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Greg Bell: Conservatives and liberals alike will regret dilution of equal protection

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  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    June 25, 2014 8:29 a.m.

    To "Testimony" Ammendment 3 defines marriage, and prevents people from redefining it based on their whims.

    Society is benefitted by prohibiting SSM because gays will pay higher taxes, which will offset their expense later in life because 75% of gay couples will NEVER raise children.

    By discouraging SSM, you also reduce the cost for police and social services because they will not have to deal with as many domestic violence incidents.

    In other words, by prohibiting SSM, the gays and their lack of children will not be a drain on old age entitlements, and they will not drain the social services because of violence.

    To "skrekk" prohibiting SSM is no different than prohibitions on bi-polar people from acting out violently. Being gay is not like race. There is NO gay gene. All we know about gays is that they have abnormal brain chemistry. Do we make laws to legitimize the behavior of people with abnormal brain chemistry, or do we seek treatment? Until we know what cause a person to be gay, we are doing nothing more than taking an overweight person to a buffet.

  • skrekk Dane, WI
    June 24, 2014 8:03 p.m.

    @Redshirt1701 ....."Nowhere is sexual orientation something that will prevent a person from marrying a person of the opposite gender, a marriage license also does not require that the couple love eachother."

    So you admit that it's discrimination based on the relative gender of the spouses, in the same way that the bans on mixed-race marriage were discrimination based on the relative race of the spouses? It's great that you admit that, but just be aware that both race and gender are subject to heightened scrutiny by a court.

    Perhaps that explains why your side is losing unanimously?

  • Testimony Philadelphia, PA
    June 24, 2014 6:46 p.m.

    RedShirtCalTech,

    As usual, you're asking yourself the wrong question. Have you read Amendment 3? It doesn't provide anything, it prohibits something.

    So, the proper question when examining a law that prohibits something is, what does society gain by prohibiting it? And that's where your beliefs run into a brick wall.

    .--Gay people are already allowed to have sex. It's a Constitutionally-protected private matter.

    .--Gay people are already allowed to have children. Some of them had children while they were trying to be straight, because society puts so much pressure on them to deny who they are, and they really do try. Others have already adopted, because adoption agencies, and states, have looked at them and determined that they'd be fine parents. Others have used their own reproductive capacity along with licensed assistance.

    .--Married or not, gay people are allowed to choose partners, live together, and form familes. Whether that involves children or just the two partners, those are families.

    Given the above, how does society benefit from prohibiting them from marrying? I can think of several ways that prohibition is harmful. Be specific.

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    June 24, 2014 4:45 p.m.

    To "Darrel" the state recognition of marriage is to encourage Rational #1.

    You missed the point of #2. What benefit does the State get if it was to recognize the marriage of gays? They will lose out on taxes revenues since inheritances can be passed from one partner to another and avoid that tax. There are some tax breaks given to married couples that will also cut tax revenues. Plus, there are the SS benefits that are paid to the survivors. Since they are infertile, they are incapable of producing children that would add to the tax base. Since less than 1/4 of gay couples have children, they would represent an overall drain on society as they age, where 90% of heterosexual couples have children and represent a net gain for society.

    Rational #3, discouraging a behavior that leads to harm will decrese the harm. Since the rate of harm is high without encouraging the behavior, what do you think will happen when the behavior is encouraged?

    You missed the big question. What benefit to society is there to recognize SSM?

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    June 24, 2014 3:14 p.m.

    @RedShirt

    Rational #1: I agree it's best; but not often the case. Are we to take kids away from single mothers? Disallow foster child adoption? Also parents can simply cohabit without being married, so why create this special protection? This creates a special class of society and deprives equal protection.

    Rational 2: What benefit does "marriage" have on children over their parents just living together? What interest does the state have in defining such a union?

    Rational 3: Certain people are going to live together whether or not they can marry. Preventing this marriage does nothing to slow down the rates of abuse.

    With the above arguments, what benefit is there for the state to recognize any form of marriage? Equal protection would state that if you recognize one, you must recognize all, unless you can through due process show why it would be of harm. The same-sex community does not have to justify their right, society has the burden to prove why they should not.

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    June 24, 2014 12:27 p.m.

    To "Laura Bilington" yes, and the states did define marriage on a rational basis. Rational #1, the best situation for a family is for the biological parents to be married and raising their children. Rational #2, there is no benefit to the State in recognizing SSM. Rational #3, according to the DOJ, when a gay couple co-habitates they double their risk of domestic violence.

    Those are the basic rational behind defining marriage as being between a man and a woman.

    What benefit to society is there to encourage or recognize gay marriage? The only logical answer is NONE.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    June 24, 2014 11:02 a.m.

    Redshirt1701, what states are allowed to do is enact requirements for marriage, not "define" marriage. And it has been repeatedly asserted by SCOTUS that these requirements must have a rational basis. That is why restrictions on blood relatives, on minors, on mentally incompetent people, and on already-married people exist. Each of these restrictions have a rational basis. The restriction on SSM has none. Tradition, the children argument, and religious belief all fail the sniff test. That is why anti-SSM laws are falling like dominoes.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    June 24, 2014 10:48 a.m.

    To "Furry1993" actually, it is only recently that marriage was declared a right.

    In the SCOTUS majority opinion they state that marriage laws are a state issue. See "UNITED STATES v. WINDSOR". The Supreme court agrees with me that the definition of marriage is a state issue. They mention multiple cases where it was established that it is up to the state to determine the definition of marriage.

    You also have yet to show that marriage laws prevented a homosexual person from getting married to a person of the opposite gender. According to the laws, sexual orientation and love have no bearing on people getting married. Nowhere is sexual orientation something that will prevent a person from marrying a person of the opposite gender, a marriage license also does not require that the couple love eachother. There is no discrimination when marriage is defined as the legal union of 1 man and 1 woman.

    Discrimination is introduced by saying that marriage is defined by who you love. If marriage is defined by who you love, then it is discriminatory to preven a group of sexually confused people from being married.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    June 24, 2014 10:35 a.m.

    higv, you've asserted in many postings that "thousands" of gay men have somehow turned themselves straight and thrived in heterosexual marriages. You're right, lots of them have married women. But I have yet to read of one who does not admit still being attracted to men--they simply choose to squelch these feelings because they value the family they now have. Well, at least for a while. Any number of Mormon and Evangelical Christian men did just that and, five or ten years into the marriage, were caught sneaking out for liaisons with other men. If you don't believe me, go into any gay bar and holler, "Dad! What are you doing here?". Then count how many men turn around to see if they are the one who was "recognized".

