@MtnDewer 5:10 p.m. July 1, 2014One problem with the documents --
they are only effective when the people who are given copies of them deem them
effective. Before moving to Utah, my legal practice included drafting the type
of documents you reference including a document giving the client's partner
absolute control of the client's medical treatment. They were properly
drafted, properly executed, notarized and recorded (as required by law to make
them legally effective). That should have made them absolutely effective --
yes? Unfortunately the answer is "no." When a client required hospital
care, the hospital often refused to follow the medical power of attorney and
instead contacted the patient's biological family for authority and
directions. In one case the family not only negated the attorney-in-fact's
(my client's partner's) directions, it banned him from the room when
my client passed.Wills can be contested.The documents,
most of the time are effective. There are times though, where they are merely
"feel good" documents and the person's wishes are not observed.
You're right -- contract law is not truly effective. Legal civil marriage
mitigates those issues.
family girl says:"Civil unions are an obvious point of
compromise, but the same sex community is not satisfied with just rights.
"Uhm, sweetheart, you FORBADE civil unions right along with
marriage in Amendment 3. You wouldn't give an inch, now you are going to
lose the mile.I find it pretty ironic that you call yourself
"family girl" and deny our families.@Zabet;See
comment to 'family girl' above.
As I read the Church New last week it dawned on me that there has not been one
argument against "traditional marriage" put out by the LBGT community???
No one. They are not fighting to destroy traditional marriage. They are
fighting for the right as citizens to be allowed the same civil rights as other
citizens. I really had a reality check that my traditional marriage has never
been under attack at all.
Redwings, there have been more than several members of my Ward and many in my
State that have left marriages due to SSA. I know of several due to the
profession that I am in. Also the Deseret News needs to be more frank and open
that this happens with alarming frequency. It isn't just a rare
@Zabet: "...without inclulding equal rights for adoption and other issues
where children are concerned."Gay couples have children that one
partner had from a previous relationship that they are raising together.
Blocking the stepparent from having a legal relationship to the child takes away
stability and means that if something happens to the biological parent the child
could end up in the system.Gay couples have children through
artificial insemination or through a surrogate. In either case, only one of the
parents has a legal relationship to the child. Gay couples adopt in
many states and raise children in stable and loving homes. They often take
children that are not considered adoptable and who would end up living in foster
care all their lives.The truth is that the few studies that have
been done to date on families headed by same-sex couples show that the children
tend to be adjusted and happy and do well. In fact, the best indicator for
well-adjusted kids is two parents - gay or straight - in a stable home.
@ Zabet: There are approximately 399,000 children in foster care.
Approximately 15% of them are in group homes or institutions. Approximately 10%
of the children in foster care age out without ever being adopted or permanently
placed.("Approximately" because the numbers change every
year, but the basic facts remain the same.)Why don't we worry
about getting permanent homes for all these children and then focus on whether
or not we should place the restrictions you propose?(Hint: By time
there are more homes than children looking for homes, no one will care about the
gender of the parents because we will have confirmed - yet again - that same-sex
parents do just fine.)
@Zebet"Equal doesn't mean the same. It just doesn't make
sense that same sex unions are considered the same as heterosexual
marriage."You are right, Equal doesn't mean the same. for
example, man and woman are not the same, but they are treated equally under the
law."Perhaps Civil Unions ahousl be considered as a compromise
to provide basic "rights" for same sex couples without inclulding equal
rights for adoption and other issues where children are concerned."Did legislature and voters considered your point in 2004? No. Now the
arc of the moral universe is clearly bending towards justice, towards marriage
equality, negotiating civil union seems too little, too late.
Perhaps Civil Unions ahousl be considered as a compromise to provide basic
"rights" for same sex couples without inclulding equal rights for
adoption and other issues where children are concerned.
@ family girl: A couple of questions for you: Were you old enough to vote 10
years ago? If so, did you vote for or against Amendment 3? If you were not old
enough to vote 10 years ago (or even if you were), have you ever read Amendment
3?Amendment 3 states, "1. Marriage consists only of the legal
union between a man and a woman. 2. No other domestic union, however
denominated, may be recognized as a marriage or given the same or substantially
equivalent legal effect."Civil unions are not a compromise
because civil unions are prohibited by the same Utah State Constitutional
Amendment that prohibits same-sex marriage.Most states that have
laws or constitutional amendments prohibiting same-sex marriage also have
verbiage that prohibits civil unions.Another point - the Eagle Forum
and other politically active conservative groups that oppose same-sex marriage
also oppose civil unions or any other recognition of same-sex relationships. I
don't know if you follow Utah politics at all, but well over 95% of the
time, laws supported by the Eagle Forum pass and those opposed by the Eagle
Civil unions are an obvious point of compromise, but the same sex community is
not satisfied with just rights. That is a smoke screen that activists hid
behind. Much more is at stake than simply marriage.
Kudos to the Ericksons for a sober and well-argued article. There is no
constitutional right to marry whomever you wish, regardless of how often pro-SSM
folks assert it. Overwhelming evidence shows that children fare best in a
household with their own mother and father. Maintaining a legal structure that
supports this fact constitutes a rational basis for a state to define marriage
as between a man and a woman. Equal protection under the law can be
achieved through civil unions without tampering with the definition of marriage.
