Judicial tyranny

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  • gary47290 Berkeley, CA
    Dec. 31, 2013 3:13 p.m.

    The News fails utterly to explain why the people of Utah are entitled to make this decision. This is just 2 wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner.

    The trial in Salt Lake, and in California (Hollingsworth v Perry) and New York (US v Windsor) established that the only people harmed by these bans are the same-sex couples, and the results do nothing to improve the health of the institution of marriage for opposite-sex couples.

    Game set match, Judge Shelby is right, and called Utah out.

  • Starry starry night Palm Springs , CA
    Dec. 29, 2013 7:25 p.m.

    Judicial Tyranny? This judge was vetted by Utah's two republican Senators!
    He is an honest, hardworking judge who bases his decisions on the constitutionality
    of the cases before him and uses precedent to guide him. He is anything but a tyrant!
    This judge is a married, straight father of two girls who lives in Salt Lake
    City and who donates money to a Republican candidates! Folks...stop the hyperbole...get a grip!
    Look at the photographs of the nearly 1000 newly married couples. Look at the unfettered joy
    in the faces of these couple and everyone around them. Look into your souls.
    Let there be light!

  • Anthropogus Montgomery, AL
    Dec. 27, 2013 10:37 a.m.

    This shrill and flawed editorial show a breathtaking misunderstanding of the U.S. Constitution and basic civics, as do some comments.

    Utah asked a federal judge for a summary judgement. The federal judge obliged, basing his judgement on precisely what he is entrusted to follow: the U.S. Constitution, citing "equal protection". You can't be on more solid ground.

    Even if 100% of Utah voters outlawed SSM, if the federal courts conclude it violates the U.S. Constitution, it's overturned. The "will of the people" becomes immaterial because we are a constitutional republic. Otherwise, there would be "mob rule". A huge majority in our state, Alabama, voted for segregation, judged by federal courts as unconstitutional. Regrettably, it took federal troops to enforce. I believe Utah is better than that.

    The next recourse is to appeal to the 10th Circuit. They agreed with Judge Shelby.

    The state's remaining recourse is the Supreme Court. They must first decide to even accept the case. If they do not, or they do and conclude the 10th Circuit ruling was correct, ammendment 3 is overturned, as is every law in every state prohibiting same sex marriage.

    Be careful what you wish for.

  • Creative1 Soquel, CA
    Dec. 26, 2013 4:37 p.m.

    Wow! This truly is a Church Newsletter and not a serious Newspaper.

  • Rod Flanders San Francisco, CA
    Dec. 26, 2013 2:23 p.m.

    If a lawyer wrote this editorial, he or she would be subject to sanction from the state bar for misrepresenting the law.

    "The weight of settled precedent" is on the side of same-sex couples who are attempting to vindicate their fundamental right to liberty, due process, and equal protection of the laws. See Windsor, Lawrence, Romer, Perry v. Schwarzenegger, Golinski v. OPM, Gill v. OPM, Log Cabin Republicans v. United States, Witt v. United States, Garden State Equality v. Dow, etc. etc. etc.

    'overreaching' - Shelby did exactly what he was supposed to do when a law is unconstitutional. He threw it out. Was Antonin Scalia 'overreaching' when he gutted the bipartisan and wildly popular Voting Rights Act?

    'ignored rational reasons' - See all of the cases cited above (and others) for the simple proposition that discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation receives intermediate or heightened scrutiny from the courts. They don't need to say it. The fact that they have dismantled anti-LGBT legislation piece by piece says it for itself.

    This rag should be ashamed of itself for publishing such spurious rubbish.

  • Evo1 USA, FL
    Dec. 26, 2013 9:32 a.m.

    It's the height of stupidity to claim that being prevented from abusing the power of the state to discriminate against others is "tyranny". The primary purpose of the federal judiciary is to make such calls, to protect the basic INDIVIDUAL liberties of American citizens against the abuse of government tyranny at the hands of those with the political power to commit such abuses, whether that be an elite minority or a populist bigoted majority. It doesn't matter if a majority of the citizens of a state vote for something; as soon as their prejudices become embodied in the power of the government, they are subject to review by the courts, and to claim that a majority vote somehow removes that basic constitutional protection from the individual is idiotic and anti-American in the extreme. We are a nation of individual liberties, not of the tyranny of the collective. Choosing to use the power of the state to enforce your bigotry on others is the very definition of tyranny that the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution to oppose, and doing so rightly exposes you to a judicial smackdown.

  • Perplexityinzion Salem, OR
    Dec. 25, 2013 10:50 a.m.

    I like how this editorial references the 1896 provisions of statehood. I hope the irony isn't lost of how a victorian population brutally imposed their views on the early LDS church and good people of Deseret. My ancestors staunchly believed that polygamy was protected by the constitution as a religious freedom. The Edmonds Tucker Act was tyranny, breaking the back of the LDS church and bringing the territory to its knees prior to our compliance and statehood. Have we lost all sympathy for their plight? Now it seems the people of Utah and the LDS church have become like their oppressors of the 1800's, in chilling stockholm-syndrome fashion. The same men seeking to impose a narrow view of the family on their own state and the nation have polygamists in every branch of their family tree.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Dec. 25, 2013 9:21 a.m.

    I am dismayed by the number of otherwise intelligent and knowledgeable people that don't understand how their own judicial system works. I am dismayed by the number of otherwise intelligent and knowledgeable people that believe their religious beliefs actually trump or should trump our Constitution. How ironic that it is our Constitution that protects their right to remain this mistaken.

    My congratulations to all of my fellow citizens in Utah that exercised their equal status and got married these past few days. My sincerest best wishes to you and your families!

  • james d. morrison Boise, CA
    Dec. 23, 2013 8:29 p.m.

    The constitution is seriously flawed in that there are no checks or balances on the judicial system.

  • Liddle Bruda Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 23, 2013 6:02 p.m.

    So lets see here. The Supreme Court has declared that marriage is a fundamental right in the United States. The 14th amendment guarantees equal protection of laws. I don't see the Deseret News' argument about that, except that precident doesn't allow the Judge to do what he did. I do however want to know when I can vote to strip others of their rights afforded them by the Constitution, then use the argument that the people know better than the Constitution which they swear is a perfect document until it doesn't fit their needs.

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Dec. 23, 2013 1:55 p.m.

    @JoeCapitalist@ --

    " I believe most people in Utah and in the U.S. (as evidenced by actual voting whenever gay marriage is put on the ballot), do not support it"

    9/13 -- Quinnipiac University -- 56% of American adults and 57% of registered voters for, 36% of both groups opposed.

    7/13 -- Gallup -- 54% for

    7/13 -- USA Today -- 55% of Americans for, 40% against

    5/13 -- Washington Post-ABC News -- 55% of Americans for, 40% against

    3/13 -- CBS News -- 53% of Americans for, 39% opposed, 8% were undecided

    3/13 -- Washington Post-ABC News -- 58% of Americans for, 36% against
    -- This same poll indicated that even 52% of GOP-leaning independents under 50 years old supported gay marriage.

    11/12 -- Gallup -- 53% of Americans for, 46% against

    11/12 -- CBS News -- 51% of Americans for, 40% against

    11/12 -- ABC News/Washington Post -- 51% or, 47% against

    6/12 -- CNN/ORC International -- 54% of Americans for, 42% against

    5/12 -- NBC News/Wall Street Journal -- 54% of Americans for, 40% against

    5/12 -- ABC News/Washington Post -- 53% or, 39% against

    5/12 -- USA Today/Gallup -- 51% of Americans for, 45% against

    Is that enough evidence for ya?

  • cavetroll SANDY, UT
    Dec. 23, 2013 1:49 p.m.

    The DNews argues there is no precedent for Judge Shelby's decision in this matter. The DNews could not be farther from the truth. The fact is, throughout US history, starting with Marbury v. Madison and continuing to Fletcher v. Peck and Martin v. Hunter's Lessee and beyond, judicial review is an accepted legal practice in the US. The Federalist Papers even discuss judicial review in a positive light.

    The fact that the DNews and its parent organization would like to define marriage for all, yet complain when another defines marriage against there wishes is simply hypocritical. Nobody is trying to define marriage for the LDS Church. Consequently, the LDS church should not define marriage for all Utah citizens. The argument that marriage should be pro family or pro creation is a red herring. Many couple who can not procreate get married. Are their marriages any less legal or significant that others? I think not.

  • JoeCapitalist2 Orem, UT
    Dec. 23, 2013 1:02 p.m.

    Really???: " I have got to admit I am totally surprised that a majority of the deseret news on-line readers appear to be in support of the judge's ruling in support of marriage equality. Perhaps the ruling gave them more courage to speak up."

    Or perhaps this forum is flooded with GLBT activists who will take an issue like this and spend all day writing pro-gay comments and "liking" each other's comments. This is not a scientific poll by any stretch of the imagination. Even though gays represent a tiny minority of the population, they are extremely vocal and engage in activist behavior.

    That is fine if you are very passionate about an issue, but let's not confuse their stance as any kind of consensus. I believe most people in Utah and in the U.S. (as evidenced by actual voting whenever gay marriage is put on the ballot), do not support it. That is why they try to force their agenda through the courts. You only have to get one judge to favor it and you can over-ride all the voters.

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    Dec. 23, 2013 1:01 p.m.

    What most people forget, and even the gays don't want to admit, is that this is not about marriage. This is about legal benefits.

    If gays wanted to get married in Utah, there never has been anything preventing that. Gays could find a minister, friend, or a clown if they wanted, to perform a marriage ceremony for them. There is no state law that could or would prevent the marriage from taking place. Even if they proclaimed that they were married in every local newspaper in Utah, nothing would be done to prevent it, or put them in jail.

    The more I look at the issue, the more insecure the gays look. For all of these years, they wouldn't get married because "mommy government" didn't approve. If marriage is about celebrating the union of two people in love, why do they need government approval before they would do it?

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Dec. 23, 2013 12:40 p.m.

    " I have got to admit I am totally surprised that a majority of the deseret news on-line readers appear to be in support of the judge's ruling in support of marriage equality."

    Perhaps the ruling gave them more courage to speak up.

  • waikiki_dave Honolulu, HI
    Dec. 23, 2013 12:04 p.m.

    I was going through all of the posted comments and I have got to admit I am totally surprised that a majority of the deseret news on-line readers appear to be in support of the judge's ruling in support of marriage equality. How wonderful!

  • cavetroll SANDY, UT
    Dec. 23, 2013 11:50 a.m.

    Anthony Kennecy once stated "An activist judge is one that makes a decision you don't like." This statement couldn't be more appropriate than for those who are upset a judge, of all people, upheld personal rights.

    "(the definition of marriage)that have served society for millennia,"Except for when the LDS Church decided to change the definition of marriage by promoting polygamy. The LDS church still promotes a form of polygamy in its D&C. Simply because other people's definition of marriage doesn't fit yours, it's not necessarily wrong.

    "But as we scour the legal landscape, we find no 10th Circuit or Supreme Court precedent that prevents Utah from adhering to a traditional definition of marriage." In 1954, there was no legal precedent ofr Brown v. Board of education either. Precedent ihas to be set somewhere, sometime, by somebody. that is waht happened in this case.

    Regardless of what Utah and some residents believe, the 14th Amendment applies even here. And whether Utah residents like it or not, the Consitution supercedes the Utah Constituion or Utah law. To use the famous argument by some Utahns, "If you don't like it, you can leave the US."

    Dec. 23, 2013 11:25 a.m.

    What a pity that most comments here regarding the "activism" of the federal judges seem to miss the important fact that whenever laws that eventually affect citizens not living only in a particular state for all their lives, the federal laws TRUMP state laws. Here:

    Article IV, Section 1 of the United States Constitution, known as the "Full Faith and Credit Clause", addresses the duties that states within the United States have to respect the "public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state."

    Americans are a mobile bunch. Thus states which joined the union have already signed onto this concept, and also the 14th Amendment. Utah cannot be exceptional if it wishes to remain in the union.

    While many judges are willing to turn a blind eye to some constitutional provisions, faithful ones will not. For this they are often labeled activist or tyrannical by those who disagree on other than legal grounds. My idea is, if you don't like the idea of gay marriage, don't get married to a person of the same gender. Just don't deny their right to do so if they wish. It's the law. Simple as that.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 23, 2013 11:19 a.m.

    Have the duck Dynasty guy fill in for the Attorney General for oral arguments.

  • Aggie238 Logan, UT
    Dec. 23, 2013 9:38 a.m.

    That's the way it should remain. It was a mistake for government to ever become involved in what is inherently a private matter between consenting adults.

    Furthermore, the attempts by this article to argue against the process of judicial review are laughable. Judicial review has long been established to protect people from infringement upon their constitutionally guaranteed rights, even at times in spite of the will of the majority. The check of judicial review is a primary reason for the existence of the judicial branch, and this paper is making a fool of itself to try and wrest the Constitution to discount this important function of the courts.

    Again, I'm not a fan of gay marriage, but this was the right ruling. Now, perhaps we have the opportunity to undo the government intrusion into marriage altogether. This is the only way to satisfy both sides of the issue, while making sure that both sides are equally protected in their right to marry and/or in their right to religious freedom. If you're really interested in defending traditional marriage, and not just pushing down another group of people who believes differently, then get government out of marriage.

  • KKen Draper, UT
    Dec. 23, 2013 9:30 a.m.

    Tyranny? Try Hyperbole. The Deseret News Editorial Board appears as if they are writing satire of themselves. There are plenty of comments about how the Deseret News will look back in ten years and feel ashamed for this editorial. They shouldn't need ten years. It is shameful now. The Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and questions of due process have been central to the debate surrounding same sex marriage. Far from unexpected and unprecedented, the ruling was inevitable. The irony is apparently lost on the Deseret News. The reversal of a law rooted in misunderstanding and bigotry is tyrannical? The notion is laughable.

  • Aggie238 Logan, UT
    Dec. 23, 2013 9:26 a.m.

    This has got to be the most unsubstantive editorial I've seen in awhile. Look, people, I'm not a fan of gay marriage. I think it's wrong. BUT, we live in a country that is (or should be) governed by LAW. We do NOT live in a country that is ruled by the majority. The supreme law of the land is the Constitution of the United States, and under that Constitution, a State does not have the authority to restrict the Right to marry. When the Constitution was written, marriage was regarded as a private contract between two families. The practice of requiring a marriage license from the State (implying that marriage is a privilege granted by the State, rather than a fundamental Right) did not become common practice until the mid-1800s, or about the time Utah was first settled. Marriage licenses were first implemented to prevent interracial marriages, or more likely in the case of Utah, to prevent polygamous marriages. The Constitution was written under the assumption that marriage was a fundamental right of the individual, and that no State or Federal government had the right to restrict its practice. To be continued...

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Dec. 23, 2013 9:19 a.m.

    @ Sven, isn't repentence a personal thing?

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 23, 2013 8:57 a.m.

    IMO what the government or the courts say about "Marriage" doesn't change anything (for me). Just because a judge or a government leader says so... doesn't make Gay Marriage any more "Normal" than it was before the judge's decision.

    But it does make it "legal". And if that's enough for the gay community... then we are both happy.

    But DON'T try to force me to believe that it is "normal", or "acceptable", in God's eyes. A judge's decision doesn't change God's definition of marriage. Just because government allows something... doesn't automatically mean God has to be OK with it.

    So for me nothing has changed. God's definition of "marriage" hasn't changed. Just society has changed.

    If you think throwing your lot in with society and hoping THEY are right (and God is wrong)... good luck with that.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    Dec. 23, 2013 8:58 a.m.

    Morgan, UT

    No, we should NOT be celebrating, we should be repenting.
    •8:33 p.m. Dec. 22, 2013
    Why? Are you gay?
    Look – 32 years ago I married the person I “loved”.
    I got married for love, not for sex.

    Gay people are already living together,
    And the secret is out, they are also already having sex.

    I want for them the same rights I enjoy -- to have the same legal status, and be allowed to legally commit to someone they love.
    Not recognizing “gay marriage” is not going to stop gay people from having sex anymore than heterosexuals.
    What you keep advocating is discrimination against their legal rights to such things as property ownership, tax status, military benefits, notary and visitation.

    BTW --
    11 We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men THE SAME privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may.

    12 We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.

    Follow the rules,
    You have no one to account to except God for yourself.

  • defender TWIN FALLS, ID
    Dec. 23, 2013 8:50 a.m.

    This is so sad. Any LDS individual who thinks this is a good thing stands with those of olden times who persecuted the prophets for testifying against the wicked. You are on very shaky ground.

  • Matt9898 Salt lake, UT
    Dec. 23, 2013 7:04 a.m.

    States rights only go as far as the constitution will allow. For example, southern states were determined to maintain segregation in the 60s, the voters in Alabama, Mississippi wanted segregation. But Federal court forced these states to desegregate. The problem of states seeking to deny civil rights to groups they don't like is not new. But the constitution trumps the electorate every time.

  • Wilf 55 SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Dec. 23, 2013 5:11 a.m.

    @Sven who said: "A time is fast approaching, when in the name of tolerance, the beliefs and public utterances of Christians will no longer be tolerated in this nation"

    Fear-mongering is no argument. The beliefs and utterances of all must be respected, but when a group of Christians tries to impose restrictions on others, then there is a problem of tolerance. As a heterosexual married Mormon I believe in so-called traditional marriage, but that does not give me the right to forbid others a different type of marriage. I know I will be more respected as a Mormon if I respect others.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 23, 2013 3:28 a.m.