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    June 24, 2014 9:19 a.m.

    @RedShirt 8:22 a.m. June 23, 2014

    To "RanchHand" actually, it doesn't say that. The 10th ammendment says that if a right isn't defined in the constitution that it is up to the States or People to decide. The 14th Ammendment says taht you have to apply the law equally to all people.

    -------------

    That's almost, but not quite, right. The 10th Amendment says (paraphrasing) that if a matter isn't granted to the government or retained by the people then it is something the state can decide. Since marriage has long been determined to be a fundamental human right, it is a personal right retained by the people pursuant to the 9th Amendment. It is therefore excluded from the grant of authority to the states provided by the 10th Amendment and is, further, a federal right which is subject to the clause providing equal protection of the laws which is found in the 5th (for federal matters) and 14th (for state matters) Amendments.

  • skrekk Dane, WI
    June 23, 2014 10:37 a.m.

    Interesting that the author of the article doesn't seem to understand why civil rights exist (to protect a minority from the tyranny of the majority), and also doesn't seem to understand that it's the role of the judiciary both to defend those rights and to rule on the constitutionality of a law. Perhaps the author has never heard of judicial review of the law?

    It's also quite shocking that a lawyer and former Lt Governor doesn't grasp the concept of equal protection of the law. As a federal judge in Wisconsin recently noted, there is no "asterisk" in the 14th Amendment which excludes gays from equal protection of the law.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    June 23, 2014 8:22 a.m.

    To "RanchHand" actually, it doesn't say that. The 10th ammendment says that if a right isn't defined in the constitution that it is up to the States or People to decide. The 14th Ammendment says taht you have to apply the law equally to all people.

  • Linguist Silver Spring, MD
    June 21, 2014 9:33 p.m.

    So then, Mr. Bell, what recourse does any minority group have if a majority dislikes them and wishes to exclude them from Equal Protection? If judges must defer to the will of the majority, there seems little reason to bother with the very concept of Equal Protection in a court of law.

    With respect, that's like arguing that Free Speech only applies if it is speech that doesn't offend most people.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    June 21, 2014 9:02 p.m.

    @Alfred: The only ones who could believe there was such a thing as "consenting pedophilia" would be pedophiles. Children are incapable of consent to sexual conduct by reason of immaturity: physical, mental and legal. (Look up "age of consent" if the concept escapes you.) Only a pedophile would rationalize that such consent was possible, let alone given.

    As for "consenting incest," there are similar problems with that proposition. Incest breaks family bonds, often involves a power imbalance and often leaves grave psychological trauma in its wake. Society is entitled to serious doubts as to whether such "consent" is freely given and has not been an outgrowth of earlier victimization by a family member. In any event, it's toxic to family formation and stability. Just as your specious arguments are toxic to any civilized discussion.

    In a gay relationship, there are no victims, only a happy couple who deserves the right to be able to care for each other through sickness and health, thick and thin, good times and bad. Marriage is the legal writ that makes them next of kin to each other with guardianship and survivorship rights.

  • Tiago Seattle, WA
    June 21, 2014 4:33 p.m.

    @higv
    "Why have many gay people with therapy become straight."

    They haven't. I've studied this issue extensively and I hope you'll do the same.

    Look up "reparative therapy" or "sexual orientation change efforts."

    There are people who have learned to control distressing behavior and not act on their feelings, but even the guys who marry women and have kids say they are still fundamentally attracted to guys. Some consciously and strongly reject the "gay" label and may even call themselves straight, but they are not straight like you. If this is hard for you to understand, try to imagine if you are a straight man if you think therapy could ever turn you gay and make you fall totally emotionally, romantically, and spiritually in love with another man. You wouldn't.
    I'm a gay active Mormon who is celibate and has many great friends in mixed orientation marriages and I have done therapy myself. The idea that gay people they can become straight is hurtful to them and to effective communication on this important issue.

  • Jimmytheliberal Salt Lake City, UT
    June 21, 2014 3:41 p.m.

    The fact that this was an actual one time lieutenant governor of this State should speak volumes. Especially to those of us that posses law degrees. Mr Bell obviously needs to open up his con-law textbook from year one and have a nice read!

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    June 21, 2014 3:22 p.m.

    To Mike Richards, and the others using "God" as their argument -- which God? Before you can sustain an argument using "God" as your argument, there has to be agreement about which God's authority is being invoked and which conception of God you are taking about. The God reverenced by LDS? Catholics? Evangelical Protestants? Other Protestants? 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 from other Gods on just about every subject (including some being perfectly willing to marry same-sex couples). So tell us -- which God are you invoking and why should those who believe in a different concept of God accept your description of who God is and what "God says" when they believe differently from what you preach. Feel free to preach all you want -- just be honest and label what you say as your personal belief and not based on fact accepted by all.

  • Mister J Salt Lake City, UT
    June 21, 2014 2:38 p.m.

    re RanchHand

    "Does anybody else see the cognitive disconnect here?"

    I do. It reminds of that 1 line from Animal Farm.

    To Mike R

    Lets leave bears out of this. They have forest fires to put out & pikanik baskets to steal.

  • Alfred Phoenix, AZ
    June 21, 2014 2:22 p.m.

    @A Quaker:
    "Here's the difference: being gay is legal. Private sexual conduct of all unrelated consenting civilian adults is legal."

    Apparently, you want to discriminate against participants in consenting incest and pedophilia. How crude.

    "There are laws against, and victims of, incest and pedophilia."

    Change the laws. Isn't that what you want re SSM? And there are no victims in consenting incest and pedophilia.

    "So, if two consenting, unrelated, otherwise-unmarried adults are allowed to live their lives in a committed relationship, ALREADY, according to the law, why then shouldn't they be allowed to get married..."

    Then why get married? And if you wish the legal benefits that apply to married couples, get married to someone of the opposite sex. It's not rocket science.

    "All evidence points to their commitment and devotion to each other being as strong as any straight couple's."