If we dilute the meaning of marriage we lose a foundational strength of our
Zabet, In a word, no, one cannot have the same rights and privileges through
contract law. No one can designate their friend, partner or whoever to be on
their health insurance at work. Most employers have a married spouse
requirement to be added, or you could have the neighborhood on one persons
plan!There are about 3 rights that I know of (out of over 1300
federal rights) that one can gain by paying a lawyer. 1) You can have a person
of your choice make medical decisions for you if you cannot make them yourself.
2) You can have a person inherit your possessions at your death (but they will
have to pay income tax on that inheritance, unlike a spouse who pays none). 3)
They can have a power of attorney if you designate it. People who
have gone to a lawyer for these rights have had to pay over $5,000 to have them.
Even then, in Utah, we have Amendment 3 which will void these contracts - if
the state wants to declare them as like a marriage. Remember section 2 of
amendment 3? It forbade the state to recognize ANYTHING that acted like a
@ ZabetI would like to understand why it is so important for
same-sex couples to have the stamp of approval of state recognized marriage==================I doubt the sincerity of your claim.Are you married by the State? Why did you need State approval of your
union? Couldn't that have been solved by Contract Law? Can't anyone
designate their friend, partner, or whoever, to receive health benefits and
death benefits? What exactly is it that marriage provides that can't be
provided any other way?
Zabet, the same rights and privileges AREN’T available through contract
law. Those which are require couples to pay thousands in legal fees that you
got for free. There are over 1000 government benefits available only through
marriage. "Why can't there be a distinction between
heterosexual unions and same-sex unions?" For the same reason there
can’t be White's Only drinking fountains. Even if the government
provided benefits were identical (the exact same cool, clean water coming out of
both the White and Black fountains), both cases imply a distinction without a
difference saying that one really isn't as equal or as good as the
other."It just doesn't make sense that same sex unions are
considered the same as heterosexual marriage." What is the difference
between a marriage of retired gays and of retired straights? Neither is going
to produce kids. Why can the latter marry but the former can't?"Let's live and let live and agree to disagree and treat each other
with love and compassion." That’s easy to say when you have all of
the benefits and they have none. Can reasonable people abide that (Mosiah
I would like to understand why it is so important for same-sex couples to have
the stamp of approval of state recognized marriage. Aren't the same rights
and privileges available through contract law? Can't anyone designate
their friend, partner, or whoever, to receive health benefits and death
benefits? Haven't single adoptions have been going on for years. What
exactly is it that marriage provides that can't be provided any other way?
Why can't there be a distinction between heterosexual unions
and same-sex unions?Why can't we keep "husband & wife" as
a distinction for heterosexual unions? Why do we have to change birth
certificates to "Party A" and "Party B" or some similar
reference that loses the traditional "mother" and "father" that
nature still requires?Equal doesn't mean the same. It just
doesn't make sense that same sex unions are considered the same as
heterosexual marriage. Let's live and let live and agree to disagree and
treat each other with love and compassion. I don't have to agree with
everything you do or say in order to be your friend. But friends allow
differences. Often even enjoy them.
Thank you, Deseret News, for this informative op ed by the Ericksons. I
appreciate their thoughtful and reasonable approach to this sensitive subject.
I support their view, as a reasonable person. We all have our reasons to feel
one way or another, and isn't it great that we still have the liberty and
freedom to support our reasons and feelings by public expression. I'm sad
to see the ugly word "bigot" be included in some of the responses. We
can support traditional marriage that has maintained societies for thousands of
years and not feel any animosity towards those who don't share our
feelings. "Good-faith beliefs" are not hate or bigotry. We can love
each other and disagree. My studies point me to the fact that homosexual
behavior is not immutable and that there is no compelling reason for treating it
as a protected category under civil rights laws. Therefore, let the people of
the states decide as marriage has always been a state issue. More appropriate
and kind public debate is needed. I believe gay couples should enjoy basic
"rights" which can be granted through legislation rather than tampering
with the institution of marriage.
@RanchThank you for sharing your story. You should never be ashamed
of who you are. If you feel comfortable with your Creator, it is in no way my
place to say you should feel otherwise, that relationship is strictly
personal.I do not know if there is a "gay gene" or not. All
I know is that I never thought about liking girls, it was just kinda immediate
and natural. If someone asked me to start liking men...I can guarantee it
wouldn't happen, no matter the prayers to change my straightness, or the
therapy to change me I would undergo.If my feelings and attractions
to the opposite sex are at all indicative of how some with SSA feels, I can
understand why therapy would be very counter-productive. Those feelings within
us are very strong, and make a good deal of who we are inside.
It's hard for the side with the rights to claim they are being oppressed by
the minority that wants the same rights.It is similar to asking the
Slaves of the South to be patient with their Southern slave owners because of
differences of opinion.Or the Mormons in Missouri while the Mobs
removed them from their homes, and endured the horrors of Hauns Mill.Yes, there can be differences of opinion, but that should not stand in the way
of equal treatment before the law. Rights should be available to all, and
people can debate and have whatever feelings they want as to whether the way the
rights are being used is worthy of condemnation from God afterward.
@RedWings;You don't know anybody who has "overcome"
SSA. If you ask them, I'm sure they'll tell you they're still
attracted to members of their own gender. Sure, they can suppress those
feelings, but they're still gay inside.If you only knew how
many hours many of us have spent on our knees begging for these feelings to go
away; night after night, day after day, year after year. All to no avail. I
was in my 30's before I was able to accept that I wasn't going to
change. I changed my prayers from asking to change, to asking for acceptance of
how I am. All the guilt, despair, self-loathing went away immediately. You are
spreading lies when you make claims that it is something that can be overcome.
