Comments about ‘Letter: Marriage covenant’

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Published: Friday, May 16 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, UT

"Nowhere in the U.S. Constitution is the concept of marriage mentioned."

So the court was wrong to remove the bans on interracial marriage?

" However, religious freedom is supported by the First Amendment."

That's fine, nobody's making churches marry same-sex couples.

"Marriage is not a right of everyone and should be regulated by the states (not the federal judiciary). "

As long as it doesn't violate the U.S. Constitution.

"There is no discrimination of rights when homosexuals have civil unions"

That's all well and good (except separate but equal is inherently unequal) but Amendment 3 banned civil unions too.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Utah explicitly prohibits Civil Unions, so this argument is moot.

Far East USA, SC

For the sake of discussion, lets assume that civil unions have the exact same benefits as "marriage".
(i am not convinced that it does).

So, help me out here.

This whole issue is only about a label? Seriously? What difference does it make?

And I say this to both sides. Whats the big deal?

I still think that from a government perspective, a "insert name here" license should be issued. Then if someone wants to go to their church and get a "marriage license" so be it.

All this carping over a word. Move on folks.

Karen R.
Houston, TX

"...don’t degrade the long-held esteem of the marriage covenant."

Heterosexuals to homosexuals: Our relationships are more special than yours and are deserving of greater recognition. How do we know this, you ask? Well, um - okay, you're right that we've never been homosexual so we haven't a clue whether it feels the same for you as for us. But we think so regardless and besides, it has always been this way and it makes us feel icky when we see you married, so...

No rational basis.

Burke, VA

Frank's letter and the 60th birthday of the Brown vs. Board of Education decision remind me of the old separate but equal laws that existed for decades in this country whereby segregation of American citizens, based solely on the color of their skin, was the law of the land, in some states at least, and the implied law in other states. This law seemingly provided equal access to public facilities - rest rooms, restaurants, schools - but were segregated by race. According to Wikipedia, "On at least six separate occasions, spanning a time period of nearly 60 years, the United States Supreme Court held, either explicitly or by necessary implication, that the “separate but equal” rule announced in Plessy was the correct rule of law, although, toward the end of that time period, the Court began to focus on whether the separate facilities were in fact equal."

Why should gay citizens be given the right for a civil union but not for marriage - a ceremony in which two people are married to each other (Webster's)? Like "separate but equal" the ban on gay marriage is slowly but surely being proven to be anything but separate and equal. Reality, embrace it.

Open Minded Mormon
Everett, 00

Frank --

Utah's Amendment 3 banned "Civil Unions", "Domestic Partnerships", or anything like unto it.

And THAT'S why it was shot down.


For the record conservatives...

I fought for Civil Unions or Domestic Partnerships for 16 years,
as a way to provide civil rights and liberties to Gays and Lesbians,
yet still maintain the term "marriage" as between man and woman.

But, -- you all dog piled on me, and called me all sorts of names -- Anti-Mormon, Devil worshipper, ect. for YEARS.

Now that Amendment 3 has be striken,
it's funny [not really] to listen to the all about face, 180, flip-flopping hypocrasy.

Huntsville, UT

Dear Frank;

What about MY religious freedom, MY 1st Amendment rights? My religious beliefs are such that marriage is permissible for LGBT couples. But my First Amendment rights don't matter to you, do they? Because they're the opposite of your religious beliefs (that, sir, is called hypocrisy).

1) Civil Unions DO NOT provide even "most" of the legal benefits provided by marriage.
2) Separate is not equal. The 14th Amendment says that the government treats all citizens equally, not just heterosexual citizens.
3) Marriage may not be listed, but then there are thousands of "unenumerated" rights that aren't either.
4) You don't have the right to vote on the rights of your fellow citizens; not even in Utah.

Kearns, UT

Isn't this a rehash of a letter you published last week? We get it, you don't like seeing gay couples getting married. You don't like seeing us join your club and get the same benefits. Might I suggest you actually step out of the comfort of your own homes and actually try to listen to and understand people who are different than you? We need to stop dividing people and bring us all together.


Hmm, where to begin. Frank you contradict yourself. Marriage is NOT in the federal laws but freedom of religion is. How in the world does freedom of religion equate to passing legal statutes that have religious bearing? To me that is the opposite of religious freedom. We have had our rights stripped while the predominate religion flexes.


Well, Frank, you, Mr. Anderson, the DesNews, and several former proponents of Amendment 3 seem to keep forgetting one very important factor in the whole "live and let live but be happy with a civil union and leave marriage to us" discussion: Amendment 3 prohibits civil unions, as do most other constitutional amendments that prohibit same-sex marriage.

In 2004, when Amendment 3 was passed, those who opposed very clearly stated that it went to far by also denying civil unions. Two-thirds of the voters in Utah, and I am fairly sure you and the majority of the DesNews editorial board were among them, voted in favor of Amendment 3 denying LGBT Utahns the very civil unions you now think they should be happy with.

