"These groups have believed that marriage is a spiritual contract between a
man, a woman and God, and that this contract is part of an eternal
process"In the Old Testament and even the New, religion and
government was one and the same. So, it is not correct to say that marriage was
only a spiritual contract back in the day.
Perhaps those of us (including me) who are above the age at which we are still
likely to marry ought to keep our opinions to ourselves, and listen to the
younger generations, who are yet to marry.This article would make
sense if it were factually correct, which it is not.I know the DN
must push itself to print anything that vaguely agrees with the official mormon
views, so I was not surprised to see this, but most of it is fantasy, at
best.Maybe 10 years ago, this piece would be worthy of discussion --
or even 5 years ago -- but now, to anyone who sees what is going on, I compare
this to "Let's keep the buggy whip factories open, because the
horseless carriage is a fad"Many people of the same sex,
particularly if raised mormon, feel that God has given them their partners to
love and be family with forever. I think that Jesus would be the first to urge
us to honor that.
"Marriage has never been a government granted right"I was
married in Utah and my Marriage License was issued by the State of Utah and the
ceremony was performed by a Circuit Court Judge. Try getting
legally "married" without that and then tell me that it is not a
"government granted right"
"For thousands of years, marriage has been defined by religious culture and
has been practiced functionally as a religious contract between man, woman and
God. Marriage has never been a government granted right, but a god-given
commandment..."Lost me right there.If we are going
to have an honest debate about gay marriage then we need to honestly describe
history the best we can and not look at it through Mormon glasses. We've
tried this tainted argument before and it just hasn't worked well in the
Respectfully, you need to check your history. While it was never seen on a large
scale, polygamy was practiced in Hinduism for thousands of years and it has no
principle forbidding it.
If Adam and Steve who are good members of the Congregationalist Church (which
approves of gay marriage) wish to get marriage, what gives you the right to
thwart their intentions? Is your religion superior? Because that is what you
are saying.Secular government serves as a means to protect
minorities in religion from the tyrannies of the majority religions. In this
way we prevent open hostilities. Witness the Middle East and the endless
intra-secular conflicts between Sunni and Shiite Muslims.And
besides, Utah voted to prevent even civil marriages with its vote. In this way
the people of Utah showed animus to homosexual marriage or civil unions. And
animus to those who follow different religious beliefs.Your option
may have been a good one when the debate started. However, the determination of
the religious fundamentalists in sync with the bigotry of many to kill any
public recognition of the inherent right for gay couples to be treated equally
before the law put the issue where it is now. You reap the whirlwind when you
refuse to compromise or acknowledge other's rights to equal treatment and
claim a religiously superior belief system.
For thousands of years, marriage has been defined by religious culture and has
been practiced functionally as a religious contract between man, woman and God.
Marriage has never been a government granted right"Government
and religion were often the same back in the day.
Yes, take the libertarian approach and get government out of marriage
completely. The license fee hardly raises revenue. People could have whatever
organization or religion they want to take care of marriage and divorces by
Marriage is a legal contract. The sacrament portion is a religious rite. They
should be completely and entirely separated. That is the only solution. Why do
many Americans want to keep mixing government and religion? They are best when
I think that is the way we will need to go since the government seems to want to
tell religious organizations and everyone else what is right and what is wrong.
Let's take a vote on morality. All in favor of killing this
group say AY, opposed Nay. AYs have it. Civil protections seems to be going by
the wayside in favor of the "voice of the people". Seriously, many foreign countries already have this practice and it seems to
work out well enough.
The only way religious freedom is protected is by a secular society with secular
laws.Otherwise, we lose religious freedom. One religion will
ultimately win out, and other beliefs will be crushed into insignificance. Either we have a secular society with religious freedom, or we have a
State Church. It is truly a binary choice with no alternative. My religious
freedom is only as protected as the least popular religion's rights. Our
laws must be religiously neutral.Laws need to be based on if harm
can be demonstrated to another person, or society as a whole. My freedoms
cannot trump another's; nor can theirs trump mine. That is equal
protection under the law.Unless harm to someone else's life,
liberty, property or rights can be shown we have no legal basis to deny same sex
This article hurts my head. Even though Mr. Woolley and I live in the same
country and belong to the same church, his view of history, law, and religion is
completely foreign to me. I do not understand his defensiveness and fear.In my view religious rites and truths cannot be changed by law and will
not fall to secular "attacks." To believe that the government can change
religious truths suggests that religious truths are weak and changeable. Loyalty
to God does not require a rejection of secular society--in fact, secular society
is a foundation of religious freedom. Living in a secular world requires
tolerance and respect for all sincere beliefs. Loyalty to God requires us to
love our neighbor as ourselves.I am glad that Mr. Woolley at least
recognizes the importance of ensuring civil protections for every citizen,
including same-sex couples. The best way to provide equal protection for
same-sex couples is through the government legal contract we call marriage.
This is reaching. You can say marriage is the domain of religion when divorce
is, too. Otherwise, it's a legal contract. Religion is a very optional
veneer on it.
My previous comment was seemingly denied as it hasn't appeared. My
comments on other articles have been pulled after-the-fact for some reason,
maybe I shouldn't comment at all moderators?In any case, the
author of this opinion piece doesn't know his history of marriage.
Thousands of years ago same-sex marriages were recognized, right along with
opposite sex marriages, in many cultures. If he's going to make broad
statements he should at least learn some of the facts first.
Do we really want our country to be ran by religions?How has that
worked for the middle-east?As someone who has been to other
countries and studies history for a living, I grow increasingly weary of the
vocal minority desiring that religion control our government. We
indeed live in scary times. Do we really want to become a theocracy? Is that
what the FF imagined?