Unless you've actually managed to change your own orientation from
straight, to gay and back again, you truly don't know what you're
talking about.@rob88scps;Utah is NOT treating everyone
the same under the laws. They're giving some couples legal protections and
denying those protections to others; for no other reason then the genders of the
Dear Red Wings, "I have many gay friends whom I love, but I do
not condone their lifestyle."That IS the point, right?I feel the same way - I have many Mormon friends and relatives that I love -
But, I do NOT condone their beliefs ............. or voting on My Marriage.
Laura - The fact is, those who have overcome SSA are demonized by
the LGBT. It is understandable. If SSA can be overcome, it is not a
necessarily a characteristic that needs to be protected by law.Sorry, I have not heard any of your examples from the LDS Church or its
members. Not to say individuals haven't said it, but it is unfair to
attack a church for individual's behavior. And, if they are said, I find
them represhensible and not in line with Church doctrine as I understand it.My ward has no couple that has been divorced because the husband has
come out as gay. Neither do the 4 wards that border mine.You do not
know me, so to judge me is unfair, but typical of the LGBT. I have many gay
friends whom I love, but I do not condone their lifestyle. We spend our time on
common interests not divisive ones.Christ - the real one, not the
one liberals peddle - loves all but commands obedience. That is plain from
reading any translation of the New Testament. Christ's teachings cannot be
taken ala carte.
Laura Bilington,Thank you for that kind response.I was
born in 1958. I have to admit, I did consider marrying a women to adhere to
societal and social pressure of growing up in a very Mormon family and community
in Idaho.As a gay teenager, I knew I would be discriminated against,
possibly disowned by my Mormon family. I tried to hide this fact for many
years.I felt that marrying a woman would be totally dishonest and
felt it was against everything I was brought up to believe. I should try to live
a lie? It made no sense to me. Henceforth, I started considering
the church in general and came to believe I could not be a full person living in
that faith.It took many years, but next month at 56 I will attend my
"Family Reunion" in Idaho with all my siblings and both parent (who are
in their 90's.)We really do have wonderful dedicated Mormon
parents. All of my straight siblings, however, have been divorced. Yet, I am legally married in CA and have been with my partner for 19 years?
AND, I helped raise two straight kids that are doing great!
RedWings CLEARFIELD, UTLaura B-Please note
that I said "overcame" not cured. No one is denying that some have
attraction to the same sex. My point is that the LGBT continue to demonize those
who chose to deny that attraction and not act on it. It is a perfectly valid
option for someone with SSA to want to follow his religious beliefs and not the
attraction.---------------You do know that the Church
does not want gays to marry, don't you? This used to be the "cure"
for homosexuality --get married and have children. Act heterosexual. Now, the
church wants them to be celibate. There have just been too many wonderful LDS
women who married these men and who became more and more depressed because THEIR
needs were not being fulfilled. They did not feel wanted or loved. And then
their husband leaves and announces that they have always been gay. Is that the scenario that you are wanting your daughter to go through, all
just to help a young, gay, LDS man to "overcome" his homosexual
attractions? I doubt it. I know I do not want my daughter to be in that
Redwings, nobody on the pro-LGBT rights side is "demonizing" religious
men who try to act as though they are not experiencing SSA. Who we criticize
are the people--and yes, most of them are conservative, religious folk--who tell
gays that they are devil possessed / cursed / defective / pedophiles. Or worse,
that they've made some bargain with Satan (assuming he exists), and are a
danger to your children and your straight marriages. And that to
"protect" your straight marriage, they should stay invisible and
celibate.Every Mormon ward has had couples who were divorced when
the husband could not longer playact and pretend that he was heterosexual.
Sometimes the wives had no clue that their husbands were gay, and are shocked
when their husbands come out after five or ten or twenty years of marriage.
Worse, sometimes their first hint comes when the husband is arrested in a sting
operation or contracts HIV. How different their lives could have been if they
had not been raised to believe that being gay was an abomination. And yes, we
blame this human wreckage on people like you whose love is conditional--far
different from that of Jesus.
rob88scps"Equality" doesn't mean calling an orange an apple.
Utah defines marriage as a covenant relationship between a man and a
woman… No person, gay or otherwise, is barred from entering into an
opposite-sex relationship. Equal protection does not mean that we can change the
definitions of legal terms whenever we're in the mood.KJKThe
South said the same thing but added "same race" to the definition
claiming that all were treated equally since all still could marry…just
not to their beloved.BYUtah FanThe problem is that the courts
are creating a "right" virtually out of thin air. The term "equal
protection" is vague enough that an equal protection argument can be made
about most any law. For example "drunk drivers are not receiving equal
protection of the laws because they are treated differently than sober
drivers".KJKDrunks objectively put others at risk, SSM
doesn't. No EP violation for drunks.Donald JohnsonThe
claims that same-sex attraction …can't change traditional marriage
rates (is) false.KJKSSM is a co-symptom rather than the cause of
falling marriage rates. Both stem from secular (good) and socialistic (bad)
Laura B-Please note that I said "overcame" not cured. No
one is denying that some have attraction to the same sex. My point is that the
LGBT continue to demonize those who chose to deny that attraction and not act on
it. It is a perfectly valid option for someone with SSA to want to follow his
religious beliefs and not the attraction.It is sad that anyone would
demand the right to behave a certain way (homosexually) while denying the fact
that others choose to act differently (SSA who act heterosexually). The fact
that there are many with SSA who actually don't want to have it may not
square with your world view, but it is a reality. The hypocrisy in
the gay movement would be laughable if it were not so sad.
