News analysis: Supreme Court leaves itself some 'wiggle room' for gay marriage cases

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  • George Bronx, NY
    Dec. 10, 2012 7:12 a.m.

    @ very concerned
    Why should an inside visual be forced to choose between having a job and their individual rights? Please show me where our constitution allows corporations or even religions to moose such restrictions.

  • very concerned Sandy, UT
    Dec. 9, 2012 11:14 a.m.

    It sounds all so harmless. But the legal ramifications are real.

    Just one example. Legitimizing gay marriage, along with the erosion of religious freedoms, could result in a church being forced to hire gay people and pay for the “spouses” benefits, whose behaviors are in direct opposition to the church's teachings. This would deal a serious blow to such a religious organization in its freedom to control its own practices and morals.

    Example two. Insurance companies owned by religious organizations being forced to pay for "care" (i.e. birth control) that is 180 degrees opposite of the parent organization's religious convicitions. That's a real-life current legal argument.

    In addition, I believe the GLBT community is quite aware of the ultimate results if all their efforts go through. Personally, I don’t think those who oppose religion will be happy till religion is just a memory. That won't happen for everyone, but I DO see freedom of religion and religious speech being much different 25 years from now if we do not protect it now. I’m not as convinced the end of the world is so far off.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 8, 2012 7:05 p.m.

    @very concerned
    "you know nothing about my marriage troubles or lack thereof"

    Indeed I do not but you seem concerned that gay marriage would somehow harm marriage so I have to wonder in what way two men or two women marrying each other could possibly affect your marriage?

    Not really mob rule since a church would choose whether or not to listen to any public outrage. Frankly though I expect it to be minimal. LGBT rights activists and their straight allies don't care about what the church does with respect to itself so much as they don't want the church imposing their will on others by not allowing civil marriage between same sex couples. The only people who really have much invested in a churches' position... are those in the church itself and that is where any push for change would come from. The only thing outsiders would really do is just not join your church, and maybe call it homophobic I suppose (same way they could call a church that doesn't have female clergy sexist but it's not like you see any actual protests about that).

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Dec. 8, 2012 3:40 p.m.

    Many people are afraid that in a couple of weeks December 21st will come abd bring the end of the world. But the world will continue.

    Same Sex marriage will be very anticlimactic, it will be approved and the world will continue.

    as ChuckGG wrote: "You will find we are pretty mundane. We live in the suburbs, have kids, and except for having the same legal rights and protections for our families, are pretty much like any other family down the street".

    It would be nice that so called followers of Christ decide to use their energy and influence to provide the same legal rights and protections for all families, as Christ would do.

  • very concerned Sandy, UT
    Dec. 8, 2012 2:39 p.m.

    Pardon me, but you know nothing about my marriage troubles or lack thereof; nothing of my movie/TV watching habits. I recognize I take a very conservative, even old-fashioned approach. That may be why we may never see completely eye to eye. But I disagree that I will be irrelevant. Morals (and the discussion thereof) are not, and never will be irrelevant to the human experience.

    I recognize a more fundamental difference as well. One for which I do not apologize. I believe in the God who knows what will make us happy and what will make us miserable in the long run. That's why He gives us commandments.

    You tell us not to worry, that most churches will take a long time if ever to approve of gay marriage. But the laws (that affect churches) are tipping that way much quicker than the churches. In the legal arena, there is plenty to worry about for those of us who care.

    I'm not perfect. I have my own set of sins and weaknesses. I feel lucky to belong to a church that teaches to be Christ-like but does not change its doctrines based on popular opinion.

  • The Skeptical Chymist SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Dec. 8, 2012 2:24 p.m.


    It isn't mob rule at all - when public opinion turns against a church's beliefs, they have every right to hold fast to their beliefs, and minister to those who agree with them. A church can still, to this day, minister to those who hold that the races are unequal and should be separated. I don't know how many newcomers can be recruited to that church in light of current social ways of thinking. But they have that right, and they are not being ruled by the mob.

    I'm sure it will be a long, long time before same-sex marriage is condoned by the majority of churches. You really don't need to worry so much.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Dec. 8, 2012 1:00 p.m.


    You said - "Back in the 1970s churches that society deemed to be too slow in adjusting to the Civil Rights movement faced condemnation and protest. You might see something similar develop on gay rights."

    In other words, mob rule?

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Dec. 8, 2012 12:38 p.m.

    "And what will freedom of speech and religion look like in twenty years from now? "

    I believe freedom of speech and religion will be a lot like it is today. People will be able to say what they want and people will be able to worship according to their own convictions. People only feel like they are losing their freedoms because modern technologies make it so much easier for people with differing viewpoints to express their thoughts. Freedoms haven't been lost, but the chances of seeing consequences and reactions to your choices to use those freedoms happen a lot more frequently and immediately now.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 8, 2012 12:16 p.m.