    @ PhotoSponge

    That's what people said after a judge ruled it was unconstitutional to prevent people of different races to marry. A similar outcry was heard after the schools were desegregated in Topeka, Kansas. Is that really the side of history you want to stand on?

  • Contrariusiest mid-state, TN
    Dec. 22, 2013 10:48 p.m.

    @Sven --

    "the vile practices that define it,"

    There are no "vile practices" which exclusively define homosexuality, Sven. The activities enjoyed by gay and lesbian couples are often also enjoyed by straight couples. Are these practices "vile" when straight couples do them?

    @Rustymommy --

    "But if you are going to open up to non traditional marriage, then in fairness you have to open up to all types of non traditional marriage."

    No you don't.

    Polygamy, incest, etc. convey a significantly increased risk of harm compared to other forms of marriage.

    Gay marriage doesn't.

    It's a very simple distinction.

  • jazzsax_ut Murray, UT
    Dec. 22, 2013 10:07 p.m.

    This is not a 10th amendment issue, it is a 14th amendment issue. Also, this editorial clearly shows why the 1st amendment is so important.

  • jcobabe Provo, UT
    Dec. 22, 2013 9:15 p.m.

    This discussion and the court ruling largely ignore that secular laws represent a mere "social construct" in the absence of moral values. Morality is the foundational basis for the rule of law. No amount of sophistry can change that...

  • Sven Morgan, UT
    Dec. 22, 2013 8:33 p.m.

    Manxmom said:

    "We should be celebrating on behalf of the hundreds of loving couples who want to promise to love and care for one another in sickness and in health. My 20 year marriage is not harmed in the least. These couples can finally enjoy the same legal protections I enjoy."

    No, we should NOT be celebrating, we should be repenting. When a society/nation not only accepts, but celebrates and embraces homosexuality, and the vile practices that define it, that nation's demise is not far. We delude ourselves into thinking that this activist judges "ruling" shows how open minded and evolved we are as a state and as a nation. What it really does is prove God's eternal Word is true Romans 1:26-27.

    A time is fast approaching, when in the name of tolerance, the beliefs and public utterances of Christians will no longer be tolerated in this nation. Ask Phil Robertson.

  • Manxmom Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 22, 2013 7:31 p.m.

    We should be celebrating on behalf of the hundreds of loving couples who want to promise to love and care for one another in sickness and in health. My 20 year marriage is not harmed in the least. These couples can finally enjoy the same legal protections I enjoy.

  • Michael_Haskins Salt Lake, UT
    Dec. 22, 2013 6:56 p.m.

    @ JLFuller - "The issue is about right versus wrong and who gets to decide. In a truly moral nation judges follow the law strictly."

    That is EXACTLY what happened. The intolerance based on religion was superceded by the United States Constitution.

    Thank you, Judge Shelby for doing what is right despite popular opinion (based on a common delusion) to the contrary.

    Just maybe there is hope for this beautiful but backward state.

  • cindyacre Shelley, ID
    Dec. 22, 2013 5:58 p.m.

    I was under the impression that pre-trial motions are not binding.

  • Rustymommy Clovis, NM
    Dec. 22, 2013 5:53 p.m.

    I believe in traditional marriage. But if you are going to open up to non traditional marriage, then in fairness you have to open up to all types of non traditional marriage. If you can marry anybody you like regardless of sex, then you should also be able to marry anybody you like regardless of how many other people like that same person. So opening up to gay marriage should also open the gate to polygamy. It's consenting adults. Whose right is it to judge one group and not another?

  • Mack2828 Ft Thomas, KY
    Dec. 22, 2013 5:43 p.m.

    We have all been given a front row seat allowing us a close up view of our society coming unraveled. I think this is only the beginning. Fasten your spiritual seat belts and hang on. We are in for quite a ride.

    It's amazing to listen to the silver tongued, smooth, silky arguments offered by those who favor debauchery in our society. Their arguments are smooth to the ear but deep in my heart I know they are wrong and born of evil.

    We are not slouching towards Gomorrah anymore, we are sliding at breath taking speed.

  • rawlshea1 salt lake city, UT
    Dec. 22, 2013 5:42 p.m.

    I just wish we as a community and a nation could focus on what is important, that is, education, health care, maldistribution of wealth, rather than fear issues created by people who wish to divide. Love does not limit itself to gender, but as Christ said, it is a virtue we should always practice to others. Be at peace.

  • the old switcharoo mesa, AZ
    Dec. 22, 2013 5:09 p.m.

    So when you read the article you realize it WASN'T a single judge. It was based on the Supreme Courts DOMA ruling. That's 10 judges.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Dec. 22, 2013 3:39 p.m.

    This editorial is based on something other than the law. The judge acted within his authority and based on the law and prior cases. You just don't like the outcome. This is a problem of religion wanting to have its precepts enforced by civil law. The law says otherwise. As much as I don't personally relate to homosexual attraction, I do recognize equality under the law and the Constitution. Like it or not, we saw the train pulling out of the station a while ago, yet you refused to accept the fait accompli. Now what? You can rant and rave all you like, but life will go on. You may exercise your religious beliefs, but you have one less way to compel others to live by those religious beliefs. Frankly, this editorial is dead wrong, hysterical and way over the top.

  • Pete1215 Lafayette, IN
    Dec. 22, 2013 3:33 p.m.

    Apparently one's morals are supposed to be guided by majority opinion. So if I decide some behaviour is bad for our society, and 50.1 percent of others disagree, then I am to move lockstep into the other camp.

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    Dec. 22, 2013 3:23 p.m.

    @JMT: This is the process. Judges evaluate the Constitutionality of laws. We'll see what the appellate courts do.

  • BCA Murrieta, CA
    Dec. 22, 2013 3:14 p.m.

    "Sounds like the 66% Utah majority has spoken. Utah doesn't want to be part of the Union anymore - once again."

    We all know what they obnoxiously tell the haters--"If you don't like Utah, leave it." Maybe they should follow their own advice.

  • JMT Springville, UT
    Dec. 22, 2013 2:31 p.m.

    What is interesting is the "Lefts" emergency like dumping of democratic processes and institutions. This action by a judge, based on Summary Judgement no less, is little different than President Obama simply "waiving" the law where he doesn't like it.

    We have long since stopped by a Republic. And with the past 18 months in the rear view mirror, with many similar actions such as this judge's ruling, we are no longer a democracy. Even President Carter made such a comment (not on this subject, though the broader abuse of the police state, etc.)

    If Utah's Constitution is to be gutted there is a process. If not, we are simply governed by the whims of men. If supporters of gay rights feel oppressed by the absence of the right to marry, you can only image how much worse it will be for all by setting this clearly undemocratic precedent.

    Laws matter. And how laws change also matters. Lenin gave us 'the end justifies the means.'

  • PhotoSponge nampa, ID
    Dec. 22, 2013 1:14 p.m.

    YAY FOR DESERET NEWS COMMENTARY! I was beginning to wonder about you folks, but you have restored my faith--for now--that you still have some common sense in the world of liberal journalism! NO judge should EVER have that much power!!!

  • peterpetigrew slc, UT
    Dec. 22, 2013 12:37 p.m.

    "Baker v. Nelson" was decided over 40 years ago and should not be used to defend the discrimination of gays today. That case was decided in 1971 when segregation was still legal. If anything, Baker v Nelson is a shining example of what happens when you allow the majority rule to squash the rights of a minority group.

  • Dawn22 Provo, UT
    Dec. 22, 2013 12:09 p.m.

    As conservative should be well aware, the United States is NOT a democracy, it is a constitutional republic. Our founding fathers created it that way to protect the natural rights of all individuals. States have the right to create their own rules of law, but are bound by the US constitution. Meaning if a state law violates the constitution it is invalid.

    The argument that this judge is an "unelected" official is totally wrong and invalid. In our republic, we elect representatives whom we allow to choose and vote on our behalf. The state of Utah elected Senators Hatch and Lee, and they recommended this judge. So yes, Utah, you DID effectively elect this Judge Shelby, because you elected someone to represent you who that choose him. There is no 'tyrannical overreach' here. If you are unhappy about it, then you should be questioning your senators, NOT the judge.

    I am full agreement with this ruling. Banning any individual from a legal status IS unconstitutional. I hope this sets a precedent for the entire nation.

  • firefly Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 22, 2013 11:58 a.m.

    Thanks, Obama!

  • BobN St. Thomas, 00
    Dec. 22, 2013 11:40 a.m.

    Scalia's dissent is relevant because it sets out the INEVITABLE result IF a case about national recognition of SSM gets to the Court. Windsor did not address the right question, as it wasn't about the fundamental right to marry and the unconstitutionality of discrimination. It was about DOMA, and only one section of DOMA. Had it been about the other section, that would have fallen, too.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 22, 2013 11:35 a.m.

    @ gmk17of TX

    No it's not. Declaring what is constitutional or not is literally the purpose of the judicial branch.....

  • gmk17of TX Arlington, TX
    Dec. 22, 2013 10:45 a.m.

    I agree 100 percent with your editorial comment. This goes well beyond the topic at hand. It is truly over reaching for one person to declare what is constitutional or not constitutional for an entire state.

  • rusty68 Cathedral City, CA
    Dec. 22, 2013 10:14 a.m.

    Lev 18:22
    Rom 1:26-27
    1 Cor 6:9
    1 Tim 1:8-11
    Jude 1:6-7
    Mark 10:6-7

    are not admissible in a US court of law. See the First Amendment for details.

  • David in Houston Houston, TX
    Dec. 22, 2013 10:11 a.m.

    RootLogic in Lehi, UT wrote: "Yes, amendment 3 states that "No other domestic union, however denominated, may be recognized as a marriage or given the same or substantially equivalent legal effect." What it does not say is that civil unions are illegal."

    That simply isn't true. You don't have to be a lawyer to understand that civil unions or even domestic partnerships are the "substantial equivalent" to marriage. Most discriminatory state amendments that ban same-sex marriage also ban ANY legal recognition for gay relationships. Utah is no different. When the people of Utah voted for Amendment 3, they made it perfectly clear that they didn't want gay people to have any legal protections for their relationships. Honestly, I'm flabbergasted that you'd try to make a claim that is so patently false.

  • rusty68 Cathedral City, CA
    Dec. 22, 2013 9:46 a.m.

    A Federal Constitutional Amendment banning marriage equality isn't going to happen.

    Do the math:

    There are 50 States.

    17 have marriage equality.

    That leaves 33 that don't.

    An Amendment must be passed by two-thirds of both Houses of Congress, and three-fourths of State legislatures.

    Three-fourths of the States is 37.

    It's HIGHLY doubtful that a State which HAS marriage equality is going to vote for an Amendment which RESCINDS marriage equality.

    Therefore, the vote for an Amendment rescinding marriage equality (37 States required) CANNOT happen.

    33 States currently don't have marriage equality; lawsuits are pending in many of those States. It's likely that there will be even fewer in short order, if indeed the US Supreme Court doesn't rule ALL marriage inequality laws are unconstitutional.

  • karlschneider Wagoner, OK
    Dec. 22, 2013 9:33 a.m.

    @silverbear: How exactly does granting equal rights to a group which you obviously hate, although you didn't have the courage to say why, harm you in any way, shape or form?

  • Ryfren Coralville , IA
    Dec. 22, 2013 9:21 a.m.

    Sounds like the 66% Utah majority has spoken. Utah doesn't want to be part of the Union anymore - once again. Beating a dead horse may bear repeating in this case, and I apologize to the educated for sounding unbearably trite: Our United States was founded on a secular premise, to avoid the blood-soaked mayhem Europe went through during the Inquisition and the exhausting religious wars associated with it. Do some fact-checking on the decidedly agnostic stance of our founding fathers! Mob rule has been a particular concern to them, when designing our Republic. So, Utah, decide - once again - are you ready for giving unto Caesar what is Caesar's or do you want out?! You can't have it both ways.

    Dec. 22, 2013 9:20 a.m.

    Why are so many people so upset about something that impacts them not in the slightest? Unless you were previously forbidden from marrying the person you love, you life is no different than it was on Friday morning. Absolutely nothing has changed for you. Be happy that others now have the same rights as you.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 22, 2013 9:17 a.m.

    Everyone here is talking about God.

    Let me be clear:

    I do not care what your God thinks.

    Your religion stops at yourself. And does NOT start at another person. Is that clear?

    The constitution is in place to prevent this type of theocratic based arguments because at some point: Someone else's God will contradict what your God says.

    What then?

    Instead of promoted a tyrannical theocracy, we have the constitution. Promoting inalienable rights of American citizens.

    Gay people pay taxes, serve in our military to protect the very rights some claim are being 'violated'. And yet in 2013 years of history, no god-fearing member of the community has any factual evidence that their lives are being effected one iota from gay marriage.

    Not one.

    For those who claim to follow Gods teachings, what did God say about bearing false witness?

    Your God is fine. No one's rights are being violated. But LGBT Americans factually DO pay more taxes and get less legal protections than the 1,100+ rights afforded straight Americans in marriage.

    Do not legislate from your beliefs. Leave it to free agency.

    Don't like gay marriage?

    Don't have one.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    Dec. 22, 2013 9:16 a.m.

    I am surprised to read arguments by "traditionalists" against calling marriage a 'right'.

    Intuitively, don't you feel you have the "right' to marry the person of your choice? If not, why not?

    The best legal minds in the country have repeatedly agreed that marriage IS a 'right'.

    Indeed, from the founding of the country it has been a principle of the Constitution that 'rights' inhere in each individual, and cannot be granted by the Constitution or the Government - rights can only be protected by law. As such, each individual has an inherent set of "un-enumerated rights", including the right to marry the consenting person of their choice, and the Bill of RIGHTS clearly states:

    "The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

    In other words, just because marriage is not 'enumerated' in the Constitution or its amendments does not mean individuals do not have it as a 'right'. By contrast, nowhere in the Constitution does it mention specific "(licensed) privileges", much less marriage as one of these.

    So, you are just plain wrong.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Dec. 22, 2013 9:06 a.m.

    The judge did not create any new laws defining marriage, he merely deemed the new law that was created in 2004 to define marriage was unconstitutional. Interesting, don't you think?

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Dec. 22, 2013 8:48 a.m.


    "Well, the answer is pretty easy - You and I wouldn't be here - you to ask the question and me to tell you how I feel."

    Congratulations on your ability to avoid the real question. I believe we would still be here. You see, people still find ways to procreate outside the bonds of matrimony. Just think of how many children are born to single mothers. Infertile couples are able to make arrangements to have add children their families. Unfaithful spouses have also brought children into our communities.

    People continue to say that we had the same rights as everyone else--to marry somebody of the opposite gender. Well, the way to determine whether or not that is a fair and equal right is to reverse roles and see if that situation would be fair. Would you think it was fair if the law were changed and everyone were to marry somebody of the same gender--regardless of orientation?

  • David in Houston Houston, TX
    Dec. 22, 2013 7:58 a.m.

    "...that there are prudential reasons for moving cautiously when adjusting the marital norms that have served society for millennia."

    Marital norms have not been the same for a millennia, let alone 100 years. Married women were literally the property of the husband when our country was first founded. They couldn't own property. They couldn't have credit in their own name. Marriage was not a partnership of equals like it is today. No-fault divorce and interracial marriage have only been around for about 50 years.

    The judge also shot down that argument in his ruling. Saying that laws would never change if lawyers could simply argue that "We just don't know what will happen if we change the law." All civil rights issues would never happen otherwise: the end of slavery, woman's right to vote, etc.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Dec. 22, 2013 7:58 a.m.



    That is because religionists have been well-known for their hypocrisy for generations!

    Why should they change now?

  • Igualmente Mesa, AZ
    Dec. 22, 2013 6:58 a.m.

    So, this judge has unwittingly desolved Utah's constitution. Bienvenido a casa Utah!

  • Schwa South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 22, 2013 3:54 a.m.

    I get a giggle about how conservatives yammer on about how much they love the Constitution. And then, when the Constitution goes against their religiously biased world view and protects the minority from the tyranny of the majority, as intended, they scream activism!

    Social issues will keep the Republican Party down for quite a while. Every generation throughout history has become more liberal than the one before.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 22, 2013 2:39 a.m.

    @ bradleyc

    The amendment to the Utah constitution was not legal, hence the reason it was struck down. Ironically, forcing your view upon everybody else (voting for amendment 3) when they may not believe the same things you do, and despite the fact that it does not affect you in any way, well that is Tyranny.

  • Two For Flinching Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 22, 2013 2:29 a.m.

    @ Flashback

    What if the majority of people in Utah voted to reinstall slavery? Obviously it would be (quickly) struck down by a federal judge. The Constitution trumps the electorate every time. We should be celebrating the expansion of freedoms and the fact that the Constitution did exactly what it was designed to do. Protect our rights.

    You still have the right to vote, but you don't have to right to stop another person from marrying who they want, so long as that other person is a consenting adult who is willing to sign a marriage contract.

  • Tlingit Orem, UT
    Dec. 22, 2013 12:46 a.m.

    The nation George Washington governed recognized Martha as his wife, but their marriage would be illegal in the nation Barack Obama governs.