    And the evidence is... if everyone did SSM the human race will disappear off the face of the earth. Marriage is to procreate preserving/furthering the human race. If you don't want to procreate then don't get married. just have fun... mess around.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    June 21, 2014 11:35 a.m.

    And conservatives have been consistently wrong about interracial marriage for years, why should we think conservatives like Bell are right about SSM? Answer that please.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    June 21, 2014 11:04 a.m.

    "Centuries of cultural, social, legal and religious belief, tradition and practice nearly unanimously declare that marriage should be defined as between one man and one woman." ... of the SAME RACE.

    State bans against interracial marriage were overturned by the courts on the grounds of equal protection, just as bans against SSM are being overturned now. The principle is equal protection - like it or not.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    June 21, 2014 10:27 a.m.

    @alfred, who compares being gay to incest and pedophilia...

    Here's the difference: being gay is legal. Private sexual conduct of all unrelated consenting civilian adults is legal. There are laws against, and victims of, incest and pedophilia. You are not a victim of some other couple's legal sexual relations, no matter how pearl-clutchingly badly you want to claim victimhood.

    So, if two consenting, unrelated, otherwise-unmarried adults are allowed to live their lives in a committed relationship, ALREADY, according to the law, why then shouldn't they be allowed to get married and register that relationship? The conduct is legal. The relationship is legal. Their privacy rights guarantee against unwarranted government intrusion. All evidence points to their commitment and devotion to each other being as strong as any straight couple's. What does withholding marriage from them accomplish? Please explain.

  • Happy Valley Heretic Orem, UT
    June 21, 2014 8:59 a.m.

    I guess Mike and redshirt are talking about "Traditional Marriage" from when they were young. They didn't have to love their spouse, since it was an arranged marriage, they would learn to love them.

    They miss the good old "Traditional Marriage" where procreation caused a marriage by shotgun decree, Not love.

    Speaking for God must make you feel powerful, since you do it so often. He must be confused by your hypocrisy too.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    June 21, 2014 7:51 a.m.

    "We are children of God. He made earth life possible. His instructions to us was to marry someone of the opposite sex and then, after marriage, to use the power of procreation to furnish physical bodies for His children who awaited their turn on earth. Same-sex unions destroy God's doctrine of family."

    Mike, until you can prove that God exists, I mean really prove it not just a warm fuzzy feeling, or a dream someone had, you are free to believe what you will but our laws and statures need to be about the here and now and what we actually know, and your statements and the statements of others that end in I don't think so, aren't knowledge, just opinion.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    June 21, 2014 7:39 a.m.

    @Calcommenter;

    Mr. Bell is saying that *expanding* equal protection somehow "diminishes" it.

    Alfred says:

    "...are not normal conduct. Neither is same-sex conduct.":

    Religious conduct is "not normal" either. You weren't born religious, you had to be taught it.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    June 21, 2014 7:24 a.m.

    This was written by a person who considers himself part of the conservative team that wants to control society as they see fit. There is a problem about talking about equal protection when you want unilateral control by any means.

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    June 21, 2014 6:51 a.m.

    Sorry "the Truth", apparently in the eyes of both conservative and liberal judges, gays have established their identity as a group needing protection. The litany of proof of this is obvious to the majority of Americans, but apparently escapes you.

    And sometimes, the majority is just plain wrong and motivated by animus. It is the job of the judiciary to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority when it comes to Constitutional rights and the interpretation of the law.

    Perhaps your real problem is our system of government and law.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    June 21, 2014 12:35 a.m.

    @alfred, who compares being gay to incest and pedophilia...

    Here's the difference: being gay is legal. Private sexual conduct of all unrelated consenting civilian adults is legal. There are laws against, and victims of, incest and pedophilia. You are not a victim of some other couple's legal sexual relations, no matter how pearl-clutching badly you want to claim victimhood.

    So, if two consenting, unrelated, otherwise-unmarried adults are allowed to live their lives in a committed relationship, ALREADY, according to the law, why then shouldn't they be allowed to get married and register that relationship? The conduct is legal. The relationship is legal. Their privacy rights guarantee against unwarranted government intrusion. All evidence points to their commitment and devotion to each other being as strong as any straight couple's. What does withholding marriage from them accomplish? Please explain.

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    June 20, 2014 11:10 p.m.

    @Understands Math:
    "A Supreme Court justice once wrote ...A law forbidding same-sex marriage is a law abridging the rights of LGBT citizens, and is a violation of the Equal Protection clause"

    Is the Supreme Court justice also saying other types of forbidden marriages such as polygamy, adult/children, mother/son, father/daughter and many others, an abridgement of their rights as well? I don't think so. I think the justice is conflicted.

  • Alfred Phoenix, AZ
    June 20, 2014 10:49 p.m.

    @MaxPower:
    "Cases of incest, pedophilia etc has shown demonstrable harm, therefore the State has a legal reason to deny these marriages."

    Incest and pedophilia are not normal conduct. Neither is same-sex conduct.

    "... but in a secular society there is no legal basis to deny this segment of society the same rights you and I enjoy"

    There is no legal basis for allowing many types of marriages such as polygamy, adult/children, mother/son, father/daughter and many, many others. You can't look to federal law for approval of these types of marriages since there is none... nor the US Constitution. Same goes for SSM.

  • Understands Math Lacey, WA
    June 20, 2014 10:17 p.m.

    @wrz wrote: "The 'equal protection' clause simply states that States must apply laws equally to all. It says: '... nor shall any State... deny any person within its jurisdiction, equal protection of the laws.' That does not mean laws are to be changed to accommodate some faction of society. It means that all laws on the books will be applied equally to all citizens."

    A Supreme Court justice once wrote "A tax on wearing yarmulkes is a tax on Jews." A law forbidding same-sex marriage is a law abridging the rights of LGBT citizens, and is a violation of the Equal Protection clause.

  • wrz Phoenix, AZ
    June 20, 2014 9:23 p.m.

    @Roland Kayser:
    "The equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment applies to US citizens."

    The 'equal protection' clause simply states that States must apply laws equally to all. It says: '... nor shall any State... deny any person within its jurisdiction, equal protection of the laws.' That does not mean laws are to be changed to accommodate some faction of society. It means that all laws on the books will be applied equally to all citizens.

