On gay marriage, Utah must protect its laws and democratic processes

Return To Article
Add a comment
  • News2use Sandy, UT
    April 20, 2014 4:26 p.m.

    I am sick of being told that because I do not support gay marriage that I am anti-gay. Let me be clear that I am not anti-gay and do not hate gays. When you make a straw man of me and label me anti-gay because I do not think like you do, this is not a "loving" thing to do. If you want to wear a love T-shirt or hold a love sign with a big smile, please do not force a man like Mr. Eich (Mozilla) out of his job because he does not believe like you do. Please do not deny a Chik-fil-A business owner a license in New York and Chicago because he does not believe like you do.Bullying in the name of love is still bullying.

  • News2use Sandy, UT
    April 20, 2014 4:20 p.m.

    I don't expect to change anyone's mind,given the usual hysteria surrounding pro gay issues, but still would like to speak my mind. IMHO, marriage came about because it was in the interest of the state to get involved due to the unique procreative ability of the heterosexual relationship.The state did not want the burden of caring for illegitimate children.It is not necessarily in the interest of the state to promote all relationships in the same manner. (It would require the appreciation of nuance to understand this notion.It seems in your point of view, if we do not agree with you, you think we hate you. In civil discourse, it is okay to agree to disagree.

  • Alfred Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 25, 2014 12:14 a.m.

    "Hopefully one day I can come back to my home state and find it a bastion of equality for all."

    Maybe you can come back and enjoy equality for polygamist marriages. Is that what you're hoping to find? Maybe you'd like to see fist cousins marry who are now mostly restricted. Maybe you'd like to see three men marry, or two men and three women. There are myriads of other love combinations that would fall into your bastion of equality that I'm sure you're hoping to find.

  • Mr. Bean Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 24, 2014 11:46 p.m.

    "And by the way, if you don't think marriage equality for gay people is a civil right..."

    Is polygamist marriages a civil right?

    "Please take a look at Loving v Virginia before drawing your 'state right' conclusion."

    Please take a look at the Edmunds-Tucker Act (abolishing polygamy in Utah), Utah Code 30.1.1 (outlawing incestuous marriages), and 30.1.2 (outlawing marriage to children) before drawing your (likely) conclusion about government's (including state's) authority to deny/control certain types of marriages.

    "...but we need to also allow room for people who are different. "

    Could you list some people who are different? Supposing a son loves his mother... would that be something you would classify as different?

    Supposing a boy loves his frog... would that be something you would classify as different?

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 14, 2014 9:09 p.m.

    To "Gibster" who states, "One of many reasons that I left the state is that I was sick of the majority trying to enforce their moral code through legislation."

    So, is it correct to assume that you think it is better that a minority enforce its "moral code" through the judicial system?

    If so, which do you think is superior. The minority's over the majority's moral code or the judgement of the courts over the legislator's...or both?

  • Chilidog Somewhere, IL
    Jan. 14, 2014 4:21 p.m.

    Sorry, but the decision was not overreaching. It was the right decision. The state of Utah can not discriminate against any of it's citizens for religious reasons. And that is all that the SSM ban was, a religious prohibition.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Jan. 14, 2014 7:09 a.m.

    @Confused 2:50 p.m. Jan. 13, 2014

    LOVING referenced mixed-race marriages because the case that it decided was based on mixed-race marriages. If, for example, the case had been based on the propriety of two sets of identical twins cross-marrying (yes, I picked a ridiculous premise to make my point), then the decision would have addressed the issue that a ban on two sets of identical twins cross-marrying violated the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution. LOVING confirmed the principle that marriage is a long-recognized fundamental right and that the Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted based on discrimination. KITCHEN is just one more case confirming that principle. KITCHEN was rightly decided.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Jan. 14, 2014 7:03 a.m.

    Utah shou8ld "protect its laws and democratic processes’ PROVIDED that doesn't impair the rights of Utah's minority citizens. Utah's ofrficials and citiaens should realize that Utah is at all times subject to the US Constitution (as is set forth in Article 3 of Utah's Constitution). The tyranny of the majority denying rights to the minorities must not be attempted or allowed. "Majority rules" is appropriate only up to a point and, when that point is reached, "majority rules" no longer is appropriate.

  • Confused Sandy, UT
    Jan. 13, 2014 2:50 p.m.

    PolishBear said "And you know, back before the case of Loving v. Virginia"

    I really do get tired of this argument when it has NO basis on Gay marriage.

    If you actually read the entire statement "Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival.... To deny this fundamental freedom on so unsupportable a basis as the racial classifications embodied in these statutes, classifications so directly subversive of the principle of equality at the heart of the Fourteenth Amendment, is surely to deprive all the State's citizens of liberty without due process of law. The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discrimination."

