Defending the Faith: A case for the traditional view of marriage

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • Meg Stout ANNANDALE, VA
    July 1, 2014 7:19 p.m.

    Once I got in an argument with my mother, because I was insisting that the Scots circa 1000 practiced polygamy, and she argued that they were strict monogamists.

    The point was important because I was plotting a historical fiction about Margaret of Scotland, positing that Malcolm MacDuncan III was still married to his first wife, Ingebiorg, when he first proposed to Margaret.

    We went to the internet. To our mutual surprise, we came across the old Scots law about marriages, with the twelve different levels of marriage. All were heterosexual unions, and each had to do with children.

    The antipenultimate form of marriage was deigned to be "marriage" between a woman and her rapist. Because they had conjoined and created a child. This kind of marriage was about assigning responsibility for a child.

    The lowest form of marriage was between two individuals who were mentally incompetent, possibly because there really wasn't anyone competent to care for the child.

    I think it's unfortunate that our knowledge of those days is so incomplete. The old Scots lived complex conjugal marriage. I'm sorry we will have to re-learn the lessons they could have taught us.

  • Rockyrd Gilbert, AZ
    July 1, 2014 9:49 a.m.

    To I know it. I Live it. I Love it.

    That is probably the most wise and intelligent post I've ever seen and I see a lot of them. Thank you.

    June 2, 2013 9:55 p.m.

    Ranch, your questioning whether it's my God or your God or no God avoids answering the central point: that is, to set about finding out if there is one, and if you find out there is, finding out what he thinks. I could "bear testimony", but that wouldn't do you any good unless you're willing to try to find out for yourself. Maybe you have, and feel you have an answer, and I can accept that, even if it's different from the answer I feel I've got. My point is general: for those who have not exercised the effort, they need to do so before arriving at an opinion that's taken no effort--in loose terms, "an exercise of faith."

  • dustman Gallup, NM
    May 28, 2013 10:02 a.m.

    My wife and I got married knowing that we could not conceive children. Do I not have a marriage? Did I just have a temple "union"? For years my wife and I were a family. We've since adopted two beautiful children to add to our family. I come to learn that being a mother or a father has nothing to do with blood, but has everything to do with a willingness to fulfill a role. Sure my kids have "birth" parents, but I know who they call mom and dad. If you treat my like I'm a sibling, then I'll be your brother. If you're a good person, then there's no real reason to deny you my love and support.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    May 27, 2013 5:59 p.m.

    @G L W8;

    What if there is a god and it yours isn't it? What then?

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 26, 2013 11:24 p.m.

    "If marriage is about having and raising children in a loving family... what about this?

    Utah Code 30-3-1

    (2) First cousins may marry under the following circumstances:"

    Technically that rather does involve a loving family (in a sick, twisted way). It's not like Utah laws make sense. Same sex couples can't adopt but single people (including single homosexuals) can.

    May 26, 2013 8:50 p.m.

    The further we drift away from the issue of faith, the more confused and misinformed we get--on all sides of this issue. There is only one central question: is there a God? If so, what does he think about all this?

    Gibbons, historical/anthropological practices in differing societies, an appeal to sociological studies, statistics, man's philosophies, secondary sources, "evidences" extrapolated from conclusions of specific studies, appeals to "truths" that are in direct opposition, all this is vanity. Where are we willing to exercise our faith? In God? In Science? In Law? History? It's about time we came to our senses.

    But Shakespeare may have had it best" "What fools we mortals be!"

  • plainbrownwrapper Nashville, TN
    May 26, 2013 1:40 p.m.

    @truth --

    "You know that is not the truth."

    Actually, it IS the truth. Do a web search on those words ("we don't want gay marriage, we want marriage") -- you'll find hits on a wide range of sites -- like the Belfast Telegraph, Australia, the blurb for the book "Why Marriage Matters", even one of the "answers" on . That is, indeed, a rather common phrase used by the gay rights movement.

    "Lifted From theblaze article :"


    "theblaze" is owned by Glenn Beck. 'Nuff said.

    Nonetheless, thanks for bringing Masha Gessen to my notice. I hadn't heard about her before. She does seem to be off the wall.

    Of course, blaming the whole gay marriage movement for Gessen's apparent insanity is just as logical as blaming all of Mormonism for Warren Jeffs. He has his supporters as well -- but that doesn't mean he reflects what Mormonism is all about. Similarly, Gessen obviously doesn't reflect the mainstream of the gay rights movement.

    "Divorce statistics are irrelevant"

    They are very relevant, when somebody claims that gay marriage will destroy marriage as a whole. That claim simply isn't true, based on facts we already know.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    May 26, 2013 12:24 p.m.


    You know that is not the truth.

    Lifted From theblaze article :

    A 2012 speech by Masha Gessen, an author and outspoken activist for the LGBT community...
    Gessen shared her views on the subject and very specifically stated:

    "Gay marriage is a lie."

    "Fighting for gay marriage generally involves lying about what we're going to do with marriage when we get there."

    "It's a no-brainer that the institution of marriage should not exist." (This statement is met with very loud applause.)

