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Comments about ‘Greg Bell: Conservatives and liberals alike will regret dilution of equal protection’

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Published: Friday, June 20 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

Updated: Friday, Aug. 8 2014 12:08 p.m. MDT

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wrz
Phoenix, AZ

@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.

A Quaker
Brooklyn, NY

@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.

ordinaryfolks
seattle, WA

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.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

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.

Ranch
Here, UT

@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.

pragmatistferlife
salt lake city, utah

"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.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

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.

A Quaker
Brooklyn, NY

@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.

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

"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.

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

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.

Alfred
Phoenix, AZ

@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.

Mister J
Salt Lake City, UT

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.

Furry1993
Ogden, UT

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.

Jimmytheliberal
Salt Lake City, UT

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!

Tiago
Seattle, WA

@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.

A Quaker
Brooklyn, NY

@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.

Linguist
Silver Spring, MD

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.

RedShirt
USS Enterprise, UT

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.

skrekk
Dane, WI

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.

Furry1993
Ogden, UT

@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.

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