    Please notice that last sentence "The Fourteenth Amendment requires that the freedom of choice to marry not be restricted by invidious racial discrimination."

    So in essence, it talking about different races marrying which is he basic right of all human beings.... It is NOT talking about marriage per say, but denying a race a right to marry another race.

  • Bob K portland, OR
    Jan. 13, 2014 1:56 a.m.

    Parody of this article:

    "Opinion:Values of the LDS Church Must Govern the Laws of Utah"

    "This State, founded by, and populated mainly by lds members, is entitled to pass laws that follow lds beliefs.
    Since the church is based on the procreation of married people, all marriage laws, especially, must follow lds dictates.
    Citizens who are not lds will benefit from following our ways, since we know God's will.
    Anyone who says that fairness or the US Constitution negate some of those laws is contradicting God's will for us all."

    ---ALL GOOD, if Utah is a theocracy that plans to secede from the Union.

    In my view, the DN would serve the lds church and its members better by providing a broader view, and getting them ready for the totally inevitable permanent negation of Amendment 3.

    Of course, if the goal is to point out to the rest of the world that Utah is owned by the lds church, and does not have to submit to the US Constitution, then carry on!

  • Gibster San Antonio, TX
    Jan. 12, 2014 12:27 p.m.

    @Cats. My roots in Utah go back to the 1850's and my knowledge of Consitiutional Law came from Weber State University. One of many reasons that I left the state is that I was sick of the majority trying to enforce their moral code through legislation. Hopefully one day I can come back to my home state and find it a bastion of equality for all.

  • Maudine SLC, UT
    Jan. 12, 2014 10:17 a.m.

    A lot of people want to focus on the whole "two parents of opposite genders" thing.

    Here are my questions about that:

    Why are you so focused on that with same-sex couples and yet so unfocused on that when it comes to divorce or single parenting? Why are single people allowed to foster and adopt?

    What about children already being raised by same-sex parents? Do you think prohibiting same-sex marriage will change the orientation or cause the parents to give up the kids?

    Why are you only focused on this one issue when it comes to marriage and parenting?

  • Gibster San Antonio, TX
    Jan. 12, 2014 1:49 a.m.

    Sam Hill: So It logically follows that to enforce this policy the children of all LGBT parents should be removed from their custody and placed in at traditional opposite sex parent household? And you would have the state enforce this policy of course? Ridiculous .

  • bandersen Saint George, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 11:51 p.m.

    I would sure like to hear both orally and in word by our more open minded brothers who love to express publicly their support for gay marriage (but not polygamy, of course) to also put it on record before their maker that He is wrong about it! Perhaps standing up to Him might change their tune.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 11:17 p.m.

    "However, it is important not to get lost in legal details. Utah has long valued its independence, as well as the extraordinary social and economic results that stem from a deep-seated support of the traditional family." Is it possible that the United States might break up over the matter of SSM? Arguments for state sovereignty which circulate around here really argue for a loose coalition of states. But such a coalition would not be the powerful United States that we know. As an aside Putin has predicted a breakup of the United States.

    I frankly hope we can stick together. The world is a very dangerous place and the prospect of a less influential and powerful U.S. gives even socialist like me some concern.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 9:38 p.m.

    "Utah's historic opportunity is to stand up for democracy, and for a Constitution of delegated and enumerated powers. Under that Constitution, states are permitted to democratically enact laws that strengthen the family and promote the benefits of gender complementarity in marriage policy."

    As someone who is a strong advocate for diversity, I could not agree more. In this case, the diversity represented by of having a member of each sex being bonded together through traditional marriage. It is for the benefits that children receive by having parents of both sexes that many of the other benefits afforded to married couples were intended. As it should remain.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Jan. 11, 2014 7:16 p.m.

    The Constitution was also created by a democratic process. It not only protects the rights of federal and state governments but more importantly the rights of the individual. Federal Courts have the task of balancing these rights. The arguments the Deseret News makes in this editorial were made by those who opposed interracial marriage 50 years ago. They were rejected then and will be rejected again for the following reason:

    "These matters, involving the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life. Beliefs about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under compulsion of the State." Casey,505 U.S. at 851. From Kitchen v. Herbert, December 20, 2013.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 6:44 p.m.

    "That is why we are a democratic republic where the power remains with the people and where the voice of the majority is law."
    @mike richards

    and the reason we have a constitution including the bill of rights would be what Mike? the rights of minorities are protected because "the majority" does not always represent what is best for society or individuals, At one time the "majority of people in England all belonged to the state religion and believed they haas the right by law to force those of minority religions to comply with their religious dictates. Kind if how we all ended up here in the first place. At one time the Hitler represented the views of the majority of Germans, again not so good for society or individuals. shall I go on? there is a reason the founding father that you claim to admire so much created a bill of rights that protects the minority for the tyranny of the majority. It maybe better to go back to the "if everybody did it" argument it was at least amusing.

