Comments about ‘Philosopher kings: Transformative decisions best left to people's representatives’

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Published: Sunday, July 13 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, UT

I disagree that human rights issues like this should be left to the "representatives of the people." Constitutional amendments protect the unlimited rights of the people (Amendment 9) and due process and equal protection of the law (Amendment 14), and judicial review protects the minority from the "tyranny of the majority." If left to the states and their representatives civil rights and women's suffrage would not have been accomplished as soon as they were. No one is arguing that a family with two biological parents is not ideal. But, we do not ban or discourage adoptive-families or step-families from forming. I contend that the approximately 800,000 children of one biological parent in same sex partner households in America would be better off if they were in a legal family with two parents having the benefits and protections of marriage. If you are pro-family why would you prefer that these children be in the legal equivalent of a single parent family?

seattle, WA

Could not disagree more, and take exception to almost every assertion.

Marriage did not start out a the way to raise kids. Millennia ago it was about property, inheritance and power.

Studies do show that kids were better raised in two parent homes, but there is more to the studies than just that (divorce?). And new studies of kids raised in same sex households show that kids are all right, and even better in some ways, than kids raised by opposite sexed parents.

Human rights in a constitutional republic should never be put up for a vote. Our county's history is replete with examples of bloody wars fought to solve this problem in the extreme, and amendments and laws to end practices in which the majority is repressing the minority.

In the fight to maintain the specious religious notion that marriage can only be about opposite sex parenting, no stone is left unturned to convince the majority that gay marriage is some great evil. Young people, and increasingly the mainstream of the country sees this as a lie.

salt lake city, utah

By emphasizing the procreation aspect of marriage you denigrate the millions of non-procreation marriages. On the other hand by emphasizing the "personal aspects” such as “emotional support and public commitment” as well as “access to legal and financial benefits" you do no harm to married couples who choose to and are capable of having children.

My non procreative marriage has done no harm to any of your procreative marriages. In addition I don't remember anyone, including friends and family insisting that my to be wife and I have children before we could get married.

There is absolutely no basis for denying someone the right to marry the person they love based on whether they will or can have children, and we have never done that...never.

Simply put, in the end SSM is about the commitment of two people and not whether the two people will choose to procreate or parent.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Don't look now,
but "Marriage" has been changing for over 100 years.

Woman have the right to vote,
Women have the right to file for divorce.

The "divorce" rate - for heterosexual couples -has leveled off at 50%,
But co-habitation "common law" has increase 50 times since then,
and is now considered "normal".

If heterosexual "marriages" are so perfect, then why all the trouble?
If yo are worried about "the children" Society needs to fix that first.

Blaming Same Sex Marriage couples for the ills of "the children",
is like the Nazis blaming Germany's economic woes on the Jews.

Sandy, UT

With more marriage-minded women in Utah than men (thanks to the Mormon influence which encourages women to marry and young men to do nothing but play the field) the effects of same sex marriage does nothing to improve the dating pool for the next generation.

American Fork, UT

As a fundamental unit of society, marriage has really suffered under the care of those that have been able to partake in it thus far. It's time to let those that really want have a go, It's their right, and that right needs to be protected from the meddling of 'the peoples' representatives'.


If we are going to make marriage about children, then let's make marriage about children.

Let's pass laws requiring those with children to be married and, absence abuse, to remain married until the children are grown and married themselves. Let's pass laws requiring those who are married to have children, and if they cannot or choose not to have children, their marriage automatically becomes null and void.

Let's criminalize adultery because of its potential to interfere with determining paternity of any conceived offspring.

Let's pass laws providing the benefits necessary for one parent to stay at home and raise the children while the other parent works. Let's pass laws requiring the working parent to spend time daily assisting in the raising of their children.
Let's pass laws outlining contingency plans should one or both parents die or become incapacitated, or if a divorce is granted due to abuse.

Otherwise, let's recognize "the children!" claim for the red herring it is and move on.

E Sam
Provo, UT

The most recent study of the effects of same sex parenting, conducted by Dr. Simon Crouch of the the University of Melbourne, concluded that "children in same sex families scored better on a number of key measures of physical health and social well-being than children from the general population." The biggest problems faced by children of same sex couples is stigmatization and prejudice. I notice that this piece chose to ignore the Australian study.

Salt Lake City, UT

"Recent cultural acceptance of same-sex relationships has paved the way for marriage’s redefinition, but it is actually society’s changing attitudes about what marriage means that are ultimately responsible for its transformation."

This is a point I've been making for at least the last 5 years and it's good to see that it is found elsewhere.

The greatest problem that I see with homosexual "marriage" is that it is part of equating homosexual parentage, almost an oxymoron considering the obvious biological constraints, with that of heterosexual parentage. As someone who is very pro diversity, the obvious advantages of being raised by both one's mother and father far outweigh whatever benefits accrue to people in a homosexual coupling who also want to be parents.