    For example, State law prohibits childhood, polygamist, and brother/sister, mother/son, father/daughter marriages, among others. This applies to all citizens equally. It does not mean, because someone can't marry (such as a child), that the law must be changed to accommodate.

    The (State) law also says that only marriages between one man and one woman are legal. That law applies equally to all citizens thus meeting the 'equal protection' requirement. You don't change laws that might exclude some types of marriages such as children, polygamists, brother/sister, mother/son, father/daughter, and same-sex attracted to make them happy.

  • booyakashaw Murray, UT
    June 20, 2014 8:13 p.m.

    This was written by the former Lt. Governor...yikes.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    June 20, 2014 7:31 p.m.

    No child is raised by his two parents in a same sex union. No childhood equality there. @thewrath you are probably hoping no one finds any damage in so called ssm situations so you can defend it. Same Gender Attraction I don't know what causes it, but why are many people entering those relationships after leaving a faithful spouse? Don't care about STD's probably either. And why have many gay people with therapy became straight? Gay people will always exist until the millennium, but many have been married to members of the opposite sex and you can still marry anyone of age of the opposite sex that consents. There are major biological differences between gender's that kids need, There really are none in race that I am aware of.

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    June 20, 2014 7:21 p.m.

    @nonceleb slavery and woman'suffrage were passed as constitutional amendments they were not legislated from the bench.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    June 20, 2014 6:09 p.m.

    Part of the problem with courts overturning law is it exacerbates underlying animosities.

    For example, in 1967 the Supreme Court struck down laws prohibiting interracial marriage, but many states continued to have laws against interracial marriage afterward, even though they were unenforceable.

    The last state to officially repeal its ban on interracial marriages was Alabama, in the year 2000. The repeal was enacted by direct vote, but strikingly, the repeal only passed by 60%(!), with 40% of Alabama voters supporting keeping their interracial marriage ban on the books!

    There is a vein in our society that is very, very strongly defiant, even 33 years after the Supreme Court overturned what turned out to be a widely opposed law, an affront to basic human rights.

    Greg Bell is suggesting that if Alabama, in the year 2000, voted to keep their ban on interracial marriages on the books, they should be allowed to maintain that ban.

    Greg Bell is certainly not appealing to younger generations. He's pandering to stubborn and defiant older Americans.

  • Calcommenter San Jose, CA
    June 20, 2014 6:04 p.m.

    These comments miss the very message Mr. Bell is making; "equal protection", used excessively, becomes nothing more than a club to enforce one's pet political project -- get the "right" judge on the bench and on the "right" case and voila, you've circumvented the whole democratic/legislative process. Could not "equal protection" be used to strike down the income tax? (those that have income vs. those that don't) the progressive tax structure? (some pay higher % than others) Welfare? (some receive some don't) ObamaCare (differing levels of care) and bigamy? (if same sex, why not multi-party?). It seems even "equal protection" needs some boundaries lest it become a meaningless concept altogether.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    June 20, 2014 5:54 p.m.

    To have equal protection, Gay MUST show they are group that should have equal protection.

    They have failed to do this.

    There is NO genetic proof of homosexuality, there is no proof you are born that way. Science has no idea what causes homosexuality.

    They are not a protected group.

    The judges are wrong.

    The 14th amendment does not apply here.

    The writer is correct.

    The judges are not using law but simply enforcing their own opinion onto everyone and against the people's will that was constitutionally made into law.

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    June 20, 2014 4:11 p.m.

    @ Red Shirt

    What's wrong with cousins marrying and polygamist marriages? As long as they're consenting adults, how do their marriages affect your own?

    Are you jealous? Are you afraid that they will suddenly be a rush to marry cousins? Who do you think Adam and Eve's offspring were marrying?

    As long as they're consenting adults, why do you care? Will you suddenly stop loving you wife?

  • HaHaHaHa Othello, WA
    June 20, 2014 4:06 p.m.

    @ Tiago in Seattle...what a shock

    "Bank robbing does harm. It involves somebody acting against another party against their will and depriving them of property. Our laws protect us against that."

    Again it really comes down to you placing your morality above others. Taxation is a perfect example of everything you mention in your preachy rebuttal. It is an act against another party and their private property, and they may not agree with it or find it immoral. Your precious environmental rules regulations and takings are all part of an act against others and their property. Bet you don't find any reason to protect those rights? And yes your business owner scenario is another great example. Show me one example of any business owner, be it a photographer, florist, or baker (you name it), who really denied business or discriminated against a gay person. I think they all willingly sold goods and services to gay patrons for years. The tipping point is always when the gay person, proceeds to force the business to become part of their perverse ceremony.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    June 20, 2014 3:57 p.m.

    @Mike Richards
    "You have the right to tell us that fewer children are destroyed by gay "families" than are destroyed by those who live in traditional families. That argument is ridiculous."

    Statistically, children are better off (grades, juvenile crime etc) with upper middle class income families than poor families. Should we ban poor people from marrying? Should we accuse poor people of destroying children? Why do these statistical averages only get used against same-sex couples? Shouldn't they be used against other things too to be consistent? Or is this just an excuse rather than a reason?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    June 20, 2014 3:51 p.m.

    There are law abiding citizens in this country who would never rob a bank and there are those to whom the laws of this country, at least to their way of expressing their "feelings", don't apply. Some of them think that they have the "equal right" to have all that they want without abiding by the rules that govern that acquisition. They would tell us that they "feel" that they are being denied the "right" to have wealth and that they "feel" that they are being singled out because of their "feelings".

    The law is the law. It tells us that we cannot rob a bank, no matter what our feelings are.

    The law of marriage is absolute. Our Creator, God the Father of us all, told us that marriage is between a man and a woman. No matter how we "feel" about marriage, the definition is absolute, unchangeable, and eternal.

    The argument is between people who reject God's authority, and God, our Father, who has already given us that definition. Until those who want to redefine absolute laws can show us their authority, their arguments are moot.

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    June 20, 2014 3:11 p.m.

    I have asked this question several times but no one is able to answer.

    I would like a detailed list of the damaging things same sex marriage will bring to society. Please keep in mind when you answer that same sex marriage has been legal in several countries for over a decade so anything item you list must be backed up by evidence of that damage in one of those countries. I look forward to reading your list.