  • rondonaghe Mesilla/USA, NM
    Jan. 11, 2014 5:48 p.m.

    Extremely bad decisions were made in those states that allowed one group of citizens to vote on the rights of another group of citizens in creating state constitutional bans on same sex marriage. I don't remember being allowed to vote on whether heterosexuals could get married. This is NOT democracy in action. It is allowing a tyranny of the majority to take away rights from a minority. If we look back in history not so long ago, when interracial marriage was the issue of the day, nowhere were citizens allowed a "democratic" process to vote on this issue. Interracial marriage was not allowed by legislators in some states and then overturned in the courts. Had such an issue been put up for vote and allowed to become part of some states' constitutions, interracial marriages would still be illegal in those states. No...sometimes the general citizen should NOT be allowed to vote on an issue. That's what we have legislatures for, as well as balance of powers in a judiciary. Further, states rights ARE trumped by the federal constitution in Amendment 14. It is disingenuous of the Deseret News to pretend that this is a states' rights issue.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 5:43 p.m.

    "Free Agency"? Who made up that "definition"? The correct term is "Agency and Accountabiity". God decreed that we are agents unto ourselves, but He never gave us "Free Agency". He gave us "Agency and Accountability". We will answer for every thought, for every desire and for every action that is part of mortality. We will also fully answer and be fully accountable for each and every time that we encourage others to abandon the rules set by our Creator and made up our own rules to supplant those of Deity. Not only will we be held accountable for our own willful mistakes, but we will share responsibility with those whom we have misled.

    That is what "Free Agency" is all about. God gave us "agency" and He will require a full accounting of how we chose to use that "agency". His plan offers no compromise, no "get out of jail free" cards. We will be held 100% responsible for our lives until we completely change and repent, acknowledging that God's laws are 100% binding on our activities.

  • EJM Herriman, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 3:03 p.m.

    I am a supporter of marriage between a man and a woman. I can't call it a marriage when it is between same sex individuals. With that said, this is going to go to the SCOTUS. They will have the final say so, unless the Congress sends to the states an amendment dealing with this issue, one way or the other. I just know this. The US Constitution is the Supreme Law of the land. Not the Utah Constitution. The Desnews is wrong in its opinion here but that is the beauty of the First Amendment.

  • riverofsun St.George, Utah
    Jan. 11, 2014 2:31 p.m.

    Whenever investigators ask questions they may not understand about life, and confusing issues concerning the LDS Church, the kind young missionaries and the LDS Sunday School teachers discuss free agency.
    Is free agency no longer relevant here?

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 1:48 p.m.

    Wouldn't it be wise to read the words of a respected judge? Here is what Dallin H. Oaks (who served on the Utah Supreme Court) said in 1987:"The people are the source of government power God gave the power to the people, and the people consented to a constitution that delegated certain powers to the government. Sovereignty is not inherent in a state or nation just because it has the power that comes from force of arms. The sovereign power is in the people. Popular sovereignty necessarily implies popular responsibility.There is divine inspiration in the fundamental underlying premise of this whole constitutional order. All the blessings enjoyed under the United States Constitution are dependent upon the rule of law. The rule of law is the basis of liberty."


    Of course there may be religious bigots who reject any message that doesn't agree with their own, but that is what bigotry is - eternal ignorance because of self-induced pride. No matter what you think about religion, Dallin H. Oaks is also a renowned judge who was very seriously considered for nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. His views have gavitas.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Jan. 11, 2014 1:29 p.m.

    How does prohibiting same-sex marriage further the cause of promoting children being raised by a heterosexually married couple?

    This is the question that the State has been asked and must answer.

    It is all well and good to claim the power to promote a certain familial structure, but without proving a connection between that goal and any laws passed in the supposed furtherance of that goal, that power is limited by the 5th, 9th, and 14th Amendments.

    There is nothing in this editorial that addresses the question the State must answer. So far no legal filing, letter, editorial, my view, or comment has come close to answering that question.

    No matter how many times the same hyperbole is stated, without explaining how prohibiting same-sex marriage furthers the goal of children being raised by married, heterosexual individuals, there is no foundation for Amendment 3.

    Does prohibiting same-sex marriage reduce single parent households? Does it somehow reduce the number if children being raised by same-sex parents? Does allowing same-sex marriage decrease the number of heterosexual marriages? What - exactly - is the connection between the goal of promoting heterosexual married couples raising children and the prohibition of same-sex marriage?

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 12:55 p.m.

    "Making a rule that no company can put nuts in their food because some people are allergic to nuts would be nonsense."

