Comments about ‘My view: Utah — Defending marriage at the Supreme Court’

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Published: Thursday, June 5 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Frozen Fractals
Salt Lake City, UT

" an irrational law whose purpose was to single out a group of their fellow citizens for unfair treatment (as if the laws of virtually all known human societies that have treated marriage as a male-female union were a vast conspiracy of exclusion). "

It's pretty clear what the purpose of the constitutional amendments in a flurry around the turn of the century was about... preventing same-sex marriages.

liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

"Utah is unique in its commitment not only in word, but also in deed, to preserving the ideal that children deserve to be raised by a married mother and father."

How can Utah make the claim that we only support traditional marriage when there are an estimated 37,000 polygamists in the state? Long ago we wisely decided to quit enforcing bigamy laws.

Isn't it a little ironic that the state with the longest history of untraditional marriage should be so vocal in defining "traditional marriage"?

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Utah isn't defending "traditional marriage." If they were defending traditional marriage then they'd be defending polygamy. After all, that was the "traditional marriage" here in utah. If they were defending marriage between 1 man and 1 woman, then why haven't they imprisoned and/or taken away state benefits from the polygamists?

What the state is doing is defending the irrational fear of gay marriage. They are upholding discrimination against gays. They'd rather treat them as inferior citizens than as equals.

This is, no matter how you slice it, an irrational and ultimately, losing position.

I'm guessing it's smoke and mirrors too. Most utah politicians know where this is going but are giving the impression that they're doing "everything" in the power to fight it so they aren't attacked in elections for it.

Cleveland , OH

This article started with promise.

And then I read: "federal district court judge ruling that a state’s marriage amendment should be invalidated based on guesses of how a majority of Supreme Court justices might vote..." That is misleading and inflammatory and caries the implication that Judge Shelby used intuition instead of education, training, and experience in reaching his conclusion. It also implies numerous other Federal Judges are professionally incompetent.

Much worse, the article closed with, "Utah is unique in its commitment...to preserving the ideal that children deserve to be raised by a married mother and father."

State boosterism aside, the writer is going to protect children by classing thousands of children being raised in Gay and Lesbian families as undesirables who may be tolerated and pitied but who do not deserve respect or legal protections. Then, to add insult to injury, his wording includes the children of all single parents in the same class of undeserving children.

You cannot protect all children by harming some children, or "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." - Martin Luther King, Jr

seattle, WA

I wonder if this writer really thought out what he/she was inferring.

They say that in our legal system both sides of the argument deserve a rigorous presentation. Does this apply to the indigent? Does the state of Utah fully fund qualified lawyers for those people who do not have the adequate funds to defend themselves before a judge and jury? The state is willing to spend millions on what appears a losing proposition in its prohibition of same sex marriage. Is the state willing to spend that and more to make sure no innocent person goes to jail?

I think this is a somewhat self-serving assertion by the writer, and one that legal aid advocates ought to pick up upon.

Heber City, UT

I agree with the writer; Utah's case should be the one. This is the state most in need of a hard lesson about a religious majority imposing its views on other U.S. citizens who share the same geographic space. We need to learn that it is unjust to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied.

Poplar Grove, UT

"Utah is unique in its commitment...to preserving the ideal that children deserve to be raised by a married mother and father."

Riiiight, that's why a single person can legally adopt a child according to state law. Married people or a single person can adopt, BUT NO GAYS!!!!! Kinda pops that balloon don't it?

Salt Lake City, UT

Duncan: "...Utah is unique in its commitment... to preserving the ideal that children deserve to be raised by a married mother and father."

The state, echoing this sentiment, has based its entire case on the "conjugal view" of marriage, making the procreative element of marriage the predominant policy purpose. The state and its allies at the Sutherland Institute dismiss as irrelevant the "revisionist view" of marriage that puts a premium on the love and affection of the partners. "[M]mainly about adult romance," says Heritage Foundation's Ryan Anderson, quoted in DesNews; "adult-centric selfishness," writes Sutherland's Paul Mero in the Tribune.

Section 30-1-1(f) of the Utah Code prohibits procreation for certain marriages. Can anyone at Sutherland answer these questions?

1. Is there any way to interpret 30-1-1(f) as anything other than a state acceptance and endorsement of the "revisionist view" of marriage as valid policy?
2. Would Sutherland back a repeal of 30-1-1(f) as inimical to the state's interest in the "conjugal view"?
3. Would Sutherland support invalidating the marriages performed under 30-1-1(f)?
4. If the "revisionist view" is acceptable for cousins, why isn't it acceptable for same sex couples?

Tooele, UT

Re: "There are . . . reasons to believe that Utah’s case would be the best and likeliest [case for Supreme Court consideration]. First, Utah is making a robust defense of its law."

Along those lines, the Supreme Court's selection of the case[s] to consider will likely telegraph its punch. If it's Utah's we would appear to be in good shape, though Chief Justice Roberts' history of solid conservative reasoning -- until it really counts -- is still a little scary.