    "And what will freedom of speech and religion look like in twenty years from now? "

    We have protections against discrimination based on religion. That hasn't stopped the LDS church from forbidding mixed religion marriages in the temples. I suspect that legally very little will change. What will change, however will be differences in public pressure. Legally the church will still be able to choose not to marry same-sex couples, that won't change (I'd oppose any attempt to force through law that kind of change, and so would most on the gay marriage side). Back in the 1970s churches that society deemed to be too slow in adjusting to the Civil Rights movement faced condemnation and protest. You might see something similar develop on gay rights. Then again, one would've expected that directed towards churches that don't allow women to hold priesthood positions and that hasn't really developed as much as one might expect.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Dec. 8, 2012 12:04 p.m.

    @Henry Drummond

    You said - "Within twenty years Gay Marriage will be common and the next generation will wonder why we even had this discussion."

    And what will freedom of speech and religion look like in twenty years from now?

    With the inevitable avalanche or lawsuits that come as a result of your prediction, will the next generation ask, "You mean it was once legal for a church to not let a gay or lesbian couple get married in its building?" You mean it was once legal for someone to say they opposed the gay lifestyle?"

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Dec. 8, 2012 11:46 a.m.

    The issues before the court are:

    A. The challenge to the Defense of Marriage Act claiming the federal government cannot reject a State's right to define marriage.

    B. The Proposition 8 challenge asking the Court to do precisely that.

    It would appear that one and only one of these challenges can prevail. Unless of course, you assume the Court will issue a purely political ruling with a lot of Latin and Legalize thrown in solely for appearances sakes. In that case, then expect the Court to strike down both Proposition 8 and DOMA as follows:

    1. Justice Kennedy will join justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan in a full-throated endorsement of Gay Marriage Rights.

    2. Justice Scalia will issue a grumpy descending opinion with a lot of references to the Federalists Papers and medieval legislation outlawing homosexuality.

    3. Justice Thomas will issue an opinion that basically says "I agree with whatever Scalia said."

    4. Justice Alito will issue a much more nuanced opinion agreeing with Scalia.

    5. Chief Justice Roberts will sort of agree and sort of disagree.

    Within twenty years Gay Marriage will be common and the next generation will wonder why we even had this discussion.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Dec. 8, 2012 11:13 a.m.

    Two of the reasons I suspect the LDS Church put out a website as means of showing more sympathy and understanding towards the gay and lesbian community is:

    1. They can clearly see which way the wind is blowing and that it is no longer in their best interest to continually butt heads with the LGBT community. The two sides will never be on the same page, much in the same way the church differs with many feminist groups, but the LDS Church knows discussion is always better than confrontation.

    2. As the courts side more and more with the LGBT community, there will be the inevitable lawsuits filed against churches as well as those who speak negatively against the LGBT community. Perhaps LDS leaders already know that, either by court order or government decree, they will will have change their rhetoric and doctrine. This website then is the LDS Church leaders letting its members know what is coming in the future.

  • ChuckGG Gaithersburg, MD
    Dec. 8, 2012 11:09 a.m.

    Very Concerned: It seems almost impossible that every statement you made is incorrect.

    I have come to learn it is impossible to change someone as far gone as are you. It is therefore best just to reassure you the world will not come to an end because two people of the same gender wish to have a civil marriage ceremony and gain the same rights as the rest of the citizenry. If your church and your views do not agree with this then don't become involved with gay people and same-sex marriage. It is a big country with lots of room for us all.

    If you choose to hide from the reality of the world, then you really are missing the variety of life. I recommend you get to know some gay couples. You will find we are pretty mundane. We live in the suburbs, have kids, and except for having the same legal rights and protections for our families, are pretty much like any other family down the street.

  • ulvegaard Medical Lake, Washington
    Dec. 8, 2012 11:05 a.m.

    To simply say that religious freedom, since it is part of the constitution, will not be tampered with and therefore churches who's doctrine does not support gay marriage will not be forced to agree with it or perform it, etc., is a bit naive. The Federal Government has already attempted to infringe upon religious freedom by trying to decide who a religious organization could and could not hire or fire. In that case, the Supreme Court upheld the 2nd Amendment. But I suspect that the next item on the agenda is to force all religions to accept gay marriage.

    Christians should be taught to treat everyone kindly, but no where is there a commandment that religions must accept marriage outside of the scope of traditional unions as understood by their doctrine. Already there has been discussion on how tax exempt status should be removed if a particular religious organization will not accept gay marriage.

    In my mind, the issue goes way beyond equality.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Dec. 8, 2012 10:50 a.m.

