Comments about ‘In our opinion: U.S. Supreme Court delivers second message, for Utah, on same-sex marriage requirement’

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Published: Tuesday, July 22 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Federal Way, WA

If Utah wants a marriage definition of being only between a man and a woman, then the State will also need to provide some type of civil union recognition with benefits pretty much the same as marriage.

CA Prop 8 provided the same benefits for gays, Lesbians and heterosexuals. If the Supreme Court was inclinded to support this defination and state right, why didnt they rule that way with Prop 8 instead of declining based on a technicality?

I think the end result is already determined.

Lehi, UT

I still have no idea why Judge Shelby would ever think that governments and taxpayers have a responsibility to legally enforce, promote, etc. homosexuality. Gays are free to love, enter contracts, etc.
Healthy heterosexual relationships are crucial for our children, and for humanity. Anything that unnecessarily detracts from the sanctity marriage isn't good for us, and no judge should have so much power that they can force their opinions over government by the People and strike down our Constitution.
Gay marriage benefits only a few, and harms humanity in general, those who truly love should really think about everyone, rather than just what they want right now.

Salt Lake City, UT

There was another great U.S. population which was denied the right to marry, and that was the black slave population. Black slavery was well established in the colonies by 1650. From then until the end of the Civil War in 1865 black slaves were denied marriage and the ability to form stable families. Think of it! The denial of the marriage privilege and slavery itself was justified with scripture, which scripture was eventually found to be completely baseless.

I suspect the justification for denying same sex marriage is to be found in scripture (that's why it is tied to religious freedom). Those who oppose same sex marriage should be thoroughly upfront about the basis for their opposition. They should cite specific scriptures.

One more thing. Is a scriptural support enough to support a freedom of religion argument, or does the scripture have be rational? I would argue that if the scripture is irrational, the argument fails.

Denver, CO

What is winning? "This latest Supreme Court action is encouraging. Utah’s marriage laws remain intact for now." Intact, really? In law perhaps, but not in the world of public opinion. Try extending the timeline in the story in months and then try decades. Every two months or so gay marriage wins another battle, overcoming opposition mostly built on anti-gay stereotypes. Now, anti-gay marriage activists have retrenched to defending states rights - the best case scenario is a technical 5/4 Supreme Court decision ASAP. hence Utah's direct appeal. It is the threat of a future reversal that is Chief Justice Roberts' dilemma - outlaw gay equality, get reversed; support gay marriage, get attacked by the right-wing (including Scalia and Thomas). Best advice, punt. Same sex marriage is coming to states like Colorado soon, regardless. If winning is viewed as delaying same sex marriage, that's a possibility, but public opinion is on a two month cycle, and within decades, same sex marriage seems a certainty nationwide. So, is this winning?

Jeff Harris
Edmonds, WA

Why are the State of Utah and the Deseret News overlooking the same message sent by each and every court that has heard a marriage-equality case post-Windsor? The message is, states cannot carve out an exception to the equal protection clause of the US Constitutions because a majority hates gay people.

For that matter, why are the State of Utah and the Deseret News overlooking the Supreme Court's similar message from Windsor? The US Government cannot carve out an exception to the due process clause of the US Constitution because a majority of congress members hate gay people.


SSM is coming, period. It would seem like all the $ being spent to fight it could be better used on something else.There was once a time not long ago when (some) interracial marriage was illegal too. That change doesn't seem to have affected others negatively. Time to move on.

seattle, WA

It would be dangerous to think one can anticipate a favorable decision from the decision to stay enforcement of the Circuit Court of Appeals affirmation of the same sex marriage decisions.

Seems to me the Court is merely following precedent. Of course, precedent means little to the current conservative majority on the Court.

There You Go Again
Saint George, UT

"...Message delivered — again...".

2 to 1.

Again 2 to 1.

The DN will be equally dismissive regarding the endless 5 to 4 decisions delivered by the SCOTUS.


"...arbiters of this major cultural battleground. But their constitutional role relative to the nation’s inferior courts requires them to damper the rush by federal district court judges to implicitly overturn Supreme Court precedents...".

Courts are defined as inferior only when rushing to implicitly overturn precedents favored by the DN.


liberal larry
salt lake City, utah

Utah's battle against the rising tide of equality is starting to make it look like King Canute!

Tooele, UT

Re: "I think the end result is already determined."

While that may be, the United States Supreme Court is dedicated to the rule of law. Under the rule of law, these things should be decided according to the procedures laid down in the law. Not according to the whim of unelected activist judges, seeking their 15 minutes of fame by deciding a case based, not on the law, but rather on the fashion of the day, or fealty to the political leanings of politicos who appointed them.

It's gratifying to see Justice Sotomayor, whose vote on the outcome of any case involving same-sex marriage is entirely predictable, and likely formed the basis for her selection by the President in the first place, take her job seriously enough to honor the rule of law, applying long-accepted procedures and precedents, rather than the pandering, illegal shortcuts of judges below.

Huntsville, UT

For the 2nd time, your opinion is wrong.

"The Supreme Court issued a stay of Shelby’s ruling, reinstating the state constitutional ban on same-sex marriages and allowing it to continue until a ruling from a federal appeals court."

The state constitutional ban on same-sex marriages is NOT legal; the ruling that it was unconstitutional it is simply on hold - but it is still considered unconstitutional until the SCOTUS says otherwise.

Utah's "democratic process" is not allowed to violate the constitutional rights of citizens of the USA. Please go read the 10th amendment.

Huntsville, UT


Banning LGBT couples from marriages does absolute NOTHING to promote "Healthy heterosexual relationships are crucial for our children...".

Judge Shelby didn't "strike down our Constitution", he UPHELD it. Utah citizens, voting on amendment 3, stripping equal treatment under the law from LGBT citizens are the ones who were "striking down our Constitution".