    The push for gay marriage has less to do with the right to marry, it is about diminishing and eventually destroying the institution of marriage and redefining the "traditional family."

    End of items from article.

    While gays may want the government benefits of marriage, the real truth is much more insidious.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    May 26, 2013 11:51 a.m.


    Divorce statistics are irrelevant, and is a symptom of other societal problems

  • Still a Mormon Greenfield, IN
    May 25, 2013 10:13 a.m.

    When it comes to an arguement about Constitutionality. What would happen in a world where people did not abuse government to support their own agenda is we would honor the Seperation of Church and State. The word church however means group or assembly and was used anciently for political groups as it was for religious groups. The government defining marriage at all is a political tool first used to disenfranchise Mormon women and now it is being used to rally against organized religion.

    If you were really concerned about the separation of church and state the government would only sanction civil unions whatsoever to hetero or homosexual couples. Marriage would be defined by cultural groups not the government. The Pro-gay marriage people could go to some liberal church and the traditional marriage supporters could go to a conservative church.

    But that is not what is happening here.

    All this supposed logic: humans arent supposed to fly, poor people marrying is filler. An undistributed middle logical fallacy to be self-righteous.

    There is a Universal stigma against childless couples whether fertile or not for not having kids. Universal stigmas offer great insights into how humanity works before social theorizing.

  • Dektol Powell, OH
    May 24, 2013 11:30 p.m.

    If marriage is about having and raising children in a loving family... what about this?

    Utah Code 30-3-1

    (2) First cousins may marry under the following circumstances:
    (a) both parties are 65 years of age or older; or
    (b) if both parties are 55 years of age or older, upon a finding by the district court, located in the district in which either party resides, that either party is unable to reproduce.

  • Dektol Powell, OH
    May 24, 2013 11:17 p.m.

    LDS are using the same arguments today to defend traditional marriage, that they used 120 years ago to defend polygamy, sometime word for word.
    1. Traditional marriage established by God
    2. Family values
    3. Health concerns for the spouses
    4. Religious freedom
    5. Healthier & happier children
    6. Avoiding sexual misconduct
    7. It is the will of the people

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    May 24, 2013 5:30 p.m.

    Prophets Peter and Paul told the Saints to be one, form communities and be one and live strict moral code, which is freedom; they knew if communities go around disagreeing on major issues, they would break up and die; we can all disagree on art and science and philosophy and literature and flowers and dance and what to eat and how to spend one's summer; but on the major issues--be one or go live in the wilderness. The first principle of the Word of Life is hope and trust, not argument and contention. Whatever you believe, put money behind it and go door to door, converts follow a postive message.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    May 24, 2013 4:36 p.m.

    Societies that have few children have economies that go down hill. Japan stopped having lots of babies in 1990 and have gone down hill since then, same with Europe, same with USA; nations become rich, have less children, and the economies decline. Children equal wealth. Families equal wealth. Nations that have babies have a future. This is a national security issue. I, myself, have no kids, and count myself among the selfish.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    May 24, 2013 3:44 p.m.


    I am simply trying to root out the issue of if there has been official recognition of same sex marriage on any sort of wide spread basis.

    The sources I am looking at indicate there has not been, even after looking at the sources you recommended.

    Either the data is there or it is not. We can neither wish it away nor wish it into existence.

    But, if we are to radically change our society, we should be sure the new model will work and that there will be no adverse side effects.


    See above.

  • mcclark Salt Lake City, UT
    May 24, 2013 3:26 p.m.

    I ask yet again, what harm does it do to your marriage? I have never gotten an answer to this.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 24, 2013 12:14 p.m.

    "Voting on the basis of religious convictions isn't "unconstitutional." Citizens are entirely free to vote on any basis they want, rational or irrational, religious or secular, good or bad, on the basis of sound information or out of ignorance. They can, if they want, vote for a candidate because she's cute or vote against a candidate because he's ugly."

    Right. My apologies for being unclear. What I meant was that the laws we have must have a secular foundation, even if there are people who support it for religious reasons. The Prop 8 lawyers have struggled their first two go's at it to come up with that secular foundation. Maybe they need to read the book.

  • Just saying 7 BLOOMINGTON, IN
    May 24, 2013 11:14 a.m.

    Social anthropologists have studied cultures around the globe. Marriage between male and female is universal. What differs are matters of familial relationships of intended spouses, who authorizes unions, number of spouses, the lineage of offspring and customs. Examining ethnographies of diverse cultures with different marriage customs ethnographers have asked "What is the function of marriage across cultural lines? Is there a universal common purpose for marriage?" The answer came that the function of marriage is to produce legitimate offspring. Other types of sexual relationships were not considered marriage.

  • plainbrownwrapper Nashville, TN
    May 24, 2013 10:53 a.m.

    @JimE --

    "History needs to be looked at more closely."

    I think YOU need to look at history more closely.

    Edward Gibbon, the preeminent historian on the fall of Rome, concluded that Rome fell in significant part because of its overdependence on Christianity. Other major contributors included a loss of civic virtue (that's CIVIC virtue, not sexual morality), overdependence on mercenaries, over-refinement (effeteness, over-cultured, unmilitary), and corruption in the Praetorian Guard.