    I am also allergic to nuts, lactose intolerant, and require a gluten-free diet. I have never been harassed, assaulted, or told I am a sinner because of these traits. I have never heard of parents kicking a child out of their home for being allergic to nuts. I have never seen any state pass laws forbidding two nut-allergy suffering adults from marrying each other; imagine the suffering of those poor children.

    I have, however, been harassed, beaten up, and isolated from friends and family because of my sexual orientation. I have been called a sinner and told I haven't prayed hard enough. There was a time--as a teenager--when I often thought it wouldn't be too bad if I just died in my sleep. I am grateful that I am still around to see people evolve and become kinder to those of us who are different.

  • Karen R. Houston, TX
    Jan. 11, 2014 12:37 p.m.

    States' rights: It is ironic that, because of the way things have developed, it was the act of explicitly banning SSM that took the control of this issue out of states’ hands.

    Religious freedom: SSM opponents are actually working against their best interests with respect to religious liberty. Given that the real impetus behind SSM opposition is religion (let's be honest - it is), and given that not all religions are anti-SSM, allowing SSM bans to stand would equate to government favoring one set of religious beliefs over another. Thus the attempt to impose anti-SSM beliefs upon the general population is actually a threat to the very constitutional amendment that affords one the right to hold these beliefs.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 12:16 p.m.

    RE: "I would be fine with anyone citing the will of the 'majority' from Amendment 3, if it did not pass in 2004. Today, is 2014"...

    Sooo... by this logic should we just dismiss ALL laws over 10 years old? Or just the ones Pagan doesn't like?


    RE: " I have always argued that the natural structure of society is the commune"... (Marxist)

    Then you probably support polygamy (which is raising children in a communal setting with many mothers that all take on different responsibilities in the family/commune)

    I'll be expecting your letters of support of polygamy when it goes before the court.

    Re: "go and spend the 2 mil somewhere useful"...

    Like the millions environmentalists forced us to spend on Legacy Highway law suits, etc??

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 12:03 p.m.

    'Once again, out-of-staters all involved in what goes on in our state. Interesting! '

    And yet the LDS church donated millions of dollars during Prop 8 and only made up 2% of California's population.
    Why no 'outrage' out 'out of towers' trying to change policy?

    Because that is a double standard. Stay out of Utah, and Utah invades and factually tries to legislate other states.

    'If you want to change to constitution, pass an amendment.'

    1st, you are not understanding the concept of 'inalienable rights'.

    Utah, is part of a country. Hate to break it to you. Majority of that country is not LDS. So following your own logic of 'majority'…

    Mormons should convert to christianity, because there is a clear majority who are christian.

    Take it a step further:

    There are more followers of Islam than any other faith in the world today. Following 'majority' logic, every LDS person should convert to Islam.

    Do you want to? No?

    Well IT'S THE MAJORITY. Right?

    Inalienable rights are not up to the will of the majority.

    That, once again, is Tyranny.

    Do try not to get Democracy and Tyranny confused.

  • PolishBear Charleston, WV
    Jan. 11, 2014 11:49 a.m.

    BigD writes, "They have the same right I do, marry someone of the opposite sex."

    If you actually knew someone who was Gay, you would know how absurd such a statement it.

    And you know, back before the case of Loving v. Virginia, in 41 out of 48 states a similar statement would be heard: "You have every right to get married ... as long as you marry someone of the same race."

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Jan. 11, 2014 11:42 a.m.

    @BigD – “Rights are not being trampled, they have the same right I do, marry someone of the opposite sex.”

    A bit like saying “fish have the same right as me… to breathe air.”

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 11:17 a.m.

    Utah's historic opportunity is to stand up for all people, and for a Constitution of delegated and enumerated powers, as well as inalienable individual rights. Under that Constitution, states are permitted to democratically enact laws that strengthen the family and promote the benefits of gender complementarity, and equality, in marriage policy. What we do with this historic opportunity is going to say a lot about us now, and in the future.
    Any call to try to nullify those marriages that have occurred up to this point not only looks callous, but desperate. Every second these people are married serves to disprove by demonstration much of the argument against same sex marriage. This cat is escaping the bag, and efforts to return it are not going to look good or succeed.

  • micawber Centerville, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 11:06 a.m.

    And if a municipality uses its democratic processes to prevent us from building a temple in their city?

  • Tyler D Meridian, ID
    Jan. 11, 2014 10:52 a.m.

    Ironic given the disdain conservatives typically have for democracy (i.e., only when they get elected are elections legitimate).

    Talk about moral/political relativism... oh well, whatever works!

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 10:50 a.m.

    IMO Governor and AG are OBLIGATED to defend Constitution and our existing laws (regardless of their personal beliefs). It's their job.

    The Prop-3 definition of "Marriage" is part of our State Constitution now. They pledged to defend the Constitution. So they MUST defend it (regardless of their personal beliefs). It's their JOB.