    For the first 147 years of our country's existence, America respected the 1st Amendment and left marriage to churches and individual states.

    Then in 1923 the Federal Uniform Marriage and Marriage License Act prompted states to require government issued marriage licenses.

    Sorry, Mr. "Father of Our Country," no government license, no marriage.

    So why is the government involved with marriage? Money.

    Income taxes (16th Amendment, ratified in 1913) differentiate between single Americans and married couples.

    Likewise, the Norris Laguardia Act of 1932 gave power to organized labor, leading to employer benefits which likewise treat married people differently.

    Money caused government to define marriage, and as the great philosopher, Ringo Starr, once said, "Everything the government touches turns to crap."

    I agree that all government and employer benefits should be available to all couples.

    But the inconvenient truth is that marriage is a religious rite, not a government right. Just ask George and Martha.

    I'm sorry but disliking the term "civil union" doesn't grant people the right to selfishly trample the rights of others.

  • Captain Green Heber City, UT
    Dec. 22, 2013 12:35 a.m.

    The Governor and the State Legislature should tell this judge we will not comply with his tyrannical judgment. They should stop all gay marriages in the State immediately. If we don't stand to this abuse and the usurpation of power not granted to the judiciary, we'll end up being slaves of the US Government. Striking down legal statutes passed by the good people of Utah and making rulings from the bench are very wrong and must not be allowed! We must tell them to stay out of our business!

  • KurtH Provo, UT
    Dec. 22, 2013 12:16 a.m.

    In my opinion, this is not an issue of whether same-sex marriage is morally acceptable or not. The issue is a judge overstepped the bounds that are in place. And now as a result, there are same-sex couples, waiting in limbo, who don't know if they'll be able to marry or not. Had the proper judicial procedure been followed, the chaotic nature of this ordeal could've been averted. Whether or not same-sex couples should be allowed to marry should be up to the state legislature. Those are elected officials citizens voted in. A judge is not

  • bradleyc Layton, UT
    Dec. 22, 2013 12:02 a.m.

    This judge needs to be recalled. Overturning a legal amendment to the Utah constitution is absolute tyranny.

  • Sven Morgan, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 11:15 p.m.

    Now isn't this special; an activist judge has decided to rule against the will of the people.

    Marriage has historically been the union of man and woman, not man and man, nor woman and woman. Through the marriage covenant of one man and one woman, procreation and the family unit were established. Hate to break the news to some, but this does not prove how evolved we're becoming as a society, but rather how depraved we're becoming. When a society embraces this perversion (sodomy), and even celebrates it, its moral foundation is rotting away. God has made his views on this depraved act known in His Word:

    Lev 18:22
    Rom 1:26-27
    1 Cor 6:9
    1 Tim 1:8-11
    Jude 1:6-7
    Mark 10:6-7

    This judge may have handed down this ruling, but it doesn't make this perversion good or normal in our society. If our legal system can grant two men whose relationship is defined by sodomy, the title of a marriage, the ultimate perversion in nature, then anything other type of relationship, not matter how perverse will also be given acceptance. The die will have been cast.

    God is not mocked.

  • New to Utah PAYSON, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 10:29 p.m.

    Editorial board after reading your opinion piece three
    times I believe it is spot on. Accurate & honest in the analysis
    of a judicial activist judge.I took the time to
    read the posters & believe it is heavily skewed.
    Those supporting gay & lesbian marriage
    over represented. They seemed highly motivated
    much like a child on Christmas Morning. I believe
    70%of Utah voters believe in traditional marriage
    The exact opposite of what this group of posters
    would indicate.

  • nweb Box Elder County, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 9:56 p.m.

    DanO- You can say that all you want- but I know what I signed. I know what I had medical staff telling me- that just saying I am okay with my husband making medical decisions for me is not enough- I have had to sign that right to him every time I have gone to the hospital or seen a new doctor. They have told me that if I don't sign that paperwork, they cannot pass on any medical information about me.

    Can't post the link, but there is this article: Providing Spouses with the Power to Make Healthcare Decisions. Type that into Google and it brings it up.

    That does say that being married does not give a spouse automatic power to make medical decisions. Maybe I'm crazy- but I am going to trust what the hospital personnel is telling me what their policies are over someone on the internet that I don't know. And once again- if this is really such a big deal, what goes on with all those straight couples that are unmarried and having children together?

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 9:47 p.m.

    Most people here are perhaps realizing what is happening and it's a good thing. The revolution was fought, people died, and new heroes were made. The gays have pushed more people to recognize that this is a war that will force everyone to take sides, for liberty and righteousness, or tyranny and evil. For those who thought it was just going to be a taffy pull better put there boot straps on and enjoy the ride. If there ever was one issue in which to force public officials to start governing with courage it is now. There is no middle ground here. You are either for God and His principles or you are against Him. For your children, America's future, and for a decent and productive society, it is time to get involved.

  • NT SomewhereIn, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 9:23 p.m.

    Silver Spring, MD

    "Rather than simply criticize a judge who ruled in a way you don't like, I wonder if some of you who disagree with his opinion could point to specifics in his opinion that are wrongly argued.

    That would be a lot more meaningful than simply chastising a judge because he found the argument of the plaintiffs more convincing than that of the state of Utah."

    Glad you took the time to read the ruling. ..and even took the time to post a comment. Apparently, however, you haven't taken the time to read the article and the dozens of well articulated points made in these, the comments section, before requesting specifics of the judge's opinion wrongly argued. They are there in abundance. Sit back and enjoy.

  • NT SomewhereIn, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 9:13 p.m.

    Is the Constitution and our system of government perfect? No, far from it!

    It is a contrivance of man. Good intentions, yes. And, there are those who will use it to rationalize and justify beliefs and actions that conflict with laws of a higher order, a perfect and just system. It is counterfeit and in many ways subversive to the iron rod.

    I do know this: The day will come when each of us will stand before our maker to have an honest conversation, an accounting of our lives. I am far from perfect, but I personally look forward to that day. I hope to avoid the need to say things like "...but I was within the law" or "...but the judge said it was ok" or something along those lines.

  • elgreco grand junction, CO
    Dec. 21, 2013 8:50 p.m.

    Your editorial stance is no surprise but completely out of step with the times. Society moves on and in doing so, will leave you behind.

  • NT SomewhereIn, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 8:41 p.m.

    Kearns, UT

    "Imagine if the laws had been reversed, and you were only allowed to marry somebody of the same sex. How would you feel about that law? Would you accept it and just go along with it? I don't think so."

    Well, the answer is pretty easy - You and I wouldn't be here - you to ask the question and me to tell you how I feel.

    Congratulations, though. You have just provided the most basic argument against SSM!!

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 8:40 p.m.

    I now feel that my rights have just been violated. I voted for Amendment 3 and was pleased that my voice was heard and my rights upheld. This unelected Judge, who I'm guessing took his marching orders from the White House, stomped all over me. No wonder the state that he's from is called WisconSIN.

    The slippery slope has begun. Let's see if the 10th Circuit and the Supremes grow a pair and shoot this one down faster than a Zero at the Great Marianas Turkey Shoot.

  • Linguist Silver Spring, MD
    Dec. 21, 2013 8:15 p.m.

    There is a lot of consternation that a federal judge would rule the way he ruled. I just read his opinion, however, and found it extraordinarily well-reasoned.

    Judges must rule based on the facts presented to them. There are bound to be decisions that many people don't like because they wanted the outcome to be otherwise.

    Rather than simply criticize a judge who ruled in a way you don't like, I wonder if some of you who disagree with his opinion could point to specifics in his opinion that are wrongly argued.

    That would be a lot more meaningful than simply chastising a judge because he found the argument of the plaintiffs more convincing than that of the state of Utah.


  • Contrariuserer mid-state, TN
    Dec. 21, 2013 8:07 p.m.

    @Matthew1voice --

    " On matters that are by their very nature ambiguous and absent from the constitution I would rather have a society determine by vote the resolution"

    Gay marriage is not ambiguous.

    "The constitution does protect minority rights against the tyranny of the majority and it should but that does not mean whatever the minority wants is protected."

    Nope, but it does mean that the Constitution prevails.

    "The rights offered of protective significance are clearly laid out in the constitution."

    You are forgetting the unenumerated rights, of which marriage is clearly one.

    "in more than one of the opinions you have quoted a key aspect was the right of the couple to procreate"

    And in more than one of the opinions, the ability to procreate was completely irrelevant -- as with, for instance, convicted felons with no visitation rights.

    Gay couples procreate in the very same ways as any other infertile couples do. As multiple courts (including Shelby) have already noted, procreation is not a valid argument against gay marriage.

  • Michael_Haskins Salt Lake, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 8:02 p.m.

    "Federal judges are required to follow instructions"[of the church] The Proclamation on the Family is a RELIGIOUS document, The Judge is to verify that the Tyranny of the Majority is avoided by ensuring that laws passed by popular vote do not violate the Constitution. Especially when popular vote deprives the minority of their rights.

  • Beverly Eden, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 7:33 p.m.

    I hope the Deseret News editorial board counts the number of "likes" from those in support of the judge's decision, as compared to the number of people who "Like' the editorial that disagrees with the judge's decision. As the very first comment on this editorial predicts - you will look back on this editorial with a high level of embarrassment in the future. It is honorable to champion a cause, but it is more honorable to champion a cause that is right.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 7:25 p.m.

    I don't agree with the decision, but this is pretty much how it's supposed to work. The judge over-ruled the people, but the judge thought he was defending the minority from tyranny of the majority. That's what they are supposed to do. When the majority wants something that's not legal.

    I haven't read any of the comments yet, but I hope we aren't getting people who were insisting "We are a country of Majority-Rules", and, "The majority SHOULD be able to get whatever they want", back when Democrats voted in the Atomic Option (making it easier for the majority to get whatever they want).

    There are and should be rules that keep the majority from just voting for whatever they want even if it tramples the minority. Judicial review is one of them. The filibuster was another.

    It's not always good to have pure "majority-rules". Sometimes the majority wants to do something that's not completely legal, or tramples on the minority.

  • Trouble Vancouver, WA
    Dec. 21, 2013 7:15 p.m.

    @Bob K

    The point is that federal judges are required to follow instructions. The Proclamation on the Family is directed at leaders of government and so is relevant as instruction. One may choose to disregard it, but it is done at one's peril. It is apparent that he has chosen to ignore it and I'm just saying that if he can't follow the simple instructions given in the Proclamation on the Family, how can we be confident that he will follow other instructions vital to the exercise of his duties as a judge? By setting it aside he doesn't instill a lot of confidence in the citizens who rely on his judgment.

  • KJR Alpine, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 7:10 p.m.

    You can't build shelves in your garage without an environmental impact statement, it seems, but you can rip apart the fabric of thousands of years of social and family structure and mock the cherished belief of millions of intelligent people who believe (as they are entitled to do) that there is a God-given plan for mankind. Why? Because it sounds noble, fair, just and equitable. And as we all know, anything that sounds noble, fair, just, and equitable cannot possibly do any harm. To the person that said we would be embarrassed by our comments in 10 years. Perhaps, but in a generation most will wonder what they were thinking. Still, I'm sure the do-gooders will find some other cause to blame for the consequences of actions taken without any real consideration of their long-term impact and against the will of a vast majority.

  • Matthew1voice Davis County, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 7:11 p.m.

    @ Contrariusier:

    The harm is certainly nebulous and I am familiar with Barnes although I need to review it. On matters that are by their very nature ambiguous and absent from the constitution I would rather have a society determine by vote the resolution rather than one judge or at best nine. The constitution does protect minority rights against the tyranny of the majority and it should but that does not mean whatever the minority wants is protected. The rights offered of protective significance are clearly laid out in the constitution. Those rights have been altered by court decisions throughout the past 200 years and not always in the expansive form. Economic liberties have deteriorated significantly. Interestingly, minority rights in that realm are trampled over by the majority all the time and such is now regarded as perfectly permissible.

    You are correct with respect to the court doctrines on the fundamental right of marriage. However, in more than one of the opinions you have quoted a key aspect was the right of the couple to procreate - something impossible for homosexuals. And marriage in those cases always referred to the traditional definition of marriage as between one man and one woman.

  • Bob K porland, OR
    Dec. 21, 2013 7:03 p.m.

    Lehi, UT
    ".... Pro-gay supporters will not recognize damage done to traditional marriage unless the damage results in death, disfigurement, torture, beatings, bruisings, lacerations, abuse, theft, property damage or severe social tribulations due to persecutions or defamation. Everything else is intangible and therefore unquantifiable, so it means nothing to them even though it is very real and damaging to us."

    .... Please root out to me the logic of that --- I guess I interpret your "intangible damage" as the end of an era when you could pretend that the mormon way was the only right way for all people, and not have to think that others may have rights, even when their rights do not jibe with lds directives.

    This sort of seems like a bigger version of being crushed because the manufacturer stopped making the socks you like -- an enormous hoopla over nothing that pertains to you.

    The part about death, disfigurement, etc seems kind of petty, seeing that many of us feel that the lds blocking of Gay rights, including in California, contributed to the bullying and even suicides of Gay teenagers.

    I think God is less troubled by "hurt" mormons than by damaged or dead kids.

  • BrandoSLC Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 6:51 p.m.

    In the United States, the majority rules. The only time this majority rule is challenged is when it impedes on the rights of the minority. Take a look at Brown v The Board of Education. I'm sure most of you won't because it's too convenient to turn the other cheek and perpetuate ignorance; but this case overturned a number of state constitutional amendments that required "separate but equal" facilities for whites and blacks. If a judge hadn't stood up and ruled in favor of the minority, these facilities would still be in existence today.

    This is how the system works.

    Furthermore, a bench trial (one without a jury) is almost ALWAYS used in these types of cases. Again, see Brown v The Board of Education.

    Thomas Jefferson said: "All, too, will bear in mind this sacred principle, that though the will of the majority is in all cases to prevail, that will, to be rightful, must be reasonable; that the minority possess their equal rights, which equal laws must protect, and to violate which would be oppression."

  • Vince here San Diego, CA
    Dec. 21, 2013 6:48 p.m.

    Let me get this straight --- judges who overstep their bounds... but Churches that don't?

    It goes both ways.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Dec. 21, 2013 6:27 p.m.

    So oldcougar "Do purpose and context not come into play when interpreting the constitution? "
    So we should follow to the letter what the founding fathers said in the 1780's but not what was said in the 1860's?

  • RootLogic Lehi, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 6:25 p.m.

    For those of you against gay marriage, take this advice to heart. Pro-gay supporters will not recognize damage done to traditional marriage unless the damage results in death, disfigurement, torture, beatings, bruisings, lacerations, abuse, theft, property damage or severe social tribulations due to persecutions or defamation. Everything else is intangible and therefore unquantifiable, so it means nothing to them even though it is very real and damaging to us.

    Also, don't quote the US constitution or great figures in history. Things will be taken out of context and disfigured to go against you.

    Also, don't use religion. Other religions have changed their views on homosexuality in recent times and we're expected to do the same, since it's apparently "progressive".

    Let the legal experts handle this. He who lives by the law, dies by the law. We have bigger problems to worry about like being prepared for the natural disasters, invasion and warfare prophesied. Once we live through that, we can battle gay marriage, should it still be a topic of discussion. I think we'll be safe.

  • Big Bubba Herriman, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 5:54 p.m.

    Excellent OP-ED Deseret News. Thank you for bringing light to the issue.

  • Bob K porland, OR
    Dec. 21, 2013 5:48 p.m.

    "I think the editorial board and many other institutions will look back in ten years at their statements today regarding gay marriage and be embarrassed."

    Actually, I was shocked out of my chair to read it -- I can think of one of the older leaders of the lds who talks that way sometimes, but I think of most lds as more moderate.

    I am sorry, but it came across like the stuff that the Australian meddler, Rupert Murdoch, instructs his people at Fox News to say -- slanted, unfair, old fashioned, and combative.

    It's very simple:
    A judge did not decide to make a law, he just ruled on a suit brought before him.
    As nearly every other judge has, he ruled that it was unconstitutional to not allow marriage equality, especially given that marriage conveys many rights and a better status.

    How about an editorial asking "How can the prophet get better information from God on ways to treat lds members and/or their children who are Gay equally, not as if crippled?"

    Dec. 21, 2013 5:44 p.m.

    Of course, the is what conservatives have referred to as judicial activism each time a decision has been handed down that they didn't like. I don't think the LDS Church is trying to impose its will on the citizenry at large, but sometimes where a majority belief
    controls many political decisions, courts must step in when constitutional principles are violated. If not then all are subject to the tyranny of the majority.

    The judges and others are simply enforcing the full faith and credit clause of the US document and the 14th amendment. That the government has coopted "marriage" for its civil unions must be ignored when interpreting the constitution involving interstate movement. This way Utah also must honor laws of other states about this, as well as offer the same protections to all Utahns.

    The LDS wants equal protection or why would it have advocate for equal benefits in the city and county? Just don't CALL it marriage for ANYONE but those who choose to marry in church where what they do cannot be restricted by the first amendment anyway.