    More modern historians emphasize the economic and military factors in Rome's fall, of which there were many.

    NOBODY of note believes that it had anything to do with homosexuality.

    In fact, homosexuality was widely practiced and accepted throughout Roman culture for many hundreds of years before the empire fell. If you'll just bother to read some of the preceding comments in this same thread, you'll get a better idea of some of the REAL history behind Rome's fall and the complete irrelevance of homosexuality to that fall.

    I am constantly amazed that so many people who tell us to "look at history" don't actually know history themselves.

  • The Caravan Moves On Enid, OK
    May 24, 2013 10:44 a.m.

    Article quote: "More fundamentally, though, polls and trends demonstrate only that a view is popular, not that it’s correct."

    And THAT, folks, is the heart of the matter, something that liberals foolishly do their best to absolutely refute: they try to ignore the reality that truth is independent of "opinion" and "polls".

    How long, Lord, how long?....

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    May 24, 2013 9:44 a.m.

    That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. (Mattew 5:45)

    There will always be religious undercurrents on this and other issues in society. But here's the bottom line for me. In America, religious beliefs must not be the basis for public law which applies to all, the religious and the non-religious.

  • Midway Salt Lake City, UT
    May 24, 2013 9:23 a.m.

    @Kate Hutch
    "It does not matter your opinion. You have no say in it. It is a matter of law."

    This sounds very un-American to me. In fact, it sounds like a dictatorship to me.

  • JimE Kaysville, UT
    May 24, 2013 9:04 a.m.

    History needs to be looked at more closely. We're not the first society to go this direction. What happened to the others that did? People say that Rome got lazy and that is why it fell. No, the reason is that they turned away from traditional morales and went with a hedonistic lifestyle. Then came the fall. We'll be repeating that cycle here soon enough becasue no one will listen.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    May 24, 2013 8:32 a.m.

    George Gilder, 30 years ago, wrote a book called Men and marriage. I still find that book the most validating book ever in regards to the institution of marriage. As stated, no matter what 'society' says or does in regards to the definition of marriage, largely the result of fear, disregard of God's word, and continued misinformation and chaos in society, if I were a betting man, God's definition of marriage will not only last, but thrive. Welcome to the new world!

  • amazondoc USA, TN
    May 24, 2013 7:59 a.m.

    @raybies --

    "in the end, our society needs some way to encourage parents of children to stay close together in a special relationship that is more than a matter of convenience"

    And marriage provides that -- for both straight couples AND gay couples. Gay marriage will increase family stability just as much as straight marriage does.

    @Twin Lights --

    "Simply to note that marriage has not typically included same sex couples."

    Marriage will not "typically" involve same-sex couples even after gay marriages are legalized. After all, homosexuals make up only about 3-5% of the population. The vast majority of marriages will still be "straight".

    "It does not appear to me that the examples you cite from Rome or China included official recognition."

    I've given you several examples of recognized same-sex marriages, complete with contracts and ceremonies. If you refuse to see them, there's not much more I can do.

    "Short term ceremonies (recognized or not) would not seem to be the same as marriage."

    Tell that to the Romans. Even in their straight marriages, they seemed to have little use for either monogamy or longterm relationships. But they had no trouble applying the word "marriage" (maritatus), nonetheless.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    May 24, 2013 6:45 a.m.

    The winds blow loud and strong right now, but in the end, our society needs some way to encourage parents of children to stay close together in a special relationship that is more than a matter of convenience.

    We used to call it marriage. If we need to call it something else, we will, and it should be given preferential treatment in as much as the parties that participate build the next generation of society.

    If we cannot manage to accomodate this, we will only continue to confuse and destroy what makes our country sound and solid. Storms pass and they do their damage, and after they blow over, we learn from them. We will rebuild and fortify what we must. And prepare for the next change. That's just how we are. So stay true to a solid foundation and regardless of what trends your neighbors are following, you'll be fine.

  • Verdad Orem, UT
    May 23, 2013 11:50 p.m.

    But, as a matter of fact, it ISN'T a matter of law.

    All SORTS of "segments of the population" are denied the "right" to marry -- and will presumably continue to be denied it. Siblings, parents and children, first cousins, minors, those deemed by legal authority to be mentally incapable of entering into a marriage, groups, etc. -- none of these are permitted to marry in most jurisdictions.

    The question isn't whether there will be an absolute right of everybody to marry everybody. There won't be. The only question is, What shall be the limits?

    I'm struck, though, by your resolution not even to CONSIDER an opinion contrary to yours. It saves time, I suppose.

  • Kate Hutch Kenmore, WA
    May 23, 2013 9:57 p.m.

    I don't need to read that book because the bottom line is that law-abiding tax-paying citizens of this country should have all the benefits afforded all the other law-abiding tax-paying citizens of this country, and that includes thousands of benefits - legal, financial and social - bestowed upon couples who are married. To deny a segment of the population those benefits is gross unfairness. It does not matter your opinion. You have no say in it. It is a matter of law.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    May 23, 2013 9:40 p.m.

