Comments about ‘10th Circuit decision could impact Utah marriage recognition case’

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Published: Thursday, June 26 2014 6:10 p.m. MDT

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Logan, UT

10th circuit will definitely rule in 1300+ same sex couples' favor, all they need to do is to look California, those SSM performed before Prop. 8 are recognized, even with Prop 8 in book, aren't they?

Kirk R Graves
West Jordan, UT

If we assume that words only have meaning because they can be defined, and that the definitions of words are only valid within the context (time, place, intent) they are used, then before we can understand any communication we must first understand the definitions of the words used in that communication.

The primary argument in support of SSM is the 14th amendment. This amendment in itself isn't enough to support SSM however. You must also bring in a number of SC rulings which state that Marriage is a right protected by the 14th.

Now we get to the crux of the matter. You see, in every dictionary I could find, up to the last 20 years or so, the word Marriage is quite clear to include the concept of opposite genders. Even a very current online legal dictionary I looked up used the same language.

So, if the rulings which are being used to support SSM were given by Judges who intended their words to have specific meanings, and if those meanings can be decoded by the dictionaries in effect at the time of the ruling, those ruling actually support Traditional Marriage, and argue against SSM.

Cleveland , OH

@Kirk R Graves

Every year committees and editorial boards for various leading dictionaries meet to discuss new words to be added, and word meanings to be amended or added to. Dictionaries follow and reflect society, they do not set the meaning of society.

So, in the next round of updates, you will begin to see the definition of marriage being amended to reflect the current use of the word in society.

If dictionaries were static things that dictated to society, we would all sound like a Shakespeare play and a whole lot of technology and activity would not be able to exist because we would not have words to describe it.

American Fork, UT

This cat has nearly gotten entirely out of the bag.

Bountiful, UT

Kirk R Graves:

Words have meanings, but those meanings often evolve through time:

"Awful" used to mean "full of awe".

"Gay" used to mean "happy"

"Egregious" used to mean "remarkably good".

"Nice" used to mean "foolish, senseless"

"Villain" used to mean "peasant"

Some socially acceptable terms & definitions from the Bible are not used at all today, they've become socially unacceptable. Example: "Concubine"

Evolution in word definition is nothing new.

Sometimes words are completely made up from scratch, such as "contraband", which is a legal term coined by a Union general named Benjamin Butler to describe slaves who defected to the north. Ordinarily, the property rights of slave holders would have been honored, but Butler decided these escaped slaves, if returned to their owners, might potentially be used in warfare against his men, so he coined a new term and let the slaves stay in Union territory.

Rocket Science
Brigham City, UT

Sometimes words are intentionally changed to give definition not originally intended. Gay began to be used in the 70's to soften the correct term of homosexual. Now the attempt is to change the definition of marriage to make homosexuality mainstream. Coming soon, with a broadened legal definition, indoctrination efforts in the schools to teach children, even in elementary schools, to accept, appreciate and embrace homosexual marriages. already happening in some states.

The book, After the Ball – how America will conquer it’s fear and hatred of Gays in the 90’s, Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen. 1989 argues that after the gay liberation phase of the 1970s and 1980s, gay rights groups should adopt more professional public relations techniques to convey their message. That marketing has worked very well. The book laid out a six point plan to transform the beliefs of ordinary Americans with regard to homosexual behavior including:
Talk about gays and gayness as loudly and as often as possible...
Portray gays as victims, not as aggressive challengers...
Give homosexual protectors a just cause...
Make gays look good...
Make those who disagree to be victimizers and make them look bad...
Get support from corporate America...

Magna, Ut, UT

Cats and dogs living together....Bill Murray

Tooele, UT

I like your comment Carlady79. My question is, A couple of years ago the majority of people who live in Utah voted and won that marriage here in this state of Utah is to stay traditional and now because a couple of judges have ruled that now SSM can happen here in Utah because a few people got their feathers ruffled and all is to their favor, why do I bother to vote, if it means nothing? What about voters rights? So yep "cats and dogs living together"

Bill McGee
Alpine, UT

Oh no! Schools teaching tolerance for others? What's next?

Pleasant Grove, UT

@Kirk Graves:
"You see, in every dictionary I could find, up to the last 20 years or so, the word Marriage is quite clear to include the concept of opposite genders. Even a very current online legal dictionary I looked up used the same language."

The fallacy in your argument is "up to the last 20 years or so". As someone else points out here, old and outdated dictionaries have definitions that are no longer used or are no longer acceptable. Modern dictionaries include same-sex couples in their definition of marriage. In any case, while courts may sometimes use the dictionary in determining the meaning of a word, when it comes to basics, Noah Webster does not decide the law of the land. The Supreme Court does.

