Comments about ‘Utah lawmaker questions if gay marriage case will reach U.S. Supreme Court’

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Published: Tuesday, June 3 2014 5:30 p.m. MDT

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Henry Drummond
San Jose, CA

All 14 verdicts are based in large measure on last year's ruling in U. S. v Windsor. If you think about it, Windsor never needed to reach the Supreme Court either since the Justice Department made it clear it agreed with the lower court's ruling. The appeal was purely to have the Supreme Court decide the issue once and for all. I think that will happen here as well.

The Wraith
Kaysville, UT

Correct me if I'm wrong but when the 10th Circuit rules in the case (no matter which side they rule on) the other side will appeal. The Supreme Court would then at least have to say whether they will hear it or not. Is he not counting that as "reaching" the Supreme Court? By reaching does he just mean if they will hear it or not?

Salt Lake City, UT

@The Wraith
Yes and no. Depends on how technical you want to be about it. What he meant by his comment is that the Supreme Court won't hear the case.

The Wraith
Kaysville, UT

Thanks Schnee, I read the article but it didn't seem clear to me. I agree though, I could see the Supreme Court declining the case and letting the lower court decisions stand if they are all in agreement (and I believe they will be in agreement in granting marriage rights to same sex couples). I actually hope that's what happens it's faster that way and the faster same sex couples can legally marry the better.

A Quaker
Brooklyn, NY

Let's be clear. Rep. King wasn't saying whether he thought it was a good thing or a bad thing that the Supreme Court should review the case. He's merely sharing his knowledge of how the Court typically allocates its limited docket time. They only agree to hear cases ("grant cert") when they think it's necessary and the issue can't be resolved otherwise.

The Federal judiciary has three levels, the District Courts, the Circuit Courts of Appeals, and the Supreme Court. Federal District Courts in several different Circuits have rendered basically identical decisions. It's very early days yet if you're counting on SCOTUS stepping in. None of the Circuit Courts have spoken yet, and as Rep. King points out, unless they disagree with each other as to the constitutionality of restricting gay couples from marriage, there's no question for SCOTUS.

We not only have to wait for the 10th, but also the other Circuits to see if they agree.

Rep. King is right. SCOTUS may not step up at all. Nearly half the population of the US now lives in Marriage Equality states. Its job isn't removing rights.

Dugway, UT

I think that the whole issue is based upon the determination of whether "marriage" is a fundamental unalienable right, as in Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness, or not. If not, and is determined to be a state regulated social contract, then of course the state legislature can define it. If so, then the Supreme Court must apply the Constitution to the issue. The idea that the U.S. Supreme Court can't nullify a state's law is just wrong and has been done over and over again throughout our (USA) history.

Dane, WI

@Henry Drummond
"Windsor never needed to reach the Supreme Court either since the Justice Department made it clear it agreed with the lower court's ruling."

If SCOTUS had declined to hear one of the several appeals of rulings which had found DOMA unconstitutional, gays would only have full federal civil rights in the 1st and 2nd circuits and DOMA section 3 would still be enforced in the rest of the country. That's not an outcome SCOTUS would tolerate. In other words SCOTUS had to take one of these cases and they chose the one which told the best story.

Logan, UT

In my opinion, SCOTUS is going to pick up a SSM case, but it may not be Utah's case. They may table 10th circuit case and wait for a while, until another one or two circuit court rulings, especially the most conservative 5th circuit's, come up, to see if there is any difference in their separate opinions, and then decide to pick which case.

Unless several circuit courts all reach the exact same conclusion, especially in terms of narrow or broad interpretation of Windsor, which I doubt they will, I think SCOTUS will eventually pick up a case and set the tone for the whole nation.

Here, UT

Rep. Ken Ivory, R-West Jordan, said he was struggling with how one federal judge could strike down a marriage law passed by the Legislature and approved by voters as Utahns did with Amendment 3.

"If a judge can do that, what's left?" he asked.


If voters can vote away another's rights, Rep. Ivory, what's left?

Rocket Science
Brigham City, UT

Why is it that until recently changes to civil law to redefine marriage to include SSM have not even been brought up? SSM advocates hate it but again and again the dictionary definition, and a definition that has stood for thousands of years, of marriage is the union of a man and a woman as husband and wife. No man can be a wife, no woman can be a husband. Protest the argument but it is fact and yes it affects families,No male can be a mother no female can be a father. Society will pay a price for this social mistake brought on by those who want to justify something that is not by creating something that not be, SSM.

Dietrich, ID

What good are voters rights if courts overturn them anyway. No where in the 14th amendment is there a right to marry someone of the same gender? Why are people just now finding this right? So called same gender marriage I don't think will last since the person behind that inspiration never supports those that follow him in the end. In the vast majority of states that voted to define marriage they voted to keep it between man and woman. Courts are taking away there rights. If all else fails eventually enough of society will change that a constitutional amendment defining marriage between a man and woman will exist. Men and Women are different biologically, they are not regardless of race.