    @ Twin Lights: So, in your opinion marriage only means what you want it to mean - sorry, not a valid legal reason to prohibit other marriages.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    May 23, 2013 8:56 p.m.

    Amazondoc & Kdee,

    My point that "marriage = man + woman" does not preclude multiple husbands or wives nor does it address paternally or materially led societies. Simply to note that marriage has not typically included same sex couples.

    It does not appear to me that the examples you cite from Rome or China included official recognition.

    The Native American tradition may or may not include official recognition – it seems unclear (from my quick search).

    Short term ceremonies (recognized or not) would not seem to be the same as marriage.

  • amazondoc USA, TN
    May 23, 2013 8:07 p.m.

    @AkMama --

    That "study" you cite is actually a newspaper article, which refers, secondhand, to the infamous study perpetrated by Mark Regnerus.

    And Regnerus has already been soundly and widely debunked, many times.

    The fatal flaw -- and it's VERY fatal -- in Regnerus' work is that he compared **unstable** homosexual homes with **stable** heterosexual homes. He fatally confounded his results -- and his study is widely disregarded because of it.

    Many studies have confirmed that stable homes are better for kids than unstable ones. So it isn't any surprise that Regnerus got the results he did.

    But he did NOTHING to prove any conclusions about orientation -- only about stability.

    Incidentally, one of the findings of the National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study, an ongoing **30 year** study, is that kids growing up in **stable** lesbian homes are SAFER than kids in stable heterosexual homes -- less likely to be abused than in straight homes. Additionally, kids in lesbian homes do just as well as kids in straight homes. And this is comparing STABLE lesbian homes to STABLE straight homes -- unlike what Regnerus did.

    Marriage increases family stability. Family stability helps kids. People who think kids are important should SUPPORT gay marriage.

    May 23, 2013 7:37 p.m.

    Further, over and over the argument is used that heterosexual parenting is flawed because of infidelity, divorce, and abuse. That's true. But using that argument as an excuse to sink more deeply into the quagmire is inherently flawed.

    May 23, 2013 7:34 p.m.

    To OHBU, "and that being raised by heterosexual parents in inherently better, of which there is no evidence."

    And to all who devalue the benefit to children of being raised by their two, opposite gendered, married, biological parents, you need to read the most comprehensive study on that subject published just last year. Since I cannot post the link directly, you'll have to find it the way I did, Elder Dallin Oaks talk published on the LDS Church website from Nov. 2012 entitled, "Protect the Children". Go to the notes at the of the talk, find number 19. Paste the link into your browser to find the article. Then click on the link in the article to read the abstract the article references.

    I read through the entire abstract and all of the accompanying charts. To shout the claim of no evidence is just ignorant. Social scientists have shown over and over that for children, being raised in an intact, two- parent home by their biological parents where there is no child abuse will always be better. Both genders are required for the healthiest outcomes in children. The books by the Three Doctors should also be of interest to you.

  • amazondoc USA, TN
    May 23, 2013 7:13 p.m.

    @sharrona --

    You're mixing religious and non-religious arguments again. Remember, the whole point of this book is supposedly that the anti-gay crowd DOESN'T have to resort to religion to prove their point. Did you give up on that goal already?

    "a comprehensive union of persons (aka marriage)...."

    I'll wholeheartedly agree with the "consent" part.

    I'll even agree provisionally with "bodily union", even though husbands and wives do not always even live together.

    But it's a huge leap from "bodily union" to "heterosexual sex". Those two are not equivalent at all. And the same rebuttals that have been used many times before still apply here.

    Oh, and as for etymology -- did you know that one of the original meanings for the word "wed" was "to bet or wager"? Of course, with our current heterosexual divorce rates, I guess that still applies now! ;-D

    And anyway, you've got your etymology wrong. "Marriage" is derived from the Latin "maritatus", not from "matrimonium". And "maritatus" means literally "give to a man", reflecting the property status of women in ye olden dayes, or in animals and plants, "to mate" or "to couple", or "to be grafted together".

  • Kdee SLC, UT
    May 23, 2013 6:00 p.m.

    @ Sharonna: And yet wine, cheese, and spices all marry just fine.

  • amazondoc USA, TN
    May 23, 2013 5:57 p.m.

    @Twin Lights --

    "the general concept was pretty clear - marriage = man + woman."

    Not quite.

    For examples in the Romans -- Martial and Juvenal, both Romans themselves, tell us that same-sex marriages, complete with traditional rites, were not uncommon in their time. Gay marriages weren't officially prohibited in the Roman empire until around 300 AD.

    For more Roman examples, see the book Same Sex Unions in Pre-Modern Europe.

    In other cultures --

    --Same-sex unions were recognized in Mesopotamia (see the book Homosexuality in the Ancient World).

    --Ancient Assyrian religious texts included blessings for same-sex unions, and treated them as equal to opposite-sex unions.

    --Same-sex unions were recognized in some parts of China, including contracts and elaborate ceremonies (see the books Passions of the Cut Sleeve: The Male Homosexual Tradition in China and also The origins and role of same-sex relations in human societies ).

    --In more modern times, check the paper "Same-Sex Couples Creating Households in Old Regime France: The Uses of the Affrement" for examples of legal unions in medieval France.