  • DanO Mission Viejo, CA
    Dec. 21, 2013 5:45 p.m.

    nweb, actually, yes, when you got married you and your husband did indeed get all those rights automatically. The paperwork you claimed to fill out would have been redundant. In the absence of that paper work, your husband would be the default. In fact, in many states, if someone other than the spouse is named as a beneficiary on a life insurance policy, that spouse must sign a notarized affidavit saying they recognize that.

  • Springvillepoet Springville, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 5:39 p.m.

    @ where is Jefferson

    The Founding Fathers have lot to say, and Jefferson said this:

    "I am certainly not an advocate for frequent and untried changes in laws and constitutions. I think moderate imperfections had better be borne with; because, when once known, we accommodate ourselves to them, and find practical means of correcting their ill effects. But I know also, that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors." ---Thomas Jefferson

  • Bob K porland, OR
    Dec. 21, 2013 5:38 p.m.

    Vancouver, WA
    "I'm trying to reconcile the judge's opinion with the Proclamation on the Family's encouragement to responsible citizens and leaders of government to protect the traditional definition of marriage. A judge who can't follow such simple directions probably shouldn't be on the bench."

    Oh, my goodness gracious to heaven!

    A judge who cannot follow the "Proclamation on the Family" should not be a Federal Judge?
    When did the USA become the United Saints of America? I was not aware that your church purchased the Federal Government and the other 49 States? Was I sleeping?

    There are a lot of catholics in the USA -- should we get rid of all the Federal judges who do not follow the pope?

    The judge followed a very simple and direct path
    --- not being allowed to marry who you love means you miss over 1100 Federal benefits.

    You do have to like it, your church does not have to practice it, but it is fair and American to have equality

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Dec. 21, 2013 5:40 p.m.

    Judge Shelby:

    "The State has presented no evidence that the number of opposite-sex couples choosing to marry each other is likely to be affected in any way by the ability of same-sex couples to marry. Indeed, it defies reason to conclude that allowing same-sex couples to marry will diminish the example that married opposite-sex couples set for their unmarried counterparts. Both opposite-sex and same-sex couples model the formation of committed, exclusive relationships, and both establish families based on mutual love and support. If there is any connection between same-sex marriage and responsible procreation, the relationship is likely to be the opposite of what the State suggests. Because Amendment 3 does not currently permit same-sex couples to engage in sexual activity within a marriage, the State reinforces a norm that sexual activity may take place outside the marriage relationship."

  • Contrariusier mid-state, TN
    Dec. 21, 2013 5:34 p.m.

    @Matthew1voice --

    "Where is the measurable harm in an individual expressing himself in such a manner?"

    This one's more nebulous. And the crime is less serious, as well.

    For more legal info on the concept, try Barnes v. Glen Theatre, Inc. from 1991.

    "Last I checked neither the constitution nor the Supreme Court have said that marriage between two individuals of the same sex is a fundamental right. "

    The Supreme Court has reaffirmed many times that marriage is a fundamental civil right.

    Loving v. Virginia stated "Marriage is one of the 'basic civil rights of man'..."
    Zablocki v. Redhail stated "the right to marry is of fundamental importance for all individuals"
    Skinner v. Oklahoma stated that a person, being cut off from "marriage and procreation," would be "forever deprived of a basic liberty."
    Turner v. Safley invalidated a prohibition on marriages by prison inmates under privacy rights
    Meyer v. Nebraska stated that the liberty protected by the 14th Amendment "without doubt…denotes not merely freedom from bodily restraint but also the right of the individual to ... marry, establish a home and bring up children..."

    These decisions have spanned over 100 years, and have involved many different panels of justices.

  • oldcougar Orem, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 5:26 p.m.

    On November 30, 2011, President Obama nominated Robert J. Shelby to be District Judge for the United States District Court for the District of Utah. Does this contradict several claims that he was appointed by George Bush?
    And, the purpose and context of the 14th amendment was to protect the fledgling freedoms of the newly enfranchised former slaves from states that would surely pass state laws to "trump" or restrict those freedoms. Do purpose and context not come into play when interpreting the constitution? I seriously doubt the authors, supporters, or ratifiers of the amendment were acting to protect the right of same sex marriage. Some of the language of the judge's decision nullifying the Utah law leans on the 14th amendment. I'm not saying a good argument for same sex marriage does not exist. I am questioning whether the 14th amendment is the basis for a sound argument. If so, the amendment could be used as an argument for almost anything.

  • nweb Box Elder County, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 5:17 p.m.

    I've been married for five years. Just because I got married didn't mean that my husband magically gained the ability to visit me in the hospital, make medical decisions for me if I am incapable, etc. In the state of Utah, I still have to sign paperwork to give him that right, even though we are married. So the argument that gays don't have the right to life insurance, medical decisions, etc. doesn't work for me in this state. I'm heterosexual and I have still had to put all those things in writing for my husband and he has had to do so for me. But I still see a lot of people making that argument. If that was really a valid reason for legalizing gay marriage- then why are there so many straight couples that choose to remain unmarried? I don't hear them complaining about this being a problem- so I just have to wonder- is it really that much of an issue as far as being denied hospital visits and such?

  • intervention slc, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 4:39 p.m.

    @jamie lee

    So you are going to compare your experience of not being able to spread your views about theLGBT community at work with nazi Germany were thousands of LGBT will rounded up and killed?

  • karenk Dallas, TX
    Dec. 21, 2013 4:20 p.m.

    If you discarded the topic from this discussion (i.e. SSM)you would be left with a judge who overruled the state vote of their residents AND ruled against the Supreme Court portion of this decision which said that their ruling did NOT overrule the decision of the states. Also, I disregard "polls" because they typically only include a tiny percentage of the population. In my 63 3/4 years I've been contacted once for a poll on any topic.

    On this specific topic, look at the number of states who have voted on this issue and sided with tradition and against SSM.

  • LDS Liberal Farmington, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 4:19 p.m.

    Citizens United is Judicial Tyranny...
    Secret Judges approving NSA spying on U.S. Citizens is Judicial Tyranny...

    This ruling is simply making citizens equal under the law.

  • Sunset Orem, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 4:08 p.m.

    Sorry, Deseret News, but judicial tyranny doesn't occur simply because you don't like a court's ruling. There is plenty of precedent on this issue. The will of the majority does not have title to trample on Constitutional rights.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 3:56 p.m.

    re Jaime Lee Bonberger
    Houston, TX

    You say gay marriage is harming your marriage? I don't believe it. If you are having problems in your marriage, I suggest you turn your attention from politics and devote it to being a good husband to your wife.

  • DRay Roy, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 3:54 p.m.

    Sin is sin, and the LGBT folks are not going to change that. There will be no lasting happiness from this ruling, only misery. It does not lend to the pursuit of true happiness.

  • SamSmith Bronx, NY
    Dec. 21, 2013 3:54 p.m.

    I guess Mike Lee just didn't see it coming.

  • pleblian salt lake city, utah
    Dec. 21, 2013 3:51 p.m.

    4. The Editors should hesitate before citing "millennia" of any certain beliefs or practice when trying to appeal to American ideals or jurisprudence. Since our Founding Fathers began this "Great American Experiment" to distance the New World from millennia of error and ignorance perpetuated in the Old World.
    5. Conspicuously absent from the editorial was a mention of why the government ever became interested in 'defining" marriage anyway: To Stop Those Darned polygamists in the Territory of Deseret. Remember Woodruff's admonition about who bore the brunt of that error, those using the government to suppress Mormons' peculiar practice.

  • pleblian salt lake city, utah
    Dec. 21, 2013 3:47 p.m.

    My take of the Editors' opinions: Weak at law, incomplete analysis, lacks compassion.
    Judge Shelby did nothing more than recognize that at a basic level, our National Constitution does not allow the government to decide who we marry.

    1. The will of the majority of Utahns opinions is irrelevant if it is unconstitutional. Thus, asking Shelby to consider Utahns will on a constitutional question is inappropriate. The editorial board should know this. Relying on such an argument reeks of ignorance.
    2. Shelby did not ignore judicial precedent, but relied upon it. What irks the editorial board is that Shelby minimized or distinguished the cases that support their desired outcome, and emphasized those that didn't. That is called lawyering. Making tough decisions is called being a judge. I promise you Judge Shelby gave this more objective thought than the Deseret News Editorial board. (Note: Shelby's job does not rely upon supporting the LDS church's views.)
    3. The editorial flippantly says Scalia's dissent cannot be used as precedent. Any first year law student may correct them. Dissents are frequently relied upon. Most famously by Justice Traynor in Dillon v. Legg.

  • Tlingit Orem, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 3:45 p.m.

    If a heterosexual has a right, then a homosexual should have that right as well. It's as Christian as the Golden Rule.

    However, what Judge Shelby did is unconstitutional.

    He is correct in that the law should mandate equal protection as set forth in the 14th Amendment.

    However, he is wrong in that the law must also abide the 1st Amendment which says, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof."

    The religious practice of marriage predates the founding of the United States by thousands of years.

    Consequently, what marriage is or isn't is not up to a judge, the government or even the voters. They have as much right to dictate marriage as they do telling worshipers what to wear to church.

    To meet the requirements of BOTH the 1st and 14th Amendments, CIVIL UNIONS must be established. Civil Unions would extend 14th Amendment protections to all couples, while preserving the free exercise of religion regarding marriage.

    We don't have to trample one group to please another.

    Give those of faith back their freedom of religion, and give those who can't marry all rights under the law.

  • esodije ALBUQUERQUE, NM
    Dec. 21, 2013 3:42 p.m.

    There's almost nothing now that a judge can't "justify" under the 14th Amendment. Too bad the 9th and 10th Amendments aren't as literally construed.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 3:31 p.m.

    "It is outrageous that one person can overrule the vote of the majority."

    Yes! Don't you just love the audacity of the Founders in establishing this "outrageous" nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that ALL men are created equal!?

    God, continue to bless America!

    Congratulations to my fellow citizens of Utah on their achievement of justice and fairness. Merry Christmas to ALL, and to ALL equal rights.

  • UTCanuck Murray, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 3:27 p.m.

    Oh crap!!! My heterosexual marriage is now going to fall apart! What to do?

    I find the DN choice of words "judicial tyranny" very interesting. Feels much like hyperbole for a "legal decision we don't agree with." All Judge Shelby pointed out was that the State of Utah had failed to prove that allowing individuals of the same sex to marry would damage heterosexual marriage.

    I noticed that the sun came up this morning and I imagine that it will again tomorrow.

  • Joe Carlin OAKLAND, CA
    Dec. 21, 2013 3:25 p.m.

    The entire defense of the amendment was a copy and paste explanation that marriage is for procreation. Except for the fact that a first year law student would have known that Utah allows first cousins to marry specifically if they -cannot- procreation. Their entire defense has absolutely no basis after that. Anyone who understood the case knew it was going to fall after that.

    The foot stomping and calls of "activist judges" clearly illustrate the definition of that phrase merely to mean "judges who make decisions you don't like."

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 3:22 p.m.

    "Civil unions offer the same tax benefits"

    Amendment 3 banned civil unions too.

    @Jaime Lee Bonberger
    "They see that their parents oppose SSM; they see that gays cannot marry in the temple, and are told to believe that this is discrimination, thereby creating strife and confusion within an otherwise close and loving family."

    Oh well okay I guess we should limit civil rights because it might lead to an awkward conversation in your family...

    "SSM further weakens the meaning of marriage."

    You're the ones explicitly trying to stop marriages...

    @John Pack Lambert of Michigan
    "The collusion between Shelby and the officers of Salt Lake County to go against the will of the people is disturbing."

    The will of the people should always be overridden when it is unconstitutional.

  • Matthew1voice Davis County, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 3:19 p.m.

    @ Contrariusier:

    You failed to address the second example of my argument - public exposure. Where is the measurable harm in an individual expressing himself in such a manner?

    If harm is truly the distinguishing feature governing what personal tendencies should be legal and which should not how do you measure harm?

    Society makes judgment calls all the time as to what is right and what is wrong - indeed that is the basis of most if not all laws. When such laws trample upon constitutional protected freedoms those laws are struck down. Last I checked neither the constitution nor the Supreme Court have said that marriage between two individuals of the same sex is a fundamental right. The proper mechanism for altering the constitution is by way of amendment not a judge or judges sitting on a bench.

  • Runner47 Brigham City, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 3:17 p.m.

    It is outrageous that one person can overrule the vote of the majority. I agree totally with the editorial.

  • RootLogic Lehi, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 3:03 p.m.

    @spring street (and others): Yes, amendment 3 states that "No other domestic union, however denominated, may be recognized as a marriage or given the same or substantially equivalent legal effect." What it does not say is that civil unions are illegal. But the gay community doesn't seem to care about that. Several recent polls show that a majority of Utahns are in favor of instituting civil unions such as Colorado did. Again, the gay community isn't jumping to push that over the edge. Instead they specifically target marriage under the guise of rights.

    Every license recognized by the state is defined as a privilege that can be revoked at any time for GOOD reason (drivers, liquor, business, legal...). Yes, even marriage in the instance of bigamy or divorce. And if the state can create criteria for getting licenses based on discrimination factors (age, nationality, medical, education...), why can't marriage be one too? Using that, there are no rights being violated by not having a license. Does it make sense for a skilled 12 year old driver to sue for being limited by age? Why should sexual orientation be treated differently?

  • Utahguns Tooele, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 2:52 p.m.

    What do you expect from an Obama appointed judge?

    Sick and wrong...unless you're gay.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Dec. 21, 2013 2:51 p.m.

    I think people who are surprised by this decision have misread Justice Kennedy's ruling in June. While Kennedy cloaked his ruling in "state's rights" he no more believed in states' rights than the justices who handed down the Reynolds ruling believed that there was an absolute right to belief. In the Reynolds case a few years later the Superme Court, with some justices overlapping, upheld the right of Idaho to penalize people for belief alone.

    In this case, all Kennedy's claims about "state's rights" will be shown to be hallow rhetoric in support of his single minded attempt to force his own brand of political will on other people. The definition of marriage is an issue of public policy, and should be decided by the legislative process, not by the judicial one.

  • Jeffsfla Glendale, CA
    Dec. 21, 2013 2:47 p.m.

    Why is it that everytime a judge rules on an issue like this it is called judicial activism. The job of our judiciary system is to be a shield for minorities from the majority. We are not a MOB rule society. I am sure the 10th Circuit will agree as well. This case can certainly be fast tracked to the SCOTUS where they will finally deliver a ruling to end this patchwork on nonsense.

  • Utefan60 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 2:43 p.m.

    The will of the majority should never trump the law. If that had been the case, Blacks would have never been allowed to marry whites. Even in early Mormon history an angry populace wanted Mormons exterminated. That was the popular voice of the time. So I guess they should have gone through with it? No!! There are majority issues that are neither legal, moral or righteous.

  • John Pack Lambert of Michigan Ypsilanti, MI
    Dec. 21, 2013 2:35 p.m.

    The collusion between Shelby and the officers of Salt Lake County to go against the will of the people is disturbing. I can just see the fact that marriages were performed in the wake of this ruling used to argue the upholding of the ruling. This is not law, but disorder.

  • Stenar Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 2:33 p.m.

    “The Supreme Court has said that: Marriage is the most important relation in life. Now that’s being withheld from the plaintiffs [gay couples wishing to marry]. It is the foundation of society. It is essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness. It’s a right of privacy older than the Bill of Rights and older than our political parties. One of the liberties protected by the Due Process Clause. A right of intimacy to the degree of being sacred. And a liberty right equally available to a person in a homosexual relationship as to heterosexual persons.”
    —Ted Olson

  • TruthIsKing Syracuse, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 2:32 p.m.

    An extremely well written article. I whole-heartedly agree. I'm convinced that Utah is once again being persecuted by the federal government.

    True marriage = one man and one woman, and that is what Utah voters have agreed upon. No "judge" can refute that.

  • Stenar Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 2:31 p.m.

    "Marriage is a civil contract. You might as well make a law to say how many children a man shall have, as to make a law to say how many wives he shall have. It would be as sensible to make a law to say how many horses or oxen he shall possess, or how many cows his wife shall milk." —Brigham Young

  • john@sneekee draper, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 2:28 p.m.

    rarely agree with the articles and opinion from this media outlet, but here i agree.

    the legislation from the bench and the tyrants in appointed and often re -elected positions are a serious threat to the republic in which we live.

    democracy is mob rule and in the opposite is judicial dictatorship, both are dangerous. the extreme position of the .05 percent of any given special interest in this case same sex are extreme to change the definitions of equal and marriage.

    when the elected-appointed become so engrained against the very majority that they serve...they need to be changed out.

    there is a time for all things and we need a change in judicial and executive branches of this government.

    the 99.5% are now being tormented and oppressed by the extreme .05%

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 2:27 p.m.

    Anyone that doesn't get their way in the courtroom most likely views it as "judicial tyranny." Those who believe in the U.S Constitution call it "Judicial Review."

  • WestGranger West Valley City, Utah
    Dec. 21, 2013 2:21 p.m.

    I am all for civil rights for gays. There is a way provided in the constitution to bring about change.Why is all the intolerance, character assassination and arbitrary government run by elitist opinion necessary? Should PC causes trump rule of law by the People?

  • abtrumpet Provo, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 2:13 p.m.

    I agree with BillyBob 100%. This is pure evil, plain and simple. The world continues to shift the definitions of right and wrong. I will stand against it no matter how many vile words are slung at me, because at the last day we will stand before our maker and we will know who was right, and who was wrong.