Donald Johnson, of course you are going to find more people self-identifying as
gay in a society that is welcoming to gays. But that doesn't mean that
people are "choosing" to be gay but rather that they are comfortable
being honest about who they are.Allegedly straight, married men are
arrested all the time in sting operations where they were seeking sex with
anonymous men in public restrooms. Two in the recent past were a senator from
Idaho and the pastor of a 5000 member Evangelical church in Washington.
The claims that same-sex attraction is unchangeable, and that same-sex marriage
can't change traditional marriage rates, are both false. Please read the
amicus briefs from Dr. McHugh. He cites abundant research showing changeability
in sexual orientation, particularly for women. One study showed that about 50%
of "lesbians" are bisexual or acknowledge flexibility in their sexual
orientation. In addition, he cites research of high variability in rates of
homosexuality depending on societal acceptance and norms. For example, it was
found that people that grew up in environments where homosexuality is more
likely to be socially accepted or promoted were four times more likely to become
homosexual than those that grew up in less-accepting environments. Places where
homosexuality is openly accepted (New Zealand is an example) showed
significantly higher rates of homosexuality. Given this research, it is rational
for a state to promote heterosexual marriage and not promote homosexuality, as a
measure to maintain or increase traditional marriage rates (and birth rates).
Dr. Diamond's research at the University of Utah on sexual fluidity also
shows that one's sexual orientation is changeable and not fixed for a large
percentage of homosexuals.
@dave"'Nice job cherry picking poll results. You state that only
48% support gay marriage. What you conveniently failed to disclose it that poll
was people 65 and over."That's incorrect. 48% is the
overall support in the poll. For 65+ it was only 35% support. For 18-34 year
olds it was 61%.
Redwings writes, "Actually, I know many who have changed and overcome SSA.
..It cannot be denied that some have genuinely and permanently changed... the
media refuse to report on it"More correctly, the respected media
do not report on it for the same reason they don't report about Bigfoot
sightings. Very few of the men who say they "overcame" SSA say that
that they aren't still attracted to men, but that they don't act on
these attractions. And not everybody tells the truth, particularly those who
belong to religions which regard SSA as evil. And even more particularly, when
they're questioned by another member of that same church.I'd like to know how many of these people you know who didn't come
from a family or religious community that stigmatized homosexuality.
Have you seen the comments in the so called 'religious freedom' story
this morning? Not a lot of reasonable people there.
Hugh1 -Actually, I know many who have changed and overcome SSA.
There were busloads of formerly gay men who showed up at the APA Convention the
year after they "voted" to remove homosexuality from the DSMIV. It cannot be denied that some have genuinely and permanently changed.
That the media refuse to report on it, and that those who have changed and want
to share their message are shouted down by the LGBT do not change reality.If we could objectively understand how change happens it would add to
the understanding of SSA and homosexuality. It appears, however, that the LGBT
are afraid of what we might find....
Sorry Jenet and Michael, there is nothing "good" about denying
someone's civil rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (i.e.
marriage equality). So then, we this law becomes a reality, I trust there will
be no backlash legislation from religious zealots who think they have a right to
deny services to gay people in order to preserve their religious beliefs?
Hutterite Does that mean also, if the Supreme Court rules that
each state can decide what marriage is, that your side then would have to be
reasonable with that ruling?? I don't believe your side will.
People have forgotten that in this governed society that we live in, we are only
as free as the majority allows us to be free. The majority of this state still
understands the role of what marriage truly is. If the Supreme court
rules against us, I will accept it but I will never agree that it is correct,
wise, or good.Marriage is a Man and a Woman. Nothing else even comes
close to that union. It is so much more then just Love! Have your civil union
but quit calling it what it is not.
@ Ranchhand:Utah is not taking away anyone's "rights",
because no such right to marriage exists. Utah is treating everyone equally
under the law, because the definition applies to everyone equally.
I find it intersting how many posters supposedly concerned with
"equality" and "equal treatment" can come up with so many names
for those they disagree with.I stopped name-calling in the 3rd
grade. I guess for others they never outgrow it...Tiago - I understand your comments and opinion regarding the recent event held with a
formerly LGBT presenter. You have clearly documented your own experience with
SSA, and it has been enlightening for all of us. I know many who
have overcome SSA and are happy. I see it as an individual journey that each
must follow. It is concerning to me how quickly someone like this is attacked a
villified by the media and individuals (not including yourself) for presenting
her story. We all have our own experiences, and there should be respect and
understanding for all. The fact is, overcoming SSA is a reality in
the world, and it should be looked as realistically and not demonized and
attackes.Tiago, I always appreciate your comments and insights, and
have leaned much from them...