I recognize that the traditional nuclear family of father, mother and children is often not possible, for a variety of reasons. But, creating the disadvantageous hurdle of not being raised with the diversity of one's male/female parentage is something that should be minimized rather than celebrated and encouraged.

salt lake, UT

Again if you have to use the same lies that have been disproven in more then a dozen different courts of law about what the research shows then maybe there is a problem with your argument. Claiming a morality to justify your position the misrepresenting the facts diminishes not only your argument but also diminishes religion as a whole.

Ultra Bob
Cottonwood Heights, UT

The real problems with the institution of marriage are much more extensive and more important to our survival than the argument over same sex marriage. In our current world marriage is not as important as when it was first invented. Both men and women have much more freedom and independence that often changes the rules.

Child rearing by Mom and Dad has always been regarded and the best way create individuals with the best chance for survival and is probably still so today. However that doesn't mean that child rearing by Mom and Dad is THE best way to prepare an individual for success in our current and future worlds. If we really wanted kids to have equal opportunity, we would not leave it up to parents.

Salt Lake City, UT

Ericksons: "Consistent with this adult-centric view, the majority flatly rejected that 'procreation is an essential aspect of the marriage relationship,' prioritizing instead the 'personal aspects' such as 'emotional support and public commitment' as well as 'access to legal and financial benefits.'"

And yet the State of Utah already embraced and endorsed the "adult-centric" view of marriage that the Ericksons see as invalid in 1996 when it amended its marriage law to allow first cousins to marry, but only if they were non-procreative. The arguments advanced at that time in favor of the change were exactly those that the Ericksons dismiss above-- emotional support, public commitment, and legal benefits. Can they explain how childless first cousin marriage advances the traditional procreative family model while same sex marriage (including many couples with children) does not?

The Ericksons too facilely and cavalierly dismiss the many same sex couples that have children as unimportant and irrelevant. They repeet the mantra of children needing "a mother and father" but discount the benefits of two parents (irrespective of gender) over single parenthood, which is perfectly legal.

St.George, UT

Until Utah residents have made friends with SSM couples, they are simply exhibiting fear of the unknown.
They appear to be unable to say anything good, because they really just do not know how happy and contented children raised in SSM families can be.
Utah is "sheltered" from much of what the rest of our nation understands, and now comfortably accepts as good and normal.
People, open your hearts and minds so you can actually view, unburden your life, and then know the truth.
You will be able to live your life in a different way because your blinders will have been removed!

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

"Transformative decisions are best left to the people's representatives"????

If left to the "people's representatives" of the Solid South, blacks would still be sitting at the back of the bus and getting lynched for complaining about it.

Under our Constitution, the "people's representatives" cannot infringe on the unalienable rights of human beings. That's the issue here.

salt lake city, utah

Samhill, you continue to miss the point. "The greatest problem that I see with homosexual "marriage" is that it is part of equating homosexual parentage, almost an oxymoron considering the obvious biological constraints, with that of heterosexual parentage. "

The right to marry has nothing..let me say it again, nothing to do with parenting. Two people who want to commit to one another may or may not decide to or even be capable of having children. It doesn't matter...again it doesn't matter.

Like Maudine suggests if you want to talk about children and parenting then do so, but it's not the same conversation as who is allowed to marry.

Cleveland , OH

According to Citizen's United, the "people" who are represented are most like corporations with deep pockets. Like, you know, Hobby Lobby. Not individual voters.

Denver, CO

"Genderless marriage?" No! "[E[mphasizing adult choices about marriage deemphasizes children's needs for marriage." Absolutely, No! Gays do not want to redefine the foundations of traditional marriage - they want same-sex commitments included under the marriage umbrella. Courts keep ruling for equality since gay marriage is not a threat to traditional marriage. Most gays grew up in straight households, they have the same respect for marriage, child rearing, and parental commitment as their straight brothers and sisters. Implying that a gay child is less valued in this generational contract is unfair and morally wrong. If your son brought home a same sex partner, would preventing him from entering a marriage contract serve any purpose? It's probably not the marriage contract that your church is looking for, but what are your son's options? To be excommunicated from church - and family? To live a solitary life? These choices are cruel. It's time for parents and church to recognize that this is your son's life, it's how he was born and it's his decision, and you should love and respect him (and his choices), as you would his brothers and sisters.

Here, UT

"Transformative decisions are best left to the people's representatives".

Gov. Boggs comes to mind. I'll bet the Erikson's would have a substantial problem with their argument being made by Gov. Boggs and used against them and their cohorts.

Provo, UT

The Ericksons' analysis is spot-on. This is the discussion that should take place in our society before marriage is redefined by judicial diktat. Marriage should first and foremost be about creating the best chance for children to be raised by two biological parents, not about the well being of adults.

Madison, AL

Decisions are best left to the people who are directly affected by the decisions. In the case of marriage that is the two people getting married. The person that's elected to represent thousands of people on a plethora of issues is simply not in a position to make such a personally profound and intimate decision on behalf of the individuals involved. Other marriages between consenting adults are not subject to the scrutiny or whim of any elected official or body. There's no reason that should be the case for same sex couples. A marriage is not comparable to other political activity such as setting budgets or awarding construction contracts for public works projects.

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