    --Same-sex unions were widely recognized in Native American societies.

    There's more, but I'm out of space!

  • sharrona layton, UT
    May 23, 2013 5:24 p.m.

    RE: Contrarius,The short version of the authors' basic argument: Therefore, a comprehensive union of persons (aka marriage) must include both bodily union (heterosexual sex, as it organically connects the individually incomplete reproductive systems of a man and a woman into a larger whole) and mental union (consent). Or,

    …God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother=( G. mater) and be joined to his *(τὴν) *wife, and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. (Mark 10:6-8).

    * Greek Definite singular article and noun ,* Wife.

    RE: Kdee, What Is Marriage? Etymology Man and Woman. "matrimony, marriage" French directly from Latin matrimonium. Through Greek origin, matermony, mater=mother+mony(monism), single entity( the family unit)."

  • Kdee SLC, UT
    May 23, 2013 4:12 p.m.

    @ Twin Lights: Actually, marriage has often been man+woman+woman+woman. Many Native American tribes had traditions of same-sex marriage, as did the aboriginal cultures of New Zealand and Australia. There is evidence that same-sex marriage was practiced in China.

    Hand-fasting was performed in many pagan and heathen cultures and was valid for a year and day and then the relationship was over. If the couple decided they wanted a longer relationship, they would have a second ceremony on the year anniversary - the day before the relationship ended.

    In many cultures, the man not only had his many wives but also his many concubines.

    Some cultures were maternal instead of paternal and in those cultures women would mate with multiple men in order to ensure the best offspring.

  • Contrarius Lebanon, TN
    May 23, 2013 4:08 p.m.

    @Tators --

    "he believed (in his own words) that..."

    You are misquoting both Gibbon AND Wikipedia. ;-)

    Luckily, I've got the full text of Gibbon's work right here.

    Gibbon did cite loss of civic virtue, as well as dependence on mercenaries -- as I've already noted. Yes, he said Romans had become effeminate -- also pacifists -- which he actually ascribed in significant part to their dependence on Christianity.

    However, Gibbon threw the word "effeminate" around indiscriminately. Gibbon also called Indians, Syrians, Egyptians, Armenians, Italians, and even all of Asia "effeminate" -- so don't imagine that he meant anything specific when he used that word.

    Also, Gibbon never used the word "homosexual", much less "homosexual acceptances", anywhere, even once.


    1. Gibbon did note that only *one* of the first fifteen Roman emperors was entirely "correct" (straight). That's fourteen gay or bi EMPERORS, several hundred years before Rome fell.

    2. Julius Caesar himself was referred to by his own peers as "every woman's man and every man's woman". About 500 years before Rome fell.

    3. The Roman historian Polybius reported that homosexuality was widely accepted in Roman culture by the 6th century BCE -- roughly 1000 years before the empire officially fell.

  • fkratz Portland, OR
    May 23, 2013 3:21 p.m.

    All one has to do is take some time to read about the history of marriage. Dr. Peterson's "traditional view" would have been ridiculed not so many centuries ago. If the creative force of the universe really cared that marriage had meaning outside the boundaries of human thought, then something other than a few iron age passages should have been offered to the planet's humans thousands of years ago. So silly.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    May 23, 2013 3:16 p.m.


    It may not have had a monolithic definition across all cultures, but the general concept was pretty clear - marriage = man + woman.

    The ancient Greece and Rome argument is often put forth but it fails. They might have had little problem with homosexual relationships, but they did not allow same sex marriage. As to what Roman Emperors did, they could do what they pleased and call it what they wanted. Who could oppose them and not lose their life for the privilege? If the Emperor said he was a god, best go along with him.

    You say that same-sex unions have been known throughout history but I am unaware of any widespread practice of legal/societal recognition. If you have it, please provide it.

    Marriage was historically extended to non-fertile couples because (at least for the young) there was no way of knowing beforehand who was fertile and who was not (or if an apparently non-productive marriage would later yield children).

    There is nothing "sudden" about not recognizing same sex marriage. The only thing happening "suddenly" here is the rush to recognize what has not been recognized in our history.

  • NorthboundZax Makanda, IL
    May 23, 2013 3:14 p.m.

    wow, the misattributed Churchill quote isn't even close to being the lamest part of the article. we have a book that is so clear and rational and not just the same warmed over conservative arguments everyone has heard before (honest!), that it will convince all same-sex marriage proponents of the error of their ways. but, we won't bring up any of the oh, so compelling arguments presented.... because.. ummm... well... if you'd just read the book you'd be convinced, ok?

  • Kass SLC, UT
    May 23, 2013 3:03 p.m.

    This is the second article (at least) that the DesNews has run on this book - the main premise is that since heterosexual relationships can result in unintended pregnancies, heterosexual couples should be encouraged to get married so that unintended children will be born into a stable relationship.

    The book fails to address why wanted/planned/intended children should not also have that stability.

    Contrary to any claims made in this article or in the book, every argument the book presents has been addressed and proven insubstantial.

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    May 23, 2013 2:03 p.m.