In most states where LGBT Americans are denied marriage, they are also denied civil unions. And no one on your side of the argument, anywhere, has proposed repealing the denial on civil unions - so it is hard to buy the "live and let live" idea you are trying to sell - your actions against it speak much louder than your words for it.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

There have always been those who want "substitutes". The University of Utah and BYU actively prosecute anyone using their logos without permission. The NBA, NFL and baseball leagues actively prosecute anyone using their name or their logos without permission. The FBI actively prosecutes anyone involved in counterfeiting; yet, some people think that they can take something that doesn't belong to them, i.e., God's definition of marriage, which defines marriage as being between a man and a woman; that they can redefine that meaning, i.e., define marriage as being between a man and a man or between a woman and a woman; that they can personally profit from that redefinition; and that they can demand that everyone accept their redefinition.

Marriage is the sacred union established by God to ensure that children born into this world have the best opportunity to receive PROPER instruction and PROPER example.

No matter how loudly the "re-definers" scream, marriage is between a man and a woman. Sex outside of marriage is prohibited. Their argument is with God. Do they think they'll win that argument?

Springville, UT

So you are saying, Frank, that a religious rite should be controlled by the government? Are you sure that's what you really want?

North East, OH

My church is very happy to do both Opposite Sex and Same Sex weddings. So are about 75 other churches. In the last decade I have been to more than a few gay and lesbian wedding performed in churches, in a grove by a Wiccan high priestess, and one by a Rabbi.

Why should your religious rights trump those of religions that are willing to marry gays and lesbian?

This is not a religious issue. It is one of equality and civil rights. If your church does not want to do gay marriage it wont have to. If you don't want to go to a gay marriage you don't have too.

But your religious views are no more valid than the views of any group in favor of gay marriage.

Mapleton, UT

Karen R.

I always enjoy your well-reasoned commentary. Your quick response to all things relating to SSM is impressive.

However, in your lament of religious attitudes you might consider the observation of one of Europe’s most lauded intellects, who said that “Social cohesion is a necessity, and mankind has never yet succeeded in enforcing cohesion by merely rational arguments (John Stuart Mill).”

Truth is, that you nor I nor anyone else knows exactly how fully equating SSA with traditional marriage might affect U.S. society. But as John Stuart Mill makes clear, rational arguments and edicts alone divorced of religious content are not the answer.

John Charity Spring
Back Home in Davis County, UT

Thomas F. Meagher once said that "you can call a mule a race horse all you want, but it doesn't make it so." That principle is directly applicable here.

Calling same sex unions "marriages" doesn't make it so. For a thousand generations, marriage has had a specific meaning. Pretending otherwise is nothing short of dishonest.

No society has ever created legal protections for "marriage" solely as a mechanism for the personal fulfillment of those involved. Societies have only created legal protections for marriages that benefit society as a whole. It is up to society, not the courts, to decidewwhich relationships meet that definition.

Provo, UT

As one among millions who has taken the time to know God through sacrifice of time, talents, and resources, it's sad to see the celebration of the redefinition of marriage to include same-sex unions. The rejoicings will be short-lived as God begins to chastise the nation for re-writing his religious laws and commandments to suit its personal preferences.

Sandy, UT

To M Richards.
Just exactly how do you know that's what God wants?
And how can you involve "god" in legal matters?
You DONT and you CANT.

Mapleton, UT

Both sides in the SSM controversy, in their all-out commitment one against the other, may well be surprised at just how fragile are the ties that bind us as a nation. Winning at the expense of others is always an illusion.

Rather than all or nothing, might we have a more Solomonesque decision?

Cleveland , OH

@Mike Richards: "Marriage is the sacred union established by God to ensure that children born into this world have the best opportunity to receive [proper] instruction and [proper] example."
[all caps removed for politeness.]

Your definitions, based on your religion, are no more - or less - valid than definitions based in Celtic traditions as practiced by Pagans or Wiccan beliefs or the doctrines of Muslims or teachings of Buddhists. And your definition of "proper instruction" and "proper example" are based on your experience. Members of each of those groups believe they are giving their children proper instruction and setting a proper example.

In times past, marriage was a business transaction between two men. In modern times women have gained autonomy and make their own choices in marriage. Shall we return to trading livestock for wives? Or perhaps raiding villages and kidnapping women to marry, as was done in the Bible?

When my daughter was 5 she had a very strident imaginary friend who's opinion always - by coincidence - backed what my daughter wanted. I notice your imaginary friend does the same.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The concept of freedom in America seems to be that an adult American can do anything he pleases so long as he does not harm or diminish the rights and freedoms of others.

The word marriage is a common word and neither the word or its meaning are the private property of any one. When someone insists on forcing the meaning of a common word on others, they are disavowing the concept of freedom of religion which would say that a person can believe as they please.

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