The Court has ruled LGBT is not a suspect class, so strict scrutiny analysis won't apply. It's unlikely to discover some new right to perversion in the penumbra of another disused constitutional provision, so heightened scrutiny is also off the table. And, since great deference to a state's determination as to what constitutes its important interests is still the law of the land -- liberal and LGBT bleating to the contrary notwithstanding -- normal-level scrutiny would also clearly support Utah's constitution.

So, if the Court asks for briefs and arguments on Virginia's case, we should expect an adverse, doctrinaire, liberal outcome.

Utah's? Not so much.

S. Jordan, UT

I agree with the statement "Having both sides of a lawsuit adequately represented is crucial because it ensures the Supreme Court will be able to hear all relevant arguments before making a decision that will impact the laws of every state and the fundamental unit of society."

I believe this is crucial in order to put this issue to rest. No matter the outcome, we need resolution to the issue with both sides of the arguement well represented.

The question in my mind is that if the SCOTUS rules against SSM, will the LGBT community respect that? Doubt it.

But... if the SCOTUS rules in favor of SSM, the same group will expect the other 95% of the population to respect it.

And to those who point out the polygamy contradiction I would point out that Utah does NOT recognize plural marriages and treats polygamy as a cohabitation condition. The state of Utah treats same sex cohabitation exactly the same.

Stalwart Sentinel
San Jose, CA

Given Utah's history of projecting it's influence into other states on this issue and the absolute bumbling, unoriginal legal representation that Utah has put up so far, I sincerely hope Utah gets it's chance to be the first state to lose soundly at the SCOTUS level.

Indeed, for all the reasons this author notes, it will be sweet justice when Utah sets the precedent that undermines their codified discrimination.

CHS 85
Sandy, UT

When Utah loses this case, will I get a refund on the money they took from me in this endeavor?

Hurricane, UT

Alright. I'll agree that a child benefits from having a father and a mother to raise him or her. But if Utah truly believed in the advantages of this arrangement, then why are the family courts and laws typically biased in favor of mothers? If the situation arises in which the parents have separate homes, shouldn't the children be afforded as equal time as possible in both? That's not practice in Utah, so it's difficult to believe that there's an ideal with any teeth. Or are we just touting this in order to fend off challenges to marital laws?

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

"The question in my mind is that if the SCOTUS rules against SSM, will the LGBT community respect that? Doubt it."

No, and they shouldn't. Civil Rights should never depend on a vote. Just because separate but equal was sustained in past rulings doesn't make them correct or just.

"But... if the SCOTUS rules in favor of SSM, the same group will expect the other 95% of the population to respect it."

Civil Rights should never be determined by a mob. Mormons of all people should understand this. Remember in Missouri when the mob determined that Mormons couldn't own land or businesses? Remember when an activist governor and mob declared it legal to exterminate Mormons?

If 95 percent of America declared Mormon marriages and families to be illegal, would you accept that? Would you respect their ruling?

The bottom line is, preventing gay marriage from happening is discrimination. Allowing and recognizing gay marriage isn't. How does gay marriage affect you or your family? How does gay marriage infringe upon your rights?

Please enlighten the rest of us in your next post.

Salt Lake City, UT

I believe that children benefit from having a mother and a father raise them. Does anyone disagree? I believe that this is the ideal setting for raising children. I believe that this ideal deserves to be honored and promoted by state and federal governments, (with things like tax benefits.)

Same-sex unions and families deserve a legal status and protections from discrimination.

I don't believe that we should be promoting same-sex unions on equal footing with marriage. I believe that we should promote the ideal. I believe that we should protect all parents and families.

I propose that specifically addressing rights and protections that same-sex couples should have is a better solution than redefining marriage.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Several posters have told us that polygamy is legal in Utah. Is that so? Is polygamy legal? Can a polygamist get a marriage license to marry a plural wife? Polygamy was outlawed in 1890.

Some who believe in SSM are telling us that they will disobey a Supreme Court Ruling that upholds Utah's Constitution. They say that they believe that they are above the law. Isn't that what the gay/lesbian activists have been saying all along? Haven't they been telling us that 2% of the population can dictate to the 98% what marriage means and that their "feelings" about sex means that they are protected under the 14th Amendment? Do they receive the same wage as everyone else? Do they drive the same car as everyone else? Do they receive the same grade in school as everyone else? If not, they we are all fundamentally unequal. Do they expect to use the 14th Amendment to force equality in wages, in school, in cars, in clothes? But, they want the 14th Amendment to justify their feelings about sex.

Layton, UT

I'm so proud that our state is defending our vote to have marriage be between a man and a woman. I'm happy that our representatives are willing to fight the good fight. They are suppose to represent the will of the people. Regardless as to if we win this case, I'm glad to know that we are least tried to defend the 'Will of the People.' Go Utah!

American Fork, UT

A mean spirited, petty waste of state resources.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The last poll I saw found that 59% of Americans now support same sex marriage. So the argument that you are just defending the will of the majority is not valid.

Cleveland , OH

@Clarissa: "I'm so proud that our state is defending our vote to have marriage be between a man and a woman. I'm happy that our representatives are willing to fight the good fight. They are suppose to represent the will of the people."

Clarissa - I can only hope that on Sunday mornings you are equally vocal in supporting Gov Lilburn Boggs and his efforts to represent the will of the people not all that long ago.

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