To Ranch Hand: I like the way you continue to straighten out the confused
contributors. Please keep it up!Sincerely, BJ
@TheTruth: Your anger and animosity towards LGBT people doesn't let you
think clearly. First, you claim there are many objective reasons to deny
marriage to same-sex couples. As your first example, you claim that same-sex
couples are not a protected class so you can deny them marriage. I'm not
versed in rhetorical analysis, but this would be some sort of circular reasoning
if you weren't completely abandoning the first part of your "logic"
in the second part.Denying marriage simply because you feel free to
discriminate at whim is by definition not objective.Your second
argument is dismissed by anyone who's studied the issue. Sexuality appears
to be innate, even though it's not strictly genetic. Many things interact
in sexual development, including the prenatal maternal environment during
pregnancy, which hormones the mother has in what quantities, her immune system,
how many prior children, birth order, hormone receptors in the fetus, etc.Your third argument is completely illogical. Marriage exists as a legal
status. Your proposition that it shouldn't is not justification for
selectively denying it to others.
First of all I disagree with Dave of The OC,CA. This poll was not just those 65
and over. However I also disagree with the D-News calling this a national
poll. I hardly think interviews with 867 likely voters in competitive US House
and Senate races constitutes a national poll. I Googled "same sex marriage
polls" and quite frankly I cannot find another one where the results show
what this poll show. In all cases over 50% of the respondents were in favor of
same sex marriage. The numbers ranged from 52-59% for to 34-40% against with the
balance being undecided. I also note in this poll that only 16% of the
respondents are under the age of 35 while 49% of the respondents are over the
age of 64. All polling including this one shows trends for favoring same sex
marriage increase as age decreases. Like the editorial the D-News put out
Wednesday in favor of Judge Kelly I think this is another attempt by the D-News
to exploit the one instance that reflects the preconceived mindset of the
All of this discussion hinges on "taking away" rights of the LGBT
community. But marriage has never historically been such a right and
generations of Americans and constitutional scholars have not (until very
recently) found such a right. To believe that reasonable people cannot disagree
on this is to disagree with virtually all who came before and to cast them as
The cited Politico poll was not a national poll, it only covered specific House
and Senate seats. The latest national poll had support for same-sex marriage
ahead 55% to 42%.
@Jeff T. ;Let me rephrase your comment and then we can discuss: "Thanks for this article. It is indeed possible to have rational
disagreements about this issue! It's disheartening that so many wish to
demean their fellow Americans — around 2-5% of their fellow Americans, no
less — as wholly irrational because of their sexual orientation. It is an
absolutely toxic narrative that attempts to marginalize by calling them
"sinner" and "abomination" and telling them that their lives are
not just mistaken, but so atrocious that the basic civility of equal treatment
under the law is not even warranted."Fixed that for you.
The problem with the courts resolving the issue of same sex marriage does not
revolve around the merits. The problem is that the courts are creating a
"right" virtually out of thin air. The term "equal protection"
is vague enough that an equal protection argument can be made about most any
law. For example "drunk drivers are not receiving equal protection of the
laws because they are treated differently than sober drivers". As few as 20
years ago the notion that there is a constitutional right to gay marriage was
not even considered. Now suddenly the courts have found it. As Justice Kennedy
stated, a society that relies on 9 unelected judges for governance is highly
"the (total lack of) truth" says:"One of biggest
objective reasons is gays are not a constitutionally protected group. And should
never have been considers one those "special" groups."--- What part of "All citizens" don't you understand? It matters
not if a group is a "protected" group; what matter is that the
Constitution applies to ALL citizens - even LGBT citizens."Some
groups like religious have been given special protection by the
constitution."--- Which, clearly they don't deserve."There is no known scientific or otherwise reason for
homosexuality."--- When did you choose your heterosexuality?
Date/time please.@rob88scps;"Utah defines"; Utah
can't take away someones rights via "defines". The Utah law does
not "treat everyone the same". It PREVENTS some people from having the
LEGAL BENEFITS that other people are allowed.Jeff T. says:"It's disheartening that so many wish to demean their fellow
Americans ..."You mean like voting away their rights? Calling
them "sinners", "abominations"? That kind of demeaning?
The most baffling statement is the one about interracial marriage. A gay person
is gay, is gay, is gay. If you are prepared for a potentially lengthy discourse
on the subject, just ask a gay person. The LGBTI alphabet is there for very good
reason, I never, and I do mean never, met a gay person who said he or she chose
to be gay or changed their letter in the LGBTI alphabet. You are who you are, no
change possible. Ever. You know someone who changed? No, you don't. Read
the history of Exodus, the defunct ex-gay movement. This matter has no business
at the ballot box since my rights are not subject to a popular vote - we have a
Constitution, a 14th Amendment, and the Loving v. Virginia precedent (the 1967
SCOTUS decision on interracial marriage.) It's time to enact those
protections for me and my family.
Thanks for this article. It is indeed possible to have rational disagreements
about this issue! It's disheartening that so many wish to demean their
fellow Americans — around half of their fellow Americans, no less
— as wholly irrational because of their political perspective. It is
an absolutely toxic narrative that attempts to silence dissent by telling them
that their views are not just mistaken, but so atrocious that basic civility is
not even warranted.
While reasonable people can disagree, judges can ignore those with whom they
disagree and impose their own agenda. The power of the President to appoint
judges is one of the greatest power he has. Judges are free to ignore the view
of the majority and impose their own views instead. We are no longer a
government of the people, by the people and for the people. We are a government
of progressives, by progressives and for progressives.And if you
dare to express your opinion, we will target you until you are too afraid to
express any opinion with which we disagree.