  • Jaime Lee Bonberger Houston, TX
    Dec. 21, 2013 2:12 p.m.

    Someone claimed that same-sex marriage (SSM) does not affect my family, well:

    My children are being indoctrinated by society that anyone who opposes SSM is a "hater", or "homophobe". They see that their parents oppose SSM; they see that gays cannot marry in the temple, and are told to believe that this is discrimination, thereby creating strife and confusion within an otherwise close and loving family.

    According to the pro-gay Williams Institute, 3x the percentage of Americans between the ages of 18-29 self-identify as gay compared to those over 65. Normalization of SSM increases the chances that my children and their friends will also so self-identify.

    At my work, my views endanger my job. Consider the hostility in a workplace where "silence" regarding LGBT rights "shall be interpreted as disapproval". It's like living in Nazi Germany. If you don't carry a copy of Mein Kampf, you must be a traitor.

    SSM further weakens the meaning of marriage. Young people see it as such, making it seem backwards and archaic. My kids are much less likely to enter into marriage than those of my generation.

    So yes, it indeed is affecting me and my marriage.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 2:03 p.m.

    Just another reason for State's Rights, as originally intended. The Civil War need not been fought and 600,000 men and women killed if a State's Right to make their own decisions wasn't abridged. the Federal Government has limits placed on it for a reason. I have no problem with California deciding to legalize bestiality, drug use, or anything else if the voice of the people decides that is what it wants. As is the case with Gay marriage, let the states decide the issue and a more civil society, peaceful, kind, and responsible will be the result. This decision only divides the electorate even more, which is good in away. Eventually those who call good evil and evil good will have to live with their decisions, in each state, as the Constitution first intended. This judge doesn't have any standing in the state of Utah and ought to be sent back to Washington where he will feel more comfortable. The cesspool is quite ready and able to accept him.

  • desert Potsdam, 00
    Dec. 21, 2013 1:59 p.m.

    @ the confusing state of mind and this article, we may get lost in the legal woods

    Everyone is picking a straw to make his case.
    Let us redefine laws from scratch by using two approaches.

    One you may choose to compare your findings with nature, Second you may compare with historical cultures and traditions. Neither way will lead you to the truth.
    You may count on religion, or dictatorship or even democracy.
    Original intent ? Going back in history you will get lost, going forward with logic, lost again.

    That is where this LDS church comes in, it can explain "difficult" creations.
    So I am glad we have so many people looking for the truth.

    They believe in marriage and family, just need to get better on explaining it.
    By the way what a "stupid" new word of the month : "traditional marriage" ??

    Marriage will never change, has never and is not now. We may create a new meaning in our mind, but that will never change the original truth.
    If you do not know, go study it. I found many sources to find truth, boundless sources.

  • Social Mod Fiscal Con West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 1:57 p.m.

    What legal rights does marriage provide which cannot be gained some other way?

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 1:57 p.m.

    I think I could support a Constitutional amendment along these lines (after proper wordsmithing):

    Section 1: It is Constitutionally impermissible to ban gay marriage.
    Section 2: No church shall be required to perform gay marriages.

    I don't think it could happen, though. Five or ten years ago, conservatives wouldn't have accepted a compromise because they were riding high. Now that the tide has turned, I'm not sure gay marriage proponents would accept it.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 1:54 p.m.

    @ Root Logic: Except the Utah State Constitution also prohibited civil unions.

    @ Clarissa: The sins of Sodom and Gomorrah were pride, greed, slothfulness, and a lack of care for their neighbors. It had nothing to do with homosexuality. Your comment actually does a very good job of illustrating the sins which destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 1:51 p.m.

    It wouldn't surprise me if those filing this lawsuit made use of the judicial schedule allowing them in effect to choose which judge would hear this case.

  • archemeedees Tooele, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 1:49 p.m.

    What people don't understand is that the govenrment is by, of, and for the people, and marriage is a public label for a kind of relationship. Marriage is just a publicly shared definition for the sexual union between a man and a woman. What is so tyrannical about that? Civil unions offer the same tax benefits, so the only possible benefit of taking the label "marriage" is that of wanting to be the same. It's like trying to force the legal definition of apples and oranges to both be "orange".

  • Mungagungadin Portland, OR
    Dec. 21, 2013 1:44 p.m.

    Horrors! Now that a hated minority can create a family with the same protections as mine, my betterness is threatened!

  • erwad whoville, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 1:42 p.m.

    The fact that you could call this 'tyranny' indicates your understanding of true tyranny is completely detached from the actual meaning of the world. Frankly whether or not you agree with the ruling, tyranny is a hyperbolic term of which this is definitely not tyrannical. Can you possibly defend the tone you set by comparing this relatively benign act of jurisprudence to actual tyranny? It's really an insult to all those in the world who do suffer from definitional ACTUAL tyranny; cruelty, oppression, ruthlessness, etc. I'll start taking D-News editorials arguments seriously when I start seeing language that resembles reality. If you don't agree with the judicial ruling give sound arguments, well meaning and informed, but don't give me exaggerations and boogeymen.

  • EJM Herriman, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 1:39 p.m.

    @spring street: I taught the Constitution to my high school students thru my American History classes before the US Government classes came to be part of the graduation requirements. I also have taken constitutional law classes to keep abreast of current case law.i have not had the chance to read the decision yet, just notes thru various media outlets to get somewhat of a broad view of the opinions being expressed.

    With that said I am still puzzled as to the decision of this district court, but then again, I am not puzzled. The SCOTUS could have dealt with this with the DOMA decision. It didn't. Why? Because they understood that this is a political nightmare. Their decision with the DOMA case was constructed with fairly narrow (in looking back, especially with this district court's latest opinion) constraints. SCOTUS will have to deal with this now.

  • Silver Fox1 Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 1:38 p.m.

    Equal Rights confirmed!

  • nonceleb Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 1:36 p.m.

    Opponents of same-sex marriage argue with social, biological and religious reasons. The problem is that they cannot come up with one single valid constitutional argument. Even Scalia implied it is a losing battle as the 14th Amendment forbids states to deny due process and equal protection under the law for all citizens.

  • intervention slc, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 1:21 p.m.

    @mike Richards

    As you are wells aware the state constitution is not the shrike law the federal continuations and if the state constitution violates federal law it is unconstitutional.

    @ron Hilton
    As for the social sciences the research dearly does not support your claims. In regards to you claims about "militant gays" get back to me when they start forcing religious people to be gay by use forced castration, forced lobotomies, shock therapy, incarceration, institutionalization, and being rounded up and killed In Gas chambers, all things done to gay people in the past 100 years by people that used religion to justify their behavior until then you will pardon me if I do not concern myself when your biggest complaints are tht others challenge your thinking and you are not allowed to force others to live by your dictates.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 1:20 p.m.

    First of the all the Dnews acts if this judge decided not to have a trial. Both parties, the plaintiffs and the defendants(state of utah) submitted motions for a summary judgment, which means they did not want to got to trial.

    Second the Dnews argues the judge acted on his creative interpretation of precedent. The dnews asserted the judge did not use the only precedent which was Baker v. The judge addressed this and many other precedents that the dnews conveniently left out of their argument.

    Third, the judge pointed out the supreme court has held that the 14th amendment requires the individuals rights take precedence over states’ rights where these two interests are in conflict.

    Fourth, The dnews states that since the voters voted on amendment three through an open process that gays and lesbians are not deprived any rights. What if Utah decides that only Lds people can marry or White people with blond hair can marry. Are other citizens rights not deprived in those situations?

    The Dnews arguments are weak at best.

  • Hanker Richmond, VT
    Dec. 21, 2013 1:17 p.m.

    This is ONE judge who needs to be impeached posthaste! He has so far exceeded his authority as to create a tyrannical condition. The judicial branch has NO authority to create law. In essence, that is what judge Shelby has tried to do. He is off the reservation. To all those who want to change God's law, and/or the laws of nature, if you will: wanting it will not make it happen --not today, not ever. This ruling will soon be reduced to ash,and reality will prevail.

  • Contrariusier mid-state, TN
    Dec. 21, 2013 1:14 p.m.

    @rw123 --

    "The deleterious consequences to society will be evidence enough that this was no time to celebrate."

    Massachussetts has had gay marriage for 10 years. Several Scandinavian countries have had gay marriage and/or registered partnerships for around 20 years.

    The world has not ended -- and Massachussetts still has one of the lowest divorce rates in the country.

    @BGuy --

    "You cannot seriously argue that you would have accepted a summary judgment ruling against you without a trial, hearing or anything of that sort. "

    They had a hearing just a few weeks ago. Search the DN archives for the article about it.

    @Matthew1voice --

    "A more apt comparison would be bestiality, as awful as that sounds. "

    Ummmm, nope.

    We already have multiple laws against animal abuse. Bestiality certainly does do harm.

    Gay marriage does not.

    It's a simple distinction.

    The boundary on desires is harm. Look up the harm principle.

  • RootLogic Lehi, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 12:59 p.m.

    To add to my previous comment (and adding what another pointed out), separation of church and state can NEVER occur absolutely in a republic, nor is it intended to do so. The government is a representation of the will of the people. If the people are religious, the government will reflect that in it's laws and policies to maintain a general peace. It cannot, however, enforce a specific religion on anyone in the way the Church of England did (people charged with heresy at the least or put to death just for being some other religion). Many laws are religiously grounded. Take public lewdness. It harms nobody civilly speaking, yet it's a law that most people accept and probably wouldn't want changed. Why does it exist? Religion. Why does it perpetuate? Religion. What about the "morals" that are written into so many laws? Religiously dictated. Government has no means (direction or basis) to define morals, so it bases them on the general consensus of the people. This time the people spoke for their moral direction and the government didn't listen. Now who's trying to dictate morals?

  • Free Agency Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 12:57 p.m.

    "Gays and lesbians are not deprived of any rights they are due in a liberal democracy when a state, like Utah, through open democratic processes insists that marriage is between a man and a woman."

    Simply put, the "open democratic process" cannot be the means for determining equal rights for minorities. If a majority of people in a democracy have animus toward--or even just disagreement with--a minority, that minority is still entitled to the same rights as the majority. The majority can't rule on this based on their personal feelings or religious beliefs

    That's exactly why the courts have been in favor of gay marriage. Especially since it's never been established (except in people's own minds) that gay marriages are in any way detrimental to straight marriages.

  • Utes Fan Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 12:55 p.m.

    "Utah citizens voted for Amendment 3 out of a dislike of gay and lesbian individuals"

    There is not a single gay person that I have the least amount of "dislike" for, and I have known plenty, yet I voted for Amendment 3.

    I am stunned by the display of arrogance by this judge. If his basic assumptions are so incredibly incorrect, I can safely assume that the rest of his judgement is flawed.

    We who support the government recognition of heterosexual marriage only are not the monsters of hate and bigotry that those who disagree claim we are. The fact that I see legal, religious, and yes, Constitutional effects of this ruling hardly means I am motivated by "hate". Claiming "dislike" and hatred for those who disagree with the leftist agenda on this has become an easy, popular thing to do, and even seems to be a fun and entertaining "new age" thing to do. Given that Utahn's right to define their Constitution seems to be in jeopardy, I am stunned at this ruling and the trivializing of Utah's right that so many pro-gay marriage supporters display.

    God help us.

  • wazzup Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 12:50 p.m.

    Try and force their philosophy down the throats of our children in school and you will see backlash you haven't seen before. From now one, I will teach my children what gays are all about.....or just take them to a gay pride parade. What they see there will tell all they need to know without me telling them anything.

  • red state pride Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 12:47 p.m.

    Why do we have State Governments if judges appointed for life and unelected bureaucrats are going to dictate State marriage policy and the types of health insurance policies we are required to have? (among other things)
    We're living in a lawless society now. When the President can unilaterally change and amend laws passed by Congress and "judges" can disregard our state constitution and even the US Constitution that's called anarchy.
    I'm fine if the citizens of a state want to allow gay marriage. By the same token citizens should be allowed to define marriage in their state as between one man and one woman.
    And the arguments of gay marriage supporters have zero legal merit. Equal protection? They had the same right to get married to someone of the opposite sex as everyone else. The law discriminates. Hello! There is not one passage in the US Constitution that even mentions marriage. It's up to the States. But just like every other facet of our lives it's now being dictated by a centralized top-down government. I hope everyone is cool with that because you're a serf now.

  • Clarissa Layton, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 12:36 p.m.

    Well, they can pass all the laws they want and I will still never recognize gay marriage as right and as legal. I have rights, too. At least they can't get into the temple. Sodom and Gomorrah, here we go. At least the Lord said that he would spare the city if only a some people could be found in it that were righteous. Hopefully, that will save our country.

  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 12:32 p.m.

    Red Corvette:
    The church can take some pride in this ruling. If the church hadn't conducted Proposition 8 with such venom and vigor in California in the first place, gay marriage equality would not have gotten the attention it justly received.
    Amen! I've said on these boards several times that 1 Cor.10:29 and D&C 134:4 both condemn the use of subjective morality as an excuse to infringe upon the rights and liberties of others. Gays in California HAD the right to marry before Prop.8 and Prop.8 supporters allowed their religious opinions to prompt them to infringe upon that right. In doing that, they objectively violated scripture. If scripture would have been obeyed instead, there wouldn't have been a ruling by a federal judge in California on which other courts could lean to justify other rulings like this one.

    The irony of so many LDS ignoring scripture in supporting Prop.8 leading to the overturning of a Utah law thereby allowing same-sex marriage is too delicious for words to express. Hopefully that will teach us all to obey, rather than ignore scripture. Steadying the ark came back to bite them.

  • RootLogic Lehi, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 12:31 p.m.

    It's not surprising to see that everyone for gay marriage are ignoring the real power of the article and instead are attacking the softer points.

    1: Polygamy: Federal government enters marriage business, declares polygamy an invalid marriage relationship. Homosexuality: Federal government says it can't define marriage but the STATES CAN. State says homosexuality isn't "marriage" either. Federal judge says the STATE CAN'T decide that. Which precedent do you follow?

    2: State marriage: A certificate recognizing a social bond as valid within state boundaries. State civil union: A certificate recognizing a social bond as valid within state boundaries. What "rights" are being violated when the same opportunities exist under a different name? Civil unions may not be fully equal yet, but there isn't much left to fix either. I should be able to start any business I want but I can't start a law firm because I'm not a licensed lawyer. That must be discrimination since the state is saying I can't have a license and all the benefits to go with it. Right?

    I would post more, but I'm out of words.

  • BlueKnight West Jordan, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 12:31 p.m.

    Wow. Using your basis to disparage Judge Shelby's decision, if the majority of Utah's citizens voted to amend the state constitution to officially declare the white race as the superior race, or Mormonism the official state religion, that would pass your test and should stand? After all, it would be the majority will of the people.

    Folks, judges DO have the power to strike down a law that is unconstitutional or nullify an amendment to a state constitution if it conflicts with the United States Constitution, and be thankful for that! Without that authority the 50 states may as well be 50 individual countries! I realize for some of you that may be a utopia. The only advice I can offer those upset with the judge's application of the Constitution to his decision: Don't marry someone of the same sex.

  • jusbla12345 Orem, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 12:26 p.m.

    Maybe we should just leave all decisions on marriage up to the Mormon church since they are have such a good record.

    "Since the founding of the Roman empire monogamy has prevailed more extensively than in times previous to that. The founders of that ancient empire were robbers and women stealers, and made laws favoring monogamy in consequence of the scarcity of women among them, and hence this monogamic system which now prevails throughout Christendom, and which had been so fruitful a source of prostitution and whoredom throughout all the Christian monogamic cities of the Old and New World, until rottenness and decay are at the root of their institutions both national and religious."
    - The Prophet Brigham Young Journal of Discourses, Vol. 11, p. 128

    "...the one-wife system not only degenerates the human family, both physically and intellectually, but it is entirely incompatible with philosophical notions of immortality; it is a lure to temptation, and has always proved a curse to a people."
    - Prophet John Taylor, Millennial Star, Vol. 15, p. 227

  • ricwhite Layton, Utah
    Dec. 21, 2013 12:16 p.m.

    The decision will be appealed. The judge ruling should have stayed the decision until the appeals are heard. Even so, another judge will likely stay the decision.

    I'm concerned about 3 things that have been promoted by editorials or government officials.

    Statement 1: The "will of the people" should prevail. States and citizens can set policies and laws as long as they do not violate the U.S. Constitution. Even a majority cannot overrule the Constitution.

    Statement 2: Allowing gays to marry is a violation of religious beliefs and rights. Again, people can belief what they want and practice those beliefs as long as they don't infringe upon the U.S. Constitution. Even religious freedom and rights cannot overrule the Constitution.

    Statement 3: Restricting marriage based on race is discriminatory and unconstitutional, but restricting marriage for gays and discriminating against THEM has no proven legal precedent and should be allowed. Just because this has not been tested legally in the past doesn't mean it's not a violation of basic civil rights.

  • New to Utah PAYSON, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 12:10 p.m.

    Judicial Tyranny has a name and a face Judge Shelby.
    Obama appointed this judicial activist who ignores precedence
    & fairness in his ideological ruling.

  • ThereIsRoomForYou Provo, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 12:09 p.m.

