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Comments about ‘Utah recognition of same-sex marriage in judge's hands’

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Published: Wednesday, March 12 2014 4:41 p.m. MDT

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Laura Bilington
Maple Valley, WA

wrz, the state is free to make laws which discriminate against certain classes of citizens if--and only if---it has a legitimate reason. Marriage law, with a few age-related exceptions, denies /discriminates against children and anyone who is a close blood relative. Marriage is a serious step; it is restricted to adults both to protect the exploitation of children and because teens are neurologically not as able to understand the significance of long-term contracts as adults. The consanguinity restriction was put in the law to prevent inherited defects in children that might be borne of the union; please note that Utah permits first cousins to marry when there is no chance of a biological child being conceived. Polygamy has been restricted because of serious concerns about exploitation of women as well as the obvious fact that unions of more than two people do not make for as stable a society as do pairs who are committed to each other.

Legalizing marriage between people of different races did not open the door to incest or to people to demand the right to marry cocker spaniels. And neither will the legitimization of same sex marriage.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "Laura Bilington" but 2 gays will never be equal to the marriage of a man and a woman. What this movement does is redefine marriage. Essentially renaming an Orange and Apple so that it can be sold as an Apple. Changing the name does not fix the differences.

Azazael
Salt Lake City, UT

@Maudine
In my mind state-recognized marriage includes benefits, rights and protections. Regarding benefits:

If you redefine homeownership to include renters you defeat the intent of the laws that promote homeownership. The legislature created benefits to promote a behavior that they determined was for beneficial to communities and society.

By allowing same-sex couples to marry, redefining marriage, you promote same-sex marriage on equal footing with opposite-sex marriage; essentially defeating the purpose of the legislature in promoting its ideal definition of marriage. The legislature decided that it wanted to promote its ideal definition of marriage. Imo the legislature should have the ability to define marriage to promote what it determines is beneficial to communities and society.

I am in favor of laws granting same-sex couples rights and protections. But, I am not in favor of redefining marriage to promote same-sex marriage with the benefits that the legislature designed for opposite-sex couples.

Kally
Salt Lake City, UT

@ Redshirt: When the trio in the Netherlands entered into their agreement, a judge refused to strike it down because it was not a marriage and “contracts that settle the cohabitation of more than two persons can have a useful ordering function.”

If legal issues such as inheritance rights, medical decision making, division of property, insurance coverage, taxes, etc., can be worked out, why shouldn't polygamy be legalized?

Many of those who oppose same-sex marriage accuse supporters of being hypocrites for not also supporting polygamy. Many supporters of same-sex marriage would support the legalization of polygamy if there were a way to address the issues that naturally arise when discussing a union of three or more when compared to a union of two. This group solved those problems. Considering the long, storied, and continuing tradition of polygamy, why should it not be legalized?

Kally
Salt Lake City, UT

@ Redshirt:
@ Azazael:

You both state that same-sex marriages are not equal to heterosexual marriages.

Other than the gender of the parties involved, how are they different from other marriages?

Utah, Oklahoma, Texas, and other states have tried using the argument that marriage is for the rearing of children to support their prohibitions on same-sex marriage - but none of them have been able to provide a legally valid reason why old or infertile couples are allowed marriage without children while same-sex couples with or without children are denied marriage.

The only reasoning offered by the states basically amounts to animus: we don't deny it to these other couples because we are comfortable with them but we are not comfortable with same-sex relationships so we don't want to recognize them.

Animus is not a legally valid reason for a law, so if you can come up with a better one, do so quickly and pass it on to the lawyers - otherwise same-sex marriage is going to be legalized whether you like it or not.

Testimony
Philadelphia, PA

Meanwhile, back on the farm...

I note with some interest that State's counsel for the appeal of the Amendment 3 decision has just filed his third expansion request for his reply brief.

The 7,000 word brief was originally due March 4. Schaerr filed for, and was granted, an extension to March 11 and an additional 5,000 words. He then almost immediately filed for a 3-day extension to March 14 (today!), which the Court also granted. Then, on March 11, he filed a request to expand his reply to 20,000 words, citing the ways the Amicus briefs completely shredded his opening brief and their strong support of the Plaintiff's response. (I'm not sure if the Court approved his request, but they've been very accommodating thus far, so they probably did.)

So... do you think it's maybe possible that the State is realizing it has a weak case and is desperately trying to find a way to bolster it?

In any event, we'll all be able to read it for ourselves tonight or tomorrow. I hope DN posts a link to it, and the leading Amicus briefs, too.

Testimony
Philadelphia, PA

RedShirt, The marriage of "2 gays" can be every bit the equivalent of a "traditional" marriage. The proof is in the longevity of the relationship. Two men (or two women) happily together for over 25 years easily trumps the marriage of two unhappy "traditional" 18-year-olds who don't last five years together. Or all those Hollywood marriages we fuss over all the time. (Zsa Zsa, Liz, and Mickey Rooney were married 25 times between them.) You want to use them for a benchmark?

Marriage is best measured in commitment, mutual support, and how the whole is greater than its parts. That is society's goal, and the reason we recognize marriage in the first place. A loving couple, committed to a life together is the only requirement. If they're gay, so what? It's no skin off my nose, doesn't affect my straight marriage, or my open and welcoming church, and our married gay neighbors are perfectly nice people.

Learn how to live your own life well, and let your neighbors do the same, and the world will be a happier place.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

To "Testimony" if you want to go to Hollywood as examples, how about using Richard Simmons as an example of what the gay community is like. Is that a valid example?