    Herbert may celebrate if its overturned... but till then... it's their job to enforce it and defend it (it's the Constitution).


    My issue with Eric Holder... He has decided he does NOT need to defend some Federal laws (IF he doesn't like them) or parts of the Constitution (IF he doesn't like them).

    I think it's the AG and the President's job to defend and enforce our laws (as long as they are on the books) and defend every part of the Constitution (even the parts they don't like).

    Once the Supreme Court says "It's no longer the law"... THEN they can stop defending and enforcing it. But that's not what Holder and Obama are doing.

    IF they don't like a law... they just won't enforce it or defend it. Do your job.

  • Berkeley reader Berkeley , CA
    Jan. 11, 2014 10:43 a.m.

    The federal judiciary and DOJ did the right thing. Gay people need federal protection in places like Utah, just as black people needed civil protections in the south. Utah will emerge from the dark ages one of these years, probably kicking and screaming,

  • Cowboy Joe Encampment, WY
    Jan. 11, 2014 10:40 a.m.

    What is traditional marriage anyways? Is it polygamy, arranged marriages, same race, what? It seems the definition traditional changes every 100 years or so.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 10:35 a.m.

    To the protester in the news video last night saying, "public opinion has changed in the 10 years since Prop-3 passed"... IMO the way to prove that is to put it to another vote... not by yelling at people at the capitol, or getting a judge to overrule the majority vote.

    Until you get another vote and prove that the majority of Utahns have changed their mind... we don't know if what he said is true, so overturning it by judge or by protest over the will of the majority... is always going to have a nasty taste to it.

    In a Democracy.... when the expressed will of the people is overruled by a judge, or a small group of loud demonstrators... it just doesn't go down well.

    I understand that the minority needs to be protected from a majority bent on harming them... IF that was the rational behind the judge's decision... I'm OK with it.

    I think the majority is just trying to protect traditional marriage from becoming a Sodom-and-Gomorra type traditional marriage. I can understand that. It's not to injure or hurt anybody.. it's to preserve an age-old tradition.

  • BigD Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 10:26 a.m.

    If you want to change to constitution, pass an ammendment. It would not pass because the majority of Utahns do not want same-sex marriage recognized. Just because there is a very vocal minority trying to shove it down our throats under the guise of "tolerance" and equality does not mean Utah wants it. If you don't like it, there are 17 states that recognize it. For those apologists that call themselves members of the LDS church, please read the statement issued by the church yesterday. Love the sinner, hate the sin.

  • BigD Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 10:19 a.m.

    Rights are not being trampled, they have the same right I do, marry someone of the opposite sex.

  • KJB1 Eugene, OR
    Jan. 11, 2014 10:16 a.m.

    "Utah has long valued its' independence..."

    As it receives more money from the federal government than it pays back in taxes.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 10:04 a.m.

    Equality for all.

    No amount of OP rhetoric can stop that.

    You cannot claim that you want 'some' people to have marriage, in 'some' states, during 'some' time…

    and claim you love them.

    It is not equal treatment under the law. And LGBT pay taxes and die in wars, for equal treatment in this country.

  • Missouri loves BYU Lebanon, MO
    Jan. 11, 2014 10:03 a.m.

    My kids are allergic to nuts. It is genetic. If they eat nuts, they will end up in the hospital. They could die. Eating nuts, however is still a choice. Not every restaurant offers food that does not contain nuts. We find restaurants that meet our needs. We are not offended. At their school there is a special table set up for those kids who have allergies. They can choose to sit there or at a regular table. we are not offended. Teachers have passed out snacks that have nuts. Our kids passed theirs onto a friend. We were not offended. We recognize that being allergic to nuts is not typical. People who like to eat nuts are not nut allergen haters. People who bring us snacks at christmas that contain nuts are not nut allergen haters. Companies that put nuts in their products are not nut allergen haters. Making a rule that no company can put nuts in their food because some people are allergic to nuts would be nonsense. If a bakery refused to ensure that the cake they produce does not contain nuts would I be offended. Nope. I can find one who will.

  • FT salt lake city, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 9:53 a.m.

    You really can't blame the Governor and the A.G. for defending the law and the Utah constitution. That's there job as servants of the State. People of Utah, and the Mormon church need to take the responsibilty for the recent events. They decided to put their personal prejudices and religous convictions into law. Just as they were on the wrong side of history with their positions on blacks they're on the wrong side here.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 9:54 a.m.

    The statement "The ability of a state to govern itself has always been the hallmark of a democracy", is not an attribute of the state of Utah. Utah, like most other states, vigorously oppose democracy as shown by its laws, practices and doctrine that prevent the voice of the people to extend beyond the ballot box.