    Here's the difficulty: this is a reasonable article telling us about a book and urging that we read it. But the arguments in the book are being outstripped by events. So why bother?

  • Verdad Orem, UT
    May 23, 2013 1:27 p.m.

    For the record: Most if not all of the issues and objections raised here are actually treated in the book and on the related website to which Peterson provides a link.

    It would be nice if the discussion could get beyond these stale talking points, with nobody actually listening to the other side. But that's probably way too optimistic.

  • cjf Salt Lake City, UT
    May 23, 2013 1:00 p.m.

    "In this country we have a Constitution that grants equality to ALL US citizens, not just those you like."

    I demand that I be given a license to practice medicine, regardless of the fact that I have not or will not attend medical school. It's my Constitutional right.

  • Weber State Graduate Clearfield, UT
    May 23, 2013 12:59 p.m.

    The big problem with this issue is that the term "marriage" has been allowed to migrate into the realm of government. This, in my opinion, has created the current controversy.

    The obligation of government should extend no further than to recognize a legal contract entered into voluntarily by two or more parties with a lawful objective. When a corporation is created through contractual methods, does the government choose whether or not to recognize that corporate contract based upon the sexual orientation of corporate members? Of course not. We have all kinds of legal contracts in society and government’s obligation is to recognize them as long as they are entered into legally.

    Throw the term "marriage" completely out of the realm of government. Let religious institutions define marriages to their hearts content with government staying out of the marriage business period, and then perhaps all this nonsense about what should qualify as a so called "marriage" will be eliminated.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    May 23, 2013 12:42 p.m.

    Whether you oppose same sex marriages on religious grounds or on "rational" secular grounds, it doesn't really matter.

    In this country we have a Constitution that grants equality to ALL US citizens, not just those you like.

    Get used to it.

  • Verdad Orem, UT
    May 23, 2013 12:26 p.m.

    Yes, I've read the book.

    And I hope that others will, as well. Most of what I see in the comments here is just rehashing of preconceived opinions.

    One note for "atl134," though: Voting on the basis of religious convictions isn't "unconstitutional." Citizens are entirely free to vote on any basis they want, rational or irrational, religious or secular, good or bad, on the basis of sound information or out of ignorance. They can, if they want, vote for a candidate because she's cute or vote against a candidate because he's ugly. They're at liberty to vote for a fellow Catholic or against a Muslim or a Mormon. Nobody from the Supreme Court or the Department of Justice is sent to polling places in order to bar people from voting on the basis of religious reasons -- something that would TRULY be unconstitutional.

  • Craig Clark Boulder, CO
    May 23, 2013 12:13 p.m.

    "....The book methodically presents a concise, calm, lucid case for the proposition that legal recognition should be limited to marriage as marriage has been universally defined for millennia...."

    If that's as close as Peterson wants to come to telling us what that case is, he's failed miserably to intrigue me in the slightest as to what it has to say.

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    May 23, 2013 12:10 p.m.

    To Contrarius:

    Once again you've taken things out context and mixed your facts. Edward Gibbon wrote 6 volumes, from 1776 to 1789, about the fall of the Roman Empire. His work was well done and documented. If you actually studied it, you would find he believed (in his own words) that:

    The Roman Empire succumbed to barbarian invasions in large part due to the gradual loss of civic virtue among its citizens. They had become weak, outsourcing their duties to defend their Empire to barbarian mercenaries, who then became so numerous and ingrained that they were able to take over the Empire. Romans, he believed, had become effeminate (again, his own words), unwilling to live a tougher, "manly" lifestyle, characterized by their homosexual acceptances.

    In addition, Gibbon argued that Christianity created a belief that a better life existed after death, which fostered an indifference to the present among Roman citizens, thus sapping their desire to sacrifice for the Empire. He also believed its comparative pacifism tended to hamper the traditional Roman martial spirit. As such, it was their mistaken view of Christianity and not Christianity itself that contributed to their demise.

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    May 23, 2013 11:54 a.m.

    When the obvious is inevitable the smart thing to do is learn to accept it and work to make the best of it. It is here, it is now and it is here to stay. So why make the suffering any worse.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 23, 2013 11:36 a.m.

    @Brave Sir Robin
    "Don't you people realize that argument carries no weight with the largely atheistic pro-gay marriage side?"

    Roughly 50% of the nation supports same-sex marriage but only around 15% are atheist-agnostic. The majority of people who support same-sex marriage are religious.

    "the once great ancient Roman Empire soon fell after it became liberalized enough to espouse homosexual marriages and similar practices."

    There is no logical connection between social acceptance of homosexuality and Rome's fall. The empire got too big and unwieldy and was attacked from many different angles from many other groups. Also didn't help to have a massive slave population that can be liberated by invading forces.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 23, 2013 11:30 a.m.

    "Religious reservations, for instance, don’t translate well into discussions with non-believers. "

    Plus it'd be unconstitutional.

    "Perhaps they’ll even change their minds."