Those who oppose same sex marriage and want to be taken seriously must cease the
spewing of completely false statements, beginning with this one:"Yet today, religion is being attacked by the secular world."There is no "attack" on marriage. Same sex couples simply seek
marriage equality - to have the same legal and social status as their opposite
sex couple counterparts.If that is an "attack", then the
"sharing" of the gospel is an "attack" on the LDS faith by
trying to extend its benefits and blessings to those who are not members!
This is already being done. There are quite a few "spiritual" marriages
all over the west. It's only legally binding under the "law."
There is where it gets tricky.
Whew, that was some first class pearl clutching.
@Ranch Hand: "In any case, the author of this opinion piece doesn't
know his history of marriage. Thousands of years ago same-sex marriages were
recognized, right along with opposite sex marriages, in many cultures."Well that is news to me. Can you go into more detail?(I am
skeptical, about 20 years ago someone made the 'discovery' that in the
first few centuries of Christianity that there were religious blessings of same
gender friendships and so they extrapolated and concluded that same gender
sexual unions were being blessed.)
Apparently the author failed to pull the Wooley (pun) over the eyes of most
readers judging by the posts here. Of course the author is trying to support the
position of a religious organization with this "unbiased" editorial.
There would be no debate if the religious organizations accepted the LGBT
community as equals and not sinners.
Historically, marriage was about ownership, not equality.
Despite a few errors in historical facts, I agree with the author's main
point. Marriage, and the freedom to choose who one will marry, is a right which
should not be "granted" by government. Like any other right, such as
the freedom of speech, it is granted by God and is inherent to every individual,
no matter their race, religion, political leanings, sexual orientation, etc. If
we abdicate to government the ability to define who may be married, then it can
also define who may not be married, or whether certain groups may solemnize
marriages if they disagree with the government definition. It is plausible that
this could at some future date turn out badly for one or more groups of people,
as it has in the past. For this reason and others, marriage should be
completely separate from government, and should be viewed as a private contract
between consenting adults and, if they so choose, their families and/or their
God. There are legal considerations which come with marriages and other such
private associations. For this, the government should act within its sphere and
provide a separate system of legal protections such as a civil union.
This article is a great vehicle for those wanting to claim that a secular
society is the enemy of religion today. Lucky for the rest of humanity, a
secular society allows space for all religions, beliefs and persuasions to
coexist. That is the beauty of secularism. It isn't the absence of
religion, it is the establishment of a neutral playing field for all religions.
Mormons should be especially grateful for a secular society, as it
keeps other less tolerant Christian faiths from shoving their beliefs down the
Mormon throat, as it were. What if all prayers and religious houses of worship
were required the presence of a Christian cross?
And thus America's descent to fascism continues...Right wing
rhetoric is becoming scarier and scarier.
@Tek;It's been covered again and again on these pages.The Assyrians had blessings for same-sex unions written into their religious
texts, and they were also recognized in Mesopotamia.The Romans and
Greeks had same-sex marriages as did the Chinese and ancient native
Americans.The information is available out there for those willing
to research a bit.
"By shanghaiing the title of marriage to rename its civil unions,
governments attempt to make themselves the replacement of God and religion in
society. Government civil unions, renamed marriages, are its artificial
alternatives for religious marriages. They convey less reverence toward
marriage."Religious marriage ceremonies not receiving the stamp
of approval from the state are given no legal recognition in the eyes of the
state. Religious institutions in these 50 United States are given the authority
to perform marriage at the pleasure of the state. The state owns Marriage, not
religion. If religious sensibilities are so fragile as to fall apart at the
states use of the word marriage to perform state business I suggest the
religions find a new word, not the other way around.
Americans continue to rationalize their deviant behavior and force others to
accept them just how they are.Respect is always earned. Being
worthy of respect is something to strive for.
It's funny, some are saying how the author of this piece is wrong and that
he doesn't know his history, but yet they do not post facts themselves.
Facts should be followed by siting a source. like this, "While it is a
relatively new practice that same-sex couples are being granted the same form of
legal marital recognition as commonly used by mixed-sexed couples, there is a
long history of recorded same-sex unions around the world." Same-sex
marriage: the personal and the political. ISBN 1-894663-63-2. If you want to say
that the author is not putting history accurately, show it.
And lets not forget a man and woman, another woman and another woman ...... ,
Sprangs,"Lucky for the rest of humanity, a secular society
allows space for all religions, beliefs and persuasions to coexist."I think that is exactly what the writer is trying to
promote...separating secular government from religious practice, and therefore
permanently protecting all religions, beliefs, and persuasions from government
intrusion. Under this system, same sex couples could both be married and be
afforded legal protections, without threatening the right of religious people to
define marriage as they see fit within their own sphere of influence. There are
plenty of religions or other "spiritual groups" out there willing to
marry same sex couples if they so desire. If they (or anyone else) then want
the legal protections, or if they only want the legal protections without the
religious marriage, they can go that route as well.
The more opponents talk and write editorials like this, the sillier their
arguments appear. There is so much factually incorrect in this editorial to
write in under 200 words. People who were on the fence or even opposed to SSM
have become proponents for it because of weak, unfounded arguments like those
expressed in this editorial.
"Americans continue to rationalize their deviant behavior and force others
to accept them just how they are."I'm pretty sure the same
was said about polygamy many years ago.
I'm not sure where this fear comes from that government will
"force" religions to change.Churches can still deny
performing marriages to couples of different race.I've personally
never heard of the LDS church being forced to admit a person into any of their
temples, have you?To me, this whole thing has been blown out of
proportion. Paranoid pieces, such as these, don't help those who support
traditional marriage at all. It makes us all look foolish.