So this word "equality" that everyone is throwing around... I do not
think that word means what you think it means. "Equality" doesn't
mean calling an orange an apple. Utah defines marriage as a covenant
relationship between a man and a woman. It (the state) is not denying the right
of any citizen to enter into such a relationship. What the Utah amendment
prohibits is the re-defining of marriage as something other than a covenant
relationship between a man and a woman. A relationship between two persons of
the same gender simply isn't a "marriage" by the traditional
definition."civil rights"... I'm curious... where in
the Constitution is found a "right to marry who or whatever I want"? I
see rights to free speech, assembly, ownership of firearms, religion.... not
seeing any "marriage rights".Equal protection under the law
simply means the law treats everybody the same. In Utah, the definition of
marriage applies to everyone equally... No person, gay or otherwise, is barred
from entering into an opposite-sex relationship. Equal protection does not mean
that we can change the definitions of legal terms whenever we're in the
This article tries and fails to argue more time is needed for "public
debate" and this is "an issue best resolved through deliberative,
representative branches of government."It has been ten years
since a ban on same-sex marriage AND any form of civil union or domestic
partnership. It is hard to understand any language in the Amendment or this
article when both want to portray liberal support for same-sex marriage as a
means to "punish rather than to criticize or to persuade." Amendment 3
did just that - punish. Not for some wrongdoing, but for wrong-being.It is not surprising the authors see little connection between the marriage
case in 1967 (Loving) and this current marriage case. They instead think the
Roe case about "sexual liberties" (authors words) is more analogous,
than Loving or Brown - both cases about basic human civil rights.I'm not surprised. The article here leads with a very mislead poll. It
was not a "national" poll, but a poll of likely voters only where
competitive US House and Senate Races will be held this November.If
more time is needed for public debate, then this time, much more honesty would
be very welcomed.
the truth@Kevin J. KirkhamActually there are a number very good
OBJECTIVE reasons against gay marriage…One of biggest objective reasons is
gays are not a constitutionally protected group. And should never have been
considers one those "special" groups.KJKIOW, It's OK to
OBJECTIVELY harm others when treating them equally would harm no one?ttThe gays make all the claims they want that they born that way, there
is no proof and no known genetic component.KJKSo what? See above.ttAnother objective reason, the federal government has no
legitimate reason to be involved in marriage in the first place. It is not there
business. And asking marriage status should stricken from federal statutory
lawKJKWhen your spouse is willing to forgo SSI benefits through you
or federal/military pension benefits, we'll talk. Until then gays face
OBJECTIVE harm while denying them equality benefits no one. That doesn’t
need rational basis.ttHere's another objective reason,
the 8th and 9th amendment are the law of the land. Are the bill of rights not
objective enough for you?KJKThey are subject to the 14th which
Opponents can't overcome.
Actually, the poll cited was from Politico, and polled "likely voters"
from Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana,
North Carolina, South Dakota, Virginia and West Virginia (all GOP or GOP-leaning
states) along with Colorado, Minnesota, New Hampshire and Oregon, as "less
GOP-leaning".Margin for error: 4.1%.So, even with
the heavily slanted sources from GOP-leaning states, with the margin for error
the poll results could be the reverse, 52-48 for SSM.Just about all
nationwide polls since last year indicate majorities in support of SSM.Cherry picked poll data, for sure. Weakens the editorial.
The only "sexual liberties" case that came before SCOTUS in the last
twenty years was Lawrence vs. Texas. Roe vs Wade was about a woman's right
@Kevin J. KirkhamActually there are a number very good OBJECTIVE
reasons against gay marriage.Unfortunately those of pro gay have
closed eyes ears and minds and refuse to listen any thoughts views not their
own.One of biggest objective reasons is gays are not a
constitutionally protected group. And should never have been considers one those
"special" groups.Some groups like religious have been given
special protection by the constitution.the gays are not one of
themSome, like races or the disabled, deserve equal protection under
the law because they are born that way.There is no known scientific
or otherwise reason for homosexuality. The gays make all the claims they want
that they born that way, there is no proof and no known genetic component.What is more objective than that!Another objective reason,
the federal government has no legitimate reason to be involved in marriage in
the first place. It is not there business. And asking marriage status should
stricken from federal statutory lawHere's another objective
reason,the 8th and 9th amendment are the law of the land. Are the
bill of rights not objective enough for you?
The Ericksons cite a "recent national poll" insinuating how it reflects
the "general public's" lack of support of SSM. This is false.The poll sample is not "national" nor does the sample reflect
the "general public". Instead it screens by "likely voters" in
only the "most competitive" Senate and House district races heading into
the 2014 election. This explains the skew that other commenters have already
noted.It is also misleading for the Ericksons to suggest that 10th
Cir. J. Holmes believes that "Utah met the rational basis test." The
opinion expressly states it does not hold that the rational basis review was or
was not met. Ironically, this is because the 10th Cir. agreed with the Kitchens
argument that higher scrutiny applies. Instead Holmes used a common
technique in oral arguments: starting with a too-simple black-and-white
question to see how deep into the nuance of SCOTUS precedent/reasoning that
legal counsel can lead them without losing the way. Indeed, Tomasic took the
panel right down into the nuance of Windsor/Romer, and how a finding of
'animus' can bump 'rational basis' into a slightly higher
degree of scrutiny.