    Same sex marriage would not fair well in a democratic election, but personal freedom to do and be as the individual pleases would pass 99% to 1%. If a person does not have the freedom to do and be as he pleases, not in conflict with others, that person has been denied the Constitutional right of freedom.

    Marriage should be regarded as a national issue. Else a couple should have to remarry if they move to a new state. Sort of like we do with drivers licenses. Perhaps it would be a good idea to have to renew your marriage every year.

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 9:51 a.m.

    @Gibster: Once again, out-of-staters all involved in what goes on in our state. Interesting! I had no idea there were so many constitutional experts on these boards.

    @Ophelia: A homosexual relationship will NEVER be a marriage worlds without end. It doesn't matter how many laws we pass, how much we pretend, or how much we live in denial. We can pass laws that say a horse is a dog. A horse will still never be a dog.

    The people of Utah have the right to regulate marriage laws as was ruled by the Supreme Court when they struck down DOMA. If a state loses the right for the voice of the people to rule, there is little time left for us as a nation and as a civilization.

    Jan. 11, 2014 9:50 a.m.

    Democracy? Wasn't it just last year that our State Legislature was busy proposing laws demanding that our schools stop teaching that the US was a democracy and start calling it a "Constitutional Republic"?

  • skeptic Phoenix, AZ
    Jan. 11, 2014 9:46 a.m.

    When the inevitable is evident then the best policy is to. Work to implement the inevitable as favorably as possible and the best good.

  • Missouri loves BYU Lebanon, MO
    Jan. 11, 2014 9:43 a.m.

    As the Author states...We must start with the basics and follow our legal decisionmaking process.
    Too often on this ssm topic it appears that all the lines are becoming blurred. Is it a state decision or is it constitutional right? Are the people who oppose it hateful or are those that support it forcing a liberal position. Are decisions being made based on political positioning, personal views or the will of the people. Are we following the democratic process the way the founding fathers established it or are we taking shortcuts for political gain. Is it genectic, or is it a choice? If we are follwing our correct legal process, why do we have such a mess...

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 9:27 a.m.

    @ Ohelia,

    I also know some wonderful gay couples and I want them to have essential rights like all couples. They can achieve this via a legalized "same sex partnership" that can be identified as something different than the definition of marriage. Heterosexual marriages deserve respect too and merit legal protection for that different structure that has served us well for many centuries now. Orwell was a human author. The author and creator of the entire universe has declared that there are types of relationships that we should honor. For example in Exodus 20:12 God declared: "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee". Another example of the special place that traditional sacred relationships have in the eyes of God. Please try to understand we citizens who hold that point of view.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Jan. 11, 2014 9:25 a.m.

    Without law and respect for law, we have nothing. Life follows the law of the jungle. The majority must be counted on to chose what is best for society. The minority often is caught up in their of "eat, drink and be merry" mentality. Look at how the minority demands that we legalize gambling, how we legalize drugs, how we redefine marriage, how we teach our children that they crawled out of the swamp. Look at how the minority has demanded that we take down monuments to fallen troopers, that we remove prayer from school, that we allow them to dictate to the majority what rules will be followed.

    Look at Eric Holder, who holds no office in Utah, who cannot sign a marriage certificate in any State, who cannot legislate, who set aside the law so that he could rule and reign. Look at Judge Shelby who ignored the Constitution and used the dissenting opinion of the Supreme Court to legislate from the bench.

    That is why we are a democratic republic where the power remains with the people and where the voice of the majority is law.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 9:10 a.m.

    The rights of the individual which cannot be removed by the state have always been a hallmark of our republic. Fundamental freedoms must be protected from prohibitive, meddling states and mob rule. That greatest of Utah values, freedom, must be preserved. The state of Utah is on the wrong side of this one. This editorial, replete with anger and denial, shows where we are in the process.

  • Bebyebe UUU, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 9:08 a.m.

    Those Utahns are married. You can't change that. Let it go and spend the 2 mil somewhere useful.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 8:38 a.m.

    The American Constitution: Godly or Godless?

    "Despite ... intermittent controversies implicating the Constitution, the more usual
    response of religious people to the nation’s founding document has been unqualified
    support. Given the successful history of the Constitution in action, this fact should come
    as little surprise. By crafting a document that took seriously the fallibility of human
    nature, the Founders created a government that has withstood the political passions that have destroyed so many other regimes throughout human history. By refusing to sanction even the hint of an official state religion in their new Constitution, the Founders encouraged the conditions necessary for religion to flourish free from government regulation.

    Finally, by recognizing the need for civic virtue in order to make their constitutional system work in practice, the Founders opened the door for religion to act as a vibrant moral force in American public life". From - Religion and the Constitution by John G. West

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Jan. 11, 2014 8:28 a.m.