    Pretty much nobody ever changes their mind going from support to opposition? Well... except for politicians half a dozen years ago who ran away from their support because it wasn't politically expedient enough at the time like Obama did with that "evolving" nonsense. Here's the thing, even if you convinced me that marriage was primarily for the raising of children... infertile and elderly couples (and couples who choose to not have children) are still allowed to marry and in-vitro and adoption are options so that's not a good reason to use it to ban only same-sex marriage. If you convinced me that children with same-sex parents do worse on average with things like juvenile detention or SAT scores (this isn't even shown to be the case in data but for sake of argument let's pretend it is) then I could easily point out we let poor people marry even though their kids do worse on average in these categories too so why only ban same-sex marriage?

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Salt Lake City, UT
    May 23, 2013 11:25 a.m.

    I used to spend all day giving rational arguments for why I believe in giving special recognition to the Family and traditional marriages (as I understand those to be).

    I learned to argue on political, legal, constitutional, biological, and philosophical grounds. I learned how to argue alright. What I never seemed to learn is how to make people see sense. It's cause it's not possible. Whether you hold my own position or an opposing one, there is no way to 'make another see reason'. The Greek philosophers knew that people had to obtain for themselves, that it couldn't simply be shown to them. I have learned this principle to be true.

    For for those crying "give me rational grounds", I have only this to say.

    To assume that an opposing opinion is without grounds for reason is either a display of intellectual infancy or blatant contention. Those who are willing to exercise themselves unto intelligence may readily find good reason on both sides of a debate. What is required? The will to listen. You can't demand others to brighten your intelligence and raise your understanding, you have to search it out for yourself.

  • Paloma10 Salt Lake City, UT
    May 23, 2013 10:39 a.m.

    My support for gay marraige has nothing to do with my belief in traditional marraige. I think INCLUSIVENESS is the word. Both traditional (man-woman) and gay marraiges can exist in the same world. I believe that it is more important that we have good people in the world. The only fear I see, coming from straight, traditional couples, is that gay couples, tend to do it better. My own traditional marriage was never threatened by any body but my husband.

  • LDS Revelations Sandy, UT
    May 23, 2013 10:37 a.m.

    I actually agree with Dr. Peterson in that I think people should look at non-religious arguments for traditional marriage AND for marriage equality as well— and that they should also read multiple and opposing arguments on the topic rather than just from one viewpoint. Certainly the book and article he refers to deserves consideration as do numerous others that disagree with them.

  • Contrarius Lebanon, TN
    May 23, 2013 10:14 a.m.

    @Tators --

    "And by the way, Contrarius, and perhaps not just coincidentally, the once great ancient Roman Empire soon fell after it became liberalized enough to espouse homosexual marriages and similar practices."

    Errr, no.

    Actually, both the Roman civilization and the Greek civilization lasted for roughly 1000 years each.

    In fact, Edward Gibbon -- the historian who wrote The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, widely regarded as the definitive history on the subject -- believed that Rome fell in significant part because of its overdependence on Christianity, in addition to its excessive use of mercenaries.

    Speaking of learning from history....

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    May 23, 2013 10:13 a.m.

    (ran out of words)

    In the end, the authors do indeed point to the idea that marriage is primarily about children, only arguing off the points about infertile couples, etc, as necessary to establish a healthy set of societal norms.

    Despite all their efforts to the contrary, the premises of the book in question come back to the same things being argued about more explicitly elsewhere--that marriage must be about raising children (when in practice, it has a lot to do with things like taxes and medical benefits) and that being raised by heterosexual parents in inherently better, of which there is no evidence.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    May 23, 2013 10:09 a.m.

    re: Tators

    Sorry, I am actually familiar with the book. The book is full of a lot of fallacies. For one, that marriage has always been regarded as a conjugal relationship between a man and woman. Marriage has been variously defined throughout history. Secondly, the authors seem concerned with investigating what marriage is, and they settle on the idea that it is a comprehensive union between man and woman in both body and mind. They also rely heavily on the flawed assumption that children raised by same-sex couples are at a disadvantage--something that has not been supported by the research on the matter. Finally, the book falls into the slippery slope mentality that if we allow gays to marry, we must consent to all sorts of variations.

    Here's where it all falls apart. The debate in this country is about legality and constitutionality. None of the authors arguments provide a reason why it should not be allowed legally. They bracket religion, but then rely on shaky evidence to assert that certain things are "better" for society, with no evidence to back it up, appealing to logic only comprehensible to a certain religious mindset.

  • A Man's Perspective Salt Lake City, UT
    May 23, 2013 10:07 a.m.

    I suggest people read a portion of the arguments in the book before making assumptions. Please do the following Google search for the 50-page PDF in "Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy":

    "What is marriage? Sherif Girgis Robert P. George & Ryan T. Anderson"

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    May 23, 2013 9:37 a.m.

    How do you know if the book makes a rational argument? Have you read the book? If so then you should be able to respond to EDM.
    The book lays out the same false premises that have been articulated over and over again in the in these threads and in the courts. The scientific evidance does not support their claims of the effects of being raised by opposite sex parents and same sex parents.

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    May 23, 2013 9:31 a.m.