In this case, unless there is dissent between the various Federal Circuit Courts, the Supremes are far more likely to decline cert, leaving the lower court rulings intact.

sandy, UT

"10th Circuit decision could impact Utah marriage recognition case" Should, not could. Also in re Mr Kirk Graves stating that marriage is defined in the dictionary as a union between man and woman, move over. His argument is so juvenile that it does not need further discussion. His subsequent comment about the "evolution" of the meaning of words is more appropriate. Everything changes. Men are not dragging women around the cave by the hair, at least they are not supposed to. Marriage was ceremony performed long before the Bible. It was primarily instituted to protect property rights not children. Thankfully this has changed. Children were bred for labor in the early days.The more kids the more field hands you had. Education was not the focus. Life changes and those that want to resort to dictionaries to support their arguments should look a little deeper into those tomes. There are plenty words to prove pro and con of the same issue.

Oakland, MI

Words and definitions,,, just diversions from the point of "equal protection under the law".

Are you tall? Are you short? Black? White? Male? Female? ,,,,If you are born that way, whatever that way is, you then must be equal in the eyes of the law. MUST BE.

Annnnnd we are pretty sure these days, science is never, should never be, certain, that 'gayness' is something that happened before birth. Born that way? No different than being born black, white, pink, or purple, tall, short, male, female,,,, WE are all equal.

St Louis, MO

Kirk R Graves says: "The primary argument in support of SSM is the 14th amendment . . You see, in every dictionary I could find, up to the last 20 years or so . . "

No, the primary argument in support of SSM is that it ain't your business to tell consenting adults who they can or cannot marry. People can bandy about the language of this document or that document or this judicial decision or that judicial decision all the live long day, but the overriding factor is that your biases or opinions should have no effect on laws that prevent other adult citizens from conducting their lives as they please, absent any demonstrable harm caused.

And, did you really, truly grab a bunch of dictionaries and look the word "marriage" up thinking that would somehow bloster your case? I call balderdash.

Rocket Science says: "Now the attempt is . . to make homosexuality mainstream. Coming soon . . indoctrination efforts in the schools to teach children . ."

More alarmist fantasy. Are you equating schools not explicitly teaching the wrongness of gay marriage with indoctrination to the contrary?

Nice quote, Catlady. Unfortunately, the humor was lost on CP.

Kaysville, UT

Aren't our laws were based on the will of the people? The people of Utah clearly and strongly support the "traditional" definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman. A civil union of any other type may be recognized by the state but it is not a marriage.

Sandy, UT

@Kirk R. Graves.


I might add, word definitions may indeed change but the concepts they originally meant to portray generally do not. Yes, Shakespeare's words may have changed in meaning but the concepts his words portrayed are timeless and unchanging. Same with the Bible and Book of Mormon.

The moral foundation of society is cracking. People of conscience everywhere should wake up and do what they can to remedy the situation. Militant and activist gays, those who support them, and activist judges who legislate from the bench are turning good for bad and bad for good. Try as they might, no court in the land can change what's right and whats wrong.

Waltham, MA

You can put any kind of spin on it want, But same sex couples , is just wrong, it always has been and it always will be.

provo, UT

It seems that everyone keeps talking about the recognition of the approximately 1300 Same Sex Marriages that occurred in the state of Utah, but what about the rest of us that were married out of state prior to Judge Shelby's ruling? There are more than a few of us that considered getting married here in the state of Utah in order to make sure our rights were protected. However, we were told, by certain County Clerks, that our marriages were already valid and that they were not legally able to issue marriage licenses to us unless we did not divulge the fact we were already married. If the court orders the state to recognize the Utah marriages, will ours be recognized as well?

Salt Lake City, UT

K R Graves: "Now we get to the crux of the matter. You see, in every dictionary I could find, up to the last 20 years or so, the word Marriage is quite clear to include the concept of opposite genders. Even a very current online legal dictionary I looked up used the same language."


But Kirk, less than 100 years ago, "voter" meant male citizen only. All the law books stated so and it was written into the Constitution.

In our journey to a more perfect state, in 1920, we added women as voters. Did it change the meaning of that word to make it mean less than it did? Do all the rulings and even amendments regarding the word "voter" become nil and void? Do not those rulings also apply to women now too?

I think that you are making rules and analogies that do NOT exist in the law.

Leesburg, VA


" You can put any kind of spin on it want, But same sex couples , is just wrong, it always has been and it always will be."

My partner and I have been together for 33 years. We have been happy and have had a strong relationship through good and bad times.

Most of our friends are straight people.

Our families love us and we love and share with them. Our daughter is blossoming into a beautiful well educated young lady.

I am sure my circle will be dissapointed when they find out we are all wrong. Thank you for telling us. I don't know how we could have been so blind and nobody noticed.

What to do? what to do?

Salt Lake City, UT


Kaysville, UT

Aren't our laws were based on the will of the people?


In a word--NO. Are laws are based on the constitution. Plan and simply put, if you don't remember from your civics class: all laws, whether national, state, county or city, must conform to the constitution. The people can change the constitution if they do not agree with the rulings of the judiciary, but it has a very high bar to do so.

We are not a democracy. We are a constitutional republic. These judges are doing just what they were appointed to do. We do not elect these judges because they are only there to judge against the constitution and not play to the public. It is all in the constitution, if you want to read it.

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