The notion that the populace can express its disapproval of a minority, or
animus, or religious objections via a popular vote that is violation of the US
Constitution turns the idea of Constitutional government on its head. The
Judiciary is charged with interpreting law, and its compliance with
Constitutional principles. In this way we are all protected from the tyrannies
of the majority. And this issue dramatically demonstrates the very notion.
The vast majority of judges, both right wing and left, have found the Utah style
prohibition of same sex marriage unConstitutional.That this paper
still holds that the vote of the people of Utah to take away the ability of same
sex couple to have the same rights, responsibilities and privileges as their
heterosexual siblings is unintelligible. It has been demonstrated that same sex
couples are a distinct minority who have been discriminated against for no good
rational reason. The preponderance of evidence offered by those against same
sex marriage was either religious or based on false information. I
wonder just what part of "equal protection under the law" is so hard to
When you say "supporters of traditional marriage," that's really
code for "opponents of marriage for gay people." Claiming support of
something is totally disingenuous. No one is opposing marriage for
"traditional" couples. Marriage for these couples is not under threat
and doesn't need a clarion call for support. No, you're opposing
something, specifically equal rights for same-sex couples. Cloaking your
opposition in verbiage that "supports" something is essentially
dishonest.By the way, today was the giant NYC gay pride march. More
churches and religious organizations than ever participated. I counted 21
distinct organizations. More and more followers of Christ are following His
message of Equality and Peace. Your church's doctrine of condemnation and
exclusion is your church's and you're welcome to it, but don't
expect others to follow after they've truly understood His message of Love.
Don't know about the poll cited here, but Gallup says 52% of Americans
support SSM as of today. That's a majority. And if you break it down
further, you'll find that only the elderly white population now opposes it
in any numbers.
Effective discussion requires sincerely seeking understanding and dealing with
the difficult and complex realities.I lost respect and patience for the
opponents of same-sex marriage in Utah, including this paper, this week when
they promoted an event called "From Gay to Straight" with
"ex-gay" activist Janet Boynes. They said it would "cut through the
confusion."The strategy: To minimize the experience of SSA, they
showcased a former drug dealer and bisexual who has become an Evangelical and
calls herself straight because she no longer has relationships with other women.
Based on her experience, they say the "truth" is that SSA is caused by
childhood trauma and anyone can change from gay to straight through faith-based
therapy.Conveniently, this "truth" is perfectly designed to
support their political goals with the least amount of cognitive dissonance.Never mind that their "truth" contradicts science, mental health
understanding, and the experiences of millions of LGBT people. Excuse them for
playing fast and loose with facts and vocabulary. Don't worry that they
proclaim certainty about things that even LDS church leaders have said are
complex and uncertain. Never mind it seems, anyone but themselves and their
"Reasonable people can have good-faith disagreements"---
Good-faith disagreements don't include taking away someone else's
rights.--- “animus” doesn't necessarily mean
hatred. "That’s significant in light of the bullying of
Brendan Eich, former Mozilla CEO, who was pressured to resign for his support of
Proposition 8. "--- LGBT citizens can STILL be fired in Utah,
simply for being gay. Until you address that elephant in the room, Brendan Eich
is meaningless. "Regrettably, Wednesday’s opinion by the
10th Circuit continues to make inaccurate comparisons to interracial
marriage"--- Actually the comparison is 100% accurate.@Jenet and Michael Erickson;"it continues to be an issue best
resolved through deliberative, representative branches of government. "Do your rights get to be deliberated? No? Then neither should those of
After starting things like Prop 8 and Amendment 3 and losing 20 Federal Court
rulings in a row - Now they want to call it "good-faith disagreement."
And the Missouri Mobs were in the majority, and the KKK and lynch mobs in
the South were in the majority, It doesn't [shouldn't]
matter what whatever cherry-picking poll you site, Constitutional rights
apply to ALL citizens -- if when it's ONE vs. the 349,999,999Amendment 3 was struck down not for banning SSM, but by banning
any and all Constitutional Equal rights being established otherwise in any other
fashion, or by any other name.All-or-Nothing means - All-or-Nothing.
The Politico poll was broken down by age, and while it is true that overall
support for marriage equality is 48%, among those under the age of 35 it's
61% -- and that's only going to go up.
Reasonable discussions mean that we actually listen to each other.
Unfortunately, I don't see that happening very often on these boards. A
reasonable discussion also means that we seek to understand one another, and
that also doesn't occur with much frequency. When we truly
listen to reason, we check out the sources that the other party provides, and we
then search our minds and our hearts to see if the words and ideas that have
been shared make sense. Being reasonable means that we need to take a hard look
at our actions to see if what we say and do actually cause harm to others. If
the answer is yes, then a reasonable person will make those tough decisions to
change--even at the expense of offending others who they see to be authority
Those opposing SSM do so due to religious beliefs regarding homosexual conduct
and/or their personal revulsion toward it. There are no OBJECTIVE reasons to
oppose it. Opponents have tried to justify their position by saying that kids
would fare better in a traditional home. The studies indicate that that
isn't true, but even if it were, we know that denying those kids the legal
rights and protections received from having parents who are legally married
OBJECTIVELY harms them. Whether or not SSM becomes legal, SS couples will
continue to raise children and those children are harmed by SSM bans. No child
is helped, yet plenty are harmed.Opponents try to rationalize their
position by saying that marriage benefits are about procreation, which benefits
society. Yet gay couples, like many traditional ones, use artificial means to
bear children. We also know that many traditional couples (re)marry well beyond
childbearing age. Why should those couples be given marriage's legal
benefits if they aren't fulfilling the rationale (procreation) for granting
them?Good people can disagree, but when they evaluate the above,
they realize that there is no rational objection that justifies denying SSM.