    The premise of this editorial is wrong. Democratic processes cannot "undo" any person's individual rights. If you want to, argue for the benefits of "traditional marriage." But don't pretend that any majority can deprive anyone of his or her rights under our Constitution. That wrong-headed view of democracy has led to much suffering in our history.

  • PolishBear Charleston, WV
    Jan. 11, 2014 8:27 a.m.

    Should the State of Utah have the right to "protect its laws and democratic processes"? That depends.

    It would be great if all of Utah's voters were so well-informed about the Constitution of the United States (specically the 14th Amendment) that they knew that there was no justification for denying law-abiding, taxpaying Gay couples the same legal benefits and opportunities that Straight couples had always taken for granted. THEN perhaps they would not have approved Amendment 3, knowing that it clearly conflicts with our Constitutional guarantee of equal protection under the law.

    I would rather not believe that, in approving Amendment 3, Utah voters acted out of any sense of fear or animosity toward their Gay neighbors. Perhaps they felt they really were upholding "traditional values." Nevertheless, federal judge Robert Shelby had no choice but to overturn Amendment 3 as unconstitutional. No one ever said the "democratic process" was foolproof. But if there's a light at the end of this tunnel, it's the fact that if Amendment 3 was put to a popular vote TODAY, it's passage would be doubtful.

  • 10CC Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 8:20 a.m.

    I applaud the Deseret News' strong stance in protecting democracy. In this state, where the term "compound constitutional republic" is preferred over the term "democracy" by many in the Legislature, standing up for the will of the people is very welcome.

    If the Legislature is now similarly minded, perhaps we'll see the threshold for citizen initiatives lowered. Unlikely, but the general sentiment is appreciated.

    However, if there's one thing we've all learned from the gun debate is that even the majority can't deny fundamental rights to the minority. The courts have consistently stood up for the Constitution, and individual rights.

    Eric Holder's announcement yesterday sets up a classic legal showdown: We'll see a newly married same-sex couple in Utah file their 2013 federal tax returns jointly, and also file them jointly for the State of Utah, and their tax rate in filing jointly will be lower than if they filed separately.

    The State of Utah will seek to enforce their tax laws and force the married couple to file separately, and litigation will ensue, based on unequal treatment under the law.

    Utah, of all places. This is historic.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 7:56 a.m.

    Utah does not have the right to discriminate against US Citizens. Period.

    Judge Shelby's ruling was accurate, just and well within the law.

  • Really??? Kearns, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 7:47 a.m.

    Oh, how soon we forget our own history. Do we not remember that the Utah State Legislature passed a law in 2011 requiring schools to teach that the U.S. is a compound constitutional republic and not a democracy? One of the key components of a constitutional republic is the protections of minority rights; we just can't vote or legislate unconstitutional laws.

    I honestly understand the LDS Church's stance on this issue, and I understand people's religious convictions, but we need to also allow room for people who are different. We get that many people in Utah consider us to be vile, godless heathens; we read the comments on here. I truly believe, however, that you will come to a different conclusion once you allow us to have the same legal benefits and protections that many of you take for granted.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 7:29 a.m.

    The state of Utah and the DesNews fail to recognize the fact that states' rights are limited by the fact that they cannot violate other provisions of the US Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land. In fact, Section 3 of the Utah Constitution states "The State of Utah is an inseparable part of the Federal Union and the Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land." Utah's right to define marriage is limited by the provisions of the US Constitution. Utah's definition of marriage violates the 5th, 9th and 14th Amendments of the US Constitution.

    The federal constitution trumps the Utah constitution. When a provision in the Utah Constitution violates the US Constitution, it will not prevail. That is what happened in the Kitchen v Herbert decision, and why Judge Shelby's decision was correct and well-supported by the Constitution, precedent, and the law.

  • liberal larry salt lake City, utah
    Jan. 11, 2014 6:49 a.m.

    It is ridiculous to call for support of "Utah laws" without discussing the merit of those laws!

  • Cats Somewhere in Time, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 6:31 a.m.

    Well said. Right on target. Utah has the right to determine its own marriage laws in accordance with the will of the people. The Supreme Court made this clear when it struck down the Defense of Marriage Act. That is that the regulation of marriage is a matter for each state to decide and not for the federal government or courts to impose. This country is based on the rights of "We The People."

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 6:21 a.m.

    We need to elect people with high standards.

  • waikiki_dave Honolulu, HI
    Jan. 11, 2014 4:04 a.m.

    What is so benevolent about Utah trying to protect an unjust law that denies gay people marriage equality? The Church should tone down its sugar coated characterizations that this battle is a referendum on religious freedom and the protection of children. And by the way, if you don't think marriage equality for gay people is a civil right, then there will never be any room for reconciliation between the gay community and the Church.

  • Owen Heber City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 3:09 a.m.