    @Red Corvette

    But a lot of people are convinced that "Equality" is not the true goal here. A lot of people truly believe the LGBT community is looking to do all they can to force their lifestyle onto others.

    They look at the case of four heterosexual San Diego firefighters who were threatened with their jobs if they did not march in a gay pride parade. The firefighters sued claiming they were continually sexually harassed both during and after the parade, and even though they eventually won their suit, the overall response on various LGBT news websites was in no way sympathetic towards the firefighters.

    In a nutshell, if someone is ordered to march in a pride parade they should do so and if they get harassed for it, too bad.

    What if a gay firefighter here in Utah said he did not want to participate in the Days of '47 parade? Is that his right? If so, what makes him different than the fire fighters in San Diego?

  • Stalwart Sentinel San Jose, CA
    Dec. 8, 2012 10:27 a.m.

    Very Concerned - With a perspective like that, I think it it is safe to say that within a few years you'll be able to change your moniker to "very irrelevant".

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 8, 2012 10:00 a.m.

    @very concerned
    "1.Homosexual behavior is extremely distasteful "

    Then stop watching homosexual porn.

    "2.Put your energy into something that builds society rather than using the courts’ time and resources to defend the indefensible."

    The Supreme Court's primary job is to determine the constitutionality of laws. This is literally the most important use of the courts' time.

    "I can see how some people have same-sex desires"

    That is what is meant by uncontrollable biological trait. Nobody says that engaging in sex is not a choice, just that having the desires is not a choice.

    "GLBT clever, though fundamentally flawed, arguments"

    And what is so wrong with consenting adults wanting to have committed relationships with each other?

    "makes a mockery of marriage and weakens it"

    Then get marriage out of the gov't, if that's what you want. Oh, and don't blame others for problems with your marriage.

    "7.I think there should be tolerance of"

    You have made it very clear that you only tolerate those who are doing exactly what you would prescribe for them.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 8, 2012 9:00 a.m.

    If SCOTUS doesn't think they have standing then the appeals court rulings (Prop 8 gone, DOMA gone) would stand.

  • very concerned Sandy, UT
    Dec. 8, 2012 8:54 a.m.

    I’ll say it again.

    1.Homosexual behavior is extremely distasteful by its very nature.

    2.Put your energy into something that builds society rather than using the courts’ time and resources to defend the indefensible. And many of the courts are showing they have skewed morals by approving of gay marriage and the like.

    3.It is a behavior. People may have rationalized and convinced themselves it is an uncontrollable biological trait that one ought to accept the same as skin color. I can see how some people have same-sex desires, but I don’t and will never believe it is neither uncontrollable or desirable.

    4.Gay-rights activists predict gay marriage will eventually be legalized in all 50 states, both at the state and federal level. They may be right, if concerned citizens get hoodwinked by the GLBT clever, though fundamentally flawed, arguments and if no one speaks up.

  • very concerned Sandy, UT
    Dec. 8, 2012 8:52 a.m.

    5.Legitimizing gay relations by giving them the rights afforded to marriage makes a mockery of marriage and weakens it.

    6.As a non-GLBT, active LDS, I have long had sympathy for those who have sam- sex tendencies and recognized that we don’t understand all he issues. I complement those who fight to stay celibate. I don’t believe our loving Heavenly Father would send us here, ask us to obey His commandments, and then make it impossible for a specific slice of people to do so.

    7.I think there should be tolerance of, and assistance to, those struggling with same-sex attraction. The Church-of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints often comes out with statements and policies that teach me, a member, more about tolerance and love. I need such teachings. It gives me hope that the Lord will be tolerant and loving to me even though I sin. However, please note in the new church website that the basic doctrine has not, and will not change. The vital “change” is that we are being taught to be non-judgmental and more Christlike, not “accepting” of the behavior.

  • ChuckGG Gaithersburg, MD
    Dec. 8, 2012 8:04 a.m.

    The article seems a bit sided toward the anti-same-sex marriage view. Wardle and Duncan are both against SSM and while their legal views might prevail, they seem a bit of a stretch. SCOTUS does follow the law and precedent but it seems unrealistic SCOTUS would rule against Prop-8 based upon the "complex legal formula" as the sole reason. DOMA is a dead-duck. That appeared unconstitutional the day it was signed into law in 1996. It is only now we have a test case before the Court.

    The trend in national polls favors same-sex marriage and more states are legalizing it. Prop-8 in CA, if voted today by the public, never would pass. SCOTUS may make a sweeping decision. Unlike abortion and desegregation, allowing gays to marry has no impact on any of the public except the gay population. Churches are protected by the First Amendment. I see no valid reason to uphold this discrimination (and neither did the 9th Circuit). I am hopeful SCOTUS will allow the USA to join other countries in the march toward equality for all.