  • Tiago Seattle, WA
    June 20, 2014 3:02 p.m.

    @Mike Richards
    "You have the right to tell us that fewer children are destroyed by gay "families" than are destroyed by those who live in traditional families. That argument is ridiculous."

    I don't think you understand how this works. There are gay people in the world and straight people. Straight people can legally get married. Lots of them have kids. We should do everything we can to support them.

    Gay people can only get legally married in some states. No matter where they live, lots of gay people still have kids. Kids of gay couples who can't get married have less rights and protections than kids of married parents.

    Kids of gay people are not harmed by gay marriage. Kids will not be taken from straight couples and given to gay couples.

    Marriage helps protect kids. If you want to protect and support kids of gay people, you should support marriage equality.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    June 20, 2014 2:52 p.m.

    Oh, I get it! So, if we grant equal protection to some people, we'll use it all up and won't have any left for anyone else, right?

    Or perhaps, if we grant equality to someone you disapprove of, it somehow diminishes the equal treatment someone else got?

    Or maybe... If too many people are treated as legal equals, then we won't need the equal protection clause at all any more? Yeah, that must be it! Well, I suppose we can cross that bridge when we come to it. We're sure not there yet.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    June 20, 2014 2:31 p.m.

    Ranch,

    We live in America, the land that God has allowed to be a beacon to the world. God permitted you to live. He permitted me to live. He created all things through his Son, Jesus Christ. He, and He alone, set the rules of mortal life. He decreed that marriage is between a man and a woman. He, our God, our Creator, our Master, made the rules. It doesn't matter what you think about God. Your thoughts do not change His doctrine. He told us that sex outside of marriage is wrong. He told us that marriage is ONLY between a man and woman. He told us that He will not accept rebellion against His doctrine. You have the right to tell us that fewer children are destroyed by gay "families" than are destroyed by those who live in traditional families. That argument is ridiculous. God does not accept the destruction of children, no matter who destroys them. If 2.5% of the population uses the excuse that they are not "harming" children, compared to others, God will reject that comparison.

    Greg Bell is correct. Your comments prove that he is right.

  • Tiago Seattle, WA
    June 20, 2014 2:22 p.m.

    @HaHaHaHa
    Bank robbing does harm. It involves somebody acting against another party against their will and depriving them of property. Our laws protect us against that.

    What is the actual harm to society of legalizing gay marriage? How are gay people worse off when their relationships are legally recognized? How are straight people worse off when their gay neighbors marry? How is any specific child worse off because gay people can marry? Please use actual scenarios. Since gay marriage has been legal for years in many areas, you should be able to share very specific cases.

    The cases of harm that keep getting told are business owners who can not legally discriminate against same-sex couples and people who feel bad because their views about other people's sins are no longer as popular as they used to be.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    June 20, 2014 2:14 p.m.

    @Redshirt1701;

    FYI; Amendment 3 is NOT legal per the 10th Amendment, which PROHIBITS states from violating the US Constitution.

    @Mike Richards;

    Your logic is still a complete failure. You make the claim that LGBT marriages "MAY harm children - so they shouldn't be allowed". Then turn around and say that it doesn't matter that heterosexual marriage DO harm children and they should be allowed. Not logical, in fact, quite hypocritical.

    Also, FYI. LGBT couples are not "ravenous bears"; we're human beings just like you and your spouse. "God decreed" is irrelevant and as I said, if you want to live in a theocracy, move to Iran.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    June 20, 2014 2:12 p.m.

    Craig Clark -

    "It take 2/3 of Congress to pass an amendment to send to the states, 3/4 of which must then ratify it in order to amend the Constitution."

    Thanks for the correction.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    June 20, 2014 2:08 p.m.

    @Redshirt1701
    "if marriage is about love, how do you measure it? "

    The personal issue of who one marries involves love. That's different from the legal issue of marriage which doesn't require anything other than two unrelated adults of opposite gender deciding they want to form that legal union. The challenge is that there's insufficient reason to make opposite gender a requirement and that doing so is a violation of equal protections law. There's no quantification of love required.

    "Excluding gays from marriage is not a gender issue."
    "Since marriage laws are not based on love, but on gender"

    Contradictory statements.

    "according to the DOJ when gay couples co-habitate there is an increase in violence and abuse. Is it beneficial to society to celebrate a relationship that results in an increase in violence?"

    Applying averages to everyone in a particular demographic is stereotyping. If we were to find that members of a particular religion or race had a higher average rate of violence we wouldn't stop them from marrying. Lesbians have the lowest child abuse rates, so should we ban straight couples from marrying?

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    June 20, 2014 1:00 p.m.

    Ranch,

    Your argument is moot. You claim that "your bear has eaten fewer children than "my bear" is not logical. Bears eating children destroys the lives of children. The goal us to stop the bears that eat children, not to allow your bear into society, just because you claim that your bear destroys the lives of fewer children than other bears.

    Every child is precious. No child should be left to ravenous bears. Every child deserves a family with a male as father and a female as mother, just as God decreed.

  • HaHaHaHa Othello, WA
    June 20, 2014 12:42 p.m.

    SSM excuse makers and promoters are just being lame now. It isn't the same thing as traditional marriage, and quit lying to yourself and everyone else. It doesn't "quack like a duck" so don't pretend.
    I can stupidly make an argument that bank robbing does more good then harm. After all it spreads the wealth, promotes economic activity, provides employment, I don't need to go on. just because you don't agree with me, doesn't mean I'm wrong, and your right. It makes for a good economic/social plan. It's just that you think your morality trumps my morality. Besides, what if my friend or relative or neighbor is a bank robber, I can gain sympathy for them, so I start making excuses or even start promoting it. That is the whole premise fir SSM promoters. They have a connection, so they have to start making excuses.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    June 20, 2014 12:36 p.m.

    Joseph Smith was acquitted numerous times by "judges" ruling against the will of the people.
    The Mormons were later run out of America by the will of the people over these same Judges.

    Lesson learned --
    Who should we trust,
    Mobs or Judges?

    =======

    BTW -- I agree with several earlier comment about Judges ruling in favor of granting Corporations and the Wealthy unlimited and open bribery of our Politicians.