Ericksons - I always appreciate your reasonable and conversational approach to
this topic, even while I disagree.You've argued that those in favor
of equal rights for gay people should gently persuade, rather than punish, those
who oppose them. I agree.However, I unfortunately don't see you
applying this reasoning to your own position. You believe that a majority of
citizens should be able to use legal means, without judicial review, to withhold
rights and benefits from minorities who they disagree with in order to
incentivize them away from choices you regard as sinful. That same-sex
relationships are sinful is your "end in mind," and opponents of SSM
have shown that they will use any argument, even false arguments, and any legal
means to reach that end. The entire basis of opposition to SSM is to try to
maintain a stigma about gay people and make sure their lives are not normalized
or tolerated. You think this will keep young people from "turning" gay.
I think the strategies employed by opponents of gay rights will turn young
people, especially LGBT people and those who know them, away from conservative
religions. I think this is a shame.
Nice job cherry picking poll results. You state that only 48% support gay
marriage. What you conveniently failed to disclose it that poll was people 65
This column is revealing. After going winless at the federal court
level, Equality opponents now are counting on a divided Supreme Court either
giving them victory, or the basis for undermining the ruling (because it would
be 5-4). Then they go on to undermine federal judges ruling on social issues,
accusing them of not following law. If the Supreme Court rules
against SSM, 5-4, the proclamation would be we need to support court decisions.
Reasonable, indeed.The assertion is made that SSM is not at all like
Loving V Virginia, which overturned bans on interracial marriage. Anyone with a
sense of social dynamics and history knows better. Exposing this lie are the
arguments used in court to oppose SSM. It's the very same arguments,
almost verbatim! If the cases are all decided one way, the Supreme
Court may not even hear the case, as there would be nothing coming up from the
appellate level for them to resolve. If this were to occur, or the Supreme
Court was split 6-3 or 7-2, opponents of Equality would be even more defiant and
Nice try Michael, however you are simply wrong. The bigots who opposed
inter-racial marriage and extending civil right protections to minorities in the
50's-60's wanted to believe that they also were "reasonable"
people. However, they were wrong and history proved them to be wrong. The
bigots of today want to hang their hat on their "religious" belief,
however, religion cannot be used as a shield. As an attorney, I am surprised
that you fail to address the fact that the overwhelming number of Constitutional
scholars, even the most conservative, freely admit that opponents of marriage
equality are fighting an uphill battle even under a rational basis analysis.
You might want to pretend that the war is not over (why do you point to an
outlying pool when the vast majority of polling out there say the exact
opposite)...and you may try to convince the few desperately clinging on that the
battle isn't over. But as Scalia said in his vitriolic dissent, the
writing is on the wall.
"…same-sex marriage is a complex, sensitive, and difficult subject
about which reasonable people can have good-faith disagreements."The problem, though, is that there is nothing "reasonable" about the
anti-SSM argument. Its basis is a religious belief that SSM is harmful, yet
this claim has been all but given up in the legal realm. Note this op-ed's
silence on the subject. And Judge Kelly, the lone dissenting voice so far, says
only that it's possible for the State to believe that hetero households are
best for children. "Possible to believe" v. "we know this to be
true." That's a pretty weak hook on which to hang your hat. In
contrast, proponents have demonstrated a multitude of evidence that harm arises
from discriminating against gay couples and their families.I do give
SSM opponents the benefit of the doubt that their objections are in good faith.
I believe they mean no harm (even though this IS the effect, and the State
concedes this). But I cannot agree that opponents' claims and concerns are
reasonable. The evidence simply demonstrates otherwise. Faith is the only
thing obscuring this truth.
The conclusion makes no sense to me. If a Court believes the 14th Amendment
applies to same sex marriage, it does not have the option to defer to state
legislatures or state constitutional amendments. Courts don't choose which
cases come before them (except Supreme Courts, which may decline certiorari).
It's the court's job to decide issues, even when the decisions are
hard or controversial. That's part of our democracy, too.
There are significant concerns with courts deciding matters best left to the
representative branches of government. There are no concerns on my part,
however, with courts protecting individual rights when representative branches
of government try to usurp them. Reasonable people can have good faith
disagreements, to be sure. So you're going to have to be reasonable when
same sex marriage prevails.
From Wikipedia: When courts engage in "rational basis review," only the
most egregious enactments – those not rationally related to a legitimate
government interest – are overturned.The Ninth said it was
animus. The Tenth, more politely, said maybe it wasn't animus but that
there isn't any rational reason for this law. Rational basis is the lowest
level of scrutiny used, it doesn't even need the targets of the law to be
identified as a special class needing protection. We can split
wording hairs all day, but the reality is that the two decisions appear to have
been reached by logic that is close and comparable. As for the poll?
"...only 48 percent in favor of gay marriage..." Really? Almost half is
"only"? Margin of error? Compared to other polls? And, since when are
civil rights put to a vote?
Reasonable people certainly can have good-faith disagreements. But the wave of
judicial decisions over the last year suggest that one side's
reasonableness is doing far better than the other's.