Marriage between LGBT couples does absolutely nothing to "harm humanity"; that's all in your head and if you're that frightened, perhaps you should seek help for it.

If you really are concerned about "the children" and "humanity" then fight bigotry and discrimination; while you're at it, fight against divorce, cheating, war, poverty, etc. All these things are far more important to the success of "humanity and the children" than preventing gays from marrying.

Springville, UT

Sigh.... The DesNews puts an unusual twist to their argument. It will be interesting to see how they spin a possible decision that doesn't go their way.

Let's do this. I want the DesNews to come out and say they do not believe in equal protection under the law and the Constitution. Just say it, once and for all. Just tell us that the founding principles are conditional, depending on whether the application concurs with your view of the world. Come on, say it. I know that's what you think.

A Quaker
Brooklyn, NY

I strongly disagree with the conclusion the editorial writer draws. Granting stays on a volatile issue like this is not evidence that the Supreme Court has predetermined the outcome. In my view, they're simply granting Utah's government every possible legal courtesy along the way to the most likely conclusion of this controversy. Which, I'm lead to expect you won't like.

It's not even clear that the Supreme Court will weigh in at the end. While there's a strong chance that they may want to put their stamp on the case, there's also some possibility that they'll "deny cert" and let the Circuit Court decisions, as long as they're uniformly in agreement, stand.

If you're hoping for this to go to the Supreme Court, you should first hope that one of the 11 Circuits rules in favor of "tradition." You were one judge shy of that at the 10th Circuit, but judging from the fact your AG passed up the opportunity of a full "en banc" appeal, I'm guessing he thought it was lucky to even get that one dissenter.

Oh Really?

Same-sex marriage is NOT the same as interracial marriage. There are inherent, unalienable differences.

Put 100 21 year old interracial heterosexual couples on 100 different unpopulated islands, visit them in 10 years, and 99 of those islands will have children on them.

Put 100 different same-sex couples on 100 different unpopulated islands and visit them in 10 years and there will not be a single child.

Proponents of redefining marriage to include same-sex couples ignore that difference, seeking to to grant a status or right that that type of union, as the Declaration states, "endowed by their creator," whether you consider that creator to be Nature or Nature's God.

Personally, I am 100% behind Civil Unions, but there must a recognition of the difference between same-sax and heterosexual unions.

Some will say there are non-child-bearing heterosexual marriages. Indeed there are, but that does not alter the fact that as a group or class, the differences are inherent, unalienable, defined by nature and marriage should be defined similarly.

A Quaker
Brooklyn, NY

This may not mean much to you, but to those of us who've recited it some 2500 times in the course of our schooling, it ought to mean something:

"I pledge Allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America
and to the Republic for which it stands,
one nation under God, indivisible,
with Liberty and Justice for all."

Note especially, two things. 1) "indivisible"; and 2) "for all."

The Supreme Court, should it rule, has limited options. A ruling against same-sex marriage doesn't put the toothpaste back in the tube in those 19 states that legalized it. A state's rights decision leaves those in place. The most such a ruling would accomplish would be to divide the country into two distinct segments, breaking the "indivisible" United States into two. Even if they favor "tradition," would they want to divide the US into two separate legal systems?

As for the second thing... "with Liberty and Justice for all" is pretty self-explanatory.

Huntsville, UT

Oh Really? says:

"Put 100 different same-sex couples on 100 different unpopulated islands and visit them in 10 years and there will not be a single child."

Are you so sure about that? If a gay couple wants children, they could always find a willing lesbian couple to help. If a lesbian couple wants children they could always find a willing gay couple to help. We're not as selfish as you seem to be; wanting to keep others from enjoying the same benefits you enjoy.

If you are 100% behind "civil unions" then you are still going to have to overturn Utah's amendment 3 because it prohibits civil unions right along with marriage. In any case, it's far too late for compromise. You REFUSED to let us have CU's to begin with, now we are going to get more than just crumbs from the table, we'll enjoy the feast with you.

Craig Clark
Boulder, CO

"....We expect that the Supreme Court will ultimately address the fundamental question in this case: Does the U.S. Constitution impose a requirement upon states to institute same-gender marriage?...."

The Deseret News misstates the issue with that statement. Authorizing same sex marriage is not ‘instituting’ anything. It’s simply legalizing that which is already legal for a limited segment of society.

Simi Valley, CA

Wow DN! If you're going to publish an editorial, you should at least make sure you understand the issue first. The issue before the court is not whether "the U.S. Constitution impose[s] a requirement upon states to institute same-gender marriage" as you assert. The issue is whether it is permissible under the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution for the states to deprive same-sex couples of the same fundamental rights enjoyed by opposite-sex couples. Big, big difference and you either know it and are being deliberately misleading, or you don't know it and therefore shouldn't be editorializing about it.

Kearns, UT

"Put 100 different same-sex couples on 100 different unpopulated islands and visit them in 10 years and there will not be a single child."

Are we going to establish laws based on hypothetical birth rates of couples placed on unpopulated islands, or are we going to base the laws on the people who actually live within our state? Like it or not, we have gay and lesbian couples living within the borders of our fine state, and they deserve the same legal rights and protections as everyone else. Their inability to produce offspring in an isolated setting has no bearing in this issue. We are a community, and it's past the time for us to be more inclusive in this community.

"The Supreme Court issued a stay of Shelby’s ruling, reinstating the state constitutional ban on same-sex marriages..."

Actually, what a stay of execution means is that we are postponing what the two courts have declared unconstitutional until SCOTUS takes a look at it. Based on the common outcomes in over 20 court rulings so far, I suspect SCOTUS will come back to Utah and tell us to go with the 10th Circuit's ruling.

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