    I'm afraid that was the final Gadianton ruling they spells our doom.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    June 20, 2014 12:35 p.m.

    To "Schnee" if marriage is about love, how do you measure it? What about when you argue with your spouse, does that mean you are divorced if you are angry and don't feel the love?

    Excluding gays from marriage is not a gender issue. Until we know why people are gay we cannot properly address gay issues. So far they have not found a "gay gene" to show that it is a genetic trait. Nor have they conclusively found that it is a learned trait. All we know for certain is that gays have a different brain chemistry than straigt people.

    Until we know why gays are attracted to people of the same gender, we should proceed cautiously because we could en up creating more problems in the future based on a bad precident.

    To "RanchHand" actually your ilk has never shown how it violates the 14th ammendment. Since marriage laws are not based on love, but on gender, there is nothing that prevents a gays from marrying people of the opposite gender. No discrimination is involved.

    FYI, Ammendment 3 is legal per the 10th Ammendment

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    June 20, 2014 12:26 p.m.

    To "FreedomFighter41" what damage to society does it do to have cousins marry? If they love eachother, that is what you want to qualify. What if the cousins are the same gender, would you deny them marriage? If you can't deny gay cousins marriage, can you deny a straight couple marriage? Remember, it is about love, not genetics.

    FYI, according to the DOJ when gay couples co-habitate there is an increase in violence and abuse. Is it beneficial to society to celebrate a relationship that results in an increase in violence?

    To "MaxPower" show me in the law where love is a requirement for marriage. My spouse and I met the requirements according to the law. Nobody asked us if we were in love or attempted to measure it. They could see that we were a man and a woman.

    The reason why the gays should pick a different word for their marriages is because they are NOT like heterosexual marriages. Two people of the same gender are not the same as two people of opposite genders. Declaring them the same is like calling a goat a dog because they both have 4 legs and a tail.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    June 20, 2014 12:07 p.m.

    @Mike Richards;

    I can show you thousands of mommy/daddy families where the children are ACTUALLY harmed. Should we then ban heterosexual marriages due to the fact that the vast majority of families harming children are heterosexual families?

    And here you want to violate the rights of LGBT familes based on a "potential" harm? A harm that is not proven?

    Do you see the lack of logic in your argument?

    If you want so badly to live under a theocracy, please move to Iran or some place similar.

    @Redshirt1701;

    You've had it pointed out to you far too many times how A3 violates the 14th. You're just trolling

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    June 20, 2014 11:57 a.m.

    @Redshirt1701
    "Please explain how the Utah Ammendment 3 violates the 14th ammendment in the US constitution. The utah constitution stated that marriage is between a man and a woman. "

    The same way that laws against interracial marriage were struck down. One was considered an unjust exclusion based on race, the other on gender.

    "If marriage is about love"

    As it usually should be.

    " can you put any limit on what the legal definition of marriage is?"

    Sure.

    " If gays must be included in marriage, then what about gay polygamists, what about heterosexual polygamists, what about a group of bisexual polygamists, are you going to deny them the same privelages?"

    Yes. Love is a reason why people marry. I'm sure interracial couples in the early 60s said that it wasn't fair that they couldn't marry the person they loved. Would you use this argument against them too? Love is not the legal justification for same-sex marriage. The legal justification for same-sex marriage is that there's no legitimate basis for preventing consenting adults from marrying due to gender. Allowing that doesn't necessitate polygamy, incest, whatever.

  • MaxPower Eagle Mountain, UT
    June 20, 2014 11:54 a.m.

    @RedShirt

    Did you marry your wife simply because she was a woman, or because you loved her? Felt she completed you?

    Unless harm can be shown to another person, or society, we have no legal basis to deny same sex marriage. Cases of incest, pedophilia etc has shown demonstrable harm, therefore the State has a legal reason to deny these marriages.

    You and I may believe same-sex marriage is sinful, and we can continue to do so, but in a secular society there is no legal basis to deny this segment of society the same rights you and I enjoy, even if we disagree with their lifestyle. That is what America is about.

    As far as the word "marriage", I fail to see the reasoning behind a "different word"... if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck...it's a duck, even if you wish to call it "flying swimmer" because somehow you find the usage of the term "duck" offensive.

    It seems most people who are opposed to Same Sex Marriage are really fighting the wrong battle. The battle should be against homosexuality; marriage or not, the rates and activities will not change.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    June 20, 2014 11:37 a.m.

    Mr. Bell's article was both accurate and informative. He posed the unanswered question of "harm". The same-sex crowd insists that same-sex marriage does not harm society. As Mr. Bell pointed out, we have thousands of years of experience with traditional marriage and no experience with same-sex "marriage".

    Do those who support same-sex families think that raising children in that environment will NOT harm the child? Will that "family" teach children the proper role of men and women? I don't think so. I think that those families will "groom" those children to see homosexual sex as normal. I believe that doing that will cause great harm to the child and to society.

    We are children of God. He made earth life possible. His instructions to us was to marry someone of the opposite sex and then, after marriage, to use the power of procreation to furnish physical bodies for His children who awaited their turn on earth. Same-sex unions destroy God's doctrine of family.

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    June 20, 2014 11:34 a.m.

    "Your ilk wants to change it to be about love. If marriage is about love, can you put any limit on what the legal definition of marriage is? If gays must be included in marriage, then what about gay polygamists, what about heterosexual polygamists, what about a group of bisexual polygamists, are you going to deny them the same privelages?"

    Why not? As long as they're consenting adults, why not?

    Do you believe that polgamy is detrimental to the definition of marriage? If so, how can utah claim to be the champion of traditional marriage?

    Do you believe that polygamy has a negative effect on the family? If so, then many prophets and apostles were then contributing negatively, actively working, against the institution of family, right?

    As long as consenting adults love each other and desire to be married, why not?

    Now before you repubs bring up cousins and animals... First of all, marrying cousins has proven to be negative towards society. Secondly, animals cannot give consent.

    Sorry repubs, you lose this debate.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    June 20, 2014 11:19 a.m.

    GaryO,

    "....It only takes 2/3 of Congress to amend the Constitution."
    ______________________________

    It take 2/3 of Congress to pass an amendment to send to the states, 3/4 of which must then ratify it in order to amend the Constitution.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    June 20, 2014 11:16 a.m.