    It's called judicial review, not judicial tyranny. It's a very important part of the whole system in the U.S. The decision will be appealed and decided by an even higher court.

  • ThereIsRoomForYou Provo, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 12:03 p.m.

    Did they even read the court decision? There is so much wrong with this op-ed.

  • earthscientist riverton, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 11:57 a.m.

    Some portray legalization of so-called same-sex marriage as a civil right. This is not a matter of civil rights; it is a matter of morality. I believe that defending this sacred institution by working to preserve traditional marriage lies clearly within my religious and constitutional prerogatives.

    Opposition to same-gender marriage can be traced Biblically as far back as the creation of Adam and Eve. Man’s solitude was not a function of his not being with other people; it was a function of his not being with a woman.

    But even if 99 percent of all marriages failed, the principle is still right, for Paul said, ‘Neither is the man without the woman neither the woman without the man, in the Lord’ (1 Cor. 11:11. By this reasoning, homosexual relations are wrong because they deny the God-appointed companionship of man and woman.

  • 1covey Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 11:53 a.m.

    It is clear that the only way to defend traditional heterosexual marriages is through a Constitutional amendment. That is a voting procedure no Judge or group of Judges can overturn.

  • BGuy Falls Church, VA
    Dec. 21, 2013 11:53 a.m.

    To all the people who disagree with this editorial. You cannot seriously argue that you would have accepted a summary judgment ruling against you without a trial, hearing or anything of that sort. You would all be up in arms. This judge made this decision on a pre-trial motion. He is clearly overreaching his authority, regardless of what the correct decision is.

  • Ordinary Guy Centerville, Davis, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 11:45 a.m.

    I find it interesting that those supporting the court decision use a tone of language that is so condescending. They speak as if those with the opposite view are uninformed, outdated, and brainwashed and that, with time, we will come to our senses.

    It is wonderful to be possessors of "truth". Having it, one can move forward with confidence. Obviously both points of view claim it. I believe there are good intelligent people on both sides but one side is misguided.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 11:43 a.m.

    "Homosexuals have always had the right to get married in Utah. It's just that they didn't like the way Utah defined marriage (which is incidentally the same way it has been defined in human civilization for thousands of years)."

    Imagine if the laws had been reversed, and you were only allowed to marry somebody of the same sex. How would you feel about that law? Would you accept it and just go along with it? I don't think so.

  • Little Andy Tremonton, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 11:41 a.m.

    People always say " go out and vote it is your right." Would someone please tell me what good the vote did on this subject. Or the one in California??

  • technos Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 11:37 a.m.

    My problem is that the Republicans in congress are too busy hacking at Obamacare to take a stand for religious freedoms. I would like to see photographers, caterers, and florists exempted from having to participate if they wish not to.

  • Matthew1voice Davis County, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 11:32 a.m.

    For homosexuals the characteristic of same gender attraction may be immutable but their ability to act on such is a choice. In other words, their same sex attraction may be part of their nature but such tendencies, no matter how strong, do not justify their actions any more than an individual's predilections to violence justify harming another. Desires have no boundaries but actions should.
    When we start granting fundamental rights on the basis of tendencies or desires there's a problem. The example above regarding violence isn't quite fair. It links a tendency with easily verifiable harm. A more apt comparison would be bestiality, as awful as that sounds. With bestiality an individual may have an attraction or tendency toward animals. No persons are harmed. Should that perverted appetite and act be clothed as a fundamental right on the basis of a strong inborn attraction toward animals? What about those with a strong urge to expose themselves publicly, are they justified? You may say others shouldn't be exposed to such graphic images but some find two men kissing in public equally offensive.
    Desires, however strong, should have some boundaries else we become nothing more than

  • greg14952 Provo, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 11:27 a.m.

    Where was the outrage from the board when the "activist" Supreme Court stuck down key provisions of the Voting Rights Act that had been renewed by Congress in 2006 by a vote of 390 to 33 in the House and 98 to 0 in the Senate? If you insist on being on the wrong side of history, at least try to be intellectually honest, and not so hypocritical, about it.

  • rw123 Sandy, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 11:25 a.m.

    Just because Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch mistakenly endorsed this judge doesn’t mean anything except they are fallible too, as all humans are.

    And for all those who are predicting that we will be embarrassed in 10 years for even fighting this, I question your prognostications. We will more likely look back at this as a pivotal moment in which the tyranny of the MINORITY forced its way. The deleterious consequences to society will be evidence enough that this was no time to celebrate.

    Here are some predictions. This ruling will lead to so many consequences such that real marriage between a man and a woman will take a big hit. Churches will be affected in their rights to non-interference by the government (see first amendment). The family breakdown will accelerate. And the true prophesies of God, from His legitimate representatives, will come to pass. You can rely on that.

  • RayTech Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 11:25 a.m.

    To me it's simply this: I live in the state of Utah. I am a citizen of Utah, and a citizen of the United States. I am not RayTech, United States Citizen. I am RayTech, a citizen of Utah of the United States. Stop taking away state rights: it is NOT yours to take. This is MY state YOU do not run it!

  • Michael_Haskins Salt Lake, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 11:23 a.m.

    Strange that the author used the term Judicial "tyranny". Utah's ban on freedom is the "Tyranny of the Majority" Alexis de Tocqueville writes of.
    Racism and other types of discrimination and intolerance, often supported by religions, can flourish in a Theocracy (Utah, Iran)
    Checks and balances are put in place by the Constitution in order to prevent this from happening.
    John F. Kennedy: "I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute.
    “Sometimes things become possible if we want them bad enough.” ― T.S. Eliot

  • silverbear Goshen, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 11:18 a.m.

    If those who support Gay marriage move to Colorado, California or any other state. I am a fifth generation Utahan. My ancestors moved here to live in Religious Freedom. Now some Judge is trying to cramp some legal fishfuzz down our throat. Let the voice of the state be heard. We voted. 66% voted against it. End of discussion.

  • Here Sandy, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 11:18 a.m.

    *Hate to break it to you, conservatives, but the whole purpose of the judicial branch of government is to check legislation, drafted by officials elected by the majority, against the constitution, and the constitutionality of a law is not a function of its popularity.*

    IMHO, that statement is inaccurate.

    Actually the job of judges was - and mostly is - to judge people and situations according TO the laws PASSED BY the legislature. That's still the case in most courtrooms today. In the early nineteen hundreds, this changed a bit so that judges COULD judge laws themselves in addition to people or cases.

    Responsible judges will respect the laws passed by the legislature, at least enough to perform careful and proper weighing of the evidence and precedent. He’s nullifying the duly voted-in AMENDMENT to the state’s constitution.

    Theoretically, when you have enough votes to amend the constitution, what you get is a new constitution that trumps all other laws in the state . . . . . unless of course liberal FEDERAL judges do it single-handedly and without proper procedure/precedence, and for a jurisdiction that should have the final say (the state).

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 11:14 a.m.

    @ Trouble: It is actually very easy to reconcile this judge's decision with the LDS Proclamation on the Family.

    The Proclamation is an LDS religious document. We do not live in a theocracy, so your religious documents have no bearing on civil law.

    The US Constitution is the supreme law of the land and this judge's decision follows it.

    See how easy that is?

    @ EJM: You should read the decision - and the US Constitution. State's can define marriage as long as they are not infringing on the rights of their citizens.

    @ Mike: The US Constitution is the supreme law of the land and the Utah State Constitution cannot violate it.

  • silverbear Goshen, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 11:12 a.m.

    The Desert News is right. When one unelected person makes law, Than their is no we the people. The constitution is void and the checks and balances becomes a joke. I wonder if these that cheer this judge would cheer if the ruling was different. We as Americans need to stand behind OUR Constitution.

  • georgec WEST JORDAN, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 11:05 a.m.

    Amendment 14:

    Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

    There have been many who have stated that this amendment "clearly" is being violated by Utah's amendment 3. There is much precedent attached to amendment 14 - however almost none of it regarding marriage, and any that is, is very recent. In a topic fraught with controversy, nothing is "clear" about any of this. It was irresponsible what the judge did, not necessarily because it was right or wrong, but because the answer is not clear at this point if this is a matter of "privileges and immunities".

  • DEC Saratoga Springs, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 11:05 a.m.

    Question: If marriage is constitutionally defined as a non-discriminatory action where race, religion, gender or sexual orientation is protected, why would organizations who perform marriages and discriminate based on sexual preference not be considered law breakers? Could the government justify tax breaks for churches as they do now? What would happen if a church decided to refuse to marry anyone outside of a single race? Or decide polygamy is part of their religious practice? Does the law protect them on the basis of "separation of church and state"? It hasn't historically.

    Now may be a good time to get the government out of the marriage business and pass laws for non-discriminatory civil unions regardless of orientation (guaranteeing all couples equality under civil law). Let them define "marriage" as a "religious sacrament" protecting churches to define it for their adherents without government involvement.

  • Jer SF San Francisco, CA
    Dec. 21, 2013 10:53 a.m.

    Let me get this straight. This author is trying to use a state constitutional amendment from the late 1800s that was designed to abolish polygamy in order to allow Utah to join the Union as a basis for his argument against same sex marriage in 2013. Sorry but taking the 'plural women' out of the definition of marriage does not support your argument. Hey at least the article was entertaining.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 10:51 a.m.

    @Trouble 12:35 a.m. Dec. 21, 2013

    I'm trying to reconcile the judge's opinion with the Proclamation on the Family's encouragement to responsible citizens and leaders of government to protect the traditional definition of marriage. A judge who can't follow such simple directions probably shouldn't be on the bench.


    You clearly don't understand. Let me enlighten you. It is the job of judges to follow the law and especially the supreme law of the land -- in this case the US Constitution -- and not the pronouncement of a religion. We are a Constitutional republic and NOT a theocracy. The judge did what he should have done, and ruled constitutionally. Kudos to him. He is right where he belongs -- on the bench acting as a judge.

  • slcmillenial salt lake, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 10:51 a.m.

    Fortunatley the judicial system in this country does not operate on a basis which fears "insulting the electorate." as the editor so deftly points out. Imagine the Civil Rights Movement brought to a halt within the courts out of fears of "insulting the electorate." Instead it functions on a basis which considers an individuals constitutional rights. Years from now this paper will look back in shame at the remarks made today.

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 10:48 a.m.

    "In a truly moral nation judges follow the law strictly."

    In our nation, one of the duties of judges is to follow the Constitution and determine whether laws which have been enacted are within the Constitution. It is the job of our judiciary to review laws, statutes and regulations when they are challenged by citizens, and to decide if they are constitutional.

    A court that rubber-stamps every challenged law and defers to the State on every decision is a kangaroo court that shouldn't even be allowed to call itself a court. If you were arrested, would you want to appear before a judge whose rulings followed the demands of the State? This judge, by the way, was recommended by Mike Lee and Senator Hatch, so it's a bit farfetched to think he's some sort of Democratic party hack.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 10:46 a.m.

    "moving cautiously when adjusting the marital norms that have served society for millennia,"

    We've had almost 10 years in Massachusetts and they still lead the nation in lowest divorce rate. How long do you want us to wait? Or are you just stalling?

    " that there may be something uniquely important for the benefit of children about supporting the biologically intact family,"

    The state allows single people to adopt, that hasn't bothered you, so clearly you don't really care about this and you're just making excuses to justify your position.

    " that religious liberties might require special consideration given the role of marriage in religious teaching and practice."

    The ruling specifically stated that churches don't have to marry same-sex couples. This editorial is a prime example of why the judge ruled this way. The argument for Amendment 3 is a trainwreck with nothing of constitutional substance. It reads like someone grasping for straws in order to try and justify codifying religious law.

    "In a truly moral nation judges follow the law strictly."

    That's what the judge did. It's the duty of judges to strike down laws that violate the US Constitution.

  • a_voice_of_reason Woods Cross, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 10:46 a.m.

    A lot of comments here are saying the judge was right basically because the ends justified the means. If you're in that boat you're missing the point. Judges must follow the legal rules of precedent. They are not legislators. Imagine if a judge started making rulings where I felt the ends justified the means. I thing Obamacare, in its current form, is extremely harmful to the country. But I would be concerned if a judge ignored the Supreme Court precedent and declared it unconstitutional. That would be overreach. What if a judge ignored Roe vs. Wade and declared abortions illegal. While I would agree that abortions are wrong in most cases, I would not agree with the overreach. Judicial overreach is, itself, unconstitutional. If I want Obamacare gone or abortions made illegal these are things that must be done through the Supreme Court and/or the legislative process. It is wrong for the lowest-level federal judge to ignore the system of checks and balances that protect us all in order to legislate his own strong feelings - ignoring rule of law and precedent all the way - no matter how noble he deems his own motives.

  • Spellman789 Syracuse, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 10:42 a.m.

    I think people will look back and think...what were we thinking?? This will leave society worse off, not better. If anything, I we should be embarrassed at the court system's new dysfunctional analysis of these cases.

  • Charlemagne Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 21, 2013 10:41 a.m.

    Homosexuals have always had the right to get married in Utah. It's just that they didn't like the way Utah defined marriage (which is incidentally the same way it has been defined in human civilization for thousands of years).There is a huge difference between saying somebody can't play the game and saying you are not going to change the rules to fit their fancy.

    This was a policy question not a legal question and as U.S.Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said Judges and Justices "have no more expertise on policy questions than Joe Sixpack"!

  • NotaMO Bountiful, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 10:28 a.m.

    In a state where there is only one party, elections are meaningless. It takes an unelected official who is not controlled by that one party to be a voice for the those who have no power to contribute.

    Dec. 21, 2013 10:18 a.m.

    To our gay and lesbian friends,

    I saw so many happy smiles and tears on the news last night. I am so happy for you all. What a wonderful Christmas. So much love.

  • Contrariusier mid-state, TN
    Dec. 21, 2013 10:16 a.m.

    @KTC John --

    " There is an intrinsically procreative purpose for marriage"

    Procreation is not, and never has been, a necessary condition for marriage in this country.

    "Those who choose to act out their gay or lesbian inclinations do so in obvious contradiction to the anatomical design of their physical bodies."

    Many species of nonhuman animals engage in homosexual behaviors. Therefore, these behaviors are perfectly natural.

    " Same gender marriages only produce extinction of the human race. "

    Please don't be melodramatic.

    LGBT people only represent about 5% of the human population. Gay marriages will NEVER endanger the human race.

    "It is biologically impossible for any two same gender persons to create families"

    Gay couples create families in the very same ways that any other infertile couples do. Many thousands of gay couples are already raising children in happy stable families -- and they will continue to do so.

  • shamrock Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 10:12 a.m.

    It's troubling that the Deseret News editiorial board and some of the posters here seem to think that Judge Shelby should have based his decision not on the Constitution, but on what the majority of voters want. The whole point of having a judicial branch of government is to provide some "checks and balances" against the tyrrany of the majority.

    The Constitution gives each of us the right to equal protection under the law, regardless of how unpopular we may be at the time. Yesterday it was Equal Protection for blacks, and today it's Equal Protection for gays who want to marry their partners, but tomorrow it may be Equal Protection for those whose religious beliefs are outside the mainstream. Those constitutional rights must be guaranteed for all of us or they won't be there when you're most in need of them.

  • Michael_Haskins Salt Lake, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 10:02 a.m.

    Utah's ban on freedom is the "Tyranny of the Majority" Alexis de Tocqueville writes of.

    Racism and other types of discrimination and intolerance, often supported by religions, can flourish in a Theocracy (Utah, Iran)

    Checks and balances are put in place by the Constitution in order to prevent this from happening.

    John F. Kennedy: "I believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute.

    “Sometimes things become possible if we want them bad enough.” ― T.S. Eliot

  • ladore1 herriman, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 10:01 a.m.

    Enter Ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate and broad
    is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be
    which go in therat.
    Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life,
    and few there be that find it
    As the prophets have told through the years, that broad gate is getting wider and wider
    as people just follow after their own wills and desires and ignore God completely.
    No eternal perspective, just the here and now.

  • Fyodor Mikhailovich Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 9:51 a.m.

    Certainly gays and lesbians are deprived of fundamental rights when marriage is declared to be only between a man and a woman--this has been addressed. I am interested in the words "our nation’s tradition of ordered liberty." While the word "ordered" here is difficult to interpret, it seems to mean the opposite of "total liberty." Curiously, these are almost the exact words in the founding sentences of Russia and later the Soviet Union-- "our land is rich but there is no order in it." The answer to the dilemma is to ask an outside entity to come and rule over them. They gave up freedom for the sake of order. It seems the concept of "ordered liberty" reflects this sentiment precisely-- and that the editorial board claims there should be order as long as we are ready to sacrifice our freedom.

  • twells Ogden, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 9:50 a.m.

    This Federal decision is dangerous. We as a Nation are witnessing a change in this Country. The will of the people is no longer being recognized. We must all be mindful that one judge has the power to change all of our lives. This should trouble us all. The issue of Gay marriage is not the legal prescient we should be concerned about. The emotional arguments cloud the real issue. The loss of State Constitutions vs Federal intrusion. It is very difficult to understand the legal ramifications when a small group believes they have been given a victory. However, what will be the cost? Next time the Federal government will impose its will on the State and we will no longer have a Republic. Our President is testing this out. By using Presidential fiat he changes the rule of law without the Congress or legal review. Last time I checked that was a dictatorship not a Democracy. Whatever ones view of Marriage is the underlining rules of procedure are threating all are sense of what freedom used to be.