Our religious beliefs and societal traditions are vital to the fabric of
society. Though each faith, minister, and individual can define marriage for
themselves, at issue here are laws that act outside that protected sphere. Once
the government defines marriage and attaches benefits to that definition, it
must do so constitutionally. It cannot impose a traditional or faith-based
limitation upon a public right without a sufficient justification for it.
Assigning a religious or traditional rationale for a law, does not make it
constitutional when that law discriminates against a class of people without
other reasons.The beauty of our Constitution is that it accommodates
our individual faith’s definition ofmarriage while preventing the
government from unlawfully treating us differently. This is hardlysurprising since it was written by people who came to America to find both
freedom of religionand freedom from it.Judge John G. Heyburn
IIBourke v. Beshear (CV-750-H)February 12, 2014)
I think this sentence from the final paragraph pretty much sums up the whole
commentary: "Religious doctrines and ordinances that are enacted as
contracts between God and imperfect human beings can not be civilly
negotiated."The thing is... nobody is doing this. Civil marriage
equality is not about forcing religions to change doctrines. Implying that it
does is a cross between the Strawman and the "Begging the Question"
fallacies. Marriage equality is about the civil arena. You have the right to
your religion, but you do not have the right for civil laws to comply with the
tenets of your religion.
Agreed with the letter.I have argued for this for 20 years now.It was the uber-far-right who sought to deny ALL legal rights and legal
recognition of Unions or Partnerships and turned this into a debate over the
definition of "maririage".BTW -- When Religions start
unDoing the marriages they performed and issue Divorces, presided over by
Bishops, Pastors, Reverends, Immams, etc.then I might reconsider my
position.A License is issed by the State, And is only revoked
by the State.I was married AND Sealed in the SaltLakeTemple -- I was required by LAW to get a legal license, and file it with the
State.Like a business License or filing Articles of
Incorporation.A man/woman [or man/man, or woman/woman] simple become a
legal "unit" or "entity", as far as the State is
concerned.Religous ceremonies are simply a religous "rite"
or "ordinance" with no legal bearing.Like Baptism, Priesthood, or
Sealing...No State involved -- No religous Freedom is lost.As so many others have already mentioned -- Other countries do a civil
signing, followed by a religous ceremony.No differnt than the
way my parents or Grandarents did it.
Our government confers the same secular rights to all marriages regardless of
which authorized religious leader or secular judge performs the ceremony. These
secular rights are not granted by the church, they are granted by the
government. By secular rights I mean the tax advantages, veteran rights - like
the veteran cemetery case in Idaho, laws pertaining to hospital visitations,
adoption, etc... Gay couples are denied those secular rights even if they are
not seeking a religious ceremony. Our constitution guarantees equal rights for
all. This is not a threat to the religious aspect of marriage.
Ranch:None of the civilizations you point to were Judeo-Christian
societies. Like it or not, our society is based on Judeo-Christian beliefs and
law. So let's stick to comparing apples to apples...Regardless
of history and attempts to revise it (on both sides of the issue), providing for
separate religious and civil unions is the best and most "equal" answer
to the SSM vs Religion debate. Yet no one wants to go there, especially the
LGBT. The arguments against it from them are nonsensical. Why
can't we actually compromise and have all rights protected and honored? It
leads me to believe there really is a bigger agenda than equal marital rights
This might sound like an ideal solution, but it would actually be disastrous for
the institution of marriage and the legal family. One takes vows at a church or
temple wedding, but there is no legal force behind them. Churches have no
enforcement powers, beyond admonitions, counseling and sanctions such as
excommunication. There are literally hundreds of state and federal legal
protections and benefits of marriage and family, ranging from taxes,
inheritance, health care decisions, visitation, custody, spousal and child
neglect and abuse, child protection services, restraining and eviction orders,
etc., etc. Churches do not have law enforcement agents, legally binding courts,
legal family and child protection institutions, or legally binding contracts.
This might seem like a panacea, but it is a libertarian pipe dream, which in
practice would harm the institution of marriage and family.
@RedWings wrote: "Why can't we actually compromise and have all rights
protected and honored? It leads me to believe there really is a bigger agenda
than equal marital rights going on..."The compromise is civil
marriage equality, as currently exists in nineteen states and the District of
Columbia. Religions do not have to perform them, or even recognize them, but the
legal benefits of marriage are available to same-sex couples just as they are to
opposite-sex couples. All rights are protected and honored.
@RedWingsLike it or not, our society is based on Judeo-Christian
beliefs and law.=============Care to back up that claim?
Where in the Constitution does it say that?The one I read prohibits
the establishment of any religion.Did Christianity help form the
basis of some of the Framers thinking? Absolutely.But not all were
Christians.We are at most a secular nation, with secular laws in
which the majority of the people living within it claim some kind of tie to
Christianity (not sure why people site Judeo-Christian... not many of the
Framers (if any) were Jewish).If religion is the basis of law, we
are no different than someone trying to establish Sharia law. The
interracial marriage ban was a religious law, and was properly struck down.Harm to a person, or society must be shown for a particular freedom to
be infringed upon.
This sounds like a reasonable solution to the current culture crisis over
marriage. It is possible to separate the legal, government-regulated, contract
from the religious contract and give them separate titles and designations, but
equal legal protection. Thus the sacred nature of the religious contract can be
preserved from government intrusion, and the LGBT community can have equal
protection under law.
nonceleb,"There are literally hundreds of state and federal
legal protections and benefits of marriage and family..."Yes,
which is why a separate and secular legal institution such as a civil union
should be instituted by government to provide those protections and benefits for
those who desire them, or did you miss that part? Additionally, the current
association of these privileges and protections with marriage is the primary
argument as to why same-sex couples are being denied their right to equal
protection under the law (not to mention the freedom of association) and why
same sex marriage is an argument in the first place. If they don't have
access to those benefits because they can't be legally married, then they
are being denied their constitutional rights. This "libertarian pipe
dream," as you call it, is the only way to guarantee both the protection of
those rights as well as the right to freedom of religion. Else the fighting
will just continue and the pendulum of power will continue to swing first one
way, then the other until the cows come home. Better to just cut it down.