    To the liberals out there. Please explain how the Utah Ammendment 3 violates the 14th ammendment in the US constitution. The utah constitution stated that marriage is between a man and a woman. Both of which are easily measured and are defined.

    Your ilk wants to change it to be about love. If marriage is about love, can you put any limit on what the legal definition of marriage is? If gays must be included in marriage, then what about gay polygamists, what about heterosexual polygamists, what about a group of bisexual polygamists, are you going to deny them the same privelages?

    Some say it is about benefits, if that is the case, why fight so hard to call it marriage instead of something else?

    For a law to be enforcable, it needs to be measurable and/or quantifiable. Please explain how you measure love. So far I don't know how you can measure love, but then again I am a conservative and think about things using logic and not emotions.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 20, 2014 11:12 a.m.

    Let's try this...

    I don't know anything about this but... I'm pretty sure it's an over-reaction.

    Lets see how many likes this gets.

  • There You Go Again Saint George, UT
    June 20, 2014 11:10 a.m.

    Activist unelected lawyers/judges...

    As long unelected lawyers/judges vote the way I want them to vote...

    it's all good.

    As long as unelected lawyers/judges protect the way I want things to be...

    it' all good.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    June 20, 2014 10:49 a.m.

    The more opponents to SSM keep talking and spinning the worse they sound.

  • HaHaHaHa Othello, WA
    June 20, 2014 10:44 a.m.

    Nice article, and again something that has been pointed out time and again, but falls on deaf ears. The three branches of government are a check and balance on each other, not the people. But more importantly, this op-ed points out that equal protection is a phony theory, because we have many situations within our society, where equal protection doesn't apply. Another great point, you know how karma works. Tic-toc, tic-toc, tic-toc.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    June 20, 2014 10:33 a.m.

    From the article: "The purpose of our written constitution was to create government by the rule of law rather than the arbitrary rule of man. Equal protection is a principle essential to the rule of law."

    Then, also from the article: "When a court considers invalidating a law, it must proceed with great restraint and deference to the will of the people expressed in the law before them."

    So - the Constitution creates a government by the rule of law, not the arbitrary rule of man, but when determining if something is Constitutional, we should look at the arbitrary rule of man, not the law.

    Yeah - that makes sense - NOT!

    And, as a point of clarification - declaring a law unconstitutional is not legislating from the bench or making a new law. If a law is unconstitutional, the laws that were in effect before the new law was passed come back into effect - no new laws are created. This is a basic legal principle that anyone who understands (or even pretends to understand) the Constitution should have no problem grasping.

  • Wonder Provo, UT
    June 20, 2014 10:06 a.m.

    Some of the mental gymnastics performed by supporters of marriage inequality make me question everything they say. If you can write something like this with a straight face, even though it makes absolutely no logical sense, how rational a person can you really be. Equal protection means we need to treat some people unequally? A judge's job is not to determine whether or not a law is Constitutional? It's Orwellian.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    June 20, 2014 10:05 a.m.

    Ranch hand -

    "the "will of the people" doesn't trump the US Constitution."

    Well . . . That depends.

    The will of the people can amend the Constitution.

    So if "99.999% of the people want a law," then that law WILL take effect through amendment.

    It only takes 2/3 of Congress to amend the Constitution.

  • isrred South Jordan, UT
    June 20, 2014 9:19 a.m.

    "By holding a law unconstitutional, the court takes the matter out of the people’s hands."

    This is emphatically not true. The People and their elected representatives are free to try and persuade a significant majority of their fellow citizens to pass a Constitutional amendment to overrule the judiciary.

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    June 20, 2014 9:14 a.m.

    You would think that a people kicked out of Missouri and Illinois would know the risks of letting the move rule.

    You would also think that a people which relies on the equal protection clause to preach the gospel 2 by 2 and perform temple ordinances would value the protection of the constitution.

    My how far we've come.

    We're essentially betraying our ancestors. We were once the bullied. Now, we're quickly becoming the bullies.

    How sad!

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    June 20, 2014 9:12 a.m.

    The Founding Fathers deliberately created an independent judiciary. It was to protect from what can be in some cases, "the tyranny of the majority." And an issue has to have a long tradition to be a valid in the courts and that long history gives it more weight? The slave trade, slavery and segregation had a long history. Women not voting was a long tradition. I find it ironic that Bell touts rule of law over the arbitrary rule of man. Is not Amendment 3 the arbitrary rule of man (the voters) to deny equal protection under the law?

  • The Wraith Kaysville, UT
    June 20, 2014 9:11 a.m.

    By invalidating these laws judges are not diluting equal protection they are strengthening it. These laws were in violation of the amendment and the judges did the job they were supposed to by declaring them unconstitutional. This is an example of our system of government functioning exactly how it is meant to.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    June 20, 2014 8:55 a.m.

    Greg Bell is going through some rather strenuous contortions to persuade us that legalizing same sex marriage weakens constitutional government and dilutes rather than extends equal protection to a group of citizens that has no other remedy than courts of law.

  • GaryO Virginia Beach, VA
    June 20, 2014 8:55 a.m.

    The author is projecting.

    He is attributing to his opponent one of his own bad habits.

    "Conservatives" do that a lot.

    Projection and Denial are their two favorite Freudian Defense Mechanisms.

    The author who seeks to deny equal protection to others is claiming that it his opposition, not he, who is engaging in this unsupportable, unethical, unacceptable, and un-American behavior.

    . . . Textbook projection.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 20, 2014 8:38 a.m.

    So far, from this liberal's perspective...no. In fact, I'm grateful for the constitution and judges that protect us and our rights from the tyranny of the local mob, or the state. In this case, we need to get some standards in place such that people married in one state are married in all.

  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 20, 2014 8:29 a.m.

    Had Mr. Bells logic been in force our religion would have been exterminated by the "will of the people" This is an insulting letter. Mr. Bell has the right to his opinion and we have the right to give ours. My opinion is that I would not want to work with this man in a business as he openly discriminates against a portion of his own employees. He shows a lack of empathy, and he shows a lack of knowledge of the legal and judicial systems.

    I may not agree with what they have done, but I'm sure proud the judicial system is protecting the rights and privilege's of ALL citizens.

