Comments about ‘My view: Natural family is the key to a free society’

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Published: Tuesday, March 18 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, Utah

"We must agree that marriage can be only between a man and a woman. As the cornerstone of family, we must understand that marriage is substantively different from any other kind of human relationship."

Why? Why must we agree to this? How does agreeing to this further any of your stated goals?

Why do you get to decide that your view is not "selfish individualism" but all other views are?

How does prohibiting same-sex marriage foster and promote families as essential to society and liberty?

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah


Midwest City, USA, OK

Although absolutely true, it isn't always enough to simply say what marriage is: it helps to put it in a fuller context, such as this. It's easy to look at something like the family unit and see how clearly society progresses and succeeds when it's healthy, and how it all falters when the family unit is weak, unrecognized, or attacked... But it's not always so clear -why- that's the case.

People keep looking at only themselves, with the perspective of a base creature with the interest of satisfying instinct-driven desires. Society isn't formed of individuals; society is formed of families. Marriage doesn't bring two people together to reduce their taxes; it brings two families together to create and strengthen a new, third family, symbiotically tied to the first two.

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

If this is what the State of Utah (in conjunction with the Sutherland Institute) is planning on walking into court with, they will be laughed out of the courtroom.

Seattle, WA

It sounds like Mr. Mero started with a conclusion then wrote an opinion piece to support that conclusion.
He fails to address what he expects gay men and women to do in his utopian society.
Has he considered that the same love that draws a straight man and woman into a selfless and caring relationship also draws a gay person into a relationship with another gay person that is equally selfless and caring and equally maintains order, stability, and reduces government dependency?
I would also be interested to hear Mr. Mero's plan for other non-natural family situations such as step parents and adoptive parents. Where will they fit in this utopia?


I wish the link on the Opinion page indicated this was written by Paul Mero. Then I wouldn't have wasted my time. We all already know what he's going to say.

Salt Lake City, UT

Mero: "We must agree that..."

Well, no. Not really. You have not made a convincing case for any of your conclusions.

Mero fails to define his "natural family," taking it as a given that all readers will understand. One assumes he means a bigenerational nuclear family a la Ozzie and Harriett, but his postwar idealized family is probably a historical anomaly. What of multigenerational and extended families (The Waltons) or polygamous families (still the norm in many parts of the world)? Does his natural family concept, the stated source of order in society, embrace practices like primogeniture, which for centuries provided for the orderly disposition of property? What about adoptive families and other family structures? His definition needs more explication.

Families (however defined) may arguably be the fundamental unit of society, but they are certainly not the fundamental unit of American culture or politics, where the rugged individual reigns supreme. One man (not one family), one vote. Nathan Hale never said, "I regret that I have but one family to give for my country." John Wayne, Shane, Natty Bumppo...

Steve C. Warren

Tiago posted: "It sounds like Mr. Mero started with a conclusion then wrote an opinion piece to support that conclusion."

That was exactly what I thought in reading this column. He seems to just make stuff up. (Confession: I used to do that a lot on essay tests in school.)

By the way, the state characterizes Judge Shelby's decision as "a judicial wrecking ball," but I just don't see how it wrecks traditional marriage. Rather, the decision seems to merely legitimize unions that heretofore haven't been legal marriages. In other words, the judge's ruling could better be described as "a judicial building block."

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

Mero's bizarre reasoning again. Who can argue that children need a stable, loving environment to secure their future? But how does a stable, committed union of two loving people (regardless of gender) with children THEY WANT work against the ideal he presents? It doesn't.

Salt Lake City, UT

No one is arguing that a family with two biological parents is not the ideal. But we do not discourage or ban stepfamilies, where children have one biological parent, from forming. We do not discourage adoption away from biological parents. Two parents of any kind are a better support system for children than a single parent situation. Time and time again opponents of marriage equality have been unable to explain how allowing same-sex partners to marry would harm their children. It is estimated that there are 8 million children with one biological parent in same-sex partner households in America. Yes, homosexuals do bear and sire children. Children in these households would definitely fare better if they were in legally recognized families where the partners are married and their "family" has all the protections and benefits marriage provides. If you play the child card all the time, admit that these children are better off being in a real and legalized two-parent family.

Salt Lake City, UT

"Likewise, you would immediately rule out the individual as the fundamental unit of society."