    "....promote the benefits of gender complementarity in marriage policy." What does this mean? Is this the new focus-grouped term the state should be using to describe what it hasn't been able to make a legal case for? This is a religious concept. It's certainly OK for this paper to promote it - even encourage legislation based on it. But religious marriage concepts get trumped by the Constitution as this stated learned in the 1880s.

  • Gibster San Antonio, TX
    Jan. 11, 2014 2:02 a.m.

    A complete waste of the taxpayers dollar. Your gonna lose HUGE!!!!!!!!!

  • stanJames Baltimore, MD
    Jan. 11, 2014 1:30 a.m.

    Your article reminds me of American history and how the democratic process worked in the past

    1.jews and otehr non xtians (which would probably have included Mormons, could not marry in a number of states,eg Maryland until 1864 because only a regular xtain minister could do a marriage ceremony

    2. Blacks could not marry in the south until 1867. Then the marriage license came forth as a ssam like the poll tax because most blacks were destitute and could no pay the fee - re result of the democratic process etc.

    3. Same with inter-racial marriage - at one time 41 of 48 states banned it. In 1967 Scotus trashed the last 16 with htose bans - to the howls of the conservatives claiming they could no longer protect the sanctity of the white race

    The church has no business using religious beliefs to impose their beliefs on others. Many xtian denominations to same sex marriages which is their right and choice bu we are talking her about equality under the law and the 14th amendmen

    How soon the Mormons forget they ended up in far away Utah because they were persecuted for their ideas, now they do the same to others. Shame on you.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 1:26 a.m.

    This is really tough stuff, isn't it? The family is the basic unit of society, and it is the basic economic unit of society. I have always argued that the natural structure of society is the commune - family, extended family, clan, etc. It is very hard to raise kids with just one parent. Two parents are much better, both economically and socially. The most stable family type is probably that with 2 gender parents. That said, what about the sizable homosexual population? Are they to be denied family life? What about children in families with single sex parents? Are they to be denied the stability of sanctioned marriages? What if this life is the only life they have? These families have a whole lot on the line.

    While I favor 2 gender marriages, I find it hard to join hands with conservatives because their views are so retrograde otherwise. I think to deny these unorthodox families legitimacy is a big mistake. Utah will rue the day it did this.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 12:50 a.m.

    'Democracy should be the preferred method of peacefully resolving political controversies when attitudes about marriage differ from state to state under our federal constitution.'

    Funny that this article cites Democracy…

    and advocates Amendment 3, passed in 2004.

    ‘70% of Episcopalians support accepting gays’ - SOURCE: Pew Research Center – 05/20/10 – DSNews.

    'Poll: More Americans favor same-sex marriage' - CNN - 04/19/11

    'Poll: MAJORITY backs same-sex marriage' – By Paul Steinhauser and Bill Mears – CNN – 06-26-13

    'Same-sex marriage legalization seen as INEVITABLE to most Americans' – By Anjani Trivedi – TIME Magazine – 06-07-13

    'Gallup Poll: Majority of Americans support gay marriage' - By Elizabeth Stuart - DSNews - 05/20/2011

    I would be fine with anyone citing the will of the 'majority' from Amendment 3, if it did not pass in 2004.

    Today, is 2014.

    Democracy, also does not mean the majority run amok on the legal protections of the minority.

    That, is Tyranny.

  • Chris N SLC, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 12:49 a.m.

    If this is the case, then why do states no longer have Jim Crow laws? The answer is that courts have ruled that separate can not be equal in issues where a state law adversely affects a minority group. The constitution provides relief for a minority in the event that a majority, through democratic means, has forced beliefs or opinions upon them. The case in hand only serves the law firms that stand to benefit from a contract for taking this case through the appeals process. Meanwhile, the state stands to possibly lose several civil class-action lawsuits. It will be interesting to see how things go in the legal courts, but in the end it is the Utah tax payer who both foots the bill and the aftermath either way.

  • Ophelia Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 12:37 a.m.

    Ten years ago I would have agreed with this article. Not today. I know too many loving, wonderful gay couples who deserve a strong, stable marriage as much as I do. Some people deserve loving family relationships, but others do not? Reminds me of Orwell's Animal Farm: All animals are created equal, but some animals are more equal than others. Really?

  • Schnee Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 11, 2014 12:36 a.m.

    "created by an overreaching decision made by a single U.S. district court judge."

    State laws that violate the federal constitution are supposed to be struck down. Otherwise what's the point of challenging any law?

    "include not only a prohibition on performing same-sex marriages "

    About that... for a newspaper that cares so much about freedom of religion, doesn't it bother you that churches can be hit with criminal charges for performing merely symbolic same-sex marriages?

    Both Reyes/Herbert and Holder made the right decisions since Amendment 3 is currently Utah law so they can't recognize them but since those couples have marriage licenses the federal gov't post-DOMA does need to recognize them.