  • ECR Burke, VA
    June 20, 2014 8:11 a.m.

    A couple of comments about the contents of this essay:

    “When a court considers whether equal protection requires changing an important legal or cultural institution or practice such as traditional marriage, judges typically consult such things as established legal precedents, national and community mores,... and relevant public practices when the Constitution was adopted.”

    That statement would seem to conflict with the findings of the Supreme Court in the landmark case of Brown vs. The Board of Education which stated in the Sace brief Summary:

    “The question presented in these cases must be determined not on the basis of conditions existing when the Fourteenth Amendment was adopted, but in the light of the role of public education in American life today”

    And:

    “Judicial confirmations will become mere political vettings. Presidents and senators will pick political loyalists rather than great jurists. The rule of law will increasingly become the rule of men and women in black robes.”

    That is exactly what the process involves today. If that were not the case would the Supreme Court have ruled in favor of George Bush in the 2000 election? Would Rhenquist, Thomas and Scalia have pushed that issue if it favored Al Gore?

  • Pops NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    June 20, 2014 8:02 a.m.

    The irony is that marriage laws could hardly have been administered in a more equal manner than they were. There was no test for sexual attraction or whether the two applicants loved each other. Yet the argument for same sex marriage is that same sex couples ought to be allowed to marry because they are sexually attracted to each other and they love each other. How is that in any way related to the laws governing marriage?

    We live in a post-rational age.

  • SCfan clearfield, UT
    June 20, 2014 7:38 a.m.

    The trouble with our judicial system today is that judges have become the law makers instead of just the law reviewers. And, too much power ends up in the hands of too few. Just look at that patent office decision about the Redskins. A two to one vote, and the Redskins lose their protection. One person. Even the President does not have that kind of power. Roe/Wade. One vote on a ruling that had to create constitutional rights not found in the written constitution. Look at many of the 5/4 decisions and see the politics. Bottom line. Whether conservative or liberal, judges are really nothing more than political action arms, not true judges who just use the constitution as their guidline. A true judge will rule against his or her personal opinion. That seems to rarely happen these days on any court. Look how predictable the Supreme Court is. Liberal and conservative judges. You can predict about 90% of the time how a ruling will come out just by the political standing of the judges. Definately one of the weakest parts of how our country runs, and one I don't think was intended.

  • Sal Provo, UT
    June 20, 2014 7:16 a.m.

    There needs to be a way to remove activist judges who make law instead of interpret law. Perhaps lower judges could review the rulings of higher judges and vote to retain or remove them. Too many higher judges today are ignoring the will of the people while imposing their personal will.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    June 20, 2014 7:14 a.m.

    I think the dnews needs to take a basic citizenship and government class.

    What's the point of having a judicial branch if it cannot overturn the sometimes unjust "will of the people?"

    If we are to be ruled by "the majority" then let's cut out the judicial branch and save us a lot of money.

    What exactly is the role of the judicial branch? Repubs?

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    June 20, 2014 7:11 a.m.

    Mr. Bell says that: "Equal protection is a principle essential to the rule of law." Then he turns around and tries to justify denying equal protection to a minority group of citizens.

    Does anybody else see the cognitive disconnect here?

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    June 20, 2014 6:53 a.m.

    Throughout this debate I have found it disturbing to see government officials and lawyers show an inability or an unwillingness to view the law objectively despite their personal biases.

    As I understand it, lawyers who reviewed Amendment 3 prior to it being placed on the ballot informed leaders that the law could be unconstitutional. A Google search tells me that the author was a member of the Utah state legislature at this time and presumably was aware of this analysis. Yet now that this very conclusion is being reached by judge after judge after judge, Mr. Bell is concerned that equal protection will be "diluted"?

    Sir, what in your legal training tells you that prohibiting law-abiding, tax-paying citizens from exercising rights afforded to others serves to weaken rather than strengthen equal protection?

    I'm really disappointed that so many of my fellow Americans believe that their religious beliefs come before the laws that protect their right to practice those beliefs. I really think you've gotten things out of order and that this is weakening us as a nation.

  • FreedomFighter41 Provo, UT
    June 20, 2014 6:51 a.m.

    Perhaps.

    But I have a feeling that we will all regret the court's decision on bribery being a form of free speech a lot more. Yet, I haven't heard any conservatives complain. Until I see conservatives complain about that, don't expect liberals to complain about the equal protection.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    June 20, 2014 6:34 a.m.

    Wow, if there was ever a stretch and distortion in the battle over same sex marriage, this is it. You know, this same piece could have been written 60 years ago in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education. Talk about exaggerated hand-wringing that, after all is said and done, is nonsense.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    June 20, 2014 6:32 a.m.

    "Equal protection is a principle essential to the rule of law."

    And yet, you WANT to deny equal protection of marriage laws to LGBT couples? Isn't that exactly the opposite of what you just said, Mr. Bell?

    "..When a court considers invalidating a law, it must proceed with great restraint and deference to the will of the people expressed in the law before them."

    --- No sir, they must consider the Constitutionality of the law ONLY. It doesn't matter if 99.999% of the people want a law that violates the rights of the .001%, if that law is unconstitutional, it is the responsibility of the court to rule on that issue alone, the "will of the people" doesn't trump the US Constitution.

    "By holding a law unconstitutional, the court takes the matter out of the people’s hands."

    --- The courts are there to protect ALL the people, Mr. Bell, not just the majority.

    However, none of us knows the effects of same sex marriage —... and a millions other things. "

    --- So, you're willing to discriminate against LGBT AMERICANS over an "unknown"? Pathetic attitude actually.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    June 20, 2014 12:56 a.m.

    "Of necessity, there is a check on legislative powers — judicial review of laws for constitutionality. When a court considers invalidating a law, it must proceed with great restraint and deference to the will of the people expressed in the law before them. "

    Every law was passed with a majority, either from a legislature, or by a vote from the people. what's the point of judicial review if it can't counteract the "will of the people"?

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 20, 2014 12:20 a.m.

    The equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment applies to US citizens. It explicitly forbids states from applying the law unequally to different groups of citizens. You are arguing that its true meaning is exactly the opposite of what it says; that states have the right to treat different groups of citizens in an unequal manner.