Really? You think that by just asserting that it becomes true? What a stretch!

Our laws, our system of government, indeed our society itself, only functions when the fundamental unit is the individual. Without that, the Bill of Rights can't make sense. Are only families entitled to free speech rights, but not individuals? Does the 2nd Amendment only provide for a _family's_ right to possess firearms? Does the Fourth Amendment only protect a _family's_ right to privacy? Did the 13th Amendment only free slave _families_?

The Sutherland Institute is, once again, desperately grasping at straws here. As was previously noted, if Utah attempts to bring this ludicrous line of "reasoning" before a federal judge it will be laughed out of the courthouse, and with very good reason.

Far East USA, SC

While I completely disagree with Mr Metro's conclusion, I have to say I was just a bit relieved.

I thought for a bit that he was going to conclude that it was "the church".

Hey, this is Utah. Hardly unprecedented.

USS Enterprise, UT

To "Irony Guy" there is a scientifically basis for wanting a mother and father for a family. The simple fact is that children cannot fully learn learn what it is to be a mother or father if they are raised by a gay couple.

No matter how hard they try, 2 lesbians can not teach their children how a married man and woman interact. The gay couple will never have the balance of the nurturing characteristics of a mother balanced by the discipline brought in by a father.

Gays raising children will never equal a hetersexual couple, no matter how hard they try.

Seattle, WA

I don't think your argument is correct, but even if gay parents were, on average, not as ideal for kids as the average straight parents, how does this lead you to oppose marriage equality?
There are now and will always be gay couples with kids, either born biologically or adopted. They are trying to raise them the best they can. I don't think anybody is proposing taking those kids away and shipping them off to straight parents. That would be inhumane to all parties and devastating to the kids.
For those families, what is the benefit in preventing the two people raising the kids from ever marrying each other, so the kids are raised by a single parent and a live-in boyfriend or girlfriend? How is that a better model and environment for those kids than having two married parents?
Allowing same-sex marriage for people who are gay only helps make stronger families and a better environment for the families it affects. For people it doesn't affect, it does nothing.

Pleasant Grove, UT


If we believe that children thrive best under the care of both biological parents, why would we create incentives for something else?

USS Enterprise, UT

To "Tiago" how can you expect to have marriage equality for a situation that will never be equal? Would you put a the best team from the WNBA up against the best team from the NBA? Would they be equal?

That is what you want. You want something that isn't equal to be declared equal.

The gays can still be united and have the benefits, just don't call it marriage. Fix inheritance laws, fix the laws that govern hospital visitation and medical issues.

CHS 85
Sandy, UT


"The gays can still be united and have the benefits, just don't call it marriage."

Granted, I'm only 47 and have only a Bachelor's Degree, but I seem to remember the phrase "Separate is inherently unequal." It applies here as well.

American Fork, UT

No, we mustn't agree that. A society's individuals must be empowered first. There need not be anything so esoteric as 'the church' involved at any level. Free from stereotype, expectation, and imposition, people are the basis of society. Each and every one of us. After that, what combination of humanity we choose to sustain ourselves that does not violate our innate sense of morality, church free, is probably acceptable. We need not a self proclaimed pontiff or prophet to know what is wrong. At this point, we're already wired to do things correctly without the imposed false morality of the church, or its' apparent lapdog, the right wing.

Bob K
portland, OR

This, from the head of the group which backs the lawyer fighting the marriage equality ruling.

My somewhat sarcastic translation:

"Why don't all of you, and the Supreme Court, simply follow the doctines of the lds church, and realize that they supercede the Constitution of the USA and any ideas that contradict them?"

Yes, it is VERY inconvenient for the 80+ lds prophet to be placed in such a bind, but most of us think it is his job to find God's current interpretation of what is right.

Pleasant Grove, UT

@CHS 85 "...I seem to remember the phrase 'Separate is inherently unequal.' It applies here as well."

How does it apply? No one here is calling for segregation. Please explain.

@Hutterite "...what combination of humanity we choose to sustain ourselves that does not violate our innate sense of morality, church free, is probably acceptable."

What if we choose to make it advantageous for biological parents to stay together and raise their children? That is, to give them societal advantages for doing so? And to raise the status of a couple even when the potential for reproduction exists, whether realized or not? This appears to my mind a great way for humanity to sustain itself, and my innate sense of morality agrees.

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