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10th Circuit Court ruling: Reasonable people can have good-faith disagreements

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  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    July 5, 2014 5:57 p.m.

    @MtnDewer 5:10 p.m. July 1, 2014

    One 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.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    July 5, 2014 12:42 p.m.

    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.

  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 4, 2014 4:39 p.m.

    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.

  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    July 4, 2014 4:36 p.m.

    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 occurrence.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    July 2, 2014 6:38 p.m.

    @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.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 2, 2014 6:16 p.m.

    @ 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.)

  • USU-Logan Logan, UT
    July 2, 2014 3:41 p.m.

    @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.

  • Zabet Spanish Fork, UT
    July 2, 2014 1:34 p.m.

    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.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    July 2, 2014 11:52 a.m.

    @ 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 Forum don't.

  • family girl Spanish Fork, UT
    July 1, 2014 10:04 p.m.

    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.

  • dev Provo, UT
    July 1, 2014 9:34 p.m.

    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 society.

  • MtnDewer Salt Lake City, UT
    July 1, 2014 5:10 p.m.

    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 marriage!

    Understand?

  • MaxPower Eagle Mountain, UT
    July 1, 2014 4:39 p.m.

    @ Zabet

    I 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?

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    July 1, 2014 4:07 p.m.

    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 4:16-18)?

  • Zabet Spanish Fork, UT
    July 1, 2014 1:59 p.m.

    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.

  • Pepper2 Springville, Utah, UT
    July 1, 2014 11:29 a.m.

    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.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    July 1, 2014 9:36 a.m.

    @Ranch

    Thank 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.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    July 1, 2014 9:28 a.m.

    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.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    June 30, 2014 6:59 p.m.

    @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 couples.

  • MoNoMo Fair Oaks, CA
    June 30, 2014 4:37 p.m.

    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.

  • RedWings CLEARFIELD, UT
    June 30, 2014 3:42 p.m.

    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.

  • MoNoMo Fair Oaks, CA
    June 30, 2014 3:37 p.m.

    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!

  • MtnDewer Salt Lake City, UT
    June 30, 2014 3:26 p.m.

    RedWings

    CLEARFIELD, UT

    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.

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

    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 circumstance.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    June 30, 2014 2:57 p.m.

    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.

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    June 30, 2014 2:22 p.m.

    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.
    KJK
    The 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 Fan
    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".
    KJK
    Drunks objectively put others at risk, SSM doesn't. No EP violation for drunks.

    Donald Johnson
    The claims that same-sex attraction …can't change traditional marriage rates (is) false.
    KJK
    SSM is a co-symptom rather than the cause of falling marriage rates. Both stem from secular (good) and socialistic (bad) policies.

  • RedWings CLEARFIELD, UT
    June 30, 2014 1:40 p.m.

    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.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    June 30, 2014 1:39 p.m.

    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.

  • Donald Johnson Somewhere, MI
    June 30, 2014 1:23 p.m.

    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.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    June 30, 2014 12:27 p.m.

    @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%.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    June 30, 2014 12:13 p.m.

    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.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 30, 2014 11:42 a.m.

    Have you seen the comments in the so called 'religious freedom' story this morning? Not a lot of reasonable people there.

  • RedWings CLEARFIELD, UT
    June 30, 2014 11:22 a.m.

    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....

  • waikiki_dave Honolulu, HI
    June 30, 2014 11:09 a.m.

    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?

  • Blue Collar Huntington, UT
    June 30, 2014 10:50 a.m.

    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.

  • rob88scps Cedar Hills, UT
    June 30, 2014 10:23 a.m.

    @ 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.

  • RedWings CLEARFIELD, UT
    June 30, 2014 9:57 a.m.

    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...

  • BJMoose Syracuse, UT
    June 30, 2014 8:34 a.m.

    To Ranch Hand: I like the way you continue to straighten out the confused contributors. Please keep it up!
    Sincerely,
    BJ

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    June 30, 2014 8:02 a.m.

    @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.

  • BJMoose Syracuse, UT
    June 30, 2014 7:52 a.m.

    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 editorial board.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    June 30, 2014 7:44 a.m.

    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 unreasonable.

  • Mike702 Hamilton, 00
    June 30, 2014 7:23 a.m.

    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%.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    June 30, 2014 7:03 a.m.

    @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.

  • BYUtah Fan Herriman, UT
    June 30, 2014 6:42 a.m.

    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 dysfunctional.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    June 30, 2014 6:28 a.m.

    "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?

  • Hugh1 Denver, CO
    June 30, 2014 2:58 a.m.

    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.

  • Jeff T. Logan, UT
    June 29, 2014 10:02 p.m.

    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.

  • RBB Sandy, UT
    June 29, 2014 9:07 p.m.

    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.

  • rob88scps Cedar Hills, UT
    June 29, 2014 8:45 p.m.

    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 mood.

  • LeslieDF Alameda, CA
    June 29, 2014 8:03 p.m.

    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.

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    June 29, 2014 6:15 p.m.

    the truth
    @Kevin J. Kirkham
    Actually 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.
    KJK
    IOW, It's OK to OBJECTIVELY harm others when treating them equally would harm no one?

    tt
    The gays make all the claims they want that they born that way, there is no proof and no known genetic component.
    KJK
    So what? See above.

    tt
    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 law
    KJK
    When 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.

    tt
    Here'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?
    KJK
    They are subject to the 14th which Opponents can't overcome.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    June 29, 2014 5:12 p.m.

    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.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    June 29, 2014 5:09 p.m.

    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 to privacy.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    June 29, 2014 4:50 p.m.

    @Kevin J. Kirkham

    Actually 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 them

    Some, 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 law

    Here'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?

  • Daedalus, Stephen ARVADA, CO
    June 29, 2014 4:22 p.m.

    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.

  • ordinaryfolks seattle, WA
    June 29, 2014 4:19 p.m.

    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 understand.

  • A Quaker Brooklyn, NY
    June 29, 2014 3:21 p.m.

    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.

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    June 29, 2014 2:41 p.m.

    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.

  • Tiago Seattle, WA
    June 29, 2014 2:36 p.m.

    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 political goals.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    June 29, 2014 2:12 p.m.

    "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 LGBT citizens.

  • MoNoMo Fair Oaks, CA
    June 29, 2014 12:30 p.m.

    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."

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    June 29, 2014 12:20 p.m.

    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 349,999,999

    Amendment 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.

  • MargaretToigo Dunedin, Pinellas, FL
    June 29, 2014 12:05 p.m.

    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.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    June 29, 2014 11:35 a.m.

    "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 LGBT citizens.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    June 29, 2014 10:06 a.m.

    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 figures.

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    June 29, 2014 10:05 a.m.

    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.

  • Tiago Seattle, WA
    June 29, 2014 10:03 a.m.

    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.

  • dave The OC, CA
    June 29, 2014 9:41 a.m.

    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.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    June 29, 2014 9:39 a.m.

    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 angry.

  • Robert Johnson Sunland, CA
    June 29, 2014 8:54 a.m.

    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.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    June 29, 2014 8:37 a.m.

    "…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.

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    June 29, 2014 8:28 a.m.

    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.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    June 29, 2014 8:14 a.m.

    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.

  • Stormwalker Cleveland , OH
    June 29, 2014 7:22 a.m.

    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?

  • Unreconstructed Reb Chantilly, VA
    June 29, 2014 6:30 a.m.

    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.