@ ZenMormon -- To be fair, it's hard to post links in comments,
they're usually blocked. As for my own comment, there are examples in both
Indian history and Hindu religious stories of both polygyny and polyandry being
practiced. A law was passed in 1955 banning polygamy for non-Muslims in India;
presumably the law would not have been enacted if nobody was engaged in the
behavior it sought to prevent.
There is so much misinformation being posted that maybe we should review some
factual statements. The 1st Amendment says: "Congress shall
make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free
exercise thereof;" That's the entire text concerning religion. NO LAW
means exactly what it says. Congress cannot pass any law that redefines
religious doctrine and it cannot pass any law that requires people of faith to
abandon their religious doctrine.The official doctrine of the LDS
Church, as proclaimed to the world, is: "We, the First Presidency and the
Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of
God and that the family is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal
destiny of His children."Those who accept God as their Creator
will obey His commandments. Those who reject God as their Creator will look to
government to allow them to do what they want, supposedly without moral
restriction.Government has no authority to change religion doctrine
or to redefine moral principles.
As a bit supporter of same sex marriage I agree. You can keep your religious
definition of marriage, other religions will keep theirs (and that includes a
great many religions who support same sex marriage). The only thing we ask is
that the government treat people equally under the government marriage laws.
@Aggie238civil union actually was a good compromise 10 years ago,
unfortunately, Utah legislators and Utahans rejected it. Now America
people have evolved on this issue, and majority support same sex marriage
already, and SSM opponents try to go back to the old "separate but
equal" option? Too little too late.
My friend tells me that this already takes place in Holland. In order to quell
the controversy. First you need to unite civilly in court, then do your "own
thing" after that. Problem solved.
All of you who want the government to have a separate defination of "civil
unions," would you respect other Christian religions who actually
"marry" gays in their churches?Would you consider those gay
couples as "married?"All I see this doing is dividing up who
got married in a church (both gays and heteros), and who got married in a church
(again, both gays and heteros)!And, I cannot ever even think that
any couple would ever say, "We got civil unionized!"
@Mike Richards[The official doctrine of the LDS Church, as proclaimed to
the world, is: "We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve
Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim
that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family
is central to the Creator’s plan for the eternal destiny of His
children."]Nobody is trying to change that (at least not by
gov't force of law).
"The official doctrine of the LDS Church, as proclaimed to the world, is:
.......Government has no authority to change religion doctrine or to
redefine moral principles."And no church has the authority to
establish the doctrine for others who do not choose to have it imposed on
them.Are you suggesting that if a church banned interracial
marriage, that the govt could not sanction it?If the Government
started to require that the LDS church perform SS marriage, I would stand with
you in opposition.Until then, please dont make it sound like anyone
is forcing SSM on others.
Bob K:"Many people of the same sex, particularly if raised Mormon,
feel that God has given them their partners to love and be family with
forever."They don't need marriage to love and be a family
with forever. Just shack up together. Besides, marriage is not forever... just
'until death do you part.'"I think that Jesus would be
the first to urge us to honor that."Well, we know that
Jesus' dad created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.ordinaryfolks:"Secular government serves as a means to protect
minorities in religion from the tyrannies of the majority religions."Not in our system of governance under our Constitution... which was
designed to keep government totally out of religion.one vote:"Yes, take the libertarian approach and get government out of marriage
completely."You may not want that because that would mean
anybody could marry anybody, such as your brother or sister, mom and dad, or
even a child (like a religious sect does now). And maybe you could marry all
your close friends and relatives at the same time. Kind of a communal thing.
@JoeBlowFar East USA, SCThe people of Utah voted against
same-sex marriage. They voted to require that marriage only take place between
a man and a woman. They added that to the Utah Constitution. As such, that is
the supreme law of Utah. The United States Supreme Court told us that STATES
have the right to define marriage and that the Federal Government does not have
that right. Even after the Supreme Court made that ruling, a Federal Judge,
Robert J. Shelby, ruled against the Supreme Court, using the descenting opinion
as basis for his ruling. You wrote: "Until then, please dont
[sic] make it sound like anyone is forcing SSM on others."I
believe your statement to be in error. Judge Shelby is forcing the State of
Utah to disobey the Supreme Court and to obey him instead.
USU-LoganNo, this is not "separate but equal." That would
be a situation in which religious marriages were administered by the state for
traditional couples only and a separate civil union provided (also by the state)
for same-sex couples only. In contrast, this scenario allows for both same sex
and opposite-gender couples to be able to both be married in a private religious
(or "spiritual," or whatever you want to call it) context AS WELL AS
being able to secure the legal protections we currently associate with marriage
through a secular, legal civil union provided by the state. Any consenting
adults could participate in one, the other, or both thus, it is not
"separate but equal" as you have characterized it, presumably drawing
comparisons to racial segregation. The reason for the separation is simply to
de-couple state interests and religious practices, thus permanently ensuring
religious autonomy to define marriage within its own sphere without defining it
for everyone else, and while still providing an avenue for legal protections for
all couples who wish it. All couples would be free to participate in both as
Darrel - We are saying the same thing: That Judeo-Christian values
and morals were the basis for much of the Framers ideas. Saying that we ae
based on those beliefs and laws does not demand a statement of such in the
Constitution.I know there is a lot of revising to the history of our
country from Left leaning "history" professors, but if you actually read
the words of the Framers, it is irrefutable that they were Christian. Their
negative comments about religion centered on their experience with the Church of
England - their reference point for organized religion. Read what
Jefferson - every athiests favorite Framer - said about Christ (his Savior) and
his desire for a return to the primitive Christian Church.