    To Contrarius, EDM,OHBU and the similarly minded:

    You are still missing the primary premise of this article. It's not about faith, religion or the ability to have children. And with a limit of just 200 words in this comment section, there isn't room to list and explain and expound the reasoning behind the referred to book in a justifiable manner.
    Until you actually do read the book, you are simply trying to make arguments for your preexisting feelings, and nothing more. Please, please actually read the book “What is Marriage? Man and Woman: A Defense” and its accompanying website at so that you actually understand what it is you are trying to argue against. None of you yet has indicated that you have.

    And by the way, Contrarius, and perhaps not just coincidentally, the once great ancient Roman Empire soon fell after it became liberalized enough to espouse homosexual marriages and similar practices. It's all part of history and once again, something easy to read about. Do some research with an open mind for learning... and not just for arguing. Are we smart enough to learn from history?

  • Verdad Orem, UT
    May 23, 2013 9:20 a.m.

    Finally, the smoking gun!

    Watching the comments to Peterson's articles (and certain other articles) over the past couple of years, I've suspected that at least some of the commenters haven't even bothered to read the articles to which they're responding.

    EDM, above, illustrates what I mean. Peterson's article calls attention to a book in which, he says, rational reasons are laid out. So EDM writes in, ostentatiously demanding to know where such rational reasons are laid out (and insinuating that Peterson can't actually point to anything).

    But Hutterite confirms my suspicion, in her case at least, beyond any doubt: She dismisses Peterson's "faith argument" when Peterson didn't make one, and despite the fact that he plainly says that the book he's talking about doesn't rely upon religion or revelation either.

    In other words, she -- and this applies, very possibly, to EDM, as well -- is responding reflexively to the issue in general, rather than reasonably, to Peterson's article.

  • OHBU Columbus, OH
    May 23, 2013 9:06 a.m.

    All the claims that marriage must be intact for reasons of producing children, etc, completely miss the point. Besides the logical problems with that laid out nicely by Contrarius, gay marriage in no way will reduce the number of heterosexual marriages. Society will produce the same number of children, and there will be the same number of "traditional" families. However, there will also be the existence of non-traditional families that can provide supportive homes and further increase domestic coherence within society.

    Again, gay marriage in no way reduces the number of heterosexual marriages producing children. Thus, all the warning about how families are needed to do so for society are nothing but a smokescreen for the ignorant.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    May 23, 2013 9:04 a.m.


    Read the book...that's what it's there for.

  • EDM Castle Valley, Utah
    May 23, 2013 8:57 a.m.

    Mr. Peterson and Sir Robin,

    We are waiting. What are the many rational secular arguments for opposing gay marriage? The article so accurately describes what is trending and why, but doesn't expose a single argument for the prohibition of gay marriage while claiming that volumes exist. Please don't tease us, we want to know the rational reasons you claim exist.

  • Tators Hyrum, UT
    May 23, 2013 8:50 a.m.

    To Hutterite:

    You obviously didn't read the article very well. The referred to defense of traditional marriage in the article is based on the scholarly work (book) written by Ivy league schooled doctors whose primary premise of argument is philosophically and socially based... and not faith based, as you are asserting. That book is based primarily on common sense, not the tenets of anyone's religion. The only way for you or anyone else to even attempt a valid rebuttal would be to first the read the book, something you obviously haven't done. And until you do (and hopefully with an open mind) it's your argument that isn't going to wash.

  • Contrarius Lebanon, TN
    May 23, 2013 8:43 a.m.

    " legal recognition should be limited to marriage as marriage has been universally defined for millennia."

    One glaring problem with this proposition is that marriage never actually had a "universal definition" in the first place.

    Many cultures have practiced polygamy.

    Several cultures have practiced polyandry.

    Ancient Greece and ancient Rome both encouraged homosexual relationships. At least two Roman EMPERORS married men.

    Same-sex unions have been known throughout history, in many cultures.

    This supposed "universal definition" for marriage is nothing more than an imaginary and false construct.

    As for that "conjugal view" of marriage -- it is easily dismissed once one actually applies logic to the concept.

    1. No, same-sex couples can not biologically produce children who share only the couple's DNA.

    Neither can millions of other infertile couples.

    Nonetheless, we legalize infertile marriages every day.

    2. No, two people of the same gender were not biologically designed to produce children together.

    Humans are also not biologically designed to fly.

    Nonetheless, we fly in airplanes every day.

    The fact is, we human beings overcome our biological limitations every day. There is no reason to suddenly declare that same-sex marriages are somehow ineligible for the benefits of civilization.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    May 23, 2013 8:41 a.m.


    Did you even read the article? The whole premise of the book is that there are reasons BESIDES FAITH to opposed gay marriage. Faith isn't even discussed.

    Honestly, this is one area where the anti-gay marriage side has really shot themselves in the foot: There are many rational secular arguments as to why gay marriage should not be allowed, but all the anti-gay marriage lobby can do is scream "because God said so!" Don't you people realize that argument carries no weight with the largely atheistic pro-gay marriage side?

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    May 23, 2013 8:30 a.m.

    Sorry, but the faith argument is bound by one problem. I don't buy into it. I don't have to. It's just your religion, and I'm not into having any of it. You can keep the tenets of your religion as you choose, within the context of law, but if that's the argument you're going to make for this, or any other point, it's not going to wash.