The problem is that marriage is not just about a relationship between 2 people. Marriage is a contract with socity, and with the statistics of the bad things that the children of gays get into, compounded with the average gay marriage lasting 2.25 years (Dutch study).

You even admit that there is a difference, and that is just the superficial biological difference. The fact is that the studies all point to marriage between a man and woman being best for the long term of society. While it may not alter your relationship, it will alter the relationships that your children, grand children, and great grand children have will be influenced by gay marriage.

Lane Myer
Salt Lake City, UT

"compounded with the average gay marriage lasting 2.25 years (Dutch study)."

-------

that Dutch study occurred before the Dutch allowed gay marriage, so your statement is a half truth - meaning that it studied gay relationship without marriage. Please be more careful of what you are saying.

xxxxxxx

"The fact is that the studies all point to marriage between a man and woman being best for the long term of society. "

And studies show that an older Jewish couple is the very best for raising children. So? We do not legislate for the ideal. We legislate for the greater good and freedom. Gay marriage does not harm children - they will have the same children whether or not they are married, and not allow gay marriage actually DOES harm the children.

If you can show how freedom is being abused, not just that people are being offended because a word that they assume belongs to them is being used in a way that they do not approve of, but an actual liberty taken away because of gay marriage, I will listen. No one has been able to do that so far. That is why gay marriage is becoming the law of the land.

wrz
Phoenix, AZ

"Decriminalizing polygamy seems correct since sleeping around is legal..."

Dang! Now you tell me.

"Half the states already have cousin marriage legal."

There's a whole raft of other combinations that will need to be addressed as well as cousins.

"Do you oppose interracial marriage?"

For me, yes. For others, they can do as the please.

"The court decisions overturning those bans are what's being used as precedent for same-sex marriage..."

And it could be used to legitimize any other combination of marriages.

"...so if you're worried about me supporting something that might be used as precedent then should we have opposed interracial marriage to avoid some "what if" down the road?"

Interracial marriage is hard, almost impossible to define, since almost everyone in the US has a variety of backgrounds.

Tekakaromatagi
Dammam, Saudi Arabia

"Lawyers for the couples told U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball the state's move to undo the marriages deprives them of rights, strips them of dignity and leaves them humiliated."

Well, I can't marry people that I have strong emotional feelings for like my sister, or my parents. I feel so humiliated and I feel so lacking in dignity. It is terrible. Why are my emotional bonds to them, less valuable to society than the emotional bonds that two unrelated people of the same gender have to one another?

A whole new class of second class citizens will be created if this goes through.

I can understand a heterosexual couple who have strong emotional feelings for one another. They may bear children or they may have born children. But if we expand marriage to non-procreative unions then we've fundamentally changed the meaning of the institution.

Avenue
Vernal, UT

@Tekakaromatagi
I agree with your last sentence. To redefine something is to attack it's fundamental definition. To redefine marriage will inevitably redefine the family. The family is the basic unit of society, so SSM is attacking society and will eventually lead to the destruction of this great country and civilization as we know it. This WILL happen if we keep going down the path we are heading.

Bob K
portland, OR

Values Voter
LONG BEACH, CA
"After a quick check of Judge Dale Kimball's background, I would be extremely surprised if he ruled in favor of the couples, and against the state of Utah."

--- Oh, goodness! This comment shows a shocking lack of faith in the judiciary!

Judge Kimball is older, apparently a mormon. I would guess that his PERSONAL view would be against same-sex marriage. However, if we start assuming that judges will bring their religion into Constitutional cases, we are lost.

Kimball was formerly
Chairman of Utah State Bar Judicial Performance Evaluation Committee
Chairman of Utah State Bar Ethics and Discipline Committee

Tekakaromatagi
Dammam, Saudi Arabia

"Other than the gender of the parties involved, how are they different from other marriages? "

Because no union of the same gender has ever conceived a child. I am not purple and I am not a dinosaur. But other than that, how am I different than Barney the Dinosau?

No H8 - Celebrate
Salt Lake, UT

@ Tekakaronatagi "Because no union of the same gender has ever conceived a child."

Adoption and assisted reproductive law applies to both opposite sex and same-sex couples. Many homosexuals do indeed have the capacity to procreate. Are you aware that there is no procreative requirement in civil marriage law?
Are you aware that there is no parental fitness test in civil marriage law?
Did you know that educational and income levels are the best predictors of child outcomes?
Did you know that people convicted of harm and abuse can legally marry and this does not re-define the institution of marriage to mean something awful?
Did you know that traditional voting not re-defined by allowing women the right to vote, even though we now have "genderless voting?" The re-definition argument is at best a logical fallacy.

Stormwalker
Cleveland , OH

Tekakaromatagi
Because no union of the same gender has ever conceived a child.

Marriage is a government regulated contract between two adults. It brings some 1,400 legal benefits and protections to the couple. While those laws extend legal benefits to children the couple have or legally adopt, marriage in and of itself is the relationship between two adults and has nothing to do with whether or not they have "conceived a child."

In the case of a gay or lesbian couple who have or adopt children, marriage of the parents extends exactly the same legal benefits to those kids as the marriage of a hetero-couple extends to their conceived or adopted children.

You are different from Barney the Dinosaur because you are a human being, not an imaginary character designed to amuse children and annoy adults. Comparing gay and lesbian relationships to something imaginary and annoying is an insult to those relationships and the people in them.

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