@Mike RichardsThey voted to require that marriage only take place
between a man and a woman. They added that to the Utah Constitution. As such,
that is the supreme law of Utah.==================False.The Supreme Law of Utah is still the United States
Constitution. The Utah Constitution cannot legally violate that document, or
Federal Law (please see Article VI)...even if the ballot passed 100-0. The
Equal Protection clause prohibits even the States from creating a different
class of citizens with a set of different rights.States do have a
right to define marriage...as long as it does not violate any of the above
criteria. Generally speaking, with the Full Faith and Credit clause, if you are
married in one State, you are married in all 50. If you were married in Utah,
and move to California, you do not have to remarry, you don't even have to
register that marriage in California. Utah would need to have sound legal
reasoning to not recognize a marriage performed in another State; especially if
they recognized some and not other marriages. That, too, would violate the
Equal Protection clause.
@RedWingsName one idea that can be uniquely traced to a
Judeo-Christian belief that the Framers codified into law.Thou shalt
not kill? Steal? That's just being a good person. Most religions also
teach that.To be honest, they were more influenced by John Locke,
than Jesus in the formation of our Government.
RedWings says:"Ranch:None of the civilizations you point
to were Judeo-Christian societies. "--- So? The point is that
the article argues tha marriage has ALWAYS been such-and-such. It clearly
hasn't. The author never made any indication he was talking ONLY
"Judeo-Christian" society. In any case, what has that to do
with it; doesn't the First Amendment guarantee "religious freedom"?
Which means, as I read it, that ALL religious views are included, not just the
"Judeo-Christian" views.Your religion can call
"marriage" whatever it wants. In our secular society we will call the
contract "Marriage".@Aggie238;Why don't you
religious worriers decide to call your religious unions something else instead
of forcing secular society to change? Holy Matrimony sounds pretty good to me
for you guys.@Mike Richards;"NO LAW" Amendment
3, for instance? (You don't have the right to vote on the rights of
@Aggie238 wrote: "The reason for the separation is simply to de-couple state
interests and religious practices, thus permanently ensuring religious autonomy
to define marriage within its own sphere without defining it for everyone else,
and while still providing an avenue for legal protections for all couples who
wish it."In the 19 states and D.C. where civil marriage equality
is the law, state interests and religious practices are decoupled. Churches have
the autonomy to define religion within their own churches, while the law defines
marriages within the civil arena. Which changed nothing.The Catholic
Church has never been required to recognize the marriages of divorced people,
what makes you think that they'd be required to recognize the marriages of
a same-sex couple?
There is much nonsense being printed about "rights" and about
"equality". There is NO right to marry. Marriage is licensed by the
State, just as driving, or fishing, or hunting, or practicing medicine is
licensed by the State. Not everyone is allowed to drive, or fish, or hunt or to
practice medicine. There are restrictions imposed by the State. The State of
Utah requires that those who are marrying be of the opposite sex. That law
applies equally to everyone.The 14th Amendment does not give
equality to all. You and I earn different amounts of money. You and I live in
different sized homes. We drive different cars. We work at different jobs. We
have differing levels of education. There is no equality. Feelings
about your sexual preferences are not the basis for equality, just as feelings
about your salary cannot be used to justify your "right" to rob a bank
to make your "income" equal to a movie star.The Constitution
was not violated. The 14th Amendment is not what the same-sex marriage crowd
claims. Their sexual feelings are not a basis for an equality test.
@Aggie238Our government has three branches, marriage and its related
laws are under judiciary branch. There are 1100+ benefits and rights for married
couple in federal laws alone, God know how many legal writings in all 50
states' laws.You want to expunge all these away and change
every occasion, every term of marriage in all these law books into civil union?
Simply because some religious people don’t like the fact same sex couple
can now get married? Have you ever thought whether such extreme measure could be
possible? Simply put, not gonna happen!
@Mike RichardsNot everyone is allowed to drive, or fish, or hunt or
to practice medicine. There are restrictions imposed by the State.===========The restriction imposed are those such that to allow
said person one of the above licenses would either be of harm to themselves,
another or society.We do not routinely deny drivers licenses; unless
they have a medical condition that would prevent them from safely operating a
motor vehicle. A State can impose a restriction that says one who is blind
cannot drive; however, they cannot say one who is Black cannot drive.See the difference?
Mike R: "Marriage is licensed by the State, just as driving, or fishing, or
hunting, or practicing medicine is licensed by the State. Not everyone is
allowed to drive, or fish, or hunt or to practice medicine. There are
restrictions imposed by the State."------But Mike, if they
are not allowed to drive, fish, hunt or practice medicine, there is a good
reason. Show the HARM, Mike. One must show the harm before you can take away a
privilege that everyone else is enjoying. No one has been able to do that yet
in a court of law.************"The 14th Amendment
does not give equality to all. You and I earn different amounts of money. You
and I live in different sized homes. We drive different cars. We work at
different jobs. We have differing levels of education. There is no equality.
"--------Mike, you know that equality is not trying
to make everyone the same. It is equality under the LAW. The law (and the
courts) must treat everyone equally. That is the ideas behind the 14th
amendment. No one, even twins are the exact same in experiences and situations
in life but everyone should be equal under our laws.
@Mike Richards"There is so much misinformation being posted..."