  • jayhawker kearns, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 9:47 a.m.

    I can't wait for the divorces to start. Who gets the house?

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    Dec. 21, 2013 9:37 a.m.

    Trouble 12:35 a.m.

    You do realize that the Proclamation of the Family is a religious document, right? Does this mean that you think people should be able to enforce Sharia law in the United States as well?

  • Liberty For All Cedar, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 9:31 a.m.

    The lord said that civil rights have always been dependent on the outcome of an election by a majority of LDS folks. What just happened yesterday?

  • Steve C. Warren WEST VALLEY CITY, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 9:26 a.m.

    States have authority to make marriage and family law. The federal constitution guarantees individual rights. What happens when a state's law conflicts with the U.S. Constitution? The Constitution prevails.

    That's why Judge Shelby's ruling is correct.

    Congratulations to the judge for helping to make Utah the 18th state to permit same-sex marriage. Better 18th than 50th.

  • karlschneider Wagoner, OK
    Dec. 21, 2013 9:26 a.m.

    I am still waiting for some opponent of marriage equality to explain exactly how granting those rights would adversely affect them personally or society at large. Religious tenets or arguments are not rational (or Constitutional) reasons.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 9:20 a.m.

    If people would look at this issue as a matter of law and take emotion and religious feelings out of it, then they would be able to see how the law is unconstitutional.

    The state can not grant rights to one segment of the population and not to other.

  • UtahBy5 Bluffdale, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 9:13 a.m.

    In the end the judges decision will be upheld by the supreme court. The state failed to show that gay marriage hurt traditional marriage or society, with the lack of any concrete reason to deny one person a right given to another that's how it had to go. In one way it is a pisser offer that the federal government tramples states rights but the constitution is a two edged sword. So suck it up, move on, nobody got hurt here.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 9:13 a.m.

    Use of the word tyranny is irresponsible. Your censors should have rejected the opinion.

  • Ron Hilton Holladay, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 9:11 a.m.

    I believe we are nearing the high-water mark in public acceptance of same-sex marriage, and that the hubris and stunning overreach by militant gay activists and their allies in government will begin to spark a backlash. Far from the "live and let live" mantra that has garnered some public support in recent years, their true agenda is the destruction of marriage and the family, through political and economic persecution of those of us whose religious beliefs, and/or examination of the empirical evidence from social science, are striving to maintain and strengthen the traditional family for the sake of society and our children.

  • iron&clay RIVERTON, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 9:06 a.m.

    If legal Marriage was a law with bite that really meant that neither one of the partners could have sexual relations with anyone other than the one to whom they were legally and lawfully married, then..

    marriage would be exclusive to only those couples who really wanted to live this law of chastity.

    "gay community" .... be honest with yourselves.

  • spudman Cottonwood, AZ
    Dec. 21, 2013 9:04 a.m.

    This sure is a popular trend we are experiencing. But everybody seems to forget that what is popular is not always moral or right (correct) and what is moral is not always popular.

  • Nayajja Ephraim, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 9:01 a.m.

    Judicial tyranny is the best two-worded description for this abysmal power grab. Not only does this so-called judge disrespect the State of Utah, but he disrespects the entire judicial system. This man has the heart of a dictator.

    Any judge who truly respects the rule of law would not even consider issuing such a ruling without also including a stay of enforcement of the injunction, so that the appeal courts can properly adjudicate the issue. Instead, he unleashes a public spectacle of confusion and disorderliness.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Dec. 21, 2013 8:54 a.m.

    The Editorial's presentation of the Court's ruling is most puzzling:

    1. The Editorial criticizes the Judge for issuing a summary judgement. That is exactly what the State of Utah asked for. See page 1.

    2. The Editorial complains the Judge is defining marriage for the State. The Judge defends Utah's right to define marriage. He limited his ruling to the narrow issue of its Constitutionality. See Pages 15-16.

    3. The Editorial suggests the Judge ignored the majority opinion in the Windsor case. He not only agrees with it he quotes from it. He uses to define the case as being solely a conflict between States' Rights and Individuals' Rights. See pages 11-14.

    4. The Editorial complains of the lack legal judicial precedent in the ruling, yet the Judge relies heavily on the Supreme Court's landmark ruling in Loving V. Virginia. See page 20.

    5. The Editorial complains of judicial tyranny. Yet the Judge's ruling was based on the proposal "individual rights take precedence over states’ rights where these two interests are in conflict." See page 13.

    Protecting the individual from an overreaching State government is hardly tyranny.

    I saw two former students of mine marry last night. Congratulations kids - I told you it would happen.

  • riverofsun St.George, Utah
    Dec. 21, 2013 8:54 a.m.

    Let's hope the unhappy parents of some of Utah's youngsters do not poison their children's minds against the US Constitution now.
    The sun came up this morning and it is now shining even brighter for all.

  • perfidemintrepidus Riverton, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 8:47 a.m.

    P.S. Most of you commenting excitedly as if it were Christmas morning are missing the point of this article as it is not simply an expression of disbelief that the ruling was in favor of homosexual marriage, but rather the fact that this duly appointed judge by our dearest liberal-minded President audaciously comes out with a 53-page ruling when an optimistic time of decision was set for January 7. This was not proper timing, nor was it prudent in any sense of the meaning. Reap your tax benefits if that is what you find so precious, and take your pride with you because I certainly do not intend to pretentiously display my pride of being in a heterosexual marriage. This undoubtedly is a public display of hypocrisy and a complete disregard for God and his laws with marriage never being the government's to decide in the first place. Marriages were only effectuated for many years by religious folk until European and later American civilizations decided to step in and make it part of government business.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 8:39 a.m.

    Well done Deseret News editorial board! I couldn't have said it better!

  • OhBoy Washington, DC
    Dec. 21, 2013 8:37 a.m.

    Anyone who read the United States Supreme Court's Windsor decision striking down DOMA knew this was coming (not just in Utah, but everywhere). Though Windsor was about federal law and the Utah decision was about state law, the high court's reasoning in Windsor was unmistakable in the direction it was heading. Lower court judges are duty bound to follow the rulings of higher courts. They can't just do what they want. Even though many in Utah and nationwide strongly disagree with Judge Shelby's ruling, "Judicial Tyranny" is not a fair characterization, in my opinion.

  • Work2late Morgan, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 8:35 a.m.

    It was a sad day for justice, the court system, and the voice of the people. The judge clearly didn't want to allow proper process in this case. He wanted to act alone to override the people. I have very close friends who are gay and lesbian and I love them completely. You can find a poll to tell you anything you want. If the majority of Utah wants to change the law, go through the process to get it changed. Don't allow one man to change it without precedence and against the Supreme Court who says it is up to the individual States.

  • wear2manyhatz Holladay, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 8:25 a.m.

    When will we admit this was bad and wrong?

    There is nothing fair or just or holy about Amendment 3. Neither the LQBTQ community, nor every woman, nor every man, receive equality: "even though there is no difference between the way men and women are treated under Utah marriage law.

    I am a member of the Church,in part, because of it's most basic precept, agency. Yet we took agency away from a select group of people. Amendment 3 is ultimately based on the ability to procreate "in wedlock"; not about a civil procedure. Procreation is neither a God-given or legal right. Any religious institution can choose who can and can't be members, and what they accept within their religion but they cannot try to dictate law.

    Step back, let the legal process work. Utah will, again, waste untold amounts of money fighting this, as we did Obamacare. And, again, Utah will lose. How many wedding invitations will I get? I hope many! I want to share in my friends' joy and love.

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 8:20 a.m.

    "Gays and lesbians are not deprived of any rights they are due in a liberal democracy when a state, like Utah, through open democratic processes insists that marriage is between a man and a woman."

    Would you make the same argument if the subject had been intermarriage instead? "Blacks, Asians and whites are not deprived of any rights they are due in a liberal democracy when a state, like Utah, through open democratic processes insists that marriage is between people of the same race." Doesn't sound so nice now, does it? Or how about "Negros are not deprived of any rights they are due in a liberal democracy when a state, like Utah, through open democratic processes insists on maintaining separate but equal facilities for different races as part of the segregation policies of our State."

    The fact is, majorities are often wrong and the laws they pass sometimes fall outside the limits of our Constitution. That's why we have judicial review, which begins with a single judge making a ruling on a matter.

  • Beverly Eden, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 8:21 a.m.

    My last comment to the Deseret News regarding the Duck Dynasty was rejected. Fortunately, the Deseret can't censor a federal judges opinion.

  • equal protection Cedar, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 8:14 a.m.

    Either the judge had a good understanding of the 5th and 14th US Constitutional amendments for due process and equal protection or he did not. Civil rights have never been dependent on the outcome of an election, no matter how LDS the state may be.

  • JBQ Saint Louis, MO
    Dec. 21, 2013 8:08 a.m.

    Indeed, the 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court revolved around the decision by Justice Kennedy in regard to state's rights. The same holds true for abortion decisions in which he was the deciding vote. This particular judge cannot overrule the "will of the people" on capricious and self serving logic. An emergency appeal is well warranted.

  • Eliyahu Pleasant Grove, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 8:09 a.m.

    The fussing in this editorial reminds me of the real definition of an "activist judge" being "a judge who rules against you."

    Let's keep in mind that this is how most cases dealing with constitutional law work. They start out with a single judge in either a State court or a Federal District Court ruling that something is or is not within the limits of the Constitution. If one party is dissatisfied with the ruling, as will likely be the case here, the case is appealed to a higher court and eventually to the US Supreme Court, whose word is final.

    Ultimately, this law may or may not be reversed or upheld by the Supreme Court, or they may decline to rule on it, leaving whatever decision is made by an appellate court intact. In either case, the judge in this lower court has done his job by issuing a ruling based on his interpretation of the law and the Constitution, and there is nothing "tyrannical" about him doing so.

  • Physics27 Cedar City, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 8:03 a.m.

    Amen to the article. There seems to be a lot of confused people. The rational given by the judge was illogical. This is a sad day for the "united" states.

  • My house was stolen Roy , UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 7:50 a.m.

    I think it is great that a Judge in the US DISTRICT COURT has upheld the Constitution. It is time to not put conditions on personal freedoms. For this paper to publically call this tyranny is just ridiculous and is out of line showing disrespect for the Judicial system and the Rule of Law.

  • Makid Kearns, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 7:46 a.m.

    For those against the recognition of gay marriage think about the following situation which will become fact in the next few years:

    You and your spouse have been married for a while (say 20 years). You both decide it is time to retire, so you move across country to St. George, Utah. After about a year there, your spouse is involved in an accident. You rush to the hospital but are denied entry to the room because your marriage isn't recognized in the state. You talk to the staff and eventually are given entry to the room, just in time to spend the last couple of minutes with them as they pass away.

    You go home, call family and friends and let them know of the passing. You call Social Security which updates their records, you call the state to begin the transfer of assets to your name fully. The state asks for proof of relationship. You state your their spouse and provide a valid marriage license from another state.

    This situation could have happened 2 weeks ago for gay/lesbians, or in the 50's and 60's for interracial couples. Is this what we should be doing?

  • Eye Guy Bluffdale, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 7:40 a.m.

    Crazy that most Mormons don't see the contradiction that fighting this equality train is with their core doctrine. Even the message of the "pre-existence war in heaven" was to allow each their 'agency,' right? Then why are they so aggressively fighting it? One could say they have become followers of Lucifer! Lol!

  • KTC John Wetumpka, AL
    Dec. 21, 2013 7:33 a.m.

    Here is another indisputable factual finding that could support the voters of Utah in their adoption of a traditional definition for marriage. There is an intrinsically procreative purpose for marriage, and the legal definition of marriage should be framed from a child-centered perspective. Marriage exists to channel potentially procreative sexual relationships into enduring, stable, parental unions for the sake of responsibly producing and rearing the next generation. A genderless concept of marriage focused exclusively on the attachment of the two parties is essentially unconcerned with procreation. We should not be required to ignore the natural design of our respective bodies, male and female. Those who choose to act out their gay or lesbian inclinations do so in obvious contradiction to the anatomical design of their physical bodies. It is biologically impossible for any two same-gender persons to produce offspring. Same gender marriages only produce extinction of the human race. It is biologically impossible for any two same gender persons to create families, the best social unit for the rearing of children in our society.

  • Bob A. Bohey Marlborough, MA
    Dec. 21, 2013 7:30 a.m.

    The editors of the Des News are entitled to their opinion. That it could not be more incorrect matters not in the grand scheme of things. Judicial Tyranny indeed! Thanks for the laugh this morning Des News.

  • John P Provo, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 7:28 a.m.

    You call this judicial tyranny and cry "victim." Now imagine being gay and having legislative tyranny forced upon you by the majority. Turn about is fair play. This ruling is a victory for equal rights and for those of us who have been deemed second class citizens by Utah's "majority."

  • higv Dietrich, ID
    Dec. 21, 2013 7:29 a.m.

    What right does one person wit a law degree have to overturn the will of the people. Many judges have to be retained any way to remove Shelby? And I don't subscribe to beliefs that whatever man does is no crime it is ok to sleep with anyone you choose. I do know there is A God that gave us commandments for our protection. Don' subscribe to peoples lack of morality beliefs. People are tolerant as long as you don't oppose there views.

  • Visitor from California Berkeley, CA
    Dec. 21, 2013 7:27 a.m.

    The essence of tyranny is when a majority suppresses the rights of a minority out of sheer prejudice. Our country was founded with protections for minority rights enshrined in our Constitution (remember that many of the founders' ancestors came to this country to escape persecution back in Europe due to their minority religious status, and later amendments to the Constitution came to recognize the rights of those who had been denied them at the founding, including former slaves and women). One of the purposes of the Courts is, in fact, to overturn the will of the majority (as expressed through the measure passed in Utah) when it conflicts with the Constitution and the rights of a minority.

    One of the mainstays of Utah's economy is tourism. I come there from California each October to enjoy the natural beauty of your state. Thanks to this ruling, Utah just became a friendlier, more welcoming state. Congratulations! May the ruling hold up on appeal, but one way or the other, "a change is gonna come." As MLK Jr. said, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."

  • liberalinutah St. George, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 7:26 a.m.

    One can have respect for a judge doing his job. We can know and understand his background because we can easily learn and know his educational background, work background, etc., from which his ruling was made. When an individual writes an opinion piece such as this, using damning words, such as "tyranny" and using all kinds of legal background and legal buzzwords, one would hope and assume that individual has a foundation upon which to base his defamatory comments, but "no", this writer is merely a photographer. I can find no biography on him whatsoever. He appears to be just another person of the predominant religion who doesn't like the fact that someone, anyone, could strike down an element of the Utah constitution because it is not constitutional and protect the rights of the minority, rather than cater to the will of the majority. Yesterday was one of the few times in my life living in Utah that I was proud to say that I am a citizen of Utah.

  • FDRfan Sugar City, ID
    Dec. 21, 2013 7:23 a.m.

    When compared with this editorial opinion, Judge Shelby's decision appearsmto be the work of an intelectual lightweight.

  • Ed Firmage, Jr. Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 7:21 a.m.

    The people of Utah do not have the right to violate the Constitution of the United States, not even if ALL of them think so--not even if the Deseret News thinks so.

  • Springvillepoet Springville, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 7:21 a.m.


    The point is you contradict yourself when you minimize and dismiss popular majority when that majority is in favor of gay marriage but use it to strengthen your point when it comes to defending Utah's constitutional amendment.

    Therein lies the perfect example for those who favor discrimination. When the majority of the people were against gay marriage, you cited that as a fundamental component to your opposition, but now that has changed you say it no longer matters, but wait for it, you still try to use majority to argue why gay marriage should still be banned.

    Now tell us about how yours (or anyone's) heterosexual marriage will be ruined because gay people can be married in Utah.

  • Kings Court Alpine, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 7:05 a.m.

    Any court decisions that I disagree with would be "overstepping" bounds too. This is just political hyperbole from someone on the editorial board.

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 6:59 a.m.

    Redneck lefty: how then is polygamy illegal? Don't all you lefties believe in a changing constitution or is that just when it is convenient to your cause? let me just say it straight? Marriage is between a man and women and anything less is an affront to God!, no matter whether the laws of the land ever say otherwise. the constitution works when common sense is followed and depravity isn't viewed as an excuse for living!

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 6:56 a.m.

    I'm hard pressed to see what facts would have been proven at trial. It was the State's burden to convince Judge Shelby that facts are in dispute. Apparently, the State failed.

    And, Pagan, Judge Shelby was recently appointed. He is an Obama appointee.

  • PolishBear Charleston, WV
    Dec. 21, 2013 6:53 a.m.

    While it's true that the Constitution doesn't define "marriage," the federal government has complicated the issue by taking a vested interest in married couples for the purposes of tax law and Social Security (among the 1,138 legal benefits, protections, and responsibilities that are automatically bestowed on couples once they marry). Therefore this is not an issue that can be left up to the states to decide individually, since it wouldn't do for a Gay couple that is legally married in Iowa, for instance, to become automatically UN-married once they decide to move somewhere else.

    Religious beliefs are irrelevant to this debate, because (1) the United States is not theocracy, and (2) churches will continue to be free to conduct or deny ceremonies to whomever they want.