Rocket Science
Brigham City, UT

While it may be SCOTUS decides the case not hearing it, it is interesting that SSM advocates want and expect those who have a differing opinion to shut up or give up now, to not pursue the interest of the State. Remember CA prop 8 case did not make SSM the law of the land even though SCOTUS had the opportunity to do so if so inclined. SCOTUS ruled those who brough the suit did not have standing. SCOTUS took the easy way out that time, perhaps suggesting they wanted additional judicial review through lower courts before it reaches them, then decline the case. OR, maybe they will take it in which case it is very possible they will be split 4/5 or 5/4.

Those that want SSM do not want the case to be decided by SCOTUS because there is some uncertainty there, my guess is 80/20, it's not 100% as some hope. SCOTUS will certainly weigh very heavily if the powers recognized as the states for over 200 years should be changed or if the States retain that power. Maybe they will decide that states must either recognize SSM or some other type of civil union. Everything right now is opinion.

Here, UT

@Rocket Science;

The sky is falling, the sky is falling...

You may not like it, but we are going to have marriage equality in all 50 states eventually. It won't affect you (or society) negatively (except perhaps in your mind).

Dane, WI

@Rocket Science "Remember CA prop 8 case did not make SSM the law of the land even though SCOTUS had the opportunity to do so if so inclined."

No, that wasn't even an option for the court since the Prop h8 proponents didn't have standing to appeal.

@Rocket Science "Maybe they will decide that states must either recognize SSM or some other type of civil union."

Sorry but the courts already know that separate is never equal. In particular civil unions don't have any of the federal rights of marriage and aren't recognized by the feds, by other states or by other countries. You'll just have to learn to deal with the fact that all Americans will soon have the same civil rights you've always enjoyed. Marriage equality is the only possible outcome and so far the federal courts unanimously recognize that fact.

Dietrich, ID

@Skrekk Nikita Kruchev boasted to Ezra Taft Benson that his grandchildren would live under communism. What does that prophecy and those of so called same gender marriage have in common? They are both false prophecies one that hasn't came to pass and one that won't come to pass. If so called same gender marriage does exist in all 50 states like communism in Eastern Europe won't last too long as it will collapse under the weight of it's own iniquity.

Understands Math
Lacey, WA

"Ivory said regulating marriage is a power that has belonged to the states for 237 years."

Nearly all of the states used to ban mixed-race marriages. The federal courts declared that unconstitutional in the late 60's.

So there's certainly precedent for the feds to step in when the states are treating American citizens unequally.

Vince here
San Diego, CA


The wording in Loving v. Virginia (1967) stipulates that marriage is a fundamental right. Granted, it is given in context of race. However, it is also worded in the context of due process. Many of the rulings regarding same-sex marriage are worded using the same language.

"These statutes also deprive the Lovings of liberty without due process of law in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.

Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival. Skinner v. Oklahoma, 316 U.S. 535, 541 (1942). See also Maynard v. Hill, 125 U.S. 190 (1888). To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted ...by the State.

These convictions must be reversed."

Edwardsville, IL

As just about every Latter Day Saint has been taught; Whenever God puts forth a ordinances with blessings meant to draw us closer to him and receive eternal blessings, Satan puts into the minds of man counter ordinances based on primal gratification with no eternal reward. But of course God lets us choose. I suppose the courts may continue to stab at eroding away at the Nation. I suppose that people will continue to remake God in their image. I suppose that the LGBT community will get their way through the liberal courts. But I do not choose to support them. Since I am not a commercial entity, I do not need to recognize them or their so called marriages. I will continue to vote against those who do. My vote may be unheard but my defiance will continue.

Pleasant Grove, UT

@Rocket Science
..." the dictionary definition, ... of marriage is the union of a man and a woman as husband and wife"

This may come as a shock, but it doesn't take rocket science to realize that the dictionary isn't law and Noah Webster doesn't decide how the Constitution is interpreted and applied throughout the land.
However, since you asked:
"The legally or formally recognized union of a man and a woman (or, in some jurisdictions, two people of the same sex) as partners in a relationship" (Oxford Dictionary)

"1 a: the relationship that exists between a husband and a wife ...
b: a similar relationship between people of the same sex" (Merriam Webster Learner's Dictionary)

" a legally accepted relationship between two people in which they live together" (Cambridge Dictionary Online)

Any questions?

Seattle, WA

You certainly have the right to say that gay marriage is an idea from Satan based on "primal gratification with no eternal reward."
You are free to believe that the courts are liberal and eroding the nation.
You are free to call a legal marriage "so called" and vote against equal rights every chance you can.
For the sake of our nation, our church, and our families, I hope that you choose not do those things.
I hope that you will allow yourself to see the real hearts of LGBT who want the same things you do. I hope that you will recognize that they are God's children made in His image.
Protecting the rights of LGBT people protects all of our rights. Supporting committed, responsible relationships among LGBT people promotes commitment for all people.
I invite you to search online for first-person stories and videos from LGBT people, including LGBT Mormons and how positions like yours affect them. Then go to the websites of the major organizations fighting gay marriage, read their position papers and watch their videos. See which one you want to align with. For me, the choice was clear.

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