"There is much nonsense being printed..."Respectfully, the
misinformation and nonsense is coming from those who oppose the right of gay
people to marry each other. Since 2010, more than a dozen of the best lawyers in
America have had the chance to make the legal/constitutional argument for why
the government should discriminate against gay people and not allow them to
marry members of the gender they are attracted to. Those arguments have been
heard by judges who have been nominated by Republicans and Democrats. These are
judges who have sworn an oath to administer justice without respect to persons
and to faithfully and impartially discharge and perform their duties under the
Constitution and laws of the United States. Those judges have all found no legal
basis for prohibiting gay people from marrying each other. This will soon get to
the supreme court and they will confirm the same.There is no valid legal
argument for prohibiting same-sex marriage. Your continued insistence that
equality under the law for gay people will violate religious rights or rites and
force doctrinal change is based on fear and not reality.
Who defines "harm"? Do the people who redefined "marriage" have
the right to redefine "harm"? They might say that keeping children from
knowledge of God does no harm. Those who believe in God would disagree; they
would say that without knowledge of God that children would lose proper
perspective; they would say that being told that morals are relative and not
absolute could destroy a child's ability to choose right or wrong. They
might say that witholding knowledge of God from a child, because that child
would lose respect for a parent if that child realized that the parent was
disobeying God's doctrine, is reason enough to keep the child from learning
God's doctrine. What is the worth of a child? What
"harm" could be caused if that child is taught to disrespect Diety?Equality under the law is an interesting concept. Every man has the
"right" to marry any woman who will have him. EVERY MAN. No government bestows "rights". Rights are bestowed by our Creator.
So says the Declaration of Independence.God defined marriage. God
gave us "rights". He prohibits same-sex sex and "marriage"
expect between a man and a woman.
J Thompson, You might have a good argument if you were denying all atheists
from marrying and having children. You might make sense if there were
statistics that prove that those who commit crimes did not believe in God (they
do, usually), and if there was a push (lead by those who believe in God) to take
the children away from any parent who believes that morality is relative.There isn't any of these situations afoot.Harm is
decided by legislatures and by courts. It takes legal, scientific, and
authoritive arguments to prove that tax-paying, law-abiding citizens should not
be treated equally under the law - not just someone's belief. That is why
those who are against SSM are losing in the courts. They cannot show any harm
besides the harm to their beliefs and egos that they must be right. Not even a
"what if" or a "wait and see" will allow judges to withhold the
rights and privileges that others enjoy. They need to see "harm" to
society or people. All they are seeing is legal facts that the people who are
being harmed by the ban on SSM are gay couples and their children.
Mike Richards"The people of Utah voted against same-sex
marriage."Well, I think the federal government had a hand in
deciding what marriage in Utah would be (see Edmunds Anti-polygamy Act -
1882).Now, all of a sudden SCOTUS (re DOMA) says the authority to
define marriage is not a federal but a State authority. Except... wait for
it... if it involves a certain type of marriage (SSM) it suddenly becomes the
fed's job to decide.I think our federal government is all
screwed up... especially SCOTUS. And they're suppose to be learned
folks.Darrel:"The Equal Protection clause prohibits even
the States from creating a different class of citizens with a set of different
rights."Wrong.The Equal Protection Clause (Amendment
14) says... 'nor shall any STATE... deny to any person within its
jurisdiction equal protection under the law.' And since there is no
federal law re marriage, only state law applies. And each citizen in Utah has
equal protection under Utah law in that they can marry whomever they please
provided the person is not married, not closely related, of legal age, and of
the opposite sex.
@JThompsonWith all respect, assuming you and I are of the same
religion (living in Utah, the odds are really high) we believe God will not
force Salvation on anyone, to do so would violate our very agency.Alma rights of believing in God as a privilege.We also allow
others to Worship Who, How and What they may. Some of these beliefs allow for
same sex marriage. We cannot force them to accept our point of view. We can
preach, teach, expound and exhort, anything else is unrighteous dominion.We have these rights simply by existing. They were not even given by
God, for if God were to violate that very agency, He would cease to be God.
Neal A. Maxwell taught that our will is really the only thing we can give God,
because it is the only thing we were not given by Him. You and I
can preach all day long the sins of Homosexuality, but as for this Nation, there
is no legal basis to deny it.
@wrzAnd each citizen in Utah has equal protection under Utah law in
that they can marry whomever they please provided the person is not married, not
closely related, of legal age, and of the opposite sex.==============A rational argument can be made to deny marriage in
each of the above cases, with the exception of the last. That is why it is
under legal scrutiny. If rights are to be denied, they must be done
under due process, and with demonstrable harm to either a person, or society as
a whole (that's why we don't give driver's licenses to 6 year
olds)So unless the State has a compelling legal reason to deny a
certain class of people a marriage license, while giving them to another class
of people (denying gays, and allowing straights) it is not equal protection
under the law. It gives one group rights another does not enjoy.
In another part of this paper are comments about the right to lie. It seems
that some are using that right. Some are trying to use religion to justify
same-sex marriage. Some are quoting scripture to defend their "right" to
do as they please, presumably without consequence. Is that what religion
teaches? Does religion actually tell us to "eat, drink and be merry, for
tomorrow we die" or that it's okay to sin a little because God will
beat us with a few stripes and then welcome us into His kingdom. Do they
presume that that is what God's doctrine is?Christ told us
differently. He said, "straight is the gate and narrow the path". He
said that there would be few who followed that path and few that would qualify
for entrance at the gate. He told us that God could not look upon sin with the
lease degree of allowance.That's a very different story than
some are telling. The purpose of religion is to keep us from falling victim to
those who tell us what we WANT to hear.Religion frees us from our
Marriage is NOT a government given right.But government has
interjected themselves into marriage because of tax law, and it eventuated in to
other law.The writer is right.Remove those tax laws and
any other marriage based or related law, and get government out of Marriage.It is not the government business.