    Procreation and parenting are irrelevant, since (1) couples do not have to marry to have children, and (2) the ability or even desire to have children is not a prerequisite for getting a marriage license.

    This is simply a matter of equal treatment under the law. But if it will make you feel any better, Straight marriages will be completely unaffected by this decision.

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    Dec. 21, 2013 6:41 a.m.

    It's about time!

  • open minded Lehi, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 6:40 a.m.

    This article is simply trying to spread a message of fear. Go ahead and point legal arguments missed by the judge that is fine. But to end it by claiming that trust is lost in the judicial system does not help our nation- it only helps tear it apart. Lots of court decisions go against peoples' opinions but to lose faith in the system because your opinion lost is not healthy. Spreading a message of fear like this only come from one place- Satan. Fear is his tool and he will use good meaning people to wield that tool. Sadly this article shows that.

  • pcguardian Santiago, 00
    Dec. 21, 2013 6:37 a.m.

    "Our grandchildren will look back and feel embarassed"

    Funny thing this secular theology of progressivism, not only because most of their proponents are pseudo-secularists, but because it rests upon a linear notion of time and moral progress not supported by history. Same for the egalitarian obscurantism which wants us ignore all the differences upon which nature is structured, for the sake of some metaphysical abstractions of 'individual rights' meant to be enforced against communities, which have been able to exist and thrive only because they understood and adjusted to said natural structures.

    It's no coincidence that at the time of the highest sexual chaos in the West, with ubiquitous pornography (of all kinds), transient relations, divorce and with fertility rates below replacement levels, the fad of homosexualism shows its face. It's no coincidence that even in the most "tolerant" countries homosexualism is correlated with higher rates of suicide, alcohol and drug abuse, anxiety disorders and sexually transmitted diseases.

    It's time to stop exalting the individual and its freedom over what an holistic view of human communities demands about which conducts must be encouraged and disencouraged, as minimum requirements for having any stable and functional society.

    Dec. 21, 2013 6:32 a.m.

    How is this possibly about "rights"?

    Prior to the ruling, every man and woman had precisely the same "right" (meaning, in this case, "opportunity") to marry someone of the opposite sex. What the ruling did is change the definition of marriage.

    Marriage is (or was) the mechanism by which the state incentivized couples to establish a legally binding relationship in which children would be produced, nurtured, taught, protected, and provided for. It was about the preservation of society, not about whether two people love each other and would like to have certain legal benefits as a result of that love. The marriage contract, in the eyes of the state, was never about love. The state has no reliable way to assess love or sexual attraction.

    Yes, the sun will continue to rise and existing marriages will not be harmed. It is the future of society, not the present, that is now in question and has been sacrificed on the altar of political correctness by judicial fiat.

  • TA1 Alexandria, VA
    Dec. 21, 2013 6:28 a.m.

    For what other purpose does the Deseret News Editorial Board think we have Judges whose task is to try to make certain that the rights of the minority are not trampled by the will of the majority?

    We live in a Republic (not a Democracy) (I pledge allegiance to the "Republic"). That is our form of government.

    The Judge made a correct decision.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Dec. 21, 2013 6:19 a.m.

    It's very simple. The Constitution is the Law. There is no higher law in Utah than Utah's Constitution. No judge can legislate from the bench without breaking the law. When a judge thinks that he is prophet, priest, and king, he will make laws and force his subjects to obey his will. That concept is very important to the gay community. They always look for their prophet, priest and king who will ignore the law as he dictates from his throne HIS law. When a society accepts that self-proclaimed prophet, priest and king, it has abandoned its government and returned to a feudal system where kings dictate and pawns are ordered to do the king's will. Welcome to the 12th century.

  • EJM Herriman, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 5:44 a.m.

    I guess I was under the impression that the SCOTUS, when it dealt with DOMA this past year, left it up to the individual states to determine whether or not they were going to allow for same sex marriages. Utah already had with its own amendment to the state Constitution. And yes, I understand the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution. In this case I just can't call it marriage. I can call it a civil union with all the legal protections under the US Constitution. I can't, with all due respect, call same sex unions "marriages".

  • CynicJim Taylorsville, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 5:17 a.m.

    The judicial has been out of control for years. Vote against all judges at every election.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 5:17 a.m.

    Judicial Review is the bedrock of our legal system. This isn't the first time, nor will it be the last, that the judicial branch of government has reviewed an existing law, determined that it violates the constitution, and on that basis voided the offending law.

    More to the point - there is simply no rational basis for expecting governments to perpetuate a popular injustice.

  • Wilf 55 SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 3:44 a.m.

    On this very same day, December 20, 2013, the Ugandan parliament passed a bill that punishes acts of homosexuality with life in prison. "This legislation is needed to protect the traditional family here in Africa" said David Bahati, the introducer of the bill. Reading some comments by conservatives Utahns, one wonders how close they would like Utah to be to Uganda.

  • Shelama SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 2:56 a.m.

    It has nothing to do with any imaginary "judicial tyranny."

    it has to do with the State of Utah totally failing to make even a rational-basis legal case for discrimination inherent in Amendment 3 in clear violation of individual Constitutional rights to equal protection.

  • Aussie Teacher WESTON, VT
    Dec. 21, 2013 2:34 a.m.

    Perhaps an unelected judge is the best person to deal with such things as s/he wouldn't feel that they have to follow the dictates of the Mormon church which seems to still weald the power in Utah.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Dec. 21, 2013 2:21 a.m.

    "Mr. Chairman, I strongly support Bob Shelby’s nomination and commend him to my Committee colleagues. I hope this Committee and the full Senate will approve his nomination as soon as possible."

    Orin Hatch.

    DMN have you ever heard the term "the tyrany of the majority?. The abused have become supporters of the abuswers.

  • stormchaser Los Angeles, CA
    Dec. 21, 2013 2:16 a.m.

    This is one of the most embarrassingly short-sighted and wrong-headed opinion pieces I've ever read. It's shameful.

  • Normal Guy Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 2:03 a.m.

    The Supreme Court justices that argued this past June that too little is known about gay marriage to experiment with it were spot on. When interracial laws were deemed unconstitutional there were hundreds of years of empirical data from countries that allowed it to base the decision off. We have less that 10 years of experience with this.

    I guess my vote on Amendment 3 doesn't matter when one judge, who likely doesn't know the equal amendment clause any better than me, decided it doesn't matter.

    The will of the people governs the United States, not activist judges and mayors.

  • Stenar Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 1:51 a.m.

    Mob rule is unconstitutional. You cannot vote on the rights of a minority. That's why Amendment 3 is unconstitutional.

  • daodejing ogden, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 1:17 a.m.

    The logic in this editorial is wrong. The judge is not being an activist, and his ruling will be vindicated.

    As a practical matter, whenever the supreme court decides that a "right" is covered by the "equal protection clause," that right must eventually be extended to the entire country. Historically the judicial criterion is that the characteristic under consideration, like skin color, is genetic and hence not a personal choice. When Kennedy and the majority decided that sexual orientation is an innate characteristic, the writing was on the wall.

    The irony is that now even the Mormon church (Mormonsandgays.org) acknowledges that orientation is genetically determined, that gay people "do not choose to have such attractions." The supreme court dissenter, Justice Scalia, would have looked at the Mormon position, as he did the majority decision, and yelled: "but that means that gays should have the same rights as straight people!" And Scalia would be right.

    If the church is wise, they'll wait and let some other other state appeal these issues. Surely the last thing they want is to be remembered as the losers in "Utah versus the United States," a case seeking to perpetuate discrimination.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    Dec. 21, 2013 1:10 a.m.

    That's some fine whining you're doing there, DN. Kudos.

  • Soren Simonsen Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 1:08 a.m.

    Deseret News' claim of "tyranny" is itself tyrannical, since the judicial system that has allowed such a ruling, even by a single judge, is part of the most fundamental structure of the government created the Constitution. Amendment 3 was and is unconstitutional, and this ruling is the most fundamental illustration of checks and balance in action. Huge win for the integrity of the Constitution today.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 21, 2013 1:00 a.m.

    From the editorial, "That would seem to apply even more forcefully in a review of how Utah defines marriage given that the enabling act that permitted Utah to join the union in 1896 specified that our state adopt constitutionally a traditional definition of marriage."

    No, actually - the Enabling Act says nothing about a traditional definition of marriage - it only states polygamy must be prohibited. The exact verbiage is, "... polygamous or plural marriages are forever prohibited."

    If you cannot make your point without lying, perhaps there is a problem with the point you are trying to make?

    Additionally, you mention the State's request for Summary Judgement and imply a decision supporting it would have been valid - while at the same time criticizing the judge as overstepping his bounds by finding in favor of the Plaintiff's request for summary judgement instead of having a trial.

    The judge made the only decision available to him based on the paucity of the State's arguments. And you present no factually compelling reasons for why the decision should have been different.

    Laws prohibiting same-sex marriage fail judicial review because there are no legally compelling reasons to support them.

  • Utah_1 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 12:58 a.m.

    It is clear the Ag's office gets a fail x 2. (both marriage rulings)

    Agree or not with the policies, the AG. should have properly defended our state constitution and laws. Not having a stay/appeal ready and waiting today would not have happened, in my opinion, or would not of occurred if the Gov had appointed one of the top 2 nominees on Mon, Tues, Wed, or even yesterday. Christmas is coming.

    Tell me why Brian should be appointed now? Sean and Bob are looking better and showing why they were the SCC first 2 choices. Bob specifically warned about being flat footed on this.

  • JLFuller Boise, ID
    Dec. 21, 2013 12:47 a.m.

    The issue is about right versus wrong and who gets to decide. In a truly moral nation judges follow the law strictly. In our nation, the politically correct minority gets to choose and everyone with a pet cause is a victim with a cavalcade of wrongs which demand redressing. We have a Congress which makes laws. Judges do not or are at least they are not supposed to. But that no longer seems to make any difference. Think I am wrong? Just ask any Democrat.

  • Trouble Vancouver, WA
    Dec. 21, 2013 12:35 a.m.

    I'm trying to reconcile the judge's opinion with the Proclamation on the Family's encouragement to responsible citizens and leaders of government to protect the traditional definition of marriage. A judge who can't follow such simple directions probably shouldn't be on the bench.

  • Contrariuser mid-state, TN
    Dec. 21, 2013 12:33 a.m.

    Ummmm....DN. Have you guys noticed that every court to which this question is brought -- in states all across the nation -- is uniformly deciding on the side of the 14th Amendment and equal rights for all citizens?

    That should be a clue.

    This isn't a matter of judicial tyranny. It's a matter of the US Constitution protecting a minority from the tyranny of the majority. And that's an important part of what our Constitution was created for.

  • NedGrimley Brigham City, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 12:27 a.m.

    Wow. This is happening even faster than expected. Will be interesting to see how soon the rest of the story begins to play out.

  • Always Two Steps Ahead Vancouver, WA
    Dec. 21, 2013 12:23 a.m.

    I agree wholeheartedly with this editorial. The judge has short circuited the legal process to craft an opinion molded to fit his own personal social views and pulled the overused cry of "unconstitutional" out of thin air. The judge's opinion uses poor logic and is indefensible and irresponsible. Let's hope wiser heads prevail on appeal.

  • DucatiCR Salt Lake City, Utah
    Dec. 21, 2013 12:14 a.m.

    Last time I checked "Judicial Tyranny" doesn't have an appeal process allowing you to try and argue that the outcome should have been different.

    And before you blame "Liberal out of touch judges"

    Just remember Senator Mike Lee, and Orrin Hatch submitted this name to the President of the United States and he nominated this justice to the court.

    Equality is just that. EQUAL. Across all Genders, Skin Colors, Sexual Orientation.

  • RedneckLefty St. George, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 12:11 a.m.

    "Gays and lesbians are not deprived of any rights they are due in a liberal democracy when a state, like Utah, through open democratic processes insists that marriage is between a man and a woman."

    It's fine if you say the don't deserve the rights. But how can you say with a straight face that they are not deprived of them under the previous law?!

  • gittalopctbi Glendale, AZ
    Dec. 21, 2013 12:10 a.m.

    @ThinksIThink I think that certain opinionated people will find one day that they will be more than just embarrassed.

    @Pagan Your points are totally irrelevant to this issue. It makes no difference if a "majority" of the nation are for SSM and it also does not matter if a majority of the nation are against SSM. It also doesn't matter who appointed the judge--who cares? The point is that Utah voted with a supermajority to amend their constitution. A judge should not have power to overturn that amendment. Court rulings are not based on majority electorate opinion. It should be based on law and the constitution.

  • RedneckLefty St. George, UT
    Dec. 21, 2013 12:07 a.m.

    Judicial tyranny = a judge made a ruling that we disagree with.

    Hate to break it to you, conservatives, but the whole purpose of the judicial branch of government is to check legislation, drafted by officials elected by the majority, against the constitution, and the constitutionality of a law is not a function of its popularity.

  • A Scientist Provo, UT
    Dec. 20, 2013 11:58 p.m.

    Wow! Rarely has there been strung together a more pathetic collection of legalistic whining and petty parliamentary proceduralism masquerading as argument.

    Only trained legal mind simultaneously blunted and blinded by religious dogma could possibly blow so much impotent hot air as this.

    Bigotry is crumbling across this great, freedom loving country, and all the puny hands of hyperbole and religious objection in the world will not stop the rising tide of marriage equality from sweeping the nation from coast to coast.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 20, 2013 11:55 p.m.

    'Poll: Majority in US back same-sex marriage' - Live Science – 05/20/2011

    'Gallup shows 53 percent say it should be legal, up from 44 percent last year'


    the judge in question was appointed by George W. Bush.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 20, 2013 11:53 p.m.


    'Poll: New High Of 58 Percent Support Same-Sex Marriage' – By TOM KLUDT – By Talking Points Memo – 03/18/13

    'At a time when the Supreme Court prepares to take up same-sex marriage and the Republican Party determines the best approach to the issue going forward, an ABC News/Washington Post poll released Monday showed a new high-water mark in support for the right of gay and lesbian couples to tie the knot. 
    The poll found 58 percent of Americans now believe marriage should be legal for same-sex couples, while just 36 percent said it should be illegal.'

    'A Majority of Young Republicans Support Gay Marriage' - —By Tim Murphy – Mother Jones – 03/08/2013

    ' On Thursday, Jan van Lohuizen and Joel Benenson, top campaign pollsters respectively for Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, released a new study on attitudes toward marriage equality, based on 2012 exit poll data. The short of it: Even young Republicans think conservatives are fighting a losing battle.'

    I don't think that word means…

    what you think it means.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Dec. 20, 2013 11:52 p.m.

    In our opinion: Triumph of the constitution over religious tyranny.

  • Billy Bob Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 20, 2013 11:37 p.m.

    I agree completely with this opinion piece. It is judicial tyranny. It doesn't matter what you think about the issue at hand. A single judge should not have the power to make such a decision for an entire state. End of story. I would say the same thing if it was a decision I agree with. Horrible, horrible, horrible decision. Judges should not (and constitutionally don't) have the power to make such decisions all by there selves, based on their own bias when an entire state has made the opposite decision. I am all for citizens trying to change laws and work for causes they believe in (even if it is a cause I disagree with). But it should be done in the proper way. This is not the proper way. Shame on the judge.

  • rightascension Provo, UT
    Dec. 20, 2013 11:38 p.m.

    The 14th Amendment is hardly a scantly legal precedent.

    Do Utahns want Utah to be remembered as the Mississippi of marriage reform/evolution? Do Utahns want Utah to be on marriage equality in the 2010s what Mississippi was to the civil rights movement in the 1960s?

    Amusing that when heterosexuals corrupt marriage most Utahns will call it "progressive." But when homosexual corrupt marriage, most Utahns will call it a "sin." Heterosexuals have over the years done the most damage to marriage.

  • Wilf 55 SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Dec. 20, 2013 11:36 p.m.

    Sometimes respect for basic rights oblige a judge to rule against the will of the majority. And time and experience will show that the decision was right. It has been the same with other discriminatory laws in the past. Some day our grandchildren will wonder what all the fuss was about in 2013: a small group of gays and lesbians wanted something as simple as equal rights. It was granted and with time the matter became a non-issue. Like interracial marriage.

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 20, 2013 11:32 p.m.

    "The essence of judicial tyranny is when a single, unelected federal judge declares the laws and constitution of an entire state null and void with an opinion clothed in the barest of legal precedent"

    Except that there's plenty of precedent (striking down interracial marriage bans for instance) and the laws and constitutional provisions of a state are supposed to be struck null and void if they are in violation of the federal constitutional. That is the entire point of judicial review.

    "That Supreme Court decision, Windsor v. U.S., dealt with the federal definition of marriage.
    The Windsor case, however, pointedly did not impact state laws defining marriage."

    Wait, you're using the DOMA case and not Prop 8? Uh... if the court overturned state laws during a challenge to a federal law, that'd be much more of an overreach than today's decision is being claimed to be.

    "sex discrimination even though there is no difference between the way men and women are treated under Utah marriage law."

    The discriminated sex is partners of the same sex. This applies to both men and women. Interracial marriage bans were racist even though one could marry their own race.

  • ThinksIThink SEATTLE, WA
    Dec. 20, 2013 11:21 p.m.

    I think the editorial board and many other institutions will look back in ten years at their statements today regarding gay marriage and be embarrassed.