever happened to love thy neighbor? Whatever happened to following the LDS 12th Article of Faith? Not very many in my religion do either of those with regards to people with same-sex attractions, and I find that very sad.

West Richland, WA


Sorry, sir, I did indeed try to reply to your questions: I put together a rather substantial reply, where I tried to go into much detail - but the DN mods refuse to publish it, sorry.

It is always unfortunate when meaningful dialogue is prevented. It was always possible that my reply could have been very illuminating to you, or to another reader with questions similar to yours.

But now, we will never know - very unfortunate indeed.

The DN mods said: "Your comment has been flagged for further review by an editor. In some situations, this can significantly increase the amount of time it takes for a comment to be accepted or rejected."

Translation: it will not get published, ever. That is to say: I've had a few of these "on hold" messages before; they never, ever get published. Not once.

New York, NY

You treat gay people kindly, seeing in yourself no animus. Yet comparing them to overweight or divorced people shows self-centered insensitivity at best.

Consider the assertion that gay people "have" SSA.

A serious question: Do you "have" OSA? Is Opposite Sex Attraction alterable? I'm not talking about foregoing sex or love-- that's possible. Re-orient your ability to love. "Decide" someone of the same sex will call to you body and soul.

No. "OSA" is baked in to who you are. Why would you suppress it? More to the point, why ask that of someone else?

Ah. Beliefs. Beliefs catering to how YOU are, that place "people with OSA" at the center of eternal meaning. Accepting that gay is not merely heterosexual deviation challenges that heterosexual cosmology.

So you define gay in a way that suits you.

Maintaining your existential comfort, you choose not to see gay people as they are: whole, born on this earth just like you, exactly as they are.

This self-serving blind spot creates animus you can't perceive: you reduce someone else's personhood to a behavior, and see nothing wrong with that.

Lane Myer
Salt Lake City, UT

SOCALCHRIS: "Please be honest enough to admit that this is about more than rights. Civil unions can accomplish that. It's about saying heterosexuality and homosexuality are equal in every way and legally indistinguishable."

It is about rights but it is more about being treated equally under the law per our constitution.

Civil Unions are just as illegal under our Amendment #3 as are gay marriages, btw.

I am willing to say that heterosexuality and homosexuality are equal (under our constitution) and are legally indistinguishable - just as a marriage of fertile heterosexuals are as indistinguishable as two heterosexual octogenarians marrying. We give them them same marriage license, the same privileges, and the same rights. We do not distinguish with a "fertile, baby producing marriage license" or a "companion marriage license." They are treated the same, even though their marriages may be for different reasons. We do not give "drunken, las vegas - soon to be divorced marriage licenses," with different legal benefits, why would we treat two gays marriage as any different, except, in your beliefs, they are not worthy. Luckily, the constitution does not worry about worthiness or not when treating ALL as equals.

New York, NY

@SuziQ says: "The definition of marriage has always been a man and a woman who have the biological capacity to reproduce."

This is not true.

There is no fertility test prior marriage, nor is there a procreation requirement for marriage. There is no requirement that people who marry even love each other.

Like others in these comments, you are confusing your personal, idealized definition of marriage with actual marriage.

Even so, using your definition of marriage, we would exclude many straight people, but we don't. So I suspect those aren't the real reasons you want to prevent gay people from marriage.

Riverside, CA


OSA as you call it is the reason we are all here. It is what you study under human reproduction. It is the whole reason we have gender difference to begin with. Homosexuality is a departure from the norm. This isn't my subjective self-centered view as you suggest. The comparison I made was only to point out that I can have an issue with something without hating the individual.

BYU Convert, I disagree. I see increased understanding and compassion toward gay people. Society has come a long way. As for the LDS Church, I've always heard nothing but compassion from Church leaders. They've always denounced sinful conduct but I have never heard anyone condemned for SSA. As for the florists and photographers in the news, they have all made it clear they had no problem catering to gay clients. Their objection was to participating in a same sex wedding.

Again. I don't fault anyone for being gay. I can't imagine the struggle. My heart goes out to gay people. But I don't see it as wise for there to be zero legal difference between traditional marriage and same sex unions.

Huntsville, UT


Perhaps you should home-school your kids so they don't get exposure to the real world.


You need a history lesson about marriage; there are a lot of on-line resources you can access to discover the truth.

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