@ the truth"Marriage is NOT a government given right"Yes it is. Court cases have declared it so just like they decided that
giving endless money to repub politicians is a form of free speech.
@Mike RichardsSouth Jordan, UtahThe 1st Amendment says:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
prohibiting the free exercise thereof;" That's the entire text
concerning religion. NO LAW means exactly what it says. Congress cannot pass any
law that redefines religious doctrine and it cannot pass any law that requires
people of faith to abandon their religious doctrine.====== And Utah's Amendment 3 does precisely that -- prohibits some religions
from performing their own SSM.And legalizing SSM does NOT redefine
LDS Doctrine anymore than legalizing beer or shopping on Sunday.BTW
-- I find it cowardice for Mike and J Thompson to rant and rave on the
Deseret News.Try getting out or your comfort zone, stop playing only
on the home field, and preaching to the church choir.None of us are
Patriotic enough, Mormon enough, or Self-Righteous enough for either of your
I believe the author makes sense in saying "Government civil unions, even if
called by the name of “civil marriages,” are not marriages but a
parallel legal arrangement. Such unions can provide civil protections of safety,
health and welfare, as in properties in common, revenue-sharing, health and life
insurance protection, plus emotional, personal and life support actions". A
legal government civil union/partnership or whatever you call it is not the same
nor equal to marriage on a number of fronts including: biological, anatomical,
or moral (as defined by many traditional Christian, Islamic and many other faith
systems. It is a parallel arrangement but different. We fully accept the right
for people to be different and we value the diversity of persons and their
opinions. I for one do not want my gay friends to be denied the above mentioned
civil benefits in a legally committed relationship.
I agree with the headline. Religious marriage is separate from civil marriage.
Too bad the author didn't leave it there. The rest of the piece is
factually challenged.Marriage in English Law and in Europe in
general was Common Law. The Church did not get involved until 1563, pursuant to
a declaration at the Council of Trent. The Church monopoly on marriage was
short-lived. During the Protestant Reformation, "the role of recording
marriages and setting the rules for marriage passed to the state, reflecting
Martin Luther's view that marriage was a 'worldly thing'." (-
Catholic Encyclopedia)In England, it wasn't until 1753 that an
Act required marriage by the Anglican Church, but Jews and Quakers were exempt,
permitted their own customs.Civil marriage can't be replaced.
Religious institutions are allowed to discriminate in their rites. There needs
to be a place where persons of mixed faiths, lapsed faiths, no faith, or
nondenominational beliefs can be married. Since the Reformation, in many
European countries, even countries with official national religions, you can
have whatever religious ceremony you want, but if you don't also get
married at City Hall, you're not married.
The religious rite of marriage should have no connection to the registration of
civil marriages/civil unions/civil partnerships -- whatever a person wants to
call them. There should be one "active" two-person civil relationship
at any time (due to the legal complexities that can come from more than a
two-person relationship), controlled by regulations that mitigate against harm
(no underage party to the relationship, no close kinship to protect against
genetic disasters, etc.) with no limination on whether the relationship could be
same-sex or opposite-sex. The creation of the civil marriage-union-partnership
should be done exclusively by civil authorities, probably by registration of the
relationship. The civil marriage should be the only relationship that matters
at law, and should be controlling for all of the 1100+ issues for which
"marriage" controls now.Once the civil/legal relationship is
created, the parties should have every right to go to whatever religious source
they choose to get a religious confirmation of their relationship and to make
the convenants that the religion deems necessary. Religious marriage should
have no LEGAL force and effect but should control for all issues pertaining to
the religion and its rites.
The comments to this article are astonishing to me as many as so far from the
truth that they have resorted to intellectual gymnastics to support their cause.
The ignorance of real truth is amazing. Using terms that sound like something
Lucifer used in the pre-mortal existence to speak against God's plan, they
have reduced the power and meaning of what marriage truly is to resemble
something you could win at a carnival if you are lucky. The fact is
there is no such thing as "marriage" between same gender people and
there never will be, no matter how the laws are changed to try to create it. God
instituted marriage between Adam and Eve and that set the pattern for all of us
to follow. The real goal of these people is to try and remove the
guilt they feel for doing something that sears their conscience thinking
changing laws will make it so. There will come a day when we will all stand
before God and have a perfect recollection of all our guilt and will wish the
rocks and mountains would hide us from His presence. Sadly, many
here will regret their actions, for eternity.
@FreedomFighter41Once again the left is wrong.Marriage
is not a right given BY government,But a right already belonging to
the people and the states.Because of statutory regarding marriage,
the courts have wrongly given federal government a say.
To MR, JT and the others making the "God says" argument -- which God?
Before you can sustain an argument using that premise there has to be agreement
about which God's authority is being invoked. The God reverenced by LDS?
Catholics? Evangelical Protestants? Episcopalians? Quakers? And so on. And
those are only some of the Christian denominations. Add to that several
iterations of Judaism. And then there are the non-Christian faiths. Each one
of these has a God who "says" something different on just about every
subject. So tell us -- which God are you invoking and why should those who
believe differently accept your assertion of who God is and what of what
"God says" when they believe differently from what you preach.
@the truth 5:31 p.m. June 20, 2014You forget. Marriage has long
been held to be a fundamental human right. That makes it one of the
unenumerated rights protected by the Ninth Amendment to the US Constitution an
as such something protected by federal law. Yes, states have control over
marriage but only to a certain point -- that point is the equal protection under
the law afforded by the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution. When the states
try to impair the equal protection under the law of US citizens the federal
government is within its rights to step and top the impairment. As with Loving
V Virginia the federal government is stepping in to thwart a tyranny of the
majority, this one being based on (natural) gender identity and affinity instead
of (natural) racial identity. The government and the judges are well doing
their jobs. More power to them.
"Government officials should only be authorized to perform civil
Even prominent Christian leaders have said that marriage is a worldly matter,
not a religious sacrament.Martin Luther (1483-1546), for example:"No one can deny that marriage is an external, worldy thing, like
clothing and food, house and property, subject to worldly authority, as the
numerous imperial laws that have been enacted on the matter prove" ("On
Marriage Matters")."Therefore, because marriage and wedlock
are a worldly business, it does not behoove us pastors or servants of the church
that we should establish or govern anything of them, but we should leave it to
every city and land to act in this according to their own custom and
tradition" ("A Marriage Booklet for the Simple Curate").And John Calvin (1509-1564):"[Marriage] is a good and holy
ordinance of God. And agriculture, architecture, shoemaking, and shaving, are
lawful ordinances of God; but they are not sacraments. For in a sacrament, the
thing required is not only that it be a work of God, but that it be an external
ceremony appointed by God to confirm a promise. That there is nothing of the
kind in marriage, even children can judge" ("Institutes of the Christian
Religion", IV, XIX).
There is nothing to prevent religions from continuing to have their own
religious ceremonies and admonishing their own followers according as they will
as it pertains to marriage. Government involvement in marriage hasn't
"Religious marriage separate from government"++++So are you saying it would make you happy if the government were to refuse to
recognize anyone that has a religious marriage?
I think the LDS church should return to its long tradition of performing
religious weddings between one man and one or more women, all of the same
race.But keep your sharia laws out of my secular government, Mr
Woolley. Your religious beliefs have zero bearing on the secular legal
contract of marriage. Nor can your sharia laws be used to deny gays the civil
rights you enjoy. Otherwise you should have written this column in 1963 when
Utah dropped its ban on mixed-race marriage, a ban which the LDS church
vehemently supported at the time.
Br. Jones writes, "presumably the law would not have been enacted if nobody
was engaged in the behavior it sought to prevent.Not necessarily
true. Your own state of Maryland had a law banning marriage between Malays and
American Indians. There were no known examples of such couples wanting to get
married but the state Ledge, in its infinite wisdom, forbade them anyway. In
more recent years, we have states passing anti-flag burning laws and laws
mandating ten years in prison for killing a Bigfoot.
Mike Richards writes, "Those who accept God as their Creator will obey His
commandments. Those who reject God as their Creator will look to government to
allow them to do what they want, supposedly without moral restriction.
Government has no authority...to redefine moral principles."A
few gentle comments:Lots of people believe that they were created by
God. Not all of them agree with you as to what is "commanded". It is
presumptuous to announce that your version of creation and your ideas of what is
commanded should apply to the rest of us. Many of us do not believe
the Adam-and-Eve-6000-years-ago story. It's insulting to say that we
therefore "look to government" to structure our behavior because we lack
a moral compass. If your "moral principles" include denying
gay couples governmental recognition of their marriage, or denying them housing
or employment, government should and will "redefine" them for you.
You're free to privately grouse about it but you can't infringe on
their rights just because your religion doesn't approve.
As others have stated, there is no way to remove secular government from
marriage. If a man dies without a will, the wife isn't entitled to his
goods since she, under the law, is just a roommate, since government
doesn't recognize religious rites, which marriage would then be considered.
His goods would go to his children or parents as they now do for singles who
die intestate.The cleanest break would be to have ALL couples be
considered legally married/joined/united/etc...upon signing a form in front of a
clerk and a couple of witnesses. The couple (traditional or SS) could then go
to clergy and have a religious ceremony, but that ceremony would have no legal
weight. Clergy should also be prevented from performing legally recognized
marriages, just religious ones. I have heard of clergy performing religious
marriages that have no legal standing so that the parties don't lose
alimony, Social Security or pension benefits related to their previous
spouses.Religions would still be free to denounce SSM or
inter-racial marriages or mixed faith marriages, etc..but their sectarian
positions should hold no weight.
Don't the FLDS perform "religious" marriages that are not
recognized by the State?Reverse, and viola! We have the solution.The "State" performs the legal binding, The
"Religion" performs the Spiritual binding.
wrz writes, "They don't need marriage to love and be a family with
forever. Just shack up together. Besides, marriage is not forever... just
'until death do you part.'"I understand that your
religion believes that certain people are married forever and some not so.
Others of us think that God is somewhat more accepting of all his children."Well, we know that Jesus' dad created Adam and Eve, not Adam
and Steve."Whoever actually created Adam and Eve, also created
Adam and Steve, and also Eve and Elaine.You are free to believe that
God decrees that Adam and Eve should enjoy a sexual relationship but that Adam
and Steve should stay forever celibate. The problem comes when you want your
beliefs codified in civil law.
@cjb 3:48 p.m. June 21, 2014"Religious marriage separate from
government"++++So are you saying it would make you
happy if the government were to refuse to recognize anyone that has a religious
marriage?------------------Provided the couple
registered a civil marriage/union/partnership first (creating their legal
relationship), whether or not there they also participated in a religious
marriage ceremony should be a non-issue. The registration of the civil
relationship would control all legal issues. The religious relationship would
control all issues pertinent to the religion only, and would have no standing
under civil/secular law. The religious marriage controls the couple's
standing within the religion. The civil marriage controls the couple's
eligibility to the 1100+ rights and responsibilities under civil/secular law.
Render unto God what is God's and unto Caesar what is Caesar